I just got delivery of my new A3 2.0 TDI 140 sport, with S-tronic, in ice silver colour. Car was ordered in July, and delivery was expected for mid-December. However, two weeks ago, I was told the car had been built, and last week that the car was being shipped to the UK. I was expecting 4-5 weeks between build time and car received in the UK, but it only took a week!
Not sure why the car was build 6 weeks in advance, maybe a consequence of the credit crunch and some slots made available.
I used to have the previous, pre-facelift 2.0 TDI 140, also with DSG, but the car was an S-Line. Even though the S-line did look good, it was just too uncomfortable due to the low-profile tyres and stiff suspensions.
The new one has sport suspensions, and the standard 17" wheels (looking very good), and it is much more confortable, while stability does not appear to have been affected and actually is better.
The new car is much more refined and quiet than the old one, and I initially wondered if it was really a diesel engine. I used to have a fairly aggressive GALA setting on the radio with the old one, and I don't think it's required on the new one.
Looking at the facelift pictures, I didn't think they had made many style changes, but having the two cars side-by-side made me realise that there are quite a few.
Some of the changes:
* New front (obviously), more angular. Looks very much like the new A4 or A5
* Quite different rear, with horizontal exhaust pipes (due to DPF, no need to point them to the ground)
* Larger side mirrors, much improved
* Indicators in mirrors
* New switches inside
* New dashboard, the black LCD display is very nice
* On board computer has many more options, and everything can be set up (even the intensity of the footwell lights!)
* Mileage is now included in the computer for Computer 1
* Computer can now show real time speed (more precise)
* When in D mode on S-tronic, manual override works as before but only stays for 10 seconds
* Closing the doors and boot makes a different sound
* Hill hold assist is now standard
* The tyre pressure figures are no longer written inside the fuel flap (not sure where they are now)
Overall, quite a few improvements, and I liked the old car until comparing with the new one. It now looks outdated.
Fuel economy seems much better than previous model. I used to do 45MPG for my commute to work (lots of traffic, and 10 miles of motorway), and the new car reported 58MPG for the same journey yesterday!
It feels like S-tronic has been optimised, although I can't really tell yet, as I am not pushing the car. It feels that there is less lag.
Some of the small issues:
* Some of the buttons around the radio look cheap, and I don't know why the radio and AC is not also with black display
* Cup holder is gone from the front console
* Ipod connection is still basic, no song names displayed etc. Surely, it would cost hardly nothing to have a proper connection. I still don't understand if the ipod is actually outputting the music, or if the files are just read like a drive. An Audi logo is displayed on the Ipod when connected.
I have an Ipod mini, and the plastic adapter is not provided (only for Nanos, or regular Ipods)
* The automatic wipers don't appear to work that well. Yesterday, there was quite a lot of rain on the windscreen, and they were only triggered infrequently
* The front parking sensors are installed on the sides, and are not able to sense an obstacle place at the front but quite low (like a small wall). Given that the lower front is now much likely to be damaged, this is a drawback.
That's it for now!