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1.8TFSI - awful lag

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by bobwilson, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    We were going to buy a 1.8TFSI s tronic sportback, but found that there was a huge lag/delay between when you press the pedal and the car reacts.

    The delay time on the 1.8 ruins the car for us.. we actually consider it slightly dangerous, in case you need to react quickly to get out of a situation.

    We've since looked up reviews online that say the same thing about that engine (one reviewer said it was uncharacteristic of audi), they recommend going for the 1.4 s tronic, which doesn't have this lag.

    We didn't really want to go for less power, but looks like we'll have to consider it as we want petrol and this delay/lag is very odd and ruins the car completely for us.

    It feels like you press the accelerator pedal, the car doesn't move, then almost a second later, it kicks in.

    Has anyone driven both the 1.8 (180) s tronic and 1.4 (140) s tronic and can you tell us whether the 1.4 reacts faster?
    #1
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  2. Kristian83
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    Kristian83 New Member

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    I guess this isn't really related directly, but my A1 1.4 122 s-tronic does this as well. Just ordered an A3 manual because the lag is annoying!
    #2
  3. Neesh
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    Neesh Member

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    My manual 1.8 TFSI is perfect...that annoying lag is why I stayed away from the S-tronic it occurs throughout the A1 and the A3 range...test driven the A1 and A3 1.4TFSI and the lag is just too much to bare!
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  4. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    Absolutely disagree that there is any lag with S-tronic. 2 A3s and 1 A1 with S-tronic and it beats manual hands down.
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  5. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Had two A3s back to back with S-Tronic. Both had this lag but I believe it's even worse in the 1.8. Mine were both 2.0TDi models which may have been a combination of s-tronic with the diesel's power delivery.

    I voted with my feet and bought manual from there on.

    Best to spend a day with one to see how it works for you.
    #5
  6. Gazzz
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    Gazzz Member

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    Do you think the issue is worse on the 7 speed s-tronic? I know it's manufactured by a different company. The 1.8 quattro seems to have the older 6 speed box, so it might be worth the OP giving that a shot and seeing if it has the same issue?
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  7. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    The 7 speed is definitely worse but it seems to depend on the engine/gearbox combo. A number of reviewers have advised to steer clear of S-Tronic on the 1.8. I think it really depends on your driving style as well - some notice it more than others.
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  8. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    Interesting to note that so many others have noticed the same problem across the whole range of petrol engines. And disappointing of Audi...

    Gazzz, the 1.8 quattro isn't available in A3 Sportback yet.

    We'll test drive another s tronic engine and post back.
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  9. Gazzz
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    Gazzz Member

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  10. cotball
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    cotball Member

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    When I first picked mine up I noticed this, If the car is in Economy mode on the drive select then it's really laggy, Put it inot comfort or dynamic and it disappears or just use the flappy paddles.
    #10
  11. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    Went from a Leon FR DSG to the 1.8 s-Tronic, The lag is horrendous, at times is actually feels risky as my old Leon burst off the lights but now I'm trying to pre-empt the gap buy accelerating BEFORE the gap is there knowing it will be a second before it responds. Ridiculous.... Hope this can be sorted with software as it has ruined the car for me....
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  12. miketrix
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    miketrix Member

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    Maybe due to the Audi Drive Select setup? If it's in efficiency or confortable mode, indeed there is a lag. But in dynamic, the car responds pretty well!
    #12
  13. drtav13
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    drtav13 Member

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    I second that , although I haven't pushed my car yet (still taking it slow until my first 1500 km) the lag indeed disappears in S Mode.
    most of the time I don't care much since I put in economy in combination with A.C.C. and it practically drives itself... (especially when I'm bored driving to/from work)




    #13
  14. cotball
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    cotball Member

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    You will be fine mate, I'm on around 8k miles now and it's far better than the DSG box on my old 8p a3, It loosens up over time!

    The drive select makes a difference though so make sure you switch through the settings!
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  15. bjorngra
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    bjorngra Member

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    You have selected the wrong Drive Select option. It's de Efficiency option you drove in. I experienced that, but when I put the Drive select on Individual the car was very responsive.
    #15
  16. bjorngra
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    bjorngra Member

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    You have selected the wrong Drive Select option. It's de Efficiency option you drove in. I experienced that, but when I put the Drive select on Individual the car was very responsive.
    #16
  17. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    If you order a car without Drive Select I wonder what it would be set as by default.
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  18. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    We tried all drive select modes, the lag was still there. We can't risk buying a car with such bad lag, it would be a danger on the road in our opinion.
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  19. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I assume this problem is when driving in D mode. The lag must be related to the 7-speed version of the s-tronic. My wife tried a 1.4 Polo with the 7-speed DSG a while ago and found a similar problem. I have had four 2.0TDI A3(8P)s with the original 6-speed s-tronic and have not had the problem with any of them, but do not tend to drive in D mode anyway. I test drove a 1.6TDI Golf VII for the day on Friday and it has the 7-speed DSG but again I did not use D mode spending all the time in 'manual' mode and using the paddles and did not notice any lag at all.

    After trying the DSG Polo my wife decided she would stick to a manual and in the end got a better deal from my normal dealer on a 1.6TDI A1 which she thinks is a much better car than her previous Polos so she is well pleased.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
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  20. bjorngra
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    bjorngra Member

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    I didn't mention the lag? Drive Select is standard in The Netherlands.
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  21. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    I've been out in mine testing all driver modes, the lag is significantly reduced when in dynamic mode. It's a shame as I chose this engine and spec as the fuel efficiency and performance were well balanced but if I have to drive in sports mode everywhere to enjoy the car then I am sacrificing the efficiency. Audi... Software update please......
    #21
  22. thesmileyone
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    thesmileyone Member

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    It is the gearbox, and it is there on purpose and is a good thing; it stops people taking silly risks at roundabouts.

    When I first got DSG I hated it but then I realised that if i had a manual I would have been T boned by that truck, etc.
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  23. thesmileyone
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    thesmileyone Member

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    Like I said, its for safety, and it is a good thing. You just have to change your driving habits.
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  24. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    No, it's a design fault.

    If it was for safety, similar mechanisms would be built in to the manual cars and conventional autos. None of these suffer the same characteristics. After two DSG cars, it was this very thing that stopped me ordering a third.

    You could also circumvent the issue by using sport mode, which kinda puts paid to your theory.
    #24
  25. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    1.4 tfsi 6 speed manual here and no lag whatsoever
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  26. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Active Member

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    Ditto, it's nippy on nearly all driving modes and positively flies off the mark in Dynamic.
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  27. manmoth
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    manmoth Member

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    Had a Gti at the lights last week, slipped it into dynamic and smoked him.....
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  28. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    sorry, but that's a load of rubbish mate. Had DSG in a Scirroco and have also driven a few A3's that have suffered from the same problem. It's dangerous end of story, you don't get the power when you need or want it.

    Mark
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  29. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    That'll be because you ordered the proper drivers' gearbox... :undwech:
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  30. viperfire
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    viperfire Member

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    Correct:)
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  31. thesmileyone
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    thesmileyone Member

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    Don't you think it is more dangerous taking risks at roundabouts and junctions just to get to your destination 3 seconds sooner?
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  32. thesmileyone
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    thesmileyone Member

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    I am sure Audi didnt expect people to use Sport mode to join traffic flow!
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  33. RossR
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    RossR Member

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    Yes I remember all the marketing when Audi came up with this safety feature.
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  34. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    You're not making much sense now. If it was a 'safety feature' it would be the same in Sport mode... but it's not. That's the point I was making.

    You're spot on though - Audi don't expect you to use Sport mode to join traffic flow. They've just screwed up with the software which is causing the lag in 'drive' mode.

    Nothing at all to do with safety.
    #34
  35. 4Wurth
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    4Wurth New Member

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    I am still waiting for the 184PS to come up no doubt like many others. In the meantime before I pull out what hair I have left I test drove the 1.8TFSI S-Tronic yesterday for comparison. This is the first time that I have driven the s-tronic box or an auto for that matter. During the drive I was trying hard to understand what the gearbox was actually doing. OK I know the principle but fast progression of the car seemed somehow lost in practice. Getting away it seemed very hesitant although on the display the gear number were changing up reasonably. About D3 and after that it cruised comfortably. In Cornwall we have a lot of hills ( hence diesel turbos are common place) and on a particular long and steep climb it seemed that the gearbox was trying to sort it self out but all I could say it was not at all impressive. On a flat straight it is almost like having to squeeze an orange to get it to go but is ok when the turbo kicks. I put this down to counter any enthusiastic heavy use of the throttle. The performance when pushed was progressive and just how I like it with a real sense of what the engine should be capable of delivering.
    I really could not make up my mind though what I felt about the car. At times it was really good but annoyingly let down just when it should be responding as expected.

    I then remembered reading this thread. I agree with 'bobwilson' and others that the lag is not at all what you would expect. Why do you want a car that is supposed to be auto but in order to get the best out of it you have to convert to manual mode.

    It would be interesting to know from owners or anyone that has had a chance to drive the new A3/SPB manual version 1.8TFSI as against the auto and what they feel about it, mpg versus performance. Is it that smooth through the gears?
    Also what are the current owners view of the s-tronic 1,8 TFSI and what are they get mpg wise.

    I currently drive the previous version A3 Sportback 170 PS Quattro and I find that engine combination really well matched giving deliverable performance together with good mpg. I do envy all of you who currently have their cars. One day I might be in that position just hope it's soon. At least I have chance to read beforehand your excellent feedback on this really good site. I Look forward to your comments.
    #35
  36. VeeDubDan
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    VeeDubDan Member

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    Has anyone asked Audi for an explanation?
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  37. 97catalunya
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    97catalunya Member

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    Hey all you 1.8ers is it Turbo Lag you are talking about or a lag in the S-Tronic? I had a Subaru Impreza, the turbo kicked in at 3000 rpm and the car would transform the car completely, at the moment we have a stupid 4.7ltr auto jeep that feels like the wheels are connected to the gearbox with treacle. So are we still talking an improvement on these or have I ordered the wrong engine?

    I have driven a 1.4TFSI S-Tronic A1 and was very happy with the feel of that, I have also driven a 2.0TDI S-Tronic A3 but felt a little sluggish, hence going for the 1.8TFSI S-Tronic but the dealer didn't have one for me to drive.

    I have also searched the net for reviews on the 1.8TFSI S-Tronic and none of the reviews mention lag?
    #37
  38. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    The problem is not turbo lag its a hesitation between the driver pressing the accelerator and anything actually happening. Very unnerving when you want power, the problem is more to do with software i think. I raised the issue with VW when I had a DSG Scirroco, they said they would log the issue, they weren't interested really.

    Mark
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  39. 4Wurth
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    4Wurth New Member

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    Driving the 1.8TFSI s-tronic there was no problem with the performance of the turbo once it kick in, a slight turbo gap, but as one would be expect. For me I felt it was more that initial pulling away that was very lack lustre and as somebody else reported here it was not reassuring. Could be gear ratios. I heard a six rather than seven gears was better. I could also imagine frustration when trying to filter into a busy traffic lane.I have very little experience of automatic gearbox driving so I would not know whether this is typical. I would be very interested to hear from a driver of the manual 1.8TFSI version regarding the response of the engine unsaddled with the s-tronic gearbox to establish what the issue is. Driving my previous version SPB Quattro 170 PS turbo I guess it has the extra torque available to count on.
    #39
  40. cemerson
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    cemerson Active Member

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    It's a known problem with all VAG cars I think, and it's something to do with the software
    #40

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