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A3 1.8T Quattro/Quattro TDI - comparison?

Drysdale Dec 14, 2005

  1. Drysdale

    Drysdale Member


    Have been a reader (and occasional poster) of these forums for a while, as owned a 1.6 A3 a year or so ago.

    Recently bought a 1.6 Mk4 Golf, and very recently upgraded (understatement!) to a Leon Cupra TDI 150.

    For some reason recently, I've really become interested in the 8L 1.8T Quattro and Quattro TDI, but don't really have the balls to be seriously intersted in buying an S3 as much as I want one.

    So, I'd like to know opinions of both the 1.8T Quattro and Quattro TDI. Are the TDI's worth the extra money over the petrol? Is paying extra for the quattro over 2wd worth it? Is the grip noticeably better?

    Any advice, comments etc much appreciated!
  2. evotista

    evotista Member



    I wrote the following sometime ago, but still the comments are valid i believe. I can't speak authoritatively on 1.9TDI Qs but most on this forum who own a late series one are more than happy with them.

    As an owner of a 1.8T QS facelift 5 door, i'll give you my thoughts. As has been said already 1.8T quattro's have 180bhp compared to 150bhp. Howewer 1.8T QS are heavier than fwd cars, so for a 20% power hike, you get 9.3% weight increase offset against this. If you get a facelift version (late 2000 - X i think was the change), you get the six speed box, instead of 5 which has better ratios to take advantage of the engine output. oh yeah...you get that even rarer than an S3 feeling by having the RED T on the badge!

    Seriously though if it were down to me, i would have had the 210/225 bhp of an S3..the big down side to me was the lack of 5 door. No 5 door S3 = highest powered 5 door A3, which just so happened to be the 1.8T QS. I'm very happy with it, the facelift version has lots of fairly minor tweaks with the exception of the 6 speed box. The interior is classier, with aluminium bits here and there, better climate control etc. The turbo is very quiet and spools in very gently (.i believe 0.6bar boost max)..but i do really like the ability to lay down power in any conditions...that is a chief advantage over a standard 1.8T

    The scope for chipping up is limited , the 150 and 180 engines are identical, just a different ECU, at best you're looking at maybe 220bhp...at 180 the engine is already getting stressed up. If you need more than that the only way is S3. S3's obviously have lots of other advantages like xenons, recaros, lower suspension etc, tastier wheels in general as standard.

    Any downsides to what i've experienced....notchy 6 speed box, generally true of most audis although i believe the 6 speed version IS particularly notchy. 32 mpg ish - not too bad, but QS really need 98 RON rather than 95. The brakes again are over servoed (ie not progressive enough), but this can be tuned out with mods - although i've not done this yet.

    My advice, if you can try both facelift and none facelift versions...you may prefer 6 speed to 5 speed or vice versa. Probably the 5 door issue isn't relevant to you, but it does aid practicality (families etc). whichever way, if you get one , you become a member of the red T club, which is believe it or not rarer than the s3 club....s3's however are still a superior drivers car i believe


  3. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Moderator

    Just to add to Evo's comprehensive write up.
    There is a huge diference between the driving experience of a 1.8T and 1.8TQ.
    The 1.8T feels livelier and more urgent and actually feels quicker in a straight line (even though it isn't).
    The 1.8TQ feels much more solid and heavier overall but chuck it round a roundabout and the grip is outstanding (with the right tyres), where the 2WD version would be more exciting scrabbling for traction, the quattro is quite dull in comparison (if that makes sense).
    I would definately try both as trying a non quattro and then just assuming the Q version is just a slightly quicker version is not really the case. They are a radically different drive.
  4. Love my Q but do not like the 24ish mpg!

    Was AMD chipped and got it to 202bhp with 30lb ft extra torque. Was a little low but was the best they could do.

    The 4WD is so much safer for normal driving and it is a much rarer car too.

    Not had any experience with the facelift model but 5 gears is fine for me. Best gear is third in which I can go from 30mph to 80mph whilst other cars have to change gear!
  5. jojo

    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator Team Daytona Audi S3 quattro Audi A6 Audi Avant Owner Group

    Wicked, is 24mpg mostly town driving?, I can get 25mpg average easy in my S3 with 260BHP and 19" wheels with 70% town and the rest on Motorway or country roads!
  6. TQS

    TQS Member

    Agree with Wicked but - the Q really does stand apart IMO... also chipped with AMD on my facelift 6 speed and got the graphs to show 234bhp is possible....

    Agree too that the drop from 32mpg to 24mpg was a bit of a surprise, expecially as i do a lot of motorway driving but hey-ho... the car's new found lease of life really makes a difference!

    If you do go for the TDi, i'd reckon chipping would be a must!
  7. its an older V reg car and so do not know why the mpg is so low. Its off road for moment as saving money but going to buy lots of additives to flush out the engine as this maybe why it's so low.

    The BHP increase was not as high as AMD expected but they said they they tested eveything and it was 'one of those things'. I'm more into posing than reacing though and it's plenty fast enough as it is.

    Already had its major service and new MAF sensor and only use optimax!

    Click on my homepage to check out some pics if you like. Just need a Recaro Interior and i'm set!
  8. rickquattro

    rickquattro Member

    Hi Drysdale, heres my tuppence worth.

    I have a 1.9TDi Q, and went through the same dilemma as yourself. For me the choice was S3 or TDi, not the other petrol versions. I definitely wanted the 4wd system though as my commute to work is through the Scottish Borders.

    The big decider was the MPG and insurance overall. I do 20k miles per year so the difference is significant over time.

    I echo the comments on 2wd vs 4wd driving style. I used to light up the ESP all the time until I found how to drive the car properly. Grip is amazing, wet or dry. I run 225/40/18 tyres. It is possible to be overconfident through this and travel too fast in snow, for example. There are still limits after all!

    The car is Superchipped, does between 38-44 mpg overall and I do enjoy driving so the MPG could be better. It was chipped at 5k and now has 73k on the clock and has never missed a beat. Chipping made a difference, but to be fair I chipped it almost immediately so wasnt that used to the original 130 hp engine. It was also being run in at this time. It has got better and spins easier as time has gone past. It did have an annoying habit of overboosting and going on to safe mode, but a switch off/switch on cures this. Last time this was on the Autobahn, not a good place to loose boost.

    Chipping improved flexibility and made the 6th gear a proper driving and accellerating one rather than an overdrive. It also has seen 130mph fully laden in Germany although fuel economy did drop. Accellerating, its possible to stall it as boost comes in later, once on teh move it has a fair amount of shove. I have never been in an S3 or 1.8TQ so cant compare here.

    I intend to keep the car until it drops out from under my backside now that I have paid it off. Our company VW/Audi cars are heading towards 300k on a diesel motors. Admittedly they have had faults but nothing rattles inside, or has fallen off giving me loads of confidence in build quality..

    My only regret is not hanging on for the newer 2.0TDi Q, which was not available for almost two years after I bought mine. This may be a better used option as the older 1.9's may be getting on. They also are harder to find perhaps than the 1.8 TQ. An internet trawl through Audi approved found mine. Dont expect to be able to get much of a discount on a dealer purchase but be prepared to travel to see one. i am in Edinburgh and went to Grimsby for the spec I wanted.

    For servicing I go to an independent garage in Scotland who I trust after hassles with the dealer network.

    I love the car, its got a good spec, it does what I want and is as good as an estate. I leave the rear seats down all the time so stacks of space.

    I think, as others suggest, the best way to choose is to get a long enough test drive in both...

    Good Luck!
  9. rickquattro

    rickquattro Member

    Oh, I forgot to say diesel has no coil packs to fail......
  10. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Moderator

    Out of all the pro's & con's I think that one is quite a way down the list Rick! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif
  11. rickquattro

    rickquattro Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    Out of all the pro's & con's I think that one is quite a way down the list Rick! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep your right there, but if you have 4 or six of them, reading around the boards it does seem a bit of a ticking bomb. I have just been reading another thread where the coil packs may have gone again . How anoying must that be.
  12. Jim at Star Performance told me that the later coil packs (push in type) are more prone to failure over the older bolt in ones.
  13. The Slug

    The Slug Active Member

    I have a 1.9TDi Quatty sport too and i love the car to bits, massive grip around bends and all that torque pulling you out of the bends feels great and at avg 44mpg around town driving with enought power to lose ya license aint bad either, cant wait to get mine remaped too.
    Build quality is sublime, mine is the facelift version with extras on and one thing you'll find is the residuals will be much better than any petrol variant. Being a rare car its kind of special too.
    S3 are a very good car, but after driving Jojo's remaped S3 they seem quite flat in comparison, so remaps all round is what i say.

    My 2ps worth.

    Have fun test driving

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