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A3 Petrol or Diesel? Recommendations for low annual mileage!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by NICK-C, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Hi,

    I am looking to get my wife a new car, need something, bigger, better and more economical than her current Corsa 1.8 Sri. I have been looking at something like a 2005 A3 2.0Tdi (140bhp) but then I thought because she only does 7 miles to work each way,mainly though town (so approx. 3,500 miles per year) is a diesel the best bet or should I get her a petrol? Being only short journeys is there issues with diesel (not sure if DPF on 2005 models)? Will she get poor mpg anyway?


    Cheers,
    Nick
    #1
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  3. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    The diesel wouldn't even get warm in that journey!

    Go for any of the petrol engines with a "T" after it. ie. 1.4T or 1.8T or 2.0T.
    #2
  4. kanecullen89
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    kanecullen89 Active Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    ^ I agree.

    Diesels take longer to warm up so its unlikely that the engine would be sufficiently warm by the time she gets to work which would mean increased wear on the engine and carbon buildup.

    Having a turbo petrol car doing short journeys isn't great either but you don't have much choice with the a3. I wouldn't touch a non turbo a3
    #3
  5. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Thanks guys.

    I thought that would be the case.

    I would probably look at the 1.8T as I think the 1.4T is too new, therefore too expensive.
    Other option staying 4 rings is a 1.6 A2, I know its not a turbo but they are quite light and efficient, just not sure on space.

    Will have to have a look around.


    Cheers,
    Nick
    #4
  6. Minstadave
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    Minstadave Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    Make sure it's the 1.6FSI not the older non-FSI 1.6 if you go that way.

    Absolutely no point in diesel at that mileage. The 1.6FSI is a bit of a "meh" engine, depends on what your other half wants, but I'd probably go spend my cash on something other than a underpowered 7 year old A3.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
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  7. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    A2 was a massive failure from Audi's perspective (+ many of us on here will agree I'm sure)

    Stay clear.
    #6
  8. Cossie_boy
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    Cossie_boy Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    True, I was really keen on the look, especially with 18's etc... but once sat inside one and hit my head, not even tall! on the door pillar it soon put me off, apparently the 70 mpg claims are not true either

    I dont do that many miles but prefer the way diesels drive believe it or not
    #7
  9. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    I drive 7 miles to work in my 2.0 tdi and the dis reads around 60mpg. When I took my 1.8T I got 35mpg.

    I don't see how its 'not worth it' saving around 50% on fuel cost?
    #8
  10. gdbarratt
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    gdbarratt A3 Sportback 2.0 T FSi

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    I only do around 5k miles a year and a trip to work of 9 miles. I have had an A3 1.6 petrol, Octavia 1.9TDi 130Bhp, A6 2.0TDi 140Bhp and now a A3 2.0TFSi. The Turbo Petrol is the most fun to drive and I get around 32mpg, the A6 used to do around 38mpg and the Octavia 40ish, the 1.6 A3 was an non-FSi which I had to thrash to get any perfomance out of and hence only did around 26mpg!
    Petrol A3 cheaper to buy, service and with the cost of fuel being less only a slight extra expense on fuel for low mileage users.
    I would go with 1.8T or 2.0TFSi
    I was not a big fan of the VAG PD Diesels especialy the 2.0 as it was always hesitant on initial pull away and quite rattly in comparison to CR Diesels but this could be because it never warmed through on my low mileage runs.
    #9
  11. Mr. B
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    Mr. B English...not so good

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    What? 7 miles in rush hour is enough to warm up a TDI, You mention work miles only...? Is that all she does? I vote 2.0TDI.
    #10
  12. Brodster
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    Brodster Shark Performance In Scotland Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 9, 2012]
    My wife has just taken delivery of her new A3 1.4TFSI 122bhp and I have nothing bad to say about it. She specced it up with RNSE, auto lights, nice wheels, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rear view mirror and wing mirrors. She does a 50 mile round trip into Edinburgh every day and I use it every month to go up to Aviemore and back to pick my kids up. Its getting approx 42 MPG which to me is great seeing as the daily drive is mainly in the city and crawling on the bypass. I know alot of people scoff at the wee 1.4 TFSI but its much better and responsive than her old 1.6 TDI A3. That was sluggish and horrible to drive.
    #11
  13. Minstadave
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    Minstadave Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Because you pay several thousand more for the equivalent diesel so will take you years to recoup he cost.Plus you'll knacker the DPF and have potential injector and DMF bills.The cost of running a car is not just about the MPG. This forum seems very pro-diesel which is bonkers for the OPs usage.
    #12
  14. mjr901
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    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    As with every car, they should be warmed up gently and 7 miles will probably have him properly warm as its town driving but...

    In reality these diesels need thrashing to stop stuff clogging up, you just don't have the time or space in 7 miles of traffic from cold to do a proper job of that.

    A turbo petrol on the other hand is warm by 2 miles and it doesn't clogg up like the diesel does.

    And as for the battery, diesels are harder to start, more amps required etc. 7 miles each way will effectively ruin the battery very quickly.

    Crackers.

    Turbo petrol, end of.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
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  15. Ash187
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    Ash187 Audi-Retrofits.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Diesels are and have always been motorway cars... cars for long journeys to make the most of the slow burning fuel.
    getting a diesel for a small average journey will in the long run mess the engine up and waste you more money. there have been loads of reports of the milky substance found under the oil cap on diesels that are not averagely driven on long journeys
    ok so you may be getting more 'mpg' but you are paying more money for that fuel over petrol which isnt being used properly as the engine isnt warm enough to use it... i see loads of threads of blown turbos on the diesels too but these generally seem to be from cars that dont do very long journeys as well (maybe im speculating here but here is my theory) i would put it down to small journeys where the oil isnt warm enough and then the car is being 'ripped' as the diesels have that lovely torque.

    dont get me wrong i own a 2.0tdi but as i drive around 60miles a day i know i am making good use of the car... i have friends that have diesels and even know guys on this forum that have bought diesels for a cheaper tax and lower fuel consumption but as they only drive around town they are getting 38-42mpg max where i am boasting 60mpg on my long motorway runs.

    and then there is the dpf issues on the newer cars where the soot is meant to be burnt off while the car is being driven but as the engine doesnt get warm enough and the car isnt being driven long enough the soot just builds up and then causes errors and part failures.

    stick with the petrol... nice and quiet, efficient cars. as said before get the T versions and you will always have a smile on your face. if you want to save some money stick with the 1.4 or 1.6 engines and it should be fine.
    #14
  16. Sim_88
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    Sim_88 Neutral

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    I have a 2.0 TDi (140bhp) and do around 16 miles a day (8 to and from work), I also do around 30 miles on weekends so on average around 110 miles a week. The majority of this is in London and occasionally on A roads. I'm averaging about 40mpg and sometimes reach around 50mph on A roads but not often more than that. I got a TDi because I get better mpg and its cheaper on tax and insurance than the equvilent petrol.

    I think its preference, as long as you look after the car, service it regularly and go for an occasional drive on the motorway I can't see why you shouldn't get a diesel for town driving although there are risks as mentioned above.
    #15
  17. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Thanks for the replies.P

    ersonally I would prefer to get her a diesel as I think it would give her better MPG overall and there is a lot more choice around the 2005 model mark over the petrols and price difference isn' that great. I was just worried due to short mileage it may not warm up enough and clog things up. Although her trip to work is about 15 to 20 mins so I guess by that time it should be about up to temp?
    Also I assume if it had dpf I could get that removed as may do a remap at the same time.
    I could also give it the odd blast every couple of weeks to work as I do a 90 mile round trip every day but am I going to want to drive that instead of my S3 (or soon to be ordered A5)? Probably not!
    #16
  18. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    1.4 TFSI would be great but think it is out of my price range unfortunately.
    #17
  19. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    If we go with a diesel then I will have to tell her to thrash it down the M42 for a bit once a week! :racer:

    Had a quick look at some 1.4T prices and A3 are out of the range really, although there are some Golfs at about a grand less so maybe that is the best option. Should combine better mpg, better tax and insurance with fairly decent performance.
    #18
  20. Minstadave
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    Minstadave Member

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Wrong choice entirely, sorry.

    Better MPG, lower tax, lower insurance with lacklustre performance, poor reliability, more likely to chuck up big bills and a lovely tractor soundtrack.
    #19
  21. Mr. B
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    Mr. B English...not so good

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    [Oct 10, 2012]
    Get her a test drive in a 2.0TDI, she will fall in love with it lol, that immediate shove in the back when you put your foot down although it runs out pretty quickly is amazingly fun.
    #20
  22. Minstadave
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    Minstadave Member

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    That immediate shove in the back after the turbo lag followed by nothing but tractor noise.

    I don't get the love for the 2.0TDI on this forum. It's for people who do monster miles and don't want to spend 5 grand a year on petrol. It's a clattery unreliable unispiring engine, it's not for people who potter around town or commute single figure distances.
    #21
  23. screechmr2
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    screechmr2 Member

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    go for the 3.2 v6 it's the nicest sounding
    #22
  24. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    Neither do I! I think people evangelise too much for their own preference rather than what's right for the buyer. I'd go for a small blown petrol over the tractor for short miles round town.

    My bro in law has a 2.0TDi 170 and they use it for local mileage. He bought it because diesel 'used to be' cheap. It's caused him nothing but problems, sounds awful, lacks refinement, and even he now dislikes it. When I think of the problems some have been suffering with DPF, injector looms, cracked heads etc.... I wouldn't touch one with yours!
    #23
  25. NICK-C
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    NICK-C Nick

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    Thanks guys. My mate has had the 140 diesel and he was happy with it, I thought it was ok too and not bad performance, although he does a lot of miles.
    I am still leaning towards the 1.4t as the figures about stack up. It doesn't need to be mega quick anyway as most of the time the Mrs is in 30 or 40 limits so just a bit of 'pudding' as she calls it will do!
    #24
  26. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    Then sir you are making the right decision!
    #25
  27. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Oct 11, 2012]
    Doesnt wash with me this arguament as the car is still worth comparitively more than a petrol version when i sell it. If anything diesels depreciate less just lately. Just need to invest more in the car initially, doesnt mean i will lose more unless i keep it forever!
    #26

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