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Having second thoughts!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by smee, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. smee
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    smee Member

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    I am thinking of moving from a sensible Merc C Class diesel to an A3. Looking at an Sportback 2.0T Quattro S-Line Special edition Lava Grey, but have not had a chance to test drive one yet. Will I find the change too much of a culture shock or is this a wise move?
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  2. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you have a test drive before making any final decision. At least that way you will be sure what you are getting and how the car will drive. If you are considering the S-tronic gearbox also make sure you test drive a car with one fitted, even if it's not the exact model you are considering. Some people love it and some don't.
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  3. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    You'll probably find the A3 a touch unrefined after a C class.
    Why not consider the A4 ?
    Better built and considerably more refined than the A3,IMO.
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  4. smee
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    smee Member

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    Yea, did consider the A4 but fancied a real change. Car before the C Class was a Celica so quite used to that sort of change although in the other direction! Maybe its a mid life crisis sort of thing. I have a test drive booked for tomorrow but only in the front wheel drive not the Quattro!
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  5. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    Big change but you will know that. Test drive absolutely essential and not a short spin - I would try and borrow one for a day. You can't have a quattro and an S-tronic (auto) but if you do consider sacrificing the quattro then as mentioned, test drive a vehicle with the S-tronic.

    The A4 may be bigger and less of a change but IMO is not as much fun and I would guess it won't be too long before there is a new A4.
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  6. smee
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    smee Member

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    Thanks Roadrunner, the best the dealership is offering on a test drive is a short accompanied test drive. Then 30 minutes unaccompanied, I will push them to see if I can get the car for longer. Its amazing the difference between different car dealerships and what you can get in terms of test drive. I was not even seriously considering a Lexus and they offered one for a weekend!
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  7. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    How do you find the Merc diesels ?

    I have heard that they are very smooth and refined ? If true, I might consider one next time I change (although it would be a B-Class or C-Class Coupe).
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  8. smee
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    smee Member

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    The Merc is nice and a real motorway cruiser. Typical motorway speeds the 2.2 engine was returning low 50's mpg on long journeys. Max I got was 55mpg on a trip from Glasgow to London. Smooth drive too, mine is the automatic because I dont reckon the foot operated parking brake works well with a manual (clutch). The number of miles I travel now has greatly reduced which is why I was considering a change to something a bit more fun.
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  9. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    IME Audi dealers are a bit tight with letting you have a car for more than an hour or so but maybe that's just the 2/3 I have had dealings with. In years gone by Land Rover and Lexus have both happily loaned me cars for the weekend.

    Sometimes I wonder if it's a confidence thing because both new I was keen on the vehicles and the weekend loan would cement the deal.

    There have been a few people mention seat comfort on the S-line which would make it useful to have the test car for longer so worth paying special attention to that to make sure they suit you.

    You may want to think about the new 170 TDI... it's smooth and quick.
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  10. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    My wifes got a b-class and the difference in dealership's is quite startling. I did have a good experience buying my A3 but was blown out of the water when I bought the merc in july - different class altogether.

    J.
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  11. Targer
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    Targer New Member

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    Don't sacrifice the Quattro!!! 3 weeks ago I bought a 2.0T Quattro sline special edition in Brilliant black. I wouldn't have minded the DSG, but a choice between DSG and Quattro, then Quattro would win every time. I think the car is magic.
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  12. smee
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    smee Member

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    I definitely dont want to sacrifice the quattro even though it only comes with a standard gearbox. The "quattro" name still evokes memories for me of being a young rallying fan when the quattro came along and took on the world and won.
    The DSG does appear to be good but I have heard horror stories about delays between pressing the right pedal and moving forward!
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  13. nb
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    nb Very poorly A3 at the moment..........

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    agree with targer completely in terms of the one or other option, but i guess it depends how hard you are going to drive it smee?? I have a 2.0 t quattro and have recently had it remapped as i felt it had flexible power but needed a 'bit more edge'. I have reviously driven a bmw 1 series - pile of sh@t and got rid after 3 months, a lexus 200 which was superb, and also a had a clk for a little while. Now we all know that mercs are classy motors but in terms of cars within similar price ranges the a3 is miles ahead of everything in its class or similar. Car critics always refer to the cost issue etc and say its a golf with 4 rings stuck on along with an extra 4k.......but thats horsesh@it. It is the best all round car i have ever driven and if you spec it well you dont realise its so compact as it feels much executive. but i do agree with the other posts that you need a good old testdrive - i played a few dealers off against each other and got 3 days of driving - i.e pick up at 10 and return at 6. But the cheeky fuc@ers at smith knight fay stockport gave me the car with no petrol in!!
    Our opinions will hopefully help you but its you that needs to make or should that be take the plunge!!
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  14. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    That is just such utter rubbish.
    For starters,it's miles dearer than it's natural competitors.
    By competitors,I mean other 3 or 5 door hatches.
    Most are miles cheaper,with only the godawful looking 1 series even close to it.
    The 1 series is reported be a better driver's car though,although I haven't driven one.

    If you compare on price alone (take my car,for example,at £24400),there are many cars that beat it,such as the BMW 3 series.

    I've yet to see ANY test that says the A3 is miles ahead of anything.
    At best,they report it to be competent,but uninvolving and expensive.

    If you can show me a test that states the A3 is,as you say,"miles ahead of anything in it's class or similar",I'll read it.

    I think you'll have a long search.

    If the A3 suits you,that's fine,but to state it's miles ahead of anythin else when there are ZERO facts to back it up is just silly.
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  15. nb
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    nb Very poorly A3 at the moment..........

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    Fair points - but i did state "I, My view, my opinion etc etc.....", and made references to the expense of an A3. Maybe i was biased because i got a very good deal on my car with the extras.

    Let me re-phrase, in my opinion based on the cars i have owned in the past I feel the A3 suits me as an individual. I drive 40k plus miles a year and therefore feel i have some driving experience on which to base my views. In terms of tests to measure the car i'm sure i could find something to suggest it is of 'some' quality.

    But just a question for you mate - if you are critical of the a3 or do not rate it within its market - why do you drive one??!! And without having driven a 1 series how can you comment on that??!!
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  16. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    How do you find the car ?
    Some reviews of the B have been a bit mixed, but then most hacks are usually biased.
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  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I commented on the general consensus that the 1 series is a better drive than the A3,which is generally considered to be a bit dull and uninvolving.

    I don't go for this 'biased press' ****,sorry.

    It seems to work two ways.
    If the press report badly on an Audi,it's because they're biased.
    If an Audi gets a good report,it's because it's a good car.

    I drive an A3 because of circumstance really.
    The new Alfa 159 was months away,so that was out.
    The new Lexus was a year away,so that was out.
    I didn't like the look of the then new A4,so that was out.
    I stupidly ignored the 3 series because of the image.
    I regret the BMW thing now the most,as it is a much better car.
    As good as the glowing press reports suggest,for sure.

    I was willing to give the A3 a go though,as I liked the look of it in Akoya and S-line spec.
    Unfortunately,it quickly transpired that it's badly built and full of annoying,niggling (but not serious) faults,many of which are common to loads of A3's and it simply is not worth the money it cost the company (£24400).
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  18. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    Well I bought a 3-Series (previous model admittedly), largely on the strength of the 'unbiased press', and it was one of the worst cars I have ever owned. I flogged it after only 9 months.

    As for build quality, the BMW was not even remotely in the same league as my A3 (or indeed, any of the other 5 Audis I have owned !)
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  19. nb
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    nb Very poorly A3 at the moment..........

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    Fair enough mate nothing wrong with a good old debate, although to say that an audi is badly built makes me puzzled??!!
    Maybe you have been unlucky and got a 'bad one' but i cannot say i've experienced any problems with mine at all. If the audi falls down on other factors i would safely say that build quality is well up there.

    As for the bmw 1 series i would test drive one and make your own opinion as press can be biased these days and you wouldnt want to listen to that......
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  20. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    A 'Me too' post.

    I also had a new 2.5i 3 series and it was the worst car I ever owned. I was on and off load loaders virtually from day 1 and it wasn't just mechanical as bits off trim kept falling off. In 2 years I had more loan cars than you could count and every time I turned up on a low loader the service manager and stff did a runner leaving the poor reception girl totake the flak. BMW refused to even speak to me or return my calls telling me to go back to the dealer.

    The car was rubbish, the dealer was rubbish and so was BMW. Naturally we all speak as we find so when I read WOW test press reports after my expensive experience I tend to think they are biased.

    It's been totally different with my Audi. No problems and no hesitation in ordering another. Experiences do make you biased and questioning of press reports when your experience is different.
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  21. Lenaldo
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    Lenaldo Member

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    Apologies for treading old ground but if you can't stand the car why are you on this forum still? And no, i'm not telling you what you can and can't do, it's simply a question.

    With respect to the original points made, i'm not sure i go for this whole "better drivers car" guff with the 1 Series. Basically, it's a 5 door hatchback with rear wheel drive. People are going to be buying it not only for the handling but for its practicality. Sadly, the rear of the car is cramped, the boot is small and as a family car, it's not the best in the market. Yes, the drive is good (with the right engine) but if handling is so important, why not buy a sports car?

    The 159 (whilst a stunning car) is not the handler we all hoped it would be - it's heavy and needs a lot of horsing if its to be kept at a decent speed. The diesels are the best of the bunch but the thing that lets Alfa's down (and this is coming from an owner of 2 in the last 5 years) is not the reliability (mine were fine), nor the depreciation (can't change that), it's the dealerships. The buying experience is ko but the servicing is absolutely dreadful.

    The Lexus suffers from the same weight issues and also sadly the Partridge factor (but that's not a drivers issue is it?). The new diesel is intriguing enough but it's just another "white good" when it comes down to it IMHO, typical of the Japanese thouroughness and attention to detail but with the character rubbed out. The drive reflects this too.

    I agree with the A4 comment, although the RS4 does have a certain "something" to it :)racer: ) and the 3 series is a victim of it's own success. Also, having driven and owned 4 in the last few years, the build quality which has been improving seemed to dip with the face lift version of the previous gen model. The new model, unless it's sport pack equipped and big wheeled (ruining the ride) looks bland and Euro box. At least the 5 Series has the courage of its convictions - the 3 series is a cop out unless body kitted up.

    And yes, i've either owned or driven over a prolongued period all of the cars noted above. And still chose an A3 S-Line with DSG.

    To the OP, i'd say this - the C-Class is much more of a cruiser than the A3 and as such, if that's your bag, then compared to the comfort of the C you'll not like the hardness and uncomfortable ride of the A. However, if your attitude is more along the lines of "wallowy" and "taut", then i'm sure you'll appreciate it's qualities.

    Despite the comments of certain parties about DSG, i'd definitely try a car equipped with it and for a duration of time too. Depends on your day to day requirements i suppose. I use the DSG every trip (naturally) and felt i wouldn't get the same use out of the Quattro.

    Then again, i'm the same as you also - the name evokes memories of fire spitting cars driven by unpronouncable people from the nordic regions. Shame Audi seem to think the ultimate incarnation of the name is now a monstrous (and hideous) SUV designed for people who think Quattro is "foreign" speak for how many gallons of full fat Coke can be fitted into one drinks holder.

    Conclusion? Test, test, test. Try all your options and make up your own mind. And don't discount anything.
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  22. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Does one have to like the car to on the forum ?
    It's an Audi forum,not an Audi fan club.

    As long as I have the car,which looks like another 17 months as no-one else in the company wants it,I'll frequent the forum.

    I can assist with loads of aspects of ownership,from tyres to bulbs etc.
    All tried and tested.

    It'd be the dullest forum ever if all the posts were "my car's great" and the only replies were "yup,mine is too",wouldn't it ?
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  23. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    100% agree. The whole idea of a message board is that people have different view points based on their experiences and they come here to share them. Different view points make a board more colourful and Bowfer definitely does that. If we all had the same view then coming here would only provide a nothingness of togetherness.

    For the record it was some of Bowfer's comments that made me notice things on a test drive and led to the final spec I chose on the vehicel I ordered. Thanks mate.
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  24. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Really impressed. For what it was designed for - a family wagon, it is ideal. Lots of space, nice to drive, well built. We went for the sport option as well and it has reasonable handling as well. It'll never be a race car but it's still nice to drive.

    J.
    #24
  25. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    I agree as well, I would like to say it's nice to have a balance but it is still very one sided with most people loving the audi although Bowfer does his bit ;)

    A lively debate is always good so long as it doesn't get personal.

    J.
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  26. Lenaldo
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    Lenaldo Member

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    I agree that if we were all airheads who thought our cars were the best-est in the world ever and that they were better than X or Y it would be ridiculous.

    In general though, most posters are open eyed about the faults of their cars. I'd also say that most posters are aware of "better" cars in the market place when discussing varying criteria.

    But Bowfer? I dunno, it just "seems" that every post he makes is to tell us how much he doesn't like his car, or that it's inferior to another (taking this thread as an example).

    I guess i just wonder what he gets out of it!
    #26
  27. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Transport. ;-)

    Okay,if you want my positives for the car;

    It's an okay handling thing,in a bit of a 'dead' way.
    You can fairly throw it into corners and it'll grip,grip,grip (F1's)
    The handling certainly allows me to make up for the lack of performance,as witnessed by the fact I've taken on and beaten blokes in S4's and S3's recently.

    I still like the looks in S-line guise,especially the wheels (love the wheels).

    The Bose stereo is,IMO,pretty damned good.

    I like the S-line interior,with the brushed aluminium.

    Emmm....that'll have to do you I'm afraid ;-)
    #27
  28. vagman
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    vagman Member

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    What a load of utter, utter *****.

    Trolls, eh.
    #28
  29. smee
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    smee Member

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    Went to Audi garage this morning for my test drive. Even though they had told me on the phone yesterday that I could only have 30 minutes unaccompanied they had booked the car out for the day. Pity that I had believed them and had booked back to back meetings from midday onwards!?! Still had two hours in a 2.0t sportback s-line lava grey. Very enjoyable, road was wet initially so quite a bit of wheelspin from the FWD (maybe right foot too heavy). Car drove and handled well and I found the drive considerably more involving than the C Class.
    Sitting back into the Merc after those two hours I suddenly realised how slow and heavy it was in comparison. Whilst it is a significant change, I have made my mind up and will be ordering the A3.
    One thing though even though I only had a short drive around I am sure that the fuel needle moved a lot! Ok I was driving it a bit hard but it was a test drive, what is the likely fuel consumption on the quattro or are the manufacturers figures correct?
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  30. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    Kewl. :thumbsup:
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  31. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Sorry VagMan you have a point?
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  32. Lenaldo
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    Lenaldo Member

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    It's more than i thought you'd type!!!
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  33. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Test reports tend to be utter garbage IMO.
    Sports cars aside you have to live with a car for 3-6 months to be qualified to give an accurate assessment of everything to do with it. Yes, we'd all like to spend our lives hammering round a test track getting it sideways, but the reality is nobody does that in day to day driving (apart from Beemer owners who end up in a ditches, wow gotta love that tail happy RWD).
    "A real drivers car, so involving" does not really reflect what most of us do in our daily lives. Cruising on the motorway or sitting in traffic I really don't want to be that involved. Gone are the days of spanking it down country roads just for the hell of it. I go on a track day using someone elses car for that kind of excitement.
    My summary - really well built cars, beautifully crafted interiors, no real stigma attached to the badge (not many brands can boast hat anymore thanks to Alan Partridge) but with questionable dealerships and no after sales service.
    #33
  34. C_Audiboy
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    C_Audiboy Vroom Vroom

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    I usually get around 350 miles from a full tank of V-Power (£50 - £55).

    I do mainly motorway miles, but probably 80 miles or so of the 350 are around town.

    The DIS usually tells me 30 ish MPG at the end of the tank.

    But then you'll be getting the 220PS engine so it might be a wee bit less... ;)
    #34
  35. nb
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    nb Very poorly A3 at the moment..........

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    well it has certainly got a bit heated on here!!!

    going back to your post smee, i have a quattro version but admittedly do cover alot of motorway miles and average about 30 mpg on conservative driving. on the 2wd you should get a bit more i.e 32/33. If you are not the patient type and get a bit right foot heavy, this drops to 25 for me. Although just had it remapped and have been driving around like a chav and averaged 25 so maybe the old DIS aint that accurate!!
    I also **** myself for the first couple of thousand miles as i was seeing 22.3 etc but this has increased over time so i presume its the engine loosening in early stages.

    hope that helps mate and good choice on the motor, but you should have said something to the dealer as that was a very tight test drive considering what you are spending!!
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  36. C_Audiboy
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    C_Audiboy Vroom Vroom

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    You'll see a massive difference with quattro. Trying to get 200PS down in the wet (or damp) with FWD is just a loosing battle. You'll be able to floor the quattro in almost any conditions and get all the power down, and above all have the confidence to do it!

    Some don't think so, but I find quattro a huge benefit - once you have quattro it'll be hard to go back to 2WD!

    Enjoy it :beerchug:
    #36
  37. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    But you can spend considerably less time with a car to know you do not like it or it is not as good, in your opinion, compared to something else.

    I keep hearing everyone harping on about how well put together audis are and that the quality is great but I keep reading threads of things going wrong...

    I think the build quality is not bad but it's not great, it's better than the rest of the VAG range but you are paying a premium for it. Is it better than most things japenese? Better than the other german rivals...
    #37
  38. nb
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    nb Very poorly A3 at the moment..........

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    quattro is the way forward......i thought i had dropped a right ******* getting instead of dsg but in the wet it comes into its own and, as audiboy says, you can floor it or push it and you rarely spin the wheels or wobble or slide. Although dont forget the cost of replacing 4 tyres at once!!
    #38
  39. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    True, you can't be driving for an adrenaline-rush every minute of the day. Yet cars like the new Golf GTI show that you can have fun when the mood takes you, but still cruise reasonably smoothly along a motorway, or sit comfortably in a queue of traffic with your air-con and other toys to enjoy.

    For me, the A3 does everything brilliantly except thrill me. 95% of the time in my driving life it's simply perfect; the 2.0TDI is punchy and economical, the car's beautifully put together and a nice place to be in, and is cheap to own and nice to look at.

    But I do agree to some extent with Bowfer, in that it should still be a better car for its money. Having owned a Puma 1.7 and Focus ST170 before it, that 5% of the time when I just want to enjoy driving the A3 to the full, it disappoints.

    Just to add that my wife and I sold both our cars to purchase the Sportback, so it was a joint decision to meet both our needs, in case anyone accuses me of any regret!
    #39
  40. d3fy
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    d3fy Active Member

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    Swap the TDi for 2.0T then mate? Or just invest in a remap. Mine goes and grips and I can't wait to get it remapped to add another 60 ponys
    #40

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