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My experience of the New A3

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by MattyW19, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. MattyW19
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    MattyW19 Member

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    [Sep 17, 2012]
    Hi guys,

    As we have all been waiting for the launch of the new A3 I couldn't wait to see it. I'd heard some mixed comments about the car, but the electromagnetic steering with drive select and the motorised screen seemed like it had come on alot since the last model. With the car being lighter and the improved chassis, this sounded like the ideal car - Which i've been struggling to find after the current A3.

    We went to view it at the preview a couple of months ago I thought it was okay - But I only had a quick look round it. After seeing the car again after the release I wasn't that impressed to be honest. Lookswise, I think there excellent but it doesn't seem to be a massive difference - Just looks abit like a big A1 and lacks personality..

    Even though the model was only an SE, I sat in the car and for a 20k plus model I wasn't impressed at all. The car is more plasticy, for instance round the speakers at the bottom of the doors was poor in comparison to the previous one. Also under the steering wheel seems to be cheap and nasty plastics and were not 'soft to touch'. The cabin was focused around the screen, and was very bland and plain. I did like the dials and the way it was very easy to use with the MMI and the colour screen DIS. The dashboard did seem to be more modern and 'younger' looking but the materials didn't seem any better to be honest.

    After looking around the car, I looked at the back seats and the back armrests to see what they were like, and to be honest I was rather shocked. The plastic is flimsy and is something I'd expect to see in the lower models of Ford. They flexed and simply look cheap, plain and nasty. My current A3 has leather look with brushed chrome inlays in the rear, the A3 was just black plastic. I had wondered why the model was 80KG lighter, but put this down to the chassis and aluminum. Also, where the cigarette lighter is on the front of the cabin this is very plain and just looks boring? The switches under the airvents also felt flimsy - Not to mention the interior light - was that small there wasn't any point having it. The doors don't seem as bulky and built out and seem rather thin - But this may have been put down to letting the cabin have better room? The seats don't look anywhere as near bulky and look rather thin too in comparison. Also, the screen didn't close successfully sometimes and remained opened at the top (Required turning on and off again).

    The car did look smaller in the showroom and abit 'weedier' looking - but it did have the S3 next to it to be honest. I can't imagine it standing out on the road and thinking wow?

    I'm sure in terms of reliability that the car will be outstanding and are solid but I didn't get the 'wow' factor from it to be honest. Even on the launch date, not one person was looking round the car, which to be honest I expected it to be packed and dealers taking orders. I've booked a test drive, but to be honest I don't think i'll be going ahead. The car is majorly overpriced in comparison to other in the range (The A4 only a 1k more). I'd be extremely shocked if this A3 will be any where near as successful as the 8P - Surely Audi would have had more interest in face lifting the current one with some major tweaks to bring it up to date?

    However, this is my opinion as I'm sure i'll get my ear bent by a few users!! Haha :)

    Thanks for reading!
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  3. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Sep 17, 2012]
    Good review, and I have to agree with your comments.

    I actually ordered a new A3 several weeks ago, but cancelled due to misgivings I had about the car. On seeing the car at my dealer, like you, I wasn't overly impressed. It looks OK from the outside, but it is the interior which I am not at all happy with. The whole concept of moving most of the controls to the MMI/screen seems flawed to me. The simplest of tasks requires the driver to navigate through multiple nested menus on the screen (without crashing into the car in front !). Yet bizarrely, controls which you very rarely touch, such as the air con, are on the dashboard. To me, it is a poorly thought out, ergonomic mess.

    Judging by the early reviews and photos at least, the new Golf looks a much better bet. They have stuck to a tried and tested dash layout, using a combination of touchscreen and hardware buttons.
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  4. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 17, 2012]
    I totally agree. I have so far only sat in a preview LHD model but the radio controls in particular are in totally the wrong place for me. I'm off to Germany at the end of the month and for the first week I will be staying near Wolfsburg, so hopefully there will be a new Golf to look at. It's released to the public at the Paris Motor Show on 26 September.

    My current Sportback is only 6 months old so I will not be changing for another couple of years at least. By then there should be the new Sportback, new Golf, new Skoda Octavia and new Seat Leon, all based on the same platform and using the same engines and DSG gearboxes as the A3 so I think I will be looking around.

    At the moment it looks like my current and 8th A3 will be my last.
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  5. nadsi77
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    nadsi77 Member

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    [Sep 18, 2012]
    I sat in the new a3 today and it was better than expected.I sat in the show model several weeks ago and it just didn't feel right. Maybe it was because it was a left hand drive.The quality was better than the left hand drive and it was pretty spacious in the back for a 3 door.the only things that let it down was the tiny rear view mirror and the blank piece of plastic below the heater controls.On the outside it's not as aggresive as i would like but i think the s line will rectify this,although i think i will wait for the sportback.
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  6. MattyW19
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    MattyW19 Member

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    [Sep 19, 2012]
    I do agree that in the back of the A3, it was rather spacious. Haha, I forgot to mention that about the rear view mirror - Felt like I could only see half of the back window! :)
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