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Should i get DSG or Manual / 2WD or Quattro on new A3 Tdi 170 S-Line

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by grimsa, May 12, 2007.

  1. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm about to order a new A3 tdi 170 s-line.

    Just wondered if anyone had any comments on whether to go DSG or manual and 2WD or Quattro?

    I'm hoping there will be some remaps around soon for the 170 engine. With this in mind - anyone know if the DSG can cope with increased power or better to stick with manual?

    Cheers,

    Grimsa.
    #1
  2. normski
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    normski Member

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    Bowfer will come along and tell you the DSG on his A3 is *****...and for once I think quite a few people may agree with him. I used it on an extended demo and found it fun and relaxing around town left in auto, but didn't think it put the driver in full control of the car really. Much easier to use than the BMW variant on the new 3 coupe that I tried it with though. Plus it's something else to go wrong, and often does. The only way to find out is to drive 'em both I guess.

    Wasn't going to have quattro, then fell in love with it. Fuel consumption is lower with it, plus a haldex service every other time around, but more than worth it in my opinion. If you remap the 170, you will probably wish you had it.
    #2
  3. daveA3sev
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    daveA3sev New Member

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    After having a 2WD 1.6 Sport for 5 years, splashed out on a 2005 2.0T FSI Quattro, superb handling compared to the 2WD..

    I would go for quattro without a doubt especially if you plan a remap
    #3
  4. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    As a TDi 170 owner I'd definately recommend getting the Quattro version. In damp or wet conditions all that torque coming in a big wallop can cause the traction control to earn its keep in 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

    My 1st set of tyres has lasted just under 12k miles with the fronts being well into the wear markers. I would expect the quattro to be kinder on the tyres.

    I'm not saying my 2wd is awful but if I had the choice again, I'd get a Quattro.

    EDIT
    Fuel consumption wise for me ......... mixed driving, fast or slow delivers 40 -45mpg.
    #4
  5. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    I think the s-tronic gearbox is great.... when your side by side with a manual it makes you realise just how much time you waste changing gear in a manual car - i don't regret getting it, the gearchange is impeccibly smooth, far smoother than you can ever get with a manual... however yes you do lose a little control not having a clutch, i'd rather have DSG fwd than manual 4wd as the diesel engine is quite tractable in my opinion as its not high revving power like the petrol - you don't actually have to floor the pedal to get the car to accelerate at a deceptive rate of knots, and you save a fair bit of fuel over the 4wd which is unecessary on a car with this amount of power
    #5
  6. RobinA3
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    RobinA3 Active Member

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  7. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    bear in mind that most of the drive in a quattro is still at the front only something like max 25% ever goes to the back
    #7
  8. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    If all wheels have grip a max of 50% can go to the rear if the fronts aren't gripping then the rear are driving even more in % terms then.
    #8
  9. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    Was going to say that it depends on the driving you do but in fact it doesn't... most of my driving is urban and I still made the decision to go for the Quattro. More an emotional than a practical decision but I haven't regretted it. Also as said previously I feel more in control of the car in the manual.

    RSD now offer the Oettinger remap on the 170. At £595+VAT I'm waiting for someone else to tell me if it's worth it so if you go for it please report back.
    #9
  10. normski
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    normski Member

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    And I thought you once said that no way could the car have more than 50% drive to the rear with haldex...lol...anyway lets leave it before it starts:icon_thumright:
    #10
  11. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Only one thing for it...i'll get on to the stealers today and see if they have a quattro demo car i can try out.

    Grimsa.
    #11
  12. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    But do test drive the dsg as well... you may like it. Let us know your decision.
    #12
  13. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    What I'd recommend is that you don't listen to anyone here and test drive the variations for yourself.

    The DSG/S-Tronic is a very personal thing and some love whilst some hate it. Personally I was convinced I'd be having it until I spent a couple of hours on a test drive in one, which totally changed my mine. Only you can decide on this - get test driving!

    If you do decide you want DSG then that's that. If you decide you don't then the FWD/Quattro comes into the equation. I personally went FWD and I don't regret it. Yes it can scrabble a bit in damp conditions but nothing major. The two main reasons I went FWD were firstly to save 1400 quid and secondly, as mine is a company car, to keep emissions down, as the Quattro system increases the CO2 emissions by a fair bit - this may or may not be a factor for you. Oh, and you'll lose a bit of boot space too.
    #13
  14. Datastorm
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    Datastorm New Member

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    I love the DSG box, but agree that all that torque is a bit much for the front wheels.

    Wish they did a Quattro DSG version of it like they do with the 3.2 !

    I always thought the 4WD did a 60/40 split of the power ?
    #14
  15. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I am on my second DSG equipped A3 having had a 2.0TDI-140 and now a 2.0TDI-170 and love it, but I accept that some people much prefer a manual. You must have a test drive of at least a few hours in both to be sure which you personally prefer. Make sure that during the test drives you stop and start in different situations to see how the car responds and drive it on different types of road.

    When I took various test drives before I bought my original 140 with DSG I drove both the manual and DSG for a day each. Personally I found I didn't like the manual because, as diesel has a shorter rev range, I was using the clutch much more than I was used too and it made my left leg very tired by the end of the day. Mind you I an getting on a bit (59). Now with the DSG I drive with it in tip-tronic mode all the time and really enjoy the clutchless gear changing. When you do test drive a DSG, make sure you drive at least some of the time in the tip-tronic mode - it's much more enjoyable that just sticking in D or S. Drive it in a similar manner to a manual, changing up and down using the stick and the paddles but without having to use a clutch. Also make sure that when you are testing a DSG you keep you left foot well away from the brake pedal otherwise you may find yourself pressing the brake pedal for the clutch which can be quite a shock!
    #15
  16. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    don't agree with coupe-se about all the torque coming in in a big whallop.... we are talking about the 170 diesel here NOT the 140 - they are as different as chalk and cheese in my opinion - the 170 has amuch more controlable torque/power flow than the 140 - the 140's throttle is like a switch and you choose if you want it on or off, the 170 has a throttle where you can vary the power much better hence, i find you can control wheelspin quite easily.
    #16
  17. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    Concerning the DSG/Manual it is a personal choice. I test drove a 170 DSG and I did not like the DSG, for me it lacked driver involvement, probably I was not used to automatic gearboxes. In town it should be relaxing though. So go out and do a proper testing.

    FWD/Quattro

    In your case I think it makes perfect sense to get quattro (or it makes no sense to get FWD) You are getting a 170 diesel with lots of torque in the lower rev range, less smooth in power delivery than my S3 which has more useable rev range. Also you said you plan do remap it, you will regret not having quattro if you go that route. With all this I suspect you like to enjoy your drives and believe me quattro handles so much better in corners. This is my first 4WD car and I think I won't return to FWD, you don't lose grip, when front wheels can't cope the back ones take the power and you keep in control of the car, no oversteer, no understeer, perfect. Try to do some "laps" on a roundabout at 45-50 mph on a FWD..., then try quattro! And in damp conditions, the sense of control and safety is much higher... Hey, I'm not selling anything but give it a try and if you can afford quattro go for it...

    Pedro
    P.S.: After the first day with my S3 I just dreamed about an RS4 or a proper AWD like an EVO they should be SO effective....
    #17
  18. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Well the stealers don't have a 170 quattro available until next weekend. Will have to wait until then unless i can find another dealers near where i work in the week.

    I've done about 3 hours in a DSG and it left me completely neutral. I did'nt come away raving and did'nt come away with disappointment.

    I do drive hard a lot of the time - so coming over to like the idea of quattro. But also do 500 miles a week commuting.

    My problem is i'm trying to buy a sensible car for a year and hence started with the base 2.0 tdi 140 - before i knew it i was looking at s-line 170 tdi. Now quattro....this is a slippery slope. Next thing i'll know there will be an rs4 sat on my driveway. It's happened before. Nightmare!

    Thanks for everyones comments.
    #18
  19. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    No I said it couldn't possibly be a rear wheel biased system like you were quoting.;)
    #19
  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I would tend to agree that it lacks driver involvement if you drive with it in D or S. Put it in manual/tip-tronic mode and it's like driving a clutchless manual gearbox. Much more enjoyable. If you only drive in automatic made your missing most of the fun of the DSG.
    #20
  21. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    Pretty sensible a 170 quattro manual if you ask me.

    If you are worried about fuel consumption go for the 140 FWD.

    It all depends on what you want/can drive really... If I had your mileage to do and wanted a car that was fun to drive fast 170 quattro manual S-line would be my pick.

    Keep your feet on the ground but it is always best to get a car that you like than to compromise too much and never be happy with it.

    But then again I bought an S3 so don't listen to me I must be mad, driving an average of 300-400 miles a week...

    Pedro
    #21
  22. sat1983
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    sat1983 Member

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    That really sounds like paradise. Does get me down when i get into Sheffield City centre from the M1. Stop start on the clutch after a long motorway journey is a killer!
    #22
  23. Hatmeow Sportback
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    Hatmeow Sportback New Member

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    Never test drove the DSG gearbox before I bought my A3 and regretted it...Its Perfect... too perfect...Although its much faster than a manual, I am always looking at the panel to see which F***ing gear I am in! I appreciate the DSG when I am tired and just want to get home. But for me nothing really beats stepping on the clutch and moving the lever.

    You should definately spend some good time on the DSG and see if it suits you and your driving style. Best if you can have it for a week so that you can see the difference between a weekday and a weekend.

    BTW anyone know how to make the gear display bigger so that it is easier to see which gear you are in??
    #23
  24. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    also bear in mind you are also probably going to lose power - you may be buying a 170bhp motor which is actualy 150 at the wheels, 4wd your gonna be down to 140 at the wheels because you have that extra mechanical drag sapping more power
    #24
  25. normski
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    normski Member

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    Really?
    #25
  26. DIABLO636
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    DIABLO636 Member

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    Ive got the 140 dsg and its the first Auto ive ever had......i struggled with the same question.

    As previously mentioned there are some issues i dont like about the DSG. If you approach a roundabout you would, when driving a manual, slow down getting the car into a lower gear ready to accelerate into a gap to go onto the roundabout as soon as one is available. However as the auto box holds onto the highest possible gear to save fuel you sometimes find that it needs to kickdown right when you would already hope to be accelerating. This problem also occures when you need to accelerate and slow down regularly, such as driving over speed humps.....when you are ready to accelerate it is still holding the higher gear when you want it to get a move on in a lower gear. Whilst the change dow in the dsg is very quick it sometimes just feels wrong because if you were driving a manual you would have dropped to a lower gear earlier pre-empting the fact that you will need that lower gear to accelerate away.

    However this annoying feature of the auto box can be over-ridden by using the tiptronic feature...in certain situations when you need the more precise control of a manual you can use it as a manual. The rest of the time while covering your 500 miles per week you can be lazy and let the smooth dsg box do the work for you. Im just getting used to swapping between the 2 now and am much happier with it. also 500 miles per week you must get stuck in some traffic jams....imagine on and off the clutch over and over again with a manual. No need in the auto.....

    However.....Ive found that over the last few days in the rain the traction control light has been flashing at me a fait bit while driving.
    4wd would certainly be useful in worse weather conditions and safer overall. But how often would you really see the benefit of 4wd....are you spending most of your time driving sensibly or driving very quickly where the 4wd would come into its own.

    If you would get more use from the dsg then that would be the one to go for.

    I also find the dsg useful because of the short rev range of the diesel engine, you need to do a lot of gear changing and its very very smoth.....

    If i had a higher reving petrol car would prob go back to having a manual and have 4wd for fun......

    Good luck with your decision.
    #26
  27. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    Wow my car must be completely different to your then!!! Try make a quick get away from a junction/roundabout .... hit just over 2k rpm and the torque thumps in followed by traction control lighting up, snatch 2nd gear same routine ........ I'm sure this would not be the case with a Quattro. I find that exiting a roundabout in 2nd gear briskly can induce wheelspin/traction control due to the torque coming in so fast and speed at which the engine revs.

    I must say that changing my tyres from Conti's to PS2's has helped with this alot ........... would still prefer a Quattro tho based on my own driving style and experiences.:icon_thumright:
    #27
  28. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    with quattro it will hardly break traction, my S3 manages it sometimes for a very brief moment...

    quattro all the way on the 170 specially with remaps on route!

    Pedro
    #28
  29. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I'd rather have Gary Glitter turn up at my door to take my daughter out than have DSG.
    Little things always annoy me about cars I've owned,but nothing,NOTHING,has niggled away at me so much as that friggin gearbox.
    Over-rated,barstool-bore,pseudo-playstation pish.

    Never feel the need for quattro either,apart from snow.
    Maybe the 170 could do with it though,dunno.
    #29
  30. southpaw66
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    southpaw66 Member

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    As you'll see from my sig I have a 170 quattro, at the moment I have a 140 2WD whilst mine is in the bodyshop.

    2WD barely able to contain the torque on the 140 in the dry, it would be hopeless in the 170. My 170 quattro will only break traction under extreme circumstances. I test drove a 170 Golf and struggled away from every roundabout.

    So the answer simple if you want a 170 you must get quattro, otherwise you may aswell save money and buy a 140 because apart from 70+mph you'll rarely be able to exploit the extra torque, especially around corners or in the wet.

    As for DSG, it's an Auto gearbox. So either you like Auto's or you don't. It's the kind of driver you are.

    Judging from your comments Grimsa I'd suggest the quattro will put a smile on your face out of every corner/roundabout. If you get a test drive in the quattro really push it then immediately drive a 2WD then you'll see how much difference there is.
    #30
  31. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Your loan car must have well-iffy tyres then.
    My car (18" 225/45) certainly doesn't struggle in the dry and doesn't struggle much in the wet either.
    It is very tyre-dependant though.
    #31
  32. Gti Jazz Blue
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    Gti Jazz Blue Active Member

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    Blimey mate you have a real downer on the DSG box and I'm sorry to say that you are starting to sound like a stuck record to even a relatively new member like me.

    Personally I like the box, there are a few minor things that could be improoved, but I'm learning the ways round those. A resume button would be useful to get it back to D mode after you've used the paddles to change down for example. I also would prefer if S or D mode was selected by using a button on the wheel.

    Paul
    #32
  33. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Sorry,but I don't really care.
    If people come on asking about DSG,I'm going to tell it like I think it is.
    Gives balance to those that are willing to post how great it is.

    Put it this way,if I'd found some truthful posts about aspects of it's behaviour prior to odering,I would have been better informed and maybe thought twice.

    As it was it was all gushing pish,mostly from journalists who drive the car for a few hours.For the first few days/weeks of ownership I thought DSG was great too.It took a while for it's 'foibles' to creep in and take root.
    #33
  34. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    If you move the stick across to the manual side and then back again that puts it back into D mode.
    #34
  35. rowansbank
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    rowansbank Member

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    This is why I don't use the paddles only the stick if I want to 'play manual' for a while - when you're done a quick lateral flick does the trick! (TBH it's also because I can never remember which paddle does what - getting old!
    #35
  36. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Personally i wouldn't bother with Quattro unless you spend your life doing the traffic light grand prix. Most of the time the car will be running FWD and carrying an additional 150kg. Increasing tyre wear and fuel consumption.

    I drove a chipped 140 with DSG and FWD without any major traction issues for 40K miles. If the front wheels start to loose traction lift up on the loud pedal...

    Each to their own tho.

    J.
    #36
  37. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Thanks for all your comments.

    I just found a dealer with both a Quattro and DSG 'd 170 tdi demo

    Got my back to back test drives booked for tomorrow afternoon.....
    #37
  38. southpaw66
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    Exactly the same tyres on both (on the same route) - interestingly P-Zeros Rossos 18/225/40 which some people have said are a bit rubbish for traction. Maybe there are better tyres for FWD, as it's fine for 4WD. Although I'll probably go to GSD3 next anyway.

    I'd have to qualify this with the type of driving we're talking about, under 'normal' driving traction is not an issue, but I assume to even consider a high power diesel a more 'adventurous' style is the order of the day here - and I don't mean boy racer style charging, just concerted effort to get where you need to be as quickly efficiently as possible (within speed limits).

    As marriedblonde said you could just lift off in those slippery situations, but with 4WD this never occurs which raises my enjoyment level of the car - not for everyone though.

    Good luck with the test drive.
    #38
  39. grimsa
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    grimsa New Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I've now test drove all 3 cars (DSG (Twice), FWD and Quattro) - If it helps others this is the conslusion i came to:

    All test drives were in a 170 TDi in the dry and back to back over an identical route.

    DSG : Nice in some situations, but lacking something. This is a 90% solution and if i lived in london or did all my commuting in traffic - this would probably be my choice.

    FWD : More fun than the DSG, but i experienced understeer powering out of roundabouts and "wandering" when accelerating in a straight line over uneven surfaces. If i wanted maximum MPG, maximum bootspace and lower purchase and maintanance costs - this would be my choice. 95% solution.

    AWD : What can i say....wow! Traction is superb. Very planted accelerating over uneven road surfaces. Hard cornering results in the back end going light before slight understeer kicks in - you can feel the power being varied front / rear. Very controlled, very satisfying. In the wet the advantages of quattro would clearly be magnified. 100% solution for my needs.

    I drive 500 miles a week, 50% motorway, 30% A/B road hacks, 20% urban. For me the extra initial purchase cost and the reduced MPG is a compromise i am happy to make due to the fun factor the quattro adds to the car.

    If i was'nt trying to saving cash i'd be buying an S3 but for now the TDi is perfect for my needs.

    :rockwoot:
    #39
  40. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Did you drive the DSG in auto or manual mode?
    #40

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