Views on the A3 3.2 V6 with DSG

mike beech

Registered User
Hello All,

I'm an on and off member on here having recently owned a TTC 225, an A3 2.0 TDI sport and an A4 2.0 TFSI quattro over the past 5 years. I've just sold my Range Rover TD6 (Money Pit!!!) and I am looking at a cheaper car for a year or so, with a bit of oomph and ideally an auto box because the Range Rover converted me.

Seeing how DSG seems to offer the best of both worlds I think that this is what I'll be looking for. Any views welcome or pointers on what to look out for. I'm on a bit of a budget because of impending wedding next year and having just bought my partner a more expensive car for her and the baby.

I'll be looking at earlier models (2004) and just want to know of any possible weaknesses with the transmission, I'm guessing the engines are pretty bomb proof. I had to have clutches and dual mass flywheels changed on two of my previous audis, are the DSG's prone to clutches? or do they even have one, is it a torque convertor like standard autos.

Sorry for the thick questions if the answers are obvious.



At work most likely
Early DSG cars are actually stronger than newer ones (07>) It was this year the mechatronic units started to fail. You could be unlucky and get a bad one but you are just as likely to get any other fault from an older car.

They have two clutches, one for 1st, 3rd, 5th and one for 2nd, 4th and 6th. Both will outlast the mechatronics unit. Your best bet is to get some aftermarket warranty (making sure the m'unit is covered) if you are worried.

The V6 is a good car too, its basically an R32 with a different exhaust system for a lot less money!


Registered User
i have had two DSG cars, still driving one. (had an 05 and now an 08)
I have a knack of breaking things, mainly through being inpatient and driving it like it has been stolen. Being a lease through my company there has been no reason for me to be kind to it.

The DSG is great. rag it hard and it will change up for you at the redline automatically but it is just as happy being changed down into higher rev zones for engine braking. can sometimes get a little clunky with a longer than normal delay, but we are taking fractions of a second here and you get used to it.
tootling around town it is fine, and you can always knock it into auto
test drive one and I am sure you will like it if you moved to an auto from a manual. best of both worlds IMO.


Registered User
I have just bought one,2006 s.line and after 20 years driving lots of different cars all manuals, this is absolutey fantastic,i never liked autos but these really are brilliant,in std auto effertless seamless changes to maintain some decent mpg,then sport mode for rocket power and then paddle change if you want to,best car ive ever had,i spoke to a gearbox specialist who said they are very good and dont go wrong very often,but if they do it can cost a fortune,but that is the case for most highly engineered cars nowdays......go for it.


Registered User
One word.... Awesome!
And now lots more words...
I've had a 3.2 Mk1 TTR manual and now have a 2004 3.2 A3 Sportback DSG, the difference is amazing. The DSG 'box makes all the difference and can be used manually whilst in auto mode by just flicking the sterring wheel paddles, it's great.
I bought the A3 as a car for Wife and Baby (and weekends for me) and was also 'down grading' from our previous car, but despite being nearly 6 years old and having covered 38k miles the car drives perfectly. It's the best gearbox available on a used car in my opinion.

Sarah's A3

Well what can I say! I too have the 3.2 V6 Quattro with DSG and its awsome! Some on here will argue differently lol esp the S3 owners but there are a few of us on here with the V6s and love them.

There is a hesitation issue on a number of the 3.2s around the age you are looking at, but an ecu upgrade sorts this out brilliantly! The DSG is awsome and I would never go back to manual. Ive had an auto Beama before this and it was nothing compared! Its smooth and effortless and if knocked into sport mode it flies! Makes me smile daily!

Some of the 3.2s have had cam chains needing to be changed (they have 2no) and is costly but the chains can be checked using VCDS.

Check for full service history inc that the DSG oil has been changed (think its every 40k). I wouldnt worry too much about the mechatronics unit as most of the earlier ones are fine (as said above). You may hear some clunking when first engaging reverse (usually discs) but can be mistaken for the mechatronics unit, but if reverse is engaged and you let the car self roll, it doesnt do it and alls fine!

Lastly, test drive one, you will be smitten and smiling esp with that glorious sound of the V6!!! I am biased lol and things do go wrong, they arn't new cars but the fun of driving them out weighs it for me.

Good luck hunting and hope you have fun.


Registered User
agreed with sarah. when i got my 2.0T i was looking for either a 2.0T or a 3.2. they're quite cheap because they're expensive to run. i test drove one and loved it, but didn't think i could afford to maintain it. absolutely brilliant cars tho, would recommend them to anyone.
Love the VR6 - smooth, linear power with awesome exhaust sound. Love the DSG - fast & smooth with rev matching throttle blips on downshifts. Love the Haldex sport/race controller that you can add on - 4-wheel drift on a wet onramp on my way to work today. Steering feel could be improved - on 2006 model you can adjust this with VAG Com.


Registered User
My relationship with mine has been... awkward.
I want to love the damn thing but there's always something wrong with it.
As said. The hesitation was my main problem which costs about £60 to fix which wasn't to bad
but then it kept cutting out which has I think now been sorted at a cost of about £200 and then
the battery went which was another £100 and now I believe the temp sensor has failed. (All in the first month of ownership)
I was convinced I was going to sell the thing once it was sorted but I've just got back from a little drive
and my Mind is telling me to get rid of her before it costs me a fortune but my heart says keep it.
If you get one which is trouble free, you'l love it. Just try and view/drive a few before buying to get a feel for
any issues or differences.

Good Luck


Registered User
Go for it Mike...I dont think you will look back to be honest.

Sarah's A3

Hey P, does that mean you are back in love with Smelly????? Hope the Corsa is a faint memory!!!

mike beech

Registered User
Thanks so much for the replies guys and girls. It sounds like they are pretty much a great car by all accounts then!

I'm not too bothered about running costs MPG etc, I work from home and we've got a volvo 2.0d for the mile munching as well. My last Range Rover stung me for nearly 4 grand in the 8 months I had it what with injectors, fuel pumps, diffs and gearboxes failing so I know about expensive running costs ha ha.

I'll check the histories etc as you say and get one or two out for a spin, I always remember them being a quick car from an encounter a few years back when I couldn't shake one in my old 225 TTC (275bhp tuned) so I'm sure it will more than fit the bill.

I'm off on hols tomorrow so I'll be spending all my time whilst away browsing the internet narrowing down my search no doubt. I'll report back once I've hopefully bought one.



Registered User
Yes get one just did a decent length drive at the weekend back from a car show and it's pretty nice cruiser on the m'way!

Fuel wise I don't think they are that bad really... I average 28mpg.... That's over the 45k miles i,ve put on it.