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sebtomato

A3 test drives: findings and questions

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Hi,

I have test-driven two A3s so far, and here are my findings/option and questions:

1) A3 TDI 2.0 S Line DSG (3 doors) (picture attached)

* Engine. Powerful in mid-range, but quite noisy, even when car is stationary. Full consumption seems to be very good(45 mpg on average while driving at 80 miles per hour)

* DSG gear box: works well, but there seem to be a lag, even in Sport mode: when putting the foot down while the car is already in motion, the car didn't go straight away but seemed to do "nothing" for maybe one second or so. Not sure if this is to do with the turbo engine.

Another annoying thing is that the engine seems to be pulling the car when car is stationary, so necessary to brake hard for the car not to move, or move the gearbox to Neutral.

Finally, it's a struggle to gently reverse. Seems to be high speed or nothing!

* car feels very "sporty": direct and heavy steering, firm suspensions

* The 18" allow wheels look great

* Inside, the car is great, with leather/fabric sport seats and black headlining

2) A3 T 2.0 FSI DSG Sport (5 doors)

* The engine is I think amazing. Very refined in normal usage, yet powerful when pushing harder. Engine is also very quiet, and the sound is great when pushed.

* The DSG gearbox seems to be working much better than on the TDI. Seems to be more precise. The car does not seem to suffer from the lag found on the TDI.

* The suspension is appropriate and confortable, although less "sporty" than the S Line. Question: do we get on the Sport version the same suspensions as on the S Line? Does it feel firmer on the S Line due to the 18" wheels? Does the 5 dr model have less firm suspension than the equivalent 3 dr model?

* The steering seems very light compared to the S Line. Once again, not sure if the S Line has a firmer steering, or if this due to firmer suspension/18" wheels

* I noticed that the car makes strange "noises" when parked. Seems that the brakes are cooling off. The brakes don't seem to work efficiently (car makes some noise and moves slighly) when using the hand brake and parked on a slope (gearbox in P mode).

Decision time now: I would probably go for the T 2.0 FSI (but 3dr), but I don't know if I should go for Sport or S Line. I can't test drive one with S Line trim, so I don't know if the S Line would be noisier (larger tyres) and also the ride too firm...

Thanks for your comments/advise!

Seb

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Hi and welcome 169144-ok.gif

[ QUOTE ]

Another annoying thing is that the engine seems to be pulling the car when car is stationary, so necessary to brake hard for the car not to move, or move the gearbox to Neutral.

[/ QUOTE ]

Creep is a feature of all auto gearboxes. It's useful when in slow moving traffic. The DSG should have less creep than a standard box though IIRC, comparable to that of the CVT gearbox.

[ QUOTE ]

I noticed that the car makes strange "noises" when parked. Seems that the brakes are cooling off. The brakes don't seem to work efficiently (car makes some noise and moves slighly) when using the hand brake and parked on a slope (gearbox in P mode).

[/ QUOTE ]

if you've just turned the engine off, it could be the turbo winding down. as its a DSG again though, its probably just the creek that you get when the brakes are working against the creep of the box. it's nothing to worry about i don't think.

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Thanks. What I meant to say that both cars had DSG gearboxes, but the diesel one was harder to keep in place when stationary, because the engine was still pulling. The FSI does not appear to have the same issue, so better in traffic jams...

S.

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Does it not have a 'creep' facility in the way a full auto does?

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[ QUOTE ]

Thanks. What I meant to say that both cars had DSG gearboxes, but the diesel one was harder to keep in place when stationary, because the engine was still pulling. The FSI does not appear to have the same issue, so better in traffic jams...

S.

[/ QUOTE ]

the diesel will have more torque when at idling RPM's, hence more creep 169144-ok.gif

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[ QUOTE ]

Decision time now: I would probably go for the T 2.0 FSI (but 3dr), but I don't know if I should go for Sport or S Line. I can't test drive one with S Line trim, so I don't know if the S Line would be noisier (larger tyres) and also the ride too firm...

[/ QUOTE ]

you ask for advice so...

get the s-line IMO. looks fantastic, the seats are gorgeous, and the fun you'll get from the suspension/handling will more than make up for any small increase in road noise.

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I do like the look of the S Line, exterior and interior. However, I just fear that the ride might be too firm, due to sportier suspensions and 18"/low profile tyres. Maybe not ideal for a day to day use...

Do you know if the suspensions on the Sport models are stiffier on the 3dr than on 5dr? I think I read somewhere that the 3dr had slighly stiffier suspensions.

The A3 3dr S Line I drove had a much stiffer steering also. Not sure if it was a specific setting on the S Line, or if it was due to the tyres.

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The S-line is actually a nicer ride then the sport, I think, as it seems to soak up bumps in the road better than the sport.

Also the S-line looks so much better than the sport and will definitely hold its money better.

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I'd have the 2.0T FSI & If you're not fecked with leather, go for the S-Line... it does look good and part of me wishes i'd have gone for it.

But i wanted full leather and like the standard 17" Snowflakes, so i just went for the sport. It rides well dude, not quite as stiff and composed as my old 3 series sport, but still very good. On my test drive it felt very hard over the bumps, but since owning one its seems quite soft... tongue.gif

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Ive had my 2.0tdi S-Line DSG since 1st Marh done 2200 miles so far. As far as looks are concerned i think everyone agrees its the muts nuts, the creep is there in every auto box in the world you will get used it on which ever car you go with. The ride is my only concern it is very firm in town where most of the roads are nothing better than shite. If thats where the car will be most of the time then you have some serious thinking to do. I do alot of motorway and A roads and on those its ace.

Overall I think the firm ride in town is a small price to pay for those looks and the value of the S-Line package and the handling on the open roads.

Hope this helps

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You can have full leather on an S-line, or Alcantara, leather is a £900 option and I beleive the alacantara is around half that.

The sport shocks are no better at absorbing lumps and bumps in the road than the S-line, in fact they seem to take them worse, I had a sport for 3 days and did 800 miles in those three days so got a good idea of the difference between that and mine.

You need to take them both out.

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[ QUOTE ]

* I noticed that the car makes strange "noises" when parked. Seems that the brakes are cooling off. The brakes don't seem to work efficiently (car makes some noise and moves slighly) when using the hand brake and parked on a slope (gearbox in P mode).

[/ QUOTE ]

The noise is just the brakes moving slightly and not biting onto the disks enough. Mine does the same thing a slight creaking noise even though the handbrake is on, its nothing to worry about and the car doesn't appear to more back or only very very slightly.

On the creep as has been mentioned they are meant to. I wouldn't advise leaving the car in (D)rive with your foot on the brake for long periods. Its not like a normal auto and I will wear the clutches out I think. Put it this way it smells if you do it for too long like they are frying themselves.

I have the 2.0 T FSI Sportback. Click the link below and open the review if you want a full opinion of the car.

Still liking it a lot 169144-ok.gif

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[ QUOTE ]

I do like the look of the S Line, exterior and interior. However, I just fear that the ride might be too firm, due to sportier suspensions and 18"/low profile tyres. Maybe not ideal for a day to day use...

Do you know if the suspensions on the Sport models are stiffier on the 3dr than on 5dr? I think I read somewhere that the 3dr had slighly stiffier suspensions.

The A3 3dr S Line I drove had a much stiffer steering also. Not sure if it was a specific setting on the S Line, or if it was due to the tyres.

[/ QUOTE ]

The S-Line does have stiffer and lower (about 15mm I think) suspension than the sport. However, I've never found it to be 'too stiff'. I'd say it's firm, but not harsh.

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Hi,

Maybe the noises when using the handbrakes are due to the brakes being too hot after a few hours drive, I don't know...

I have noticed, when getting out of the car, that the car after a few hours appears to be quite hot.

Thanks for the review of the Sport back.

I had two demo cars so far:

* the TDi for 4 days

* the 2.0 T FSI for 6 days (I still have it)

The 2.0 T engine is very gentle and quiet, compared to the TDi.

However, I need also to consider the following:

* car itself would cost me around £40 more per month for the 2.0 T compared to the 2.0 TDI

* fuel consumption: much better on TDi (as one would expect)

I am mainly going to use the car for communting around 20 miles per day, mainly in heavy traffic. During week-ends, I might occasionally do a longer trip, so I might get to 800-1000 miles per month. I guess that's probably around £40 per month fuel difference.

* I am afraid to drive too quickly. I do like the DSG transmission (only available on powerful cars), but ideally would like a car going not too fast

Based on those considerations, I am leaning slighly toward the TDi, but the car had some drawbacks:

* much more noisy, particularly in traffic, when idle

* lag when putting foot down

* gearbox pulling the car much more than on the 2.0 T. Annoying in traffic, have to move to N

* difficult to reverse slowly it seems

It's a difficult decision to make!

Seb

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Hi,

as you own the A3 2.0TDI S-Line DSG, have you experienced the lag, when accelerating suddenly (overtaking for example). The car I was testing seemed to do nothing for one second, and then go. The 2.0 T does not seem to have the same issue (same DSG gearbox).

Also, do you manage to reverse at low speed?

Thanks,

Seb

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Sebo,

My experience.

The reversing; just allow the car to reverse with no added throttle and control on the brake. I park mine in a garage and reverse out each day no problem that way. In fact I do the same forward, idle speed and brakes to control re-entry.

The lag; if your experience of this is whilst on the move, I am a lttle suprised as kick down is very quick and even if it doesn't kickdown it still pulls quite well. If it is an issue, just drop a gear manually in preparation and then go. This engine does not need to be revved to get the best out of it though. If the lag is from a standing start, use S.

I have driven diesel autos for a while now, and the combination can produce some interesting delays at times when the engine is off boost and in too high a gear, when you want it to get up and go. It is much better with the DSG though because you can have some manual override.

They just require you to learn the 'feel' (not, use the force) of the car, like changing from a car with a nackered to clutch to one that bites at the bottom of the pedal.

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I had the same dilemma about which one to choose. I picked the 2.0 T FSI because I couldn't get on with the diesel. Its not the most refined in the world by a long shot.

As choose with the heart not the head because I always so when choosing a car and it hasn't let me down yet.

On the DSG I find that I drive much more sedately and relaxed than I ever have with a manual. Its also better for passengers. You can accelerate quite quickly with not jerking at all and its much better for all concerned.

I'm averaging about 32 MPG overall at the moment that a mix of town and motorway driving.

Its all down to is the money savings more important or that fact that you want to get away from the bad diesel rattle in the Audi's engines ?!? confused.gif

Good luck with the making the choice. 169144-ok.gif

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Hi,

I was wondering which colour was the car on the picture. I borrowed it from Audi and they said it was silver, but I am wondering if it's not Akoya Silver rather than silver...

Thanks,

Seb

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Audi has now confirmed the car colour: it was Avus Silver (pearl), a colour available on the S Line only apparently. It is very similar to Akoya, but maybe slighly less blue.

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RE the ride quality I tried a 3.2 sport and 3.2 s-line back to back, and the bigger wheels on the s-line definately make the ride much firmer, noticeably so around town and on generally poor surfaces which seem to be more and more common, so that i'm going for the non-sline, shame they don't do that style of wheel in 17" though!

M

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They do have exactly the same style of wheels on 17". I saw them ysterday at a dealership, on a A3 Sport.

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You should be able to change the wheels - for a price!

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They do the s-line style 5 spoke "arm" wheels in 17"? Are you sure? Maybe it's just become available! The 5 arm "parabolic" wheels already available on a3 standard cars are different in style...

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I am pretty sure, as I saw them on a car at a dealer, on Saturday.

One car was an A3 SE with optional 17" wheels. One car was an A4 S Line convertible, with 18" wheels. Both cars were side by side, and the wheels looked identical in design.

The 17" wheels are on the Audi A3 details brochure (page 8): "Alloy wheels in 5-spoke star design, size 7.5 J x 17 with 225/45 R 17 tyres"

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