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JohnC

A3 1.6TDi SE Technik

My wife has had this as a courtesy car for over a week now whilst her car is in to find a small leak in the roof.



As far as she is concerned, it's shit. However to give some benefit to the car, 50% of this is probably down to the fact that it is a manual.

As with most small diesels, there isn't much of anything below about 1200rpm so pulling out of junctions needs a bit of care unless you get the revs up a bit. On the go, it has reasonable pace which is adequate enough for most normal driving but it is never going to excite.

I like the ride which is firm and pretty well controlled, without being too severe over bumps, although body roll seems a bit more than the otherwise firm ride would suggest it should be. It certainly holds on quite well but according to Susan, she doesn't really know what the front wheels are doing.

The stop start is now switched off as soon as she gets in to the car because it was far too eager to turn the engine off at any opportunity, including in the middle of tackling a big speed bump. No doubt this behaviour has been contributory in the average 45.6mpg the car was showing but it is much more invasive than the stop start on her Auto A5 petrol.

Interior quality is a let down. There is nothing wrong with it but at the same time, nothing special either. In particular the dash just looks sparse with small controls, not overly clear and a large expanse across the majority of the dash which looks like something from a past era. I like the fact that the screen pops up and then glides back down when not in use but that might also account for why all the heating and other controls are small and set low, so that there is space for the screen to slide down.

All in all, it is a decent means of transport but I think I would be much happier in something like a Focus which at the same money would have far more toys and a good bit more go. Why anyone would pay over 20K for such utilitarian transport beats me but I suppose it shows the value of "brand".
gonnabuildabuggy

Re: A3 1.6TDi SE Technik

JohnC wrote:

Interior quality is a let down. There is nothing wrong with it but at the same time, nothing special either. In particular the dash just looks sparse with small controls, not overly clear and a large expanse across the majority of the dash which looks like something from a past era. I like the fact that the screen pops up and then glides back down when not in use but that might also account for why all the heating and other controls are small and set low, so that there is space for the screen to slide down.


This.

People rave about the A3 interior but it always looks way too spartan to me.

Pity as the rest of the range upwards is fine, as was the earlier A3.

A 3.2 TT quattro is one of the moments "next time" cars.
Bob Sacamano

One man's spartan is another man's classy and tasteful.
PhilD

A3 interiors have definitely deserved the plaudits over the years however the latest A1 inspired one feels like a bit of a step backwards, feeling a class below rather than a class above. Needs plenty of leather to bring it back up again and when they roll out the TFT it will be even better.

IMO I should add!

John, how is Mrs John getting on with her A4 Convertible? Always a car I admire when I see one.
JohnC

PhilD wrote:

John, how is Mrs John getting on with her A4 Convertible? Always a car I admire when I see one.


She now has a 2013 A5 Convertible (2.0 TFSi Quattro) Auto.

The A4 was a great car and she ran it for nearly 50,000 miles. It was a 3.0TDi Quattro which was quick and comfortable. When we sold it last year it had high 70K on the clock and was beginning to feel a bit loose. The horrendous roads don't help much. It was also a bit better in snow than the A5 but that might be down to the extra weight of the diesel engine.

She loves the A5 as well. The boot is a bit larger and it is a good bit more modern with the tech it has. The rear seats also fold, which can be very useful when you decide to buy something long. The 2 litre engine is more than adequate for making decent progress but it certainly isn't as fast as the diesel was. Neither is it as economical: it averages around 22mpg for school run/around town and twice weekly 40 miles of 50/60/70mph dual carriageway. On the motorway it will only do low 30's (I think 33mpg is as good as it has been). The A4 would average around 28mpg for the same trips and would do about 42/43mpg on the motorway.

I think the A4 was probably the more robust and better made of the two although it wasn't without a few issues over the time we had it (new discs all round at 45,000 miles, new turbo at c60K (1,500) and new plastic inlet manifold/emission control boxes which were a ludicrous 500 each).

Would Susan want the same again: absolutely!
Nice Guy Eddie

Interesting that you struggle on the MPG. I'm always impressed with the Gti's fuel consumption which I think averages out at 34MPG. My Mk5 Gti however I couldn't get over 28MPG.
Frank Bullitt

I think you've got one of the worst combinations there, SE interior and 1.6TDi; the former loses out significantly to the Sport and S-Line on a lot of the touchy-freely materials (plus stuff like climate etc.), and the 1.6TDi is the ranges problem child.
simonp

Re: A3 1.6TDi SE Technik

JohnC wrote:
...although body roll seems a bit more than the otherwise firm ride would suggest it should be.


That's how I feel about mine.
gooner

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Interesting that you struggle on the MPG. I'm always impressed with the Gti's fuel consumption which I think averages out at 34MPG. My Mk5 Gti however I couldn't get over 28MPG.


I had use of an Octavia VRS petrol a couple of years back and that managed about 38mpg in mixed driving and can't have been much lighter than the A5.
JohnC

gooner wrote:
Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Interesting that you struggle on the MPG. I'm always impressed with the Gti's fuel consumption which I think averages out at 34MPG. My Mk5 Gti however I couldn't get over 28MPG.


I had use of an Octavia VRS petrol a couple of years back and that managed about 38mpg in mixed driving and can't have been much lighter than the A5.


Yes, it surprised me too. I thought it was Susan's driving but I have tried myself and can maybe better her figure by 1 or 2 mpg but that's about it. I have checked for binding brakes and soft tyres but everything is OK. I have also run it on Shell VPower for several tanks full to see if something needed cleaned out but again, no appreciable difference.

Back to the A3 and we used it last night for one of the 40 mile trips we make to take our daughter swimming. It got 65.8mpg which I think is a record for us - and Susan was driving! The quality of the ride and the rigidity of the body continues to impress. However the non Xenon headlights are absolutely atrocious and seriously not good enough on dipped beam. Allied to a windscreen which smeared with every wipe and it could be considered to be dangerous. I don't know what it is with Audi windscreens but Susan's A4, A5 and now this A3 all suffer in the same way. I have some special glass cleaner/polish (Ceriglass) which I have used on the A4 and A5 and it is the only thing which brings the glass back to clear at night and in the rain. Many people change their wipers to no effect but a good polish with this stuff is like putting on the correct pair of glasses and suddenly realising that you were previously blind!
PhilD

JohnC wrote:


Back to the A3 and we used it last night for one of the 40 mile trips we make to take our daughter swimming. It got 65.8mpg !


Shit the bed, that''s practically free motoring!

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