Archive for The Motor Forum "We are mature men in the highest cadres of our careers"
 


       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
Frank Bullitt

I must be getting old

Another Audi courtesy car and another one I liked.

MOT time for the A2 (number 9, it's 11 years young in January) so it's time for the courtesy car lottery; an A3 1.4TFSi SE Sportback - not the cylinder deactivation job that Simon has but the 122bhp version.  Despite the basic spec (no cruise, auto lights, parking sensors, climate or much else) it felt wonderfully honest with a spot-on driving position and wonderfully tactile controls with a lovely leather wheel and superb instruments; like many Audi's I didn't need to have the seat back as far as it goes. Space, proportion and the interior was fantastic but some of the plastics on the SE were a bit below-par.

The engine was a lovely little peach - lacking in 'grunt' compared to an oiler it had a beautiful tractability from tick over to the red line, you couldn't really tell it was turbocharged except the realisation that a 1.4 was pushing along a chunky car with gusto; it made a nice little snarl at full throttle. It never once felt anything other than peachy - here's to downsizing  

The 6-speed box and clutch were wonderfully precise and yet light; the steering was really good and the general charteristics were very honest; only a slight skittishness at the front end during a quick roundabout exit on a poor surface let it down; road noise was a touch high on poor surfaces but there is zero wind noise and no engine noise at all; top is good for 25000rpm in top at 70 with plenty of 'shove'.

Overall - really, really nice and I could certainly see why you'd buy one - perhaps not the SE as it lacks some of the nice bits, a Sport with the standard suspension and a few well-judged options, and this is probably a sweet-spot. Made me think I need to drive a DS4 with the 130bhp 3-pot Puretech. I prefer the French product but that's just me.

The A2? MOT failed the first time due to the headlights both being too high, easily adjusted and then a pass; three advisories, one I expected (oil weeping from a front shock, it's been like that for three years...) and two for my number plates both being damaged due to the the overtightening of the screws - interesting, as they've been like that since the day I picked it up from the same dealer over a decade ago...
Twelfth Monkey

Glad the A2's in fine fettle.

I like the look of the new A3, though if I've a major criticism of the model we have it's excessive road noise over poor surfaces.  Seems a pity they've not addressed it yet - maybe it's less of an issue on smooth German roads?
simonp

I really should do a write up. Might have some time to do it next month if I get a driving ban!
Twelfth Monkey

Fingers crossed that you don't.
Frank Bullitt

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Fingers crossed that you don't.


+1

I noticed the road noise more because on a smooth surface it was silent; I was very impressed overall though

Had a look at the new A4 in the showroom - as a static product it is almost perfection, beautiful materials and a superb driving position (the one in the showroom was a reasonably standard Sport too) but it has really odd door handles - the look like he handle will open outwards but as you grab them from the top they open upwards; oddly awkward
Stuntman

I've passengered in a current A3 and came away quite impressed.  It's good to hear that it's also a pretty reasonable thing to drive.

I do like the look of the new A4 but it's bloody big to my eyes, for a compact exec.
PR

It does seem that the vanilla models in the range can often be the nicest to drive. I recall the 114i courtesy car I had a few years ago being exceptionally sweet to steer; more so than mine, which can feel like it's not working with you.
Roadsterstu

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Fingers crossed that you don't.



Indeed. Fingers crossed.
PG

Roadsterstu wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Fingers crossed that you don't.



Indeed. Fingers crossed.


Indeed.

This 1.4 petrol makes much more sense to me than the 1.6 diesel. Downsizing petrols means that you have to rev them more to get over the lower torque figure, but that makes them more characterful . I can't get my head round a down-sized diesel that has to be revved and loaded with all sorts of stuff to [possibly] meet the emission targets.
TreVoR

My dad was looking at 1.6 diesel Superbs!  I managed to persuade him that a 2.0 diesel would be much better for long trips in a large car.
simonp

Thanks chaps, I've got mine crossed, too, but my case officer at the barristers didn't sound too optimistic the other day. I've already told her and Mrs P that I'll be quitting my job if it happens, as public transport is a no go for the hours I work.

Anyhow, back to the proper subject; Mine is an S-Line and is therefore lowered a bit, but still rides reasonably well. feels a little wallowy at the rear, though, as if the ARB (if there is one?) isn't best matched to the springs/dampers. It's roughly similar to a Cupra in comfort mode over all, I'd say. There is a fair bit of road noise, enough that the engine can barely be heard and the weedy ICE speakers do little to cover it up. This is something I plan on looking at in the summer, providing everything in the first paragraph all works out.

The COD/ACT engine, by most accounts, feels a lot pokier than the 122 version, but I've only ever driven one of those quite gingerly in my mum's modified Golf. That was some time ago and my memory of it isn't good enough to make my own comparison. It sips fuel and I quite often go 14-16 days between fill ups and that's only 45-48 litres. It'll do low to mid 50s mpg on a steady run and has probably averaged around 44 since I've had it, but I've never bothered monitoring economy too closely. Couldn't really tell you what the overtaking ability is like, as I've obviously stopped doing things like that! Lowdown torque is really good, but performance is blunted slightly by the DSG 'box, which is rather too keen to get into high gears. It changes into second at 2mph!
gonnabuildabuggy

I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  
PhilD

simonp wrote:
Thanks chaps, I've got mine crossed, too, but my case officer at the barristers didn't sound too optimistic the other day. I've already told her and Mrs P that I'll be quitting my job if it happens, as public transport is a no go for the hours I work.

Anyhow, back to the proper subject; Mine is an S-Line and is therefore lowered a bit, but still rides reasonably well. feels a little wallowy at the rear, though, as if the ARB (if there is one?) isn't best matched to the springs/dampers. It's roughly similar to a Cupra in comfort mode over all, I'd say. There is a fair bit of road noise, enough that the engine can barely be heard and the weedy ICE speakers do little to cover it up. This is something I plan on looking at in the summer, providing everything in the first paragraph all works out.

The COD/ACT engine, by most accounts, feels a lot pokier than the 122 version, but I've only ever driven one of those quite gingerly in my mum's modified Golf. That was some time ago and my memory of it isn't good enough to make my own comparison. It sips fuel and I quite often go 14-16 days between fill ups and that's only 45-48 litres. It'll do low to mid 50s mpg on a steady run and has probably averaged around 44 since I've had it, but I've never bothered monitoring economy too closely. Couldn't really tell you what the overtaking ability is like, as I've obviously stopped doing things like that! Lowdown torque is really good, but performance is blunted slightly by the DSG 'box, which is rather too keen to get into high gears. It changes into second at 2mph!


Is there a thread about this? I'd forgotten you were in an A3?
Frank Bullitt

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


I said old, not turned in to Arthur Daily!

I'd not buy the XJ, it would be a CX, XM or 505
Alf McQueef

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


Me too. I don't see Golf-sized cars like the A3 as an old persons car at all.

I can see the appeal of VAG products if you are tall and solidly built. The Passat and A4 both had loads of space, the Passat in particular made me feel about 5 feet tall. It's an issue if you are a skinny runt like me though, when I sat in my friend's RS4 on our Wales MTB trip, I rattled between the side bolsters - badly. I know they come in a bit on sport mode, but not a lot. The Alfa GTA seats - and space - were made firmly for someone of my build, and Jaguar seats are somewhere in the middle, with buttons to compress/release the side bolsters, so you can get the position perfect. Having tried it, this is one seat adjustment I would really like in the future, as it is nigh on impossbile to make a sports car seat work for both 10 and 20 stone people without it...
PhilD

Alf McQueef wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


Me too. I don't see Golf-sized cars like the A3 as an old persons car at all.



I think FB meant he is getting old because he has liked 3 Audis in a row, not that the A3 is an old mans car.
gonnabuildabuggy

Alf McQueef wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


Me too. I don't see Golf-sized cars like the A3 as an old persons car at all.


The only other person I know with an A2 is my 77 yr old Aunt, though my 75 yr old dad did consider one instead of his A Class
Frank Bullitt

PhilD wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


Me too. I don't see Golf-sized cars like the A3 as an old persons car at all.



I think FB meant he is getting old because he has liked 3 Audis in a row, not that the A3 is an old mans car.


Exactly that.

What gave it away? The first line of the OP perhaps?
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Alf McQueef wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
I read the title and thought you must have finally bought an XJ.

Very disappointed.  


Me too. I don't see Golf-sized cars like the A3 as an old persons car at all.



I think FB meant he is getting old because he has liked 3 Audis in a row, not that the A3 is an old mans car.


Exactly that.

What gave it away? The first line of the OP perhaps?


My mates call me Sherlock  
gooner

simonp wrote:
I really should do a write up. Might have some time to do it next month if I get a driving ban!


Well if you do at least you'd have got it in style!

Glad the A2 is doing well. A colleague at work was moaning the other day that her partner is refusing to part with his 1.4 TDI stating that he hasn't found anything since that he likes more.
Tim

I don't think A3s, etc are old mans cars either, in fact I'm surprised how many I see getting driven by stylish young chaps and chapesses who are, presumably, motivated by brand rather than, say, driving fun.
It'll also no doubt help if there are cheap lease deals on the go.
Chocy Rocky

I was surprised to see the A3 in the top ten seller list.
JohnC

I think the A3 is a bit like the iphone of cars: well built, good image, is a bit expensive but still affordable, does most things pretty well and is PREMIUM - the new must have selling point.
Nice Guy Eddie

Its probably stolen a load of sales from the Golf as nobody in their right mind would buy from those Evil capitalists at VW. :)
Thomas Magman

simonp wrote:
Thanks chaps, I've got mine crossed, too, but my case officer at the barristers didn't sound too optimistic the other day. I've already told her and Mrs P that I'll be quitting my job if it happens, as public transport is a no go for the hours I work.

Anyhow, back to the proper subject; Mine is an S-Line and is therefore lowered a bit, but still rides reasonably well. feels a little wallowy at the rear, though, as if the ARB (if there is one?) isn't best matched to the springs/dampers. It's roughly similar to a Cupra in comfort mode over all, I'd say. There is a fair bit of road noise, enough that the engine can barely be heard and the weedy ICE speakers do little to cover it up. This is something I plan on looking at in the summer, providing everything in the first paragraph all works out.

The COD/ACT engine, by most accounts, feels a lot pokier than the 122 version, but I've only ever driven one of those quite gingerly in my mum's modified Golf. That was some time ago and my memory of it isn't good enough to make my own comparison. It sips fuel and I quite often go 14-16 days between fill ups and that's only 45-48 litres. It'll do low to mid 50s mpg on a steady run and has probably averaged around 44 since I've had it, but I've never bothered monitoring economy too closely. Couldn't really tell you what the overtaking ability is like, as I've obviously stopped doing things like that! Lowdown torque is really good, but performance is blunted slightly by the DSG 'box, which is rather too keen to get into high gears. It changes into second at 2mph!


I've got the COD 1.4 as well, only in the A1 with a 6-sp manual
Have been pleased with it
Blarno

Bloody Hell, it's Magman!

       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum