Car has open sky, premium, illumination and cold weather package. A blast to drive. Great engine/transmission. Great acceleration. Ride is solid and tight. Steering feels great. Interior design is excellent. Sound system is great. Like a video game on the highway; quick downshift (not that you have to) and 80 becomes 100 in a blink.
Engine/transmission: Shifts faster than any one I know with absolutely no jerk. Speakers in rear doors: find myself looking in the back seat for the band. Illumination package is excellent.
Wind noise over 70. Glass roof (open sky) is extremely noisy during torrential downpours. Placement of cruise control (preferably on wheel). Quattro with 2.0T motor.
I upgraded from a very unreliable, but fun to drive, manual, VW Jetta 1.8T. I was nervous about staying in the VW brand but the second I drove the A3, I knew I had to buy it. I thought I'd miss the manual tranny by getting the DSG, but it's more manual transmission than automatic and I don't miss the stick at all. The interior quality is outstanding, the seats are not as comfortable as the A4, but still fine for daily driving. The Open Sky system is a splurge, probably not worth the 1100 MSRP sticker price, but I couldn't imaging the car without it. Golf Clubs don't fit in the back without the seats being folded down, but there is a ton of rear passenger leg room.
Interior design, air vents, rear seats.
The electro-magnetic steering is a little too light. It takes some getting used to.
It's light, powerful, precise, well-balanced and stops well. Great mileage in Drive mode, wildly fun on mountain roads in Sport mode. Bluetooth and see-around-corners lights and seat heater work well. Very comfortable for driver. Premium comes with good electric seat - for the driver only. Passenger seat manually adjust with big wheel to tilt seat, like our 87 VW Cabriolet - this is a horrible method. Air conditioner works fine on first trip. If restarted when warm, air wants to freeze you, so it ceases to be automatic. Bose stereo is great, but CD changer is very hard to reach and ther is no iPod input! And no workaround except FM transmitter, which is not good in saturated FM market.
Transmission, suspension, turbo, brakes, visibility, steering wheel controls, gas mileage. Acceleration at all speeds. Looks inside and out. Roomy back seat and trunk for the size of the vehicle. Covered truck in a hatchback. Easy to park. Trip computer.
Add iPod input, get air conditioner under control after first trip, electric passenger seat. Touch screen navigation like Toyota (dump the dial, please).
Purchased my A3 2.0T after much research and driving the competition. I kept coming back to the A3, and so glad I did. This little vixen grows on you. The DSG, coupled with a very flat torque curve, makes acceleration so effortless that I find myself glued to the rear view mirror. I don't think "Audi made me do it" would stand up in court. Fit and finish is incredible. The sound system is very good (I wanted premium but settled for stock, and no complaints). I've been doing the conventional break-in (vary your speed) and still averaging 27 mpg. Overall I'd have to say this is the finest car I've ever owned. If I win the lottery, I'm going for an A8, but still keeping my A3!
Love the DSG, nice torque on the 2.0T and the fine balanced handling. The quality throughout is exceptional.
I don't like the arm rest. Something more adaptive, coupled with something symmetrical on the left would be good. I find myself adjusting. Also, the lumbar support should go lower. But this is like complaining about a fleck of lettuce on one of Jennifer Lopez's front teeth. I can live with it!
2007 Audi A3 Wagon 3.2 quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
I wanted a 4-door hatchback for flexibility but didn't want to compromise on performance or drive a huge wagon around. There are a lot of sedans in this price range, but the hatch and folding seats give much more utility. I settled firmly on the 2.0T after reviews and test drives, even though it lacked AWD. I drove the 3.2 solely to prevent buyer's remorse and curiosity afterwards, and that was the one I had to get. Outside the trip I took to break it in, I've put more than 2K miles on it in 3 months and that is with restraint (daily commute is <10 miles RT). It is much more fun to drive than my last car (01 Grand Prix GTP) and sometimes I drive past home and just keep going.
The DSG is incredible, though takes getting used to. The stereo also kicks. Car always feels very solid and you can tell the difference between AWD the FWD in cornering. Better (subjective) engine tone than 2.0T. Interior build quality and materials are incredible and comfortable on long drives.
Highway fuel economy seems low (though not awful for high output V6 w/AWD and I can hit ~20 mpg city). Maybe different 6th gear could address. Power passenger seat. Arm rest interferes with ebrake. "Soft", retractable (see Subaru) cargo cover for the rear.