This vehicle (an '06) has been very reliable and versatile. It handles great, looks great, and hauls the mail when you want it to. MPG is about 30 on the highway. Cargo space with the back seat down is amazing. It did have more highway cabin noise than I would have liked during the first few years. A switch to Continental Pro Contact tires along with precision alignment took care of that. This car needs precise alignment, not just "within specs." I highly recommend this one.
2006 Audi A3 3.2 quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
I cross shopped this car against the Subaru Legacy GT/ WRX, and Audi S4 V8. The Legacy felt bland and the WRX unrefined. While the V8 S4 with it's 300hp was the best motor, the interior was small and the A3's hatchback trumps it for practicality. The A3 S-line comes with all the bells and whistles: Sirius XM, Bluetooth, heated driver and passenger seats, twin glass roofs, self leveling HID lights etc. Audi continues to make cars with handsome interiors. Of course the famed Quattro drive makes winter driving a breeze. Performance is brisk for 250Hp and launches are surefooted with AWD. Brakes haul down the car in an instant with little fade.
This is a drivers car, made for the twisty roads. The A3 DSG is a great improvement over the first generation Tiptronic, in that it is adaptive to your style of driving. In D mode, and cruising along, it will short shift at 1500rpm to conserve revs and save gas. Mash the throttle and the shift points hold until the revs climb higher before selecting the next gear. In S mode, it will shift at redline if you keep the throttle down, plus under braking it performs a rev matched downshift as needed. Of course in M mode, you control all that via paddle shifters to your delight. The chassis is taught and body roll minimal. The 3.2L V6 has enough grunt to keep pace with the likes of WRX's and GTIs.
As with any VW Audi product, maintenance can be costly. Stay on top of issues otherwise trouble items will cascade to a hefty repair bill. Expect to shell out $400 or so for a routine dealer service and up to a grand for major work like the 75K interval. Warranty is highly recommended. The motors themselves take well to tuning. A simple ECU reflash can net you a 10% increase in power. The DSG can be reprogrammed for a sportier gear selection. Reliability is average, due to the familiar VW electrical switchgear, second only to Lucas electrics for their unfailing predisposition to burn out. Quattro drive is complex and can be costly to repair if things go wrong.
I bought my car in November 05 when it first hit the dealer. I've had no problems other than a couple factory recalls (and I never had a problem, but took it in anyway) and recently, a misfire in cyl 3 code which seems to pop up. New plugs and coils, so not sure what the issue is. I still get 32MPG on the highway, and yes, that is actual with cruise set @60MPH. I get my car serviced as required. I did have an issue with the front sunscreen. That is a cheap part they could have done better with. I just put 62k, and still going strong. It still has pep, and still looks brand new inside and out. Power when I need it....overall, the car has been great.
The navigation and xm radio.
I also like the ambient red lighting.
All of the controls are nicely placed, easy operation.
Better clips on the sunshades and the rear armrest.
My 2006 A 3 2.0 T the only problem (after four yrs.) are the sunshiled clips. I take the car to every service on the book. Does somebody knows where I can buy those clips (used) ? Just the clips. They cost around 90.00 each at the dealer & about 450.00 of labor.
Have had this car for 5 years now and I'm completely dissapointed in the craftsmanship and performance of this car. So far I have had to replace: fuel pump, water pump and thermostat, air conditioner evaporator, left tail light bulb (about a dozen times) even though dealer swears there is nothing electrically wrong. Sun roof shade clips break just by looking at them. In addition, the paint on most of the dash board control buttons is flaking out and the paint in the pillars between the doors is about to fall off. Probably one of the worst cars I have ever owned.