The A3 is a very stylish, powerful, and gas efficient "mini" wagon. With a chip and performance downpipe, I was able to make 230hp and 263tq at the wheels. I have the S-Line w/ Technology package 2.0T FSI and some of the major known problems are as follows: 1. Divertor valve tearing (easy to remedy w/ new piston-type revision valve) 2. Burning oil (varies from car to car but personally I only add 1qt per 5000 mi) 3. Clogging intake valves due to the nature of direct injection (fixed by running a catch can set-up) 4. Cam follower wear on high pressure fuel pump (this is a wear item that should be changed out every 30k and check every oil change, only $50 part but VW/Audi won't tell you that).
This is my forth Audi, through All Roads and A-4 Avants. $ for $ and pound for pound the best car Audi makes excepting for the discontinued All Road and the A-4 Cabrolet converible which is some $ 12K more expensive to equip. I can do 35-37 mpg with a wax job and no head winds, so I can barely eek out 550 miles to a 13 gallon fill before hitting reserve, but if you want to hold 80 mph on 65 mph interstates and zip past some others in the passing lane, the economy will still hold 28 to 30 mpg. While it does not have some of the useless "bells and whistles" of the A-4 cousin, it's all all around functional car with plenty of storage. Suggest you buy Continental Extreme Contacts, a great all season/snow tire with smoother ride.
What a blast to drive! Short story – I needed to trade in the 330CIC and get something a little more practical as I was losing my winter driver (16 yr old got her permit) and my wife wouldn’t dare part with her MDX. After a lengthy search I decided to go back to Audi (have owned 3 in the past) to drive the A4. I noticed the A3 and it was love at first stomp on the gas peddle! The DSG is unreal (paddles are fun), pick-up (turbo lag? NOT) is explosive and car is extremely comfortable. Gas mileage is great (30.5 on a recent road trip) & the creature comforts are nice (open sky, cold wthr, premium pkgs.
Tired of the stiff ride in my Crossfire, I needed a bit more room and ease of entry. Enter the A3. Just as fast with a turbo 4 banger as the XFire, and a "softer" sporty ride. Quicker than my wife's 2001 TT, the A3 can pass life's slowpokes with ease, yet makes for a nice "everyday" ride. I can get all the nine luggage pieces of my drum set in easily with the rear seats folded down...and still have room for a friend. Great car for city, highway or the twisties when you can. A month of driving the A3 and it's still love!
When I first saw this car I wasn’t in the market for a new car. I was driving a GTI 2002 and was pretty happy with it until I saw the A3 and fell in love with the looks. Then I drove it, wow!!! No other car has the full time all wheel drive and this much power to boot. The transmission is outstanding. You just point it in the direction you want it to go and it goes with precision handling, dry or wet surface. And sport mode brings the car to another level. I am a big fan of a good 6 speed manual transmission, until I drove this car in sports mode. Everything a manual transmission does without the human error. Perfection. I can’t wait for an S3 or an SR3, hoping it will come out.