Used 2011 Audi A3 Consumer Reviews
I have owned for 2 years and put 55K miles on my A3 TDI. Bought car for performance and great MPG - commute is 100 miles per day. With 500 miles left on warranty Mechatronics unit went - first time had issues was 25K miles and dealer did software update. (it's roughly$3,200 repair if out of warranty). At 54K miles EGR valve clogged with ash - ($800 repair & AUDI offered no help) I called AudiUSA and got nowhere. DO NOT BUY this car for MPG savings, you'll give it all back in repairs. Overall nice car but, I also own 2 Toyotas and I'm spoiled by the fact that they don't break...I had always heard that Audi/VW reliability issues were a problem, definitely some buyer's remorse on A3
I was cross shopping the A3 with a GTI with sunroof and Nav. The cars are similar on paper (engine etc.) but have a very different personality to drive. The A3 is more refined and feels lighter to drive. I like the lower roofline of the Audi. The extra sound insulation helps too. GTI is a better value for bang for the buck but the Audi feels more polished. I got the A3 with Premium Plus and Titanium Sport. The PP is a must for the xenons and LED DRLs. The Ti sport interior is fantastic and the ride height is perfect in my opinion. The one feature that annoys me is the inability to scroll through the presets using the controls on the MFSW.
What a disappointment! OK for 21/2 years 15K miles, then problems began. 18 months of a slow coolant leak which dealer could not find. Had to keep a gallon of coolant with me at all times. Finally, after warranty expired, the dealer replaced the water pump to cure the problem. Wanted to charge me for it. After pointing out that it had been in three times over the past 18 months, they decided it was under warranty. Now with 55K miles, the waste gate regulation valve on the turbo has failed, along with a pressure line to the turbo (I previously owned a Jetta TDI, given to my son, whose turbo failed at 46K miles - this failure occurred after I had bought the Audi). So far, up to about $1500 in repairs on a car with has lost 20% of its value due to the emissions shenanigans. I am waiting to see if Audi will offer to buy it back. A recent court settlement calls for them to buy back the older TDI's on the road and "repair" (read destroy the good mileage) the newer ones. Needless to say, THIS IS MY LAST VW/AUDI PRODUCT. Addendum 12/16: Audi will buy back the car at the end of this month. While it seems to be running OK after two 10-day long visits to the shop, the check engine light came on shortly after the $1500 repair to the waste gate, with the same error code! The dealer said "we would be glad to take a look at it." I asked if that meant (like after the first repair failed) they would charge $135 per hour to diagnose it. They said they would diagnose it to the tune of $500 worth. I did not take it in, as I will not put any more money into it. I am letting it sit in the garage until the buy back in two weeks. Audi and particularly my local dealership are awful.
I'm coming from the perspective of a family with young kids that has relied on Outbacks and older Nissan/Acura sedans. Our newish Outback serves as our workhorse car, so we felt more free to replace our aging 2nd car with a smaller non-all wheel drive car. We've been very happy with the handling and performance of the A3. I've gone through NE winters with front wheel drive and snow tires, and expect the A3 to do just fine. It feels plenty fast to us, and the handling and responsiveness is a clear cut above what we'd been used to. My wife was a bit hesitant about it after the first test drive, not being used to a diesel engine, but now even she says it's the perfect car for us.
In most categories, I love this car. I like the look, the fuel economy, it's fun to drive and has a great stereo. The turbo lag does take some getting used to - When accelerating from a stop, it can take a full second or two for the turbo to engage. It's very responsive once you've started moving. Fuel economy is great and overall, it's really a fun little car. However, you should be aware that the heated seats are basically useless. My dealer explained that they have heard numerous complaints about them and that they perform 'to Spec'. If you Google Audi Heated seats, you'll find several Audi forums discussing the issue. If you love heated seats like I do, know that they don't work.