Used 2011 Audi A3 Diesel 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
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.
I was so excited to buy this car. It looks great, gets above average gas mileage and I thought it was going to be dependable...I was absolutely incorrect and it has cost me a significant amount of money! The warranty expired at 50k, which is when the major system began to fail. First it was the motor in the seat...not a huge deal, but it was expensive. Next the A/C compressor failed, an issue that Audi is aware of and has issued a service advisory about, but without a warranty, one that I had to pay for. Finally the Turbo charger failed. At this rate it will have all new parts before it hits 60k. This car is crap and Audi should be ashamed that they built it.
Bought it used with 33K miles and have put another 12K since then. Love the ride, handling, very fun car on my painful 1 hour commute to work every day. Since it's more sporty suspension is a bit stiff so not the couch comfort but that's how German cars are. It does lack some options you would think should be in an Audi; auto dimming mirrors, memory seats, passenger power seats but doesn't bother me personally. Slight turbo lag in taking off but you can shift to manual mode and it picks up right away. Can't beat the mileage, 36 daily -41 highway.
So far, I am very satisfied with my new Audi A3 Diesel. The performance is really exceptional. It accelerates smoothly and corners very well. I am very happy with the build quality.
I recently bought an A3 TDI and have enjoyed the first 2k miles. 35 mpg with fairly aggressive mixed city/hwy driving. I like not having to baby it to get good mileage. The car is very stable and composed at highway speeds and in the daily S. Florida rainstorms. If you test drive it, look for two things. 1) Diesel motor tick. It has such a quiet cabin that you may not hear it in a test drive. You'll hear it in your driveway though. Make sure it is not an issue for you. 2) Its truly an automated manual transmission it "catches" when coming to a slow stop, just like a manual does. Those not used to manuals may not like the feel. I love it though and am very happy with the purchase.
Any car like this one with an MSRP over $33k should definitely have some common features: garage door opener, power passenger seats, memory settings, auto-dimming mirrors, and automatic headlights. Most of these things cost the manufacturer almost nothing to install, but Audi left them off the A3. This tells me they think the target market is not an upscale or move-up buyer who would expect these things. But I'd bet many other less-expensive vehicles have some or all of these features. All this aside - I really like this car. I was torn between an A3 and a Jetta TDI SportWagen, but went with the Audi because of a few better features. And it looks much better.
Will never purchase another VW, Audi or VAG product again. Total inaction after years of waiting on the Takata airbag recall. TDI BuyBack is beyond tedious, waiting over 6 months for an offer letter.