1996 Audi A3 1.8


Rather nice compact car with many features from bigger class


Engine thermostat broken, didn't warm up properly. This was easy to replace.

Left hand brake cable cover damaged (cable attachment to body not an especially good design in my opinion) and caused brake freeze occasionally. Also problems in brake caliper. Probably these together once resulted brake disc heating excessively and brake pad burning before I was able to stop.

Problem with left electric mirror, mechanism somehow broken, but partly works.

Rust in lower part of left door. Common problem in A3s.

Some signs of rust at bottom of rear door.

Washer jet of rear window doesn't work. Wiper works somewhat poorly.

General Comments:

This A3 has generally a very nice feel of quality, even though it has run over 260000km. Interior looks like new. Easy Entry seats help getting stuff and people to/from rear seats (this is 3-door version).

Front seats are good and support lower back well.

Engine (naturally aspirated 125hp) doesn't have good torque under 1500rpm. When driving 100km/h it revs about 3100rpm. Unfortunately this is reflected by fuel consumption: I've found it hard to get under 8.1l/100km although most of my driving is steady 80-100km/h on highway. On the other hand it accelerates happily on 5th gear from 60km/h without need to shift gears. Engine oil consumption seems to be negligible.

Shifting gears is a pleasure and all controls feel solid and work precisely. Unfortunately feedback from steering leaves room for improvement, but I must admit current tires are not best possible, which might be part of the "problem". (This is also my first car with power steering.)

Driving lights are not good even with high performance bulbs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th January, 2008