2004 Audi A3 Quattro Luxe 3.2 V6 DSG


Good compact GT, but some timing and DSG issues to be aware of


Normal for this car apparently: Recall 28E9 on ignition coils, DSG Mechatronic, timing chain and tensioners, door lock mechanism micro switches, DSG lever dust protector broken, front seats recline mechanism, radiator leaking (Swiss origin = salt), water pump, axle gaiter.

General Comments:

I had an Audi S3 2001 1.8T Quattro manual 6 speed before. Both are more small GT cars. The S3 had 210 HP and annoying 6-speed gearbox due to low torque at low revs. My new A3 with 3.2L has plenty or torque low end and goes past 8,000 RPM anytime. It has 250 HP also and the DSG is very pleasant.

The A3 is better than the previous S3 and could be called an S3 as well, but Audi made a turbocharged S3 with more power so... I have to call it an A3...

In fact when you think about it, the A3 3.2L QUATTRO DSG is close to a Nissan GTR except it has less power (not turbo) and less electronics. For the rest it has similar DSG, Quattro and is 500kg lighter!

It drinks around 11L/100 km average. You can go down to 8.5L, but it is boring.

If you forget the little snags here and there (still much better than a BMW!) the car is good. My previous A3/S3 had issues with dashboard and so. This one version is reliable and everything works past 228 000 km. Dash, 6 CD radio changer with great Bose system and bass booster in the trunk.

I have one issue with the front seats: painful on the hips/thighbone (and I am 1.8m for 72 kg, nothing special about my profile...).

MAIN: Absolutely avoid Long Life intervals. Oil should be changed every 10 000 km or every year.

My car, like many other Audis having a V6 with a chain, had a worn chain and eventually it jumped one tooth. No damage, but idle was really bad when cold only. Had to remove the engine and DSG from below, separate them and change the timing chains and tensioners. 30 hours work! + doctor.

I found this spring loaded tensioner jammed due to dark deposit. Is that burned oil? Smoke deposit? I cannot tell... But you will hate it when you buy one with this problem. It can happen at 150 000km so be careful! VAG COM can tell you the phase out of each camshaft so that you know if it is good or not (maximum is +/- 8° - mine had -7 and -10° and therefore the engine light on the dash... that I did not trust when I bought it - lack of information - that you have now!!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2017