2002 Audi A3 SE Sport TDI 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
These are refined cars, which are built to last and are easy to live with
Got the car from a dealership who didn't know anything about cars, claiming he specialises in VW products. The turbo wasn't working at all, much to my discovery of trying to accelerate out of a roundabout and it creeping forward as if it was on tick-over.
I don't consider this a problem as nearly all turbocharged cars can have turbos going on them, usually because people haven't looked after them properly (thrashing them when cold, not using the turbo regularly, no frequent servicing, etc). Now it pulls like a train.
Rear offside spring, coil had broken. It is a Sport model and our roads are absolute you know what. The pot hole ridden roads of the winter storms of Christmas 2013 probably saw it off. Had both replaced, now it rides and handles fantastically.
Alarm didn't work when I got the car. Again, something the dealer should have pointed out. Got a replacement module and all sorted now.
I love this car. I love Volkswagens and Audis. They are properly built alternatives to mainstream rubbish. This is my first car, so I didn't splash out as much, although I paid a decent price, and I wasn't looking for an automatic, nor a diesel. I just liked the look and spec of this (rear parking sensors, sports seats, sunroof).
I was skeptical about how many miles this thing has done, but people told me it's nothing to worry about on diesel engines as long as they have been looked after, and the 1.9 PD TDIs are bullet proof. Well, it doesn't use a drop of oil, no leaks, squeaks or rattles from anywhere. Had it serviced, including gearbox oil done and just a general inspection, and the garage concluded it is a solid, sound car.
Rides very well for a Sport (195, 65 tyres probably help) and corners safely and quite flat. Seats are firm and supportive, and I have driven 200 miles at a time and got out the other end feeling relaxed and with no aches. It is quiet; wind noise isn't even that apparent. Made a big difference when I put 4 new Dunlops on it as well.
All the instruments are clear to see, all the controls are where they are supposed to be, the interior has held up incredibly well, and there is literally no sign of wear or tear.
It's only the 100BHP variant, but even so, it goes. Like it really does. Off the mark it is quite sluggish, the auto box doesn't help, but past 2,000 RPM, it shoots off, like it throws you back in your seat. All the power comes in one lump off the mark; after that it is perfectly quick enough to get you out of trouble, and into trouble.
The best thing about this car is the economy. I get just on 50 MPG, even though I was told I wouldn't get much past 40. Servicing and making sure your car is completely up together pays off people. I get around 48 regularly. Mid to high 50's taking it on a long run at 65 to 70 on a motorway.
I spent more money on a Toyota Corolla, spending nearly a grand getting it fixed up, and it still wasn't right after that, and it had done 50k and was a 2004 with FSH.
I drove a mate's mk4 Golf and it felt very similar, still felt like a quality car. The difference with the Audi is slightly plusher materials, like nicer carpets, and better wind insulation and speed.
I love these cars. Looking to get the next generation A3 or a MK5 Golf with a DSG transmission.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th August, 2014
18th Aug 2014, 23:54
I totally disagree with this review. A guy who thinks Corolla needs more spending on it than an Audi shows how biased this review is. I have owned an A4 and A3. Extremely poor CVT transmission if you bought an auto. The manuals are OK. Lots of electronic problems, even being bought brand new, after crossing 60k.
All reviews on the net say they use up oil from new, and even today this issue remains and I totally agree.
The ride is smooth and it feels like a quality euro car, but reliability - extremely poor.
There are lot of them for sale at very low prices, and new prices don't hold up at all due to their reputation of unreliability. BMW's are much better put together. If you also check the top 20 unreliable cars - Audi and VW have their places there well secured.