2003 Audi A3 1.8 turbo from Australia and New Zealand
I would definitely recommend this vehicle to others; however be prepared for higher servicing costs
Timing belt was due for replacement when I purchased the car - something I was aware of, and I negotiated a discount accordingly.
Water pump - replaced in conjunction with the timing belt. Recommended by the mechanic as the plastic impellers tend to become brittle and fail with age. Proved to be true in this instance - I was able to snap the old impeller blades by hand.
Suspension bush - deteriorated and was replaced with first service.
Hinged cover on recess above the ashtray won't stay down.
Some squeaking under rear seat when occupied. I traced this to the PVC coated wires under the seats rubbing together - some silicone spray fixed the problem.
Lovely to drive, handling is fantastic. The traction control works wonderfully without being intrusive as some systems can be. It can also be turned off if required.
The turbo engine is zippy, however the low down torque before the turbo kicks-in is average. I had an APR engine management program downloaded to the ECM, which has really turned the car into a pocket rocket. Much higher levels of torque are available at low speeds, which improves general driveability, and if you want to have some fun, just point and shoot.
The car feels very solid with a high build quality (that said, mine has done a few k's, so I would expect any issues to have been sorted out by now).
Inside the cabin, the black colour scheme and red back-lighting on the dials / auxiliaries lend a stylish finish. The black leather seats are body hugging, and provide good thigh and torso support during cornering.
Perhaps it's due to the sunroof increasing the thickness of the roof, but there is not a great deal of height available in the cabin for those of tall stature. I'm 5'11", and with the seat adjusted to its lowest point, my hair is brushing on the roof (and no, I don't have Mohawk). Space in the rear limits the vehicle to holding two adults comfortably - three adults could be accommodated for shorter journeys.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th January, 2010
Almost three years on and another 20 000 km, I'm still pleased with the vehicle. I've since had to replace the hazard light switch (a reasonably straight forward job to do yourself - if you spend a bit of time on Google, you'll find instructions for how to do it), CV joint boot covers, brake pads and the micro switch in the driver's door started to play up, such that the interior light stayed on when the door was closed. Luckily this was an easy fix (again check Google), using a bent coat hanger to pull the switch lever inside the door latch forward.