2005 Audi A3 TDI Ambition Sportback 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Average small family car. Struggles to justify its price tag

Faults:

Dual mass flywheel failed. Expensive to replace and no guarantee of replacements longevity. This problem is common among all VW/Audi diesel cars. Needs to be properly addressed by the manufacturer. Dealers seem to see the problem as a revenue stream.

Service intervals as quoted in the manual are totally over-optimistic. My car always needed servicing 3-4k earlier than the official figures.

General Comments:

Comfort: The cabin is under insulated from the noisy diesel engine. Much too noisy for what is supposed to be a "premium" hatchback. You never, ever forget that you are in a diesel car.

Sports suspension makes passengers feel ill on anything other than perfect roads.

My car lacked steering wheel mounted stereo controls. It is an option, but should be standard.

Interior wore its mileage very well. Interior plastics still looked brand new after 5 years. Semi-sport seats are comfy and supportive.

Performance: Decent mid range urge, but the power band/rev range is stupidly narrow. Lag-Lunge-Change-gear power delivery gets tiresome after a while. Gear change is a little clunky.

Handling is fine, not a sports car, but always goes where you point it, and is predictable when you press on a bit. Steering is dead feeling, but direct. A diesel A3 feels a good deal more nose heavy than the petrol equivalent. Good brakes and stable under heavy braking.

Obviously it's not a big car. But has enough room for 2 adults and two kids in most everyday situations. You would probably need a roof rack and roofbox for holidays.

A decent, solid, safe car. Not really any better then a Golf, Renault Megane or Ford Focus. But is a bit more stylish than any of them. Looks and feels a bit more dynamic too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th September, 2010

2005 Audi A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Economical, powerful, but painfully bumpy suspension

Faults:

Alternator bust within one month of buying car.

Fan belt at the same time, and another part.

Thankfully all 3 parts replaced under warranty, although a pain on a car that I drive 400-500 miles per week on average.

Dashboard rattles, especially at lower speeds.

Left electric wing mirror does not always fold back out automatically, and gets stuck.

General Comments:

The car looks amazing, and its diesel engine is unbelievably economical, I've managed colossal mileage of 60+ mpg cruising at motorway speeds.

Engine is very quiet ones warmed up, and the turbo gives serious acceleration when needed, although this drinks diesel when you push it.

The paddle shift on the 6 speed DSG auto box adds to the fun.

Sadly, the major flaw of this car is its Sports suspension. It is so bumpy even at low speeds, I feel like my brain is getting shaken. On the motorway it is even worse, and I end up getting headaches on the long drives as you can feel your cheeks vibrating from the bumpy ride.

The front tyres are almost at their legal limit after a few months of driving when there was a lot of tread - I am gentle with the car normally.

The sports suspension does help the car handles really well, however, the sheer lack of comfort and pain I am enduring (my neck is getting stiffer from all the bumps in the road it is absorbing instead of the suspension), is now leading me to want to sell the car after less than 6 months with it.

I feel like I have wasted my money, and no longer wish to get a car with sports suspension, even though the C Class Sport was actually comfortable compared to this!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2009

20th Nov 2009, 09:08

Make sure it had the DSG transmission fluid changed at 40,000 miles, otherwise the lumpy ride will be the least of your problems.

23rd Feb 2010, 11:09

Yes, according to the service records, the DSG fluid and filter was changed at 41,000 miles, so I should be OK until 80,000 miles.

So far, car is still running well (bumpiness still a major pain), although at times, the DSG box decides not to change up gear, when I have slowed down and then increased speed, instead revving much more before changing, even though I'm quite gentle on the throttle.

14th Mar 2010, 08:34

Original poster again - the engine decided not to start at all, but the battery was ticking. Auto recovery person came and all computer reports were clear and forced the car to ignite using some carb cleaner. The engine has made quite a few coughing sounds on each startup since - he suspected a fuel pump problem. Took it to mechanics who could find no mechanical problem, and I've been told to just keep driving it.

13th Dec 2011, 05:52

Original Owner update 2011 - The car has been mechanically sound and remains economical. Now at 98k miles, done all the usual maintenance. The car struggles to start on cold mornings, and after a lot of rain, it's a real effort to get it turned on.

1st Jul 2012, 05:35

Parking sensors gone...

1st Jul 2012, 14:38

Thanks for the updates - I'm wary of the DSG, so am keen to see if simple maintenance keeps problems at bay.