Average small family car. Struggles to justify its price tag
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.
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