2012 Audi A3 SE 1.6 TDi from UK and Ireland


Costs a lot to buy and run, but a good enough premium hatch


EGR valve - expensive.

Brakes and exhaust - normal wear and tear for mileage.

ABS sensors.

Locks a bit funny, sometimes takes a few presses from the key to work, replaced new battery, still no difference.

Servicing costs from my local garage have been OK for an Audi, but still the cost is above your average car.

General Comments:

A fun to drive little premium hatch, my 2012 metallic grey A3 has been good, but just be aware these cars are dear to run! Reliability has been pretty average - nothing disastrous, but certainly no better than any car I have had before.

1.6 TDi has cheap tax and does over 60 mpg, just as well as it is the only economical thing about this car. Wouldn't call it a fast car, but goes well enough for everyday driving. Insurance is OK so long as you are over 25 and been driving a while.

The car has a very solid feel, nice interior and materials. SE model is well equipped. Armrest is a bit annoying, seems to get in way of handbrake. Other than that, very comfortable for a smaller hatchback car, mine is the 5 door, rear space is also good. Boot hatch can also swallow a decent load of luggage on longer trips.

Cabin is refined on motorway, but as with all diesel engines, it is a bit clattery and noisy about town at higher revs.

To conclude the A3 is a good car, but they are way overpriced to buy and run. A similar VW Golf is almost as expensive though, so you might as well go for the Audi. Certainly better than a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but you only get what you pay for. I would like to say it is worth it, but that really is up to the potential buyer if they think this car is worth its premium price over other family hatchback cars that in all honestly can do much the same for cheaper. The only good thing about that Audi badge is that it holds value well and looks good on your drive, but not that I or you should care about what others think though, whether you drive a Ford or Audi.

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

Review Date: 4th March, 2023

5th Mar 2023, 22:00

Most electronic components in European cars are made by a few large European Corporations, such as Bosch. Unfortunately, these huge corporations don't have a culture of strong quality components. Plus, they make continuous changes as car-makers constantly bring new models to the market, with new specifications for the parts needed. This is the reason for expensive maintenance on European cars. In opposition, the various Asian car parts corporations have usually a stronger quality culture (but surely not perfect either).

2012 Audi A3 Sport 1.6 TDi from UK and Ireland


Want to like it, but overrated and not reliable


Card/USB slot does not always read correctly.

New brakes all round (expensive, but wear and tear expected of mileage). The car has full history, serviced on time.

Worst problem is injectors! The car was running lumpy/hesitating and I had to pay £700 for new injectors! And that was an independent specialist (dealer wanted much more) Let's hope the DPF and the other typical diesel problems will not rear their ugly head!

The car sometimes won't start, then starts fine, cannot find fault.

General Comments:

I like the look of this 3 door in red A3, very smart with the sport package. Alloy wheels are great looking. Interior has the best seats I have ever sat in! All electrics. I know this has been said in many reviews about modern cars, but I really dislike the electronic handbrake. A mechanical lever was just much better.

1.6 TDi pulls strong and does over 60 miles per gallon on average! Just as well as the saving you make on fuel can go to the costly repairs for this car.

I wanted to like this car so much, but it was expensive to buy used and only had it 2 years and spent a fortune on it. Looked after low/average mileage example as well. Mates who had similar diesel cars say it is not exclusive to this car however - most post year 2005 diesel cars are having the same problems.

I will forgive it if it provides a couple of trouble free future years of motoring, but so far not impressed with such a "premium" car. My old VW Golf was not much better, but my dad's Ford Mondeo is hands down a way more reliable car, and most people I know say cars like that are cheap and nasty. Well the "upper tier" cars are not much better!

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

Review Date: 29th June, 2021

1st Jul 2021, 20:45

I have only had one german car in my lifetime and that was a used S430 Mercedes Benz, and it tore me up with repairs and the money to pay them. It's not a car for the faint of heart. My mechanic always seem to be wearing a ski mask when he took my money and he always blamed it on expensive parts. Had to get rid of that car and took a big loss on it. The only way I would buy a german car nowadays would be to have a big fat warranty on it that covered everything, or a short term 3-4 year lease with full coverage for the entire lease.