31st Mar 2008, 09:37
I had A3's since 2004. 1st was 2.0 ambition manual - fantastic but had to sell. 2nd ambition DSG 2.0tdi - absolute fantastic especially if driven in sport manual. always recommended car.
16th Jan 2017, 14:36
I have a 2004 3.2 DSG Quattro 3dr 250 HP as well. Bought pre-owned at 204 000 km.
I previously had a 2001 Audi S3 1.8L Turbo Quattro 210HP bought at 305 000 km, 6-speed manual.
I found the S3 to be a GT car. But changing the the gears manually was a pain as the 1.8L turbo has got no torque unless you kick it in... replaced it by a 95 Honda Prelude 2.3 4ws AUTOMATIC.
The A3 is still a GT and is in fact better than the S3. Same features, comfort and Quattro. Plus DSG is much better for daily commuting (and traffic jams!), electronics are improved, no turbo lag due to the VR6 3.2L having torque all the time. Big brakes filling the 18" rims. Nicer look too.
Only remark is the electric power steering on the A3 which is a bit "different".
In any case, take notice that VR6 3.2L has a double timing chain which will wear out before 200 000km. Some people say that oil changes will limit that. I cannot tell. My car had smoke deposit in the engine casing possibly due to high oil change intervals (due to the stupid long life Audi program). At the end the chain wears out, and tensioners jam due to the smoke deposit. THIS IS VERY COMMON ON THESE ENGINES! Mine even jumped one tooth on the camshaft gear. Had to work 30 hours to get the engine + tranny down and out. Disassemble gearbox to get access to the timing chains etc...
I will not do that again! But now it is fixed and going strong again.
So go buy one (or TT 3.2) only if you are able to assess that the timing chain is in perfect shape. You need the VCDS software and cable to do so or go to Audi.