A very good review so far, still not sure why you wouldn't buy a car that you think is so good especially as the A3 is now quite an old car in both drive and design? Also, I happen to think the new GT-TDi is good value. Try comparing it spec for spec with a new Focus and you'll see what I mean, especially when you take into account residual values, safety strength, etc.
19000 mile update.
A few more thousand miles under its belt, and still performing very well.
Car has now had its 1st service, and also has had to undergo some warranty work (bonnet insulation ill-fitting - replaced, corroded drivers wiper arm - replaced, noisy drivers side sunvisor - replaced all with no arguments from the dealer, vehicle also checked for fault codes as a result of the earlier ESP fault, no fault found).
I'm surprised so many nagging issues have occurred at this point in its life, however they all existed when I inherited the car, so they probably occurred due to its earlier treatment.
Dealer service - an Oxfordshire based franchised dealer, was generally very good except for returning phone calls; got better with persistence on my part however!).
Engine seems refined just like new again (probably on account of the oil change) and has definitely loosened up since new. Still lacks the low end get up and go of the old PD models, but it's a very minor black mark against the engine, given how much smoother and refined the engine is by comparison. Put simply, I still prefer the way the PD engines deliver their power, but the refinement of the CR engines more than make up for their lacking in this area.
One very annoying thing has happened to the vehicle since my last report... a mobile tyre fitter somehow put a nasty scratch into the silver trim on the top of the drivers side interior door trim whilst changing my tyres... no big deal I thought (assuming the silver trim could be replaced)... wrong, the whole door trim has to be replaced at an eyewatering cost of £250 inc fitting... needless to say, my company refused to pick up the cost, and I now have to put up with a big fat scratch on the door trim of an otherwise pretty immaculate car. I feared that an attempt at repair could easily look worse.
I think this a bit of an oversight on VW's part, and I can only forewarn fellow MK6 owners to beware of this when people are getting in and out of the vehicle, as these panels are obviously more delicate than they perhaps should be!
In response to the earlier comment made regarding the A3 vs MK6 comparison, I still think my argument is largely valid. I totally agree that Ford list prices are ridiculous (honestly who in their right mind would pay over £21K for a Zetec S diesel?!... it's a good car, but not £21K+ good!) but I'm certain Ford dealers do offer massive discount to make their customers feel that they are getting good value for money and achieve sales, just like Vauxhall and the other more "mainstream" manufacturers. VW dealers don't offer discount, the only help you get from experience is if you get contributions from VW for taking their finance option.
I also appreciate that the MK6 is the fresher and slightly more modern car (having received all the new engine & Infotainment technology and pre-requisite chassis tweaks) but having recently spent some time in a new A3 (a family member has just got a 2011 spec A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSi S-Line DSG) and the class feel and build quality is still a good step up on the Golf. Some may not agree with me, but personally I know what I'd rather be driving around in given the negligible price difference between the two. The S-line spec on the A3 (beautiful 18" wheels, bodykit, half leather interior, climate control and a fantastic 10 speaker sound system - much better than the Golf's 8 speaker offering - as standard) adds to that class feel; you can forgive the lack of TPM, Media-IN and Cruise for what you get in return.
If it were my own money, there would be no contest with VW's current pricing strategy. If the Golf came in at £2 - 3K less, I would then definitely consider it over the Audi. VW's just are not good value for money compared to many other VAG offerings, just look at the price of the Golf R compared to the S3; there is definitely something wrong with the hierarchy there!
I have just swapped my company car from a Mk5 1.9 TDi to the new 1.6 TDi (105 PS) Match, and I have to agree about the power delivery. While the new engine is supremely quiet compared to the Mk5, the new version suffers from horrific turbo lag. That said, the Mk6 Match is, in terms of refinement and toys (touch screen DAB radio/parking sensors/bluetooth) a vast improvement on the last model.
I have only had it for a day, so I can't comment on niggles, but I am very impressed. Although I am sad to see the blue backlighting go as I found it easier on the eye for night driving, although I am sure I will get used to that.
Indeed the new CR engines are inflicted with huge amounts of turbo lag; well the 105 and 140hp versions are anyway; strange given how good the new TSi petrols are. Have recently taken delivery of a Skoda Fabia vRS estate for the wife, and by comparison the response is electric; needless to say it's also an awful lot faster than the Golf too!
It's a shame the diesels have lost their edge in place of refinement; the old PD engines were agricultural, but were fantastic fun to drive for a diesel, and had verve that made choosing one over an equivalent petrol an easy choice; those days are well and truly gone in my book.
All that said, my 2.0 GT is now 18 months old with nearly 30K on the clock, and apart from the early niggles outlined above and an ESP fault that continuously rears its ugly head (it goes out straight away when the car's started and the ESP definitely still works), it's been peerless. It always starts, doesn't rattle like a tin can, delivers 50+ mpg everywhere without the AC on... its basically very easy to live with. Only problem really is that truth be told, it's a bit boring!