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Audi models, news & reviews
By Adam Towler
22 May 2008 10:30
Audi has given the A3 a mid-life facelift, and the revised 2.0-litre TDI engine heads the oil-burning line-up in 168bhp form. Audi promises this diesel A3 is cleaner and quieter than the car it replaces while still offering a sporty drive within premium quality surroundings.
Not visually, no: it’s a minor nip and tuck job that only the committed Audi fan will spot – re-crafted bumpers, headlamps, tail lamps - unless you’re looking at a car fitted with the new optional daytime LED running lights, of course.
Well there are quite a few detail changes across the range – flatter underfloors, improved aerodynamics, tweaks to the interior trim - and the A3 range has recently become rather complicated on the engine front. There’s a 1.4-litre petrol engine that makes more power than the 1.6-litre – thanks to a turbocharger – leaving the latter as the entry level - and rather dated - motor. Then there’s a new 1.8-litre turbo engine in the range that sounds to the ear like the 2.0-litre TFSI but is in fact an all-new unit first seen in the recently launched A4. Actually, the acclaimed 2.0 TFSI won’t be around for much longer either: it’s due to be replaced soon by another 2.0 TFSI unit based on the new 1.8-litre block. The 3.2 narrow-angle V6 has been dropped in the UK, but not elsewhere, where it continues in S-Tronic Quattro form only.
On the diesel side, the ubiquitous 1.9 TDI is still rattling away at the foot of the range but can also be had in greener ‘e’ trim, and then there’s a couple of 2.0-litre TDI motors with 138bhp and 168bhp. Except don’t be fooled by these numbers, because they aren’t the usual A3 pump-düse injection engines, but the revised common rail injection units first seen in the new A4. Got all that? And there’s now a seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic ‘box available on smaller engines, as well as the usual six-speed S-Tronic ‘box on the bigger engines.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our first drive of the Audi A3 2.0 TDI
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Audi A3 2.0 TDI SE 170 (2008) CAR review
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RE: Audi A3 2.0 TDI SE 170 CAR review
I have an A3 Sportback 2.0T Quattro Sport and I bought it in the hope that it would be practical (5drs), safe (4wd), exciting (same engine as the Golf GTI) and well built ("legendary" Audi build quality). Well I can safely say that it's just not quite large enough to be practical for two adults and one small child plus accompanying kit, the 4wd is VERY part time, i.e. you have to be sliding on ice to get it to work, it's unspeakably dull to drive despite the engine and yesterday the drivers door handle fell off when I went to open the door. Add these to the facts that about a week after its three year anniversary the passenger seat occupancy sensor failed so it pings a constant warning noise at you if you don't do up the seat belt even when nobody's in the seat and an unidentifiable squeak developed somewhere in the cabin and you have a pretty disappointed consumer.
The original A3 was largely responsible for the premium hatch market but the current version doesn't seem to offer very much over competitors and whilst the revisions sound vaguely interesting on paper I can guarantee that this refreshed car is still going to be dull.
I'm in the market for to replace the A3 at present and looked briefly at the new A4 Avant but it too is so dull that I just couldn't bring myself to buy one. Audi needs some fresh inspiration in almost all departments quickly.
23 May 2008 16:50
Needs a complete overhaul really, not a set of LED's and new engine. The problem is that the new model probably wont look any different from this one when it finally arrives...
22 May 2008 23:46
A hell of a lot of money for a Focus sized diesel hatchback that isn't that great to drive and dull to look at to boot.
22 May 2008 11:55
I think I'm about to crumble under the weight of Audi stories. Please don't publish anymore for a couple of days so I can absorb the current range and have half a chance of telling one from another.
22 May 2008 11:28
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