Despite their own advertising Audi has always designed an extremely attractive and comfortable car and the second generation Audi A3 is no different. Curvaceous and with the same grill as other Audi cars the A3 is a good looking little-big car which can act as a perfect car for singles and families alike. This car is deceptively large and although it’s a hatchback you would be forgiven for calling this generation of A3 an Estate!
One thing that appeals to me about Audi is that they take their time in changing and restyling its model. This generation of A3 has lasted from 2003 until 2012/13 and any changes which have been made to the shell of this car have been subtle. Even in comparison with the first generation model the changes aren’t massive. I very much respect manufacturers who make small and subtle changes. It makes people with previous generation cars feel good that their car may pass for a new one! Take for example the VW Golf, any changes that the golf has received in its shell since it first hit the markets back in 1974 has been small and subtle, which in my eyes is why they hold their value so well.
The Audi A3 is a very good choice as a second hand car. The ride is more rigid than the previous generation but it’s a firmness on the road that I like, this however isn’t for everyone. The A3 was awarded 4 stars in the Ncap safety test and is complete with the usual safety features you can expect to find in an Audi - stability control, front-seat side-impact, head-curtain airbags, etc. The interior of the A3 is exceptional in that everything is pristinely moulded together. As with regards the driving position and the comfort ability of the seats, for me they were spot on.
Although this is a good car there are a few things to watch out for. For example if you are buying one from between 2008 and 2011 some of the TDi engines have been said to have had leaks from the fuel pump. If you are purchasing one have a look around the engine bay to see if there is diesel where there shouldn’t be.
Between 2003 and 2005 Audi had to recall some cars due to a flywheel problem which in its worst case scenario led to fire! Thankfully these cars have been recalled and affected vehicles had their flywheel replaced.
Another issue, although it’s not necessarily a problem with the car, is that it can be expensive to service if you service it with an Audi dealer. To be fair though this can probably be said about a lot of manufacturers.