2017 A3 Quattro - perfromance feels a little under the water, normal? - AudiForums.com


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Old 05-18-2017, 02:32 PM
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Question 2017 A3 Quattro - perfromance feels a little under the water, normal?

Just took delivery of the new 2017 A3 Premium Plus Quattro with a Tech package and Iím a little puzzled. I switched from 2014 BMW 328 xDrive and before had GTI. Also I frequently travel to EU and rent A3s hatchbacks there. So I more or less know what to expect in terms of perkiness. Before buying I test drove bare bones A3 Premium Quattro with just a Sport package and had quite a different impression about performance. But the car Iíve got disappoints (lesson Ė test drive the specimen youíll get). From GTI and Beemer Iím used to rather seamless surge within a wide powerband. But with the new car after few drives I started to notice that I constantly have to goose the throttle a little, and it doesnít pick up with the eagerness that claimed 5.8 sec acceleration times might suggest. Also Iím not expecting GTIís synthesized baritone and I expected A3 overall to be nosier than 3-series, but 6-speed dual clutch has a whining overtones of the Subaru CVT. Driving in S makes things a little better but with even more noise and some transmission jerkiness. Itís not that the whole experience is something really bad, but the impression is more of a Mazda3 or Focus than that of a $40K premium-brand small car.

For a nice discount Iíve accepted the car with 600 miles on it (they claimed they drove it form MA dealer to NJ which is consistent with Nav) so it canít be brake-in period. Iím still on an original tank of gas and assume itís Regular since thatís what dealer advised to use. Could the whole disappointment (or at least part of it) stem from not filling up with Premium which Audi in a user manual recommends for ďmaximum performanceĒ? Or something is wrong with my particular car and I should take it to the dealer or, the worst, thatís how all A3s perform?


Appreciate your insights and advise.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:37 AM
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You have not mentioned the engine but I'm assuming it is the 2.0t?
One thing I would change ASAP is the regular gas - it will rob power and Audi recommends premium gasoline only! I have no idea who had the smart idea to fill it up with regular but that was wrong.
Seeing that the car is still new, you should still have warranty on it but obviously you need a comparison to be sure something is wrong in the first place.
I only have a 2.0t from 2007 but that thing packs a serious punch as soon as you hit 3500 RPM (turbo kicks in). Unless I have brand new tires - my wheels spin in 1st and 2nd easily.
I would try to work with the dealer if you find out that the car is indeed lacking power compared to the same model/year (maybe you can test drive one to compare somewhere else). Either way if the dealership wants you to return as a customer they should work with you to make sure you are happy.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:07 PM
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Thanks Sheldon. All recent awd A3's have 2.0t good for 220hp, so I didn't mention it specifically. And I myself was surprised to discover that the sticker on the back of fuel door actually lists regular gas as minimum recommended. Same with A3 User Manual, but at least in next paragraph they mention that for maximum performance premium should be used. I'll see if performance improves with premium. I'll also try to test drive another A3 and see if its just my car or it in general how all A3s behave.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:29 PM
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Just to update. I finally filled the tank with premium gas and it had positive effect on performance. The car now accelerates and keeps speed more sure-footed, so to speak. Still merging from on-ramp it feels a tad less powerful than 328i and even last gen GTI with a stick, both of which I had. Probably weight and 6-speed dual-clutch play their role. But A3 was unfazed, secure and very stable at 100mph even on cracked NJ Turnpike (just don't tell anyone).
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:04 AM
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glad it was a "simple" solution
Now start getting that thing tuned and see it come to life..
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:23 PM
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Sheldon, funny you said it, but I was actually looking at that. Is APR Stage 1 a good thing to start with? I like that it's just software.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:32 PM
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Yes! I went with APR Stage 1 as well since it was so simple (they do have a sale for 10% off right now) and it gave it a nice bump in performance (from 200 to 250 is noticeable).
It absolutely depends on what you want to do in the future so once you pick your tuner, try to stick with it.
For example if you buy stage 1, all you need to do is buy a down pipe from APR and stage 2 is "free" (but you must have purchased stage 1 first). So if you decide to buy stage 1 from let's say unitronics and decide later one to go stage 2 with APR you will lose the money you put into the first tuner.
Another thing I would think of first = do you want to flash at home or through the dealer? If you have any warranty left and would like to at least attempt to retain it, I would use the flash at home solution. You can flash the car back to Stock before going in for maintenance and depending on dealership they will not flag your car for TD1 (which means tune detected, void all warranty). Unitronics is the way to go if you want to flash at home without having to go to a shop.
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Old 05-25-2017, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for a great advise Sheldon. My car is barely month old so obviously I have all the warranty ahead of me and don't want to loose it. For my state APR site suggests some car tuning shops besides Audi/VW dealers. Does it make a difference? Will it be free to ask the shop which installed Stage I ti flash ECU to original before regular maintenance (or other visit to a dealer) and than flash it back? In case of doing it home what equipment I would need?
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:32 AM
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If you go with APR, you will have to trust your local tuner shop and most will charge a fee for their time. So every time you go in for maintenance or repairs - you have to pay and flash to stock. Then when you are good to go, pay again a small fee (for their time) and flash to stage 1. Honestly that would be too much of a pain for me. I've heard there might be some shops that will flash for free but I wouldn't count on it.

Personally I would pick the flash at home solution. They will send you a cable which you will use with their software on a laptop to flash the car through the OBD2 port. I've picked EPL for my S4 and flashed my car within 10 minutes at home. Once you are set - it literally takes 5-10 minutes to flash your car to stage X or back to stock. This is also great if you want to switch between programs, for example:
1. You try to run 93 octane for the bigger punch but in your area you only have 91. So you mix E85 with your 91 to get your 93 rating.
2. All is well for a while until the only gas station that sells E85 shuts down and now you are stuck with 91 rated gas
3. Instead of paying for a full tune, you can use your existing flash at home solution and pick the same tune (stage 1) but with 91 instead of 93 octane.

As you can see if you had picked APR (or any other tune where you have to go to a shop) you would be screwed or would have to pay extra.

Most tuner shops will not be VW/Audi specific dealerships (as they sell the cars and warranty, not the tunes). Make sure the shop you pick has a good reputation and let the fun begin. However as mentioned before if you are not too scared to use a laptop, a cable that only goes one way into a single port on your car and click a few buttons - use the home solution. You get more bang for your buck, you can decide when and how to switch between tunes (what if you have to go to an "emergency" fix or recall on a Saturday but your tuner shop is not open or too busy? with an at home cable, you don't have to worry about that).

Last edited by sheldon; 05-29-2017 at 12:38 AM.
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