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First A3 test drive - wow and not so wow

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First A3 test drive - wow and not so wow

Old 03-11-2009, 07:19 PM
a3s is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle
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Talking First A3 test drive - wow and not so wow

First off, hi. It's my first post on this board and if everything works out, there will be many more to come.

A few days ago I took an a3 for a test drive. I took the NA AWD (250 HP) model. I figured it'll resemble a modified turbo model closer. Compared to BMW 128/135 it's much more stable and significantly quieter. Not to mention much roomier.

The visibility is about the same, the stereo, lumbar support and minor detail are all there. Nothing extravagant, and at the same time nothing inferior.

The dealer was not very forthcoming about aftermarket support, ecu refash and warranty issues if I track the car. However, I am sure I'll find these answers on the board.

One huge disappointment were the brakes. I plan on auto crossing / circuit racing the car, and stock brakes simply will not do. The brakes were very sloppy, and ABS kicked in well before the lock. Whereas 128 was just a few feet behind Cayman, A3 felt as it were on ice, the car simply refused to stop.

2nd disappointment was unavailability of 5/6 MT and quarto. I don’t think it will be a deal killer, but I am very disappointed. Unfortunately the sales man didn’t know much about the European delivery how the warranty will work in that situation.

So, once again, welcome, and I appreciate all comments and insights.
Old 03-12-2009, 11:42 PM
Cain_1972's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 53

Welcome - First off I agree on the brakes...they are really bad so much so I thought there was a problem on my 08. I am planning on doing something there in the near future and if you are autocrossing you'll certainly need to do something too. I suppose transmission is personal pref, but man the DSG is pretty nice and at an autocross event I bet you'd do well with it especially if you got the HPA DSG mod.

I haven't driven one, but I don't know the guys with modified 2.0T engines would agree they perform the same as the stock 3.2. For starters a modified 2.0 can get up to 300 lb/ft of torque pretty quickly with just the ECU and exhaust, sure on HP it will end up around where the stock 3.2 is but the power band will be different with the 2.0 so overall a different feel. I went with the 3.2 as when I bought you couldn't get quattro on the 2.0 - that has since been changes. I also wanted the bigger engine because when I add the HPA turbo to that - big time sleeper car.
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