A3 reliability?

Hi everyone,
I'm about to ditch my Toyota with 175,000 miles on it and buy a new car. The 2006 Audi A3 is one of three finalists, and I love almost everything
about it except for one thing: I have some doubts about reliability. It's not that I *know* it's going to be bad. In fact, part of the problem is that (it being a new model, in the US), I can't find ANY data about reliability. And several other Audis have gotten fairly bad ratings from Consumer Reports in the last few years. Although CR does say reliability on the A4 has improved in the last few years.
So, does anyone know of any kind of hard data on reliability or initial quality or anything like that on the A3? Failing that, what about subjective opinions? One thing I'm having a hard time with is understanding what it means when Consumer Reports rates a car as "below average" reliability. Does that mean I'll be paying slightly more on repairs than I would with (say) an Acura[1], or does it mean I'll be paying double or triple? What are people's general opinions of late-model Audi reliability compared to other cars?
- Logan
[1] The other finalists in my decision-making process are the Acura TL and the Infiniti G35. Neither has half the personality of the A3, but you see I have this Japanese car right now, and it has 175,000 miles on it and is still going strong, and...
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Im new to the forums but have been doing alot of research on the reliability of audi's and this is what ive come to find in general. Note that these are subjective opinions and im sure that evidence can be found to support several different conclusions.
1)Audis are reliable cars in the sense that when you turn the key the engine will start and you will be able to drive. however, there is a difference between reliability and maintenance and audis certainly do require the latter. I work at an accounting firm and today i was sorting through service invoices for two different car dealerships, one a subaru one an audi. A given subaru might have 2 or 3 things wrong when it came in for service while an audi might have anywhere from 5-12. Audis were obviously more expensive to service but i noticed that there were no major problems....no suspension work no taking apart the engine...a lot of electrical things but nothing huge. The same went for subaru but then again no one is questioning th ereliablity of the japanese makes
2)From what ive read on forums, following the service schedule of an audi is a must...they arent lke japanese cars or american cars where you can pretty much ignore the service schedules and fix things as they arise. This approach with an audi or any german car will kill you.
I hope this helps....again im no audi expert ive only done alot of research. And dont forget the a3 is all new in the us and the a4 is refreshed so the reliablity numbers could be quite different from those of the past.
(like me if you are on this forum asking these questions you are looking for excuses to buy the audi...if you like cars you have to have a car you love)
)Audi's require care...you cannot run them and pay no attention to their maintenance schedules
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Umm... ignoring the service schedules will most likely cause troubles down the line, whether it's a German, US, or a Japanese car. Preventative maintenance is key for all cars. The thing with Audi is, you might actually want to do more frequent maintenance than Audi would have suggested. Instead of changing the oil every 10K miles like Audi says, you might want to do it every 5-7K, especially if they are not mainly hwy miles. Instead of changing the timing belt every 120K miles (brilliant Audi recommendation for a 2001 model year A4 1.8T), you might want to do it every 60K.
The key is to do some research beforehand, like you're doing, so that you don't find out about these things once it's too late. Other than that, Audis are very enjoyable to drive. And mine was actually more reliable and better built than an Accord I owned before that. Right now I'm stuck driving a Japanese car again (company Sentra) and I miss my A4 dearly.
Good luck,
Pete
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looks like theyve had the a3 in the uk since at least 96...
http://www.whatcar.com/car-review-summary.aspx?NEW_USED=2&MA_TYPE=2&MA=6&RT &Submit1=GO
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Tough call, Logan and if course we're all biased here towards Audi... ;-) If it helps at all, my choice came down to the A4 and the Acura TSX. The reasons I picked the Audi were -
1) quattro 2) Felt more solid than the TSX, which felt a little fragile 3) A4 fit my driving environment better - the TSX engine makes more power but you have to really rev it to get to it, and 80% of my driving is around-town, where that doesn't make a lot of sense. 4) quattro 5) My last 2 cars were Jettas ( an '86 and a '95), both of which went well over 100k miles with minimal issues. 6) The A4 is a higher class of car, in my mind. 7) I prefer European to Japanese cars. 8) quattro!
At the time, the new TL wasn't available and the G35 was more money. I think they are all pretty close now (well, A4 - the A3 ought to be less, unless you're getting a loaded one). They are both larger and roomier, and probably have more standard features than the A3. In fact, the A3 isn't really a competitor for those cars, so you're kind of comparing apples and oranges....
Ditto on the preventative maintenance plus.
Dan D '04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6 Central NJ USA
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

http://www.whatcar.com/car-review-summary.aspx?NEW_USED=2&MA_TYPE=2&MA=6&RT &Submit1=GO
The series 1 A3 (1996-1999) never made it to the US. If it's any help, my 1999 TDi has been very reliable for the last 3.5 years/40000 miles.
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 16:25:42 +0000, Chris Bartram

My 2002 S3 was the most un-reliable car I ever owned in 30+ years, even worse than my student days 10 Morris Minors. Audi were completely unable to find any fault with the car which really dented my confidence in the marque.
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X-no-archive: yes Paul Norris wrote:

It doesn't matter which marque it is, there will always be one that "slips through the net" as it were. Fact of life.
I've had 2 A3's and they have been the *best* cars I've ever owned. I will be staying with Audi for the forseeable future as every other car I've owned has been riddled with faults.
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Paul Norris wrote:

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The engine management system would drop into safe mode at motorway speeds and only allow 20mph - very scary. Happened 3 times in less than 10 months. It would then run really rough until Audi reset the engine management system so I had to wait up to three hours each time for Audi Recivery to collect the car. Every time they could find no fault, even though they kept the car for over 6 weeks in total. Audi UK were no help either. Also had the usual coil pack failure (3 out of 4 in one go). The car also had trim problems, clips breaking, windscreen washer hoses coming off (2 hours to fix!!) etc. etc.
On top of all that it was not a particulalry good drive - poor steering feedback. Always felt slighty remote from what the car was doing and the performance for a 225BHP engine was not particulalry startling even running it on the recommended Super unleaded. My wifes 10 year 3.0L Spider with less power and more weight could leave it standing at any speed. I covered 25,000 miles in thirteen months but this should have been closer to 36,000 if it had been on the road long enough.
There were some good points. The Recaro seats were great for my back (though the back seats were diabolically uncomfortable, being only very thin pads over the bodywork). The brakes worked well and the grip off the line was excellent.
At over 600 a month lease charges I decided this was very poor value for money and threw the car back at the leasing company as it was not fit for purpose. When they read the list of problems thay did not argue and sold it immediatley. Methinks they had experienced problems with these before. 600 and I ended up driving Vectras as the Audi supplied replacement car - great Audi experience.
I would caution anybody about the S3 as it is a very complicated car and you are totally reliant on Audi garages to fix it and I found they new little about the real workings of the car. They were very expensive to buy and very expensive to run - you have been warned. On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 14:49:57 GMT, Chris Bartram

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Paul Norris wrote:

I'd agree with that a little, based on my A3, but a lot of modern cars are like that, I find, and actual handling is pretty good. I recently had a BMW 120 hire car. The steering feedback was great (a little too good on the motorway- very direct), but I hated almost everything else. My wife's VW Lupo also feels a bit remote at times.

not as good as recaros. I've never sat in the back!

Now that isn't good. They might have at least supplied a VAG car...
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