This week we’re looking at the 2006 Audi A3 3.2 S Quattro DSG6. If you’ve read previous reviews of mine on cars with DSG you know my feeling is that it is Bad News. Booo to Audi! Be very careful about accepting that Direct Shift Gearbox. Watch for how it works when you test drive the car and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve asked others if I’m koo koo about DSG. Car guys agree with my concerns. Try to parallel park (preferably downhill) for example and when you put it in reverse be sure there isn’t a car behind you.
Anyway aside from the lousy transmission it is truly a nice car. Oh heck I forgot to find out if a regular automatic trans is available. What with the hype they’re throwing out about how good the DSG trans is they may not even offer an option beside manual transmission. Let me know.
I was a taken aback at the interest people have shown in this car. Sometimes people are obvious in their interest in the cars I test as they were with this Audi. Several people actually took the time to get my attention and say how much they liked the car. Chrysler’s PT Cruiser was also one of those that turned heads when first introduced. Now they are a very common sight on the roads, but you know – they still turn heads.
Handling & Performance:
German engineering is quite superb in handling. That is perhaps the most noticeable quality of these designed for the Autobahn cars. I’ve owned a couple of Mercedes Benz cars over the years and developed a bias in favor of German cars generally, especially when it comes to how they handle. My Jewish boss got me started and when I asked why he supported German cars (Hitler and all that) his reply – I’m compelled to. Mercedes is the Germans legacy to the Jews. Handle that one.
Ok but it doesn’t instantly grab me. It will take a little time to warm up to.
Fit and Finish:
Very good but I did notice a design deficiency of the latch on the moon roof sunshade. It was broken and clearly not strong enough. I was startled when it let lose and slammed loudly from the spring-loaded mechanism. Nice thought but not well engineered.
Not so good. Sure it has a generous supply of standard equipment included but the price reflects that. I’m always concerned that too much of the price tag is based on the “Badge” alone. But then I’m biased. Owning a foreign car repair shop for many years made me cautious about recommending Audi’s of the past. Cost, after all, has to include the cost to repair and maintain them. BMW and Audi were always real spendy.
I have to tell you Audi is one of less than a handful of carmakers who will allow auto up and down power windows on all windows. Truly very convenient and it is amazing to me other car makers fail to trust us to be mature enough not to cut our heads off while putting the windows up. Hello! We’re not really all that stupid… are we? Anyway Audi provides “Pinch Protection” so we don’t hurt ourselves.
If it appeals to you here are a few considerations. Don’t get the DSG transmission; determine if the Audi badge is worth the extra dough over the competition and test drive the small list of competitors listed here.
Audi A3 $25-34,000, Pontiac Vibe $16-20,000, Toyota Matrix $15-19,000, Mazda 3 $14-19,000, Saab 9-2X $23-27,000, Subaru Impreza Wagon $18-27,000, Acura TSX $28-30,000, Lexus IS 300 Sport Cross $31,105.
Great array of standard equipment (that you’ll pay for in the MSRP), auto up and down power windows and it handles wonderfully.
DSG transmission (truly bad news), broken latch on the sunshade (design flaw), front sun visors don’t extend, jerky brakes and throttle (due to the transmission clutch system) and controls are overly complicated.
3.2 liter 250 hp 6 cylinder engine, 6-speed DSG Direct Shift Gearbox auto trans, all wheel drive, power ABS anti-lock braking system, ESP (Electronic Stabilization Program), 17” alloy wheels, compact spare tire, sport suspension, fog lights, power driver seat with lumbar support, center console w/ 2 power outlets (or his and her cell phone power slots), auto dual zone climate control, power windows with one touch up and down w/ power locks, electronic cruise control, 3-spoke multi function steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seat, Bose sound system w/ 6 in-dash CD player, electronic fuel door release, sport leather seats, front and side airbags with curtain bags, power mirrors, auto door locking, anti theft alarm system, child anchors and tethers, 4 year / 50,000 mile maintenance protection and limited warranty with 12 year corrosion protection and 4 year 24 hour roadside assistance.
21 City and 27 Highway MPG
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