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9-3SS vs. A3

2941 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fuzzyE
So this weekend I testdrove the new Audi A3. I wasn't really interested in the car that much, but wanted to get the 33 free iTunes songs.

Well the A3 Sport I drove was equipped with everything except navi and the DSG. It has the new VAG FSI 2.0T. And sticker price was $31,585.

Wow, I was impressed. Here are some observations when compared to my Linear 9-3SS.

1. Steering was very, very light at low speeds, a little light even at speed. It is very accurate, but little feedback as far as the road surface. Overall though, I think I am a much bigger fan of the SS's steering.

2. Suspension control and dampening was excellent. Much superior to the SS. I drove the same road with my 9-3 afterwards and was very disappointed. The 9-3 has way too many clunks, etc. from surface imperfections and potholes. The A3 (FrontTrack - no quattro until fall) was much more nuetral and quick to change directions.

3. The VAG 2.0T is amazing. For as much as I diliked the 1.8T, I LOVE the 2.0T. I had driven it and liked it in the A4, but wow, it really shines in the A3. Almost no detectable turbo lag. Much less than my Linear. The A3 revs much more urgently and has one of the best sounding four bangers I have ever heard. I am programing my PPC today, so I really hope it makes me happy!

4. The transmission in the A3 is nice. It's a close ratio six speed, and works rather well. Although at times it was a bit notchy. I think I like the five speed in my Linear better. Just a little smoother. The clutch take-up on the A3 seemed very abrupt. The 9-3 has a much more control of the clutch.

5. Interior on the A3 is great. I like the leather, and the bolsters on the sport seats are great ( I saw one with the cloth seats - looks very low rent). I actually liked the A3 better than the interior on the A4. It's very simple, but also very intuitive. I liked the automatic climate controls. Pretty cool. You can tell, it's not an uplevel car, but the materials seem to be of excellent quality. Seems a little more VW than Audi, but not bad. I think I like my 9-3 interior better though. Just so different from everything out there. It just looks cooler!

6. Exterior looks... well it's a hatchback. You either love it or hate it. I am a hatch fan, but the 9-3 is way better looking IMO. It had the new 16 spoke 17" wheels. They looked very nice. It also has the new Audi trapezoid grille. I personally am not a big fan, but on the black A3 I drove, it kind of disappeared.

Anyway, just thought I would share. I went in not expecting much, but ended up very impressed. The only place I think the 9-3 is really hurting in comparison to the Audi is in the suspension department. I don't know if that can be remidied with aftermarket dampers? But it definitely isn't in the same class in that regard.
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Thanks for the tip on the free itunes! :cheesy:
I took my test drive to collect on the 33 free itunes. The engine felt smooth and as stated by the parent the lag was non existent. Nice car. Clean interior. ZERO rear leg space. I'm a freak though at 6'5"

The salesman was a bit weird though.

After the drive I parked the car and we made idle chit chat. Finally he akwardly began, "Yeah, I think when SAAB sold to GM somehow they lost something special. The same can be said of Volvo when it sold to Ford. At least with Audi it's a German car with german parts built in Germany. It's completely untainted. HILE HITLER!"

Ok, ok. So I added the Hitler part, but toward the end of the test run it was definately the vibe that I was getting from him. Funny though that his sentiment is carried over with SAAB afficianados. A SAAB after all isn't a REAL SAAB unless it's crafted, made and ultimately desired by the supreme Swedish race. And please, could we start making SAABs again purely of SAAB components and knock off this parts sharing? It's ruining the brand's purity.

Woah there. I didn't realize it left that bad a taste in my mouth.

Anyway, the man made the German statement and I found myself nervously fumble and mention my mom owned a German engineered Benz. I won't be going back there. NICE engine though. Weird sales tactic. :roll:
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