Audi A3 8P, one of the best-selling cars from Germoney. Audi A3 8P, the premium car of the common man. Why it sold so well and what you should look out for when buying a used one, you can find out in today’s article.
The first generation Audi A3 was a decent car, which did its job admirably. Coming with a galvanized bodywork and engines from the upper area of the market, the old A3 was Audi’s first attempt to enter the hatchback market. A successful experiment, which managed to propel the Audi A3 8P in the area of classic cars.
Audi A3 8P – I’m too good for a Golf, too poor for an A4
The Audi A3 8P was built on the Golf V platform, a platform shared with the Seat Leon 1P and Skoda Octavia II. VW Golf was anyway the official car of those who wanted to buy a car but did not know which one exactly. Generally driven by the advice of friends and the internet, many people went for the Golf and lived relaxed for 5 years knowing that they had the the warranty of german quality on their side. But what about those people who want something more than a Golf but still don’t want to spend too much? Here I am referring strictly to regular non-car people, not to car enthusiasts because there are many sports alternatives that are even cheaper than the Audi A3 8P. But for the average person, who wants a luxury hatchback, the Audi A3 8P has come as a final step in the world of 2005. And even so, the Audi A3 8P was for a long time the most expensive hatchback you could buy. Until the arrival of the new A Class from Mercedes, the only rival in terms of price was the BMW 1 Series, only that the Audi A3 8P was always better equipped than the 1 Series, money for money. More reliable, better equipped.
What’s does the Audi A3 8P bring to the table compared to the Golf V?
Maybe on the telly it is enough to come with a million dollar smile and with some fancier clothing, but when you talk about a few thousand euros extra, you have to come up with something extra.
- The overall quality of the interiors is far superior to the Golf V. If the plastic V falls off at the first closing of the door, the Audi A3 8P has plastics that only a 4-year-old can break.
- The “Sportback” body style is available for the first time, which is halfway between hatchback and station wagon. It looks better as a hatchback and is almost as practical as a station wagon.
Audi A3 8P Engines
- 1.2 TSI of 105 horsepower – One of the first engines german engines to use petrol and is aided by a turbocharger, it naturally suffers from the issues of first-generation TSIs. But we will discuss about them in the general issues section. A tormented engine, full of problems and generally weak. It’s like hiring a biker to give out samples of radler beer at a hypermarket.
- 1.4 TFSI of 125 horsepower – If I were to recommend this engine to you, I should immediately hand over my license and any claim to be a connoisseur of the automotive world. I would put this engine next to the 1.6 HDI from Peugeot as a reliability. Things do pick up for alot better starting from 2013, but the 8P got retired by then.
- 1.6 MPI of 102 horsepower – The same petrol engine we are used to in the VAG group, this engine is lacking pretentions, performance or issues. Ideal for the city driver, with it’s only real concern being the oil consumption. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a proper VAG product.
- 1.6 FSI of 115 horsepower – The same 1.6 MPI that received an13 extra horsepower but runs on 98 petrol and in case you want to make an LPG conversion it will still run 70% on LPG and 30% on petrol so you don’t save much. Good job VW with this FSI system.
- 1.8 TFSI of 160 horsepower – The old 1.8T also received the FSI system. There are some problems with the timing chain for the first units but it’s mostly famous for chuggind down large ammounts of oil, but overall a fantastic engine.
- 2.0 FSI of 150 horsepower – The debate between 2.0 FSI and 1.8 TFSI is so intense and wide-ranging that I will let you argue between yourselves. 2.0 FSI is more reliable but marginally slower than 1.8 TFSI and marginally thirstier. I personally prefer FSI 2.0 for older but more robust technology.
- 2.0 TFSI of 200 and 265 horsepower – I don’t even know what this engine consumes more: petrol or oil? A fantastic engine, but you should always have oil canisters in the trunk. Attention, canisters. Well done. Canister. Apparently in Germany a consumption of 1 liter of oil per 1000 km is in operating parameters. Basically, a Bucharest – Milan – Bucharest trip will cost you almost 4 liters of oil. Good luck with sitting around in the parking lot so that the engine cools down so you may top it up with oil every 30 minutes.
- 2.5 TFSI of 340 horsepower – Available only on RS3, this en… I soiled myself, sorry, I need to go to the bathroom.
- 3.2 V6 of 250 horsepower – I don’t know who thought of mouting a 3.2 V6 petrol on the Audi A3 8P, but it’s good to know that wacky people are still freely roaming the streets and the car factories. A reliable, old-fashioned engine that suffers only from the general problem of VW petrol engines from this period.
- 1.6 TDI of 90 and 105 horsepower – I really threw this engine under the train when I talked about it in the VW Golf VI article. And for the Audi A3 8P, the story is no different: If it is driven as little as 100 meters in the city, its injectors, EGR and turbo will fail. There are many cases of EGRs failling in less than 10,000km.
- 1.9 TDI of 105 horsepower – The Balkans’ favorite engine returns to the Audi A3 8P. Available only in the 105 horsepower version, the classic 1.9 TDI is reliable, economical and powerless. If you can come to terms with the sound of gravel falling from the wheelbarrow, then the 1.9 TDI is a decent engine. It doesn’t have anything to do with the sporty look of the Audi A3 8P, but for average people it’s a decent engine. Keep in mind that it is the only single-mass flywheel diesel engine from the line-up. Remember that.
- 2.0 TDI of 140 and 170 horsepower – Finally something delicious. If the Passat B6 and A4 B7 have serious issues with the oil pump balancer shaft, the 2.0 TDI on the Audi A3 8P is really decent and reliable. Instead, pay attention to the common issues of the diesel engines.
Audi A3 8P General Issues
- Radiators leak liquid that like beer on a T-shirt. Constantly check the coolant level and if you have coolant leaks, then you will soon have a radiator leak.
- The S-Tronic, which is actually a DSG named differently by Audi in order to take your eyes and money, needs an oil and microfilter change every 60,000 km. Moreover, the Mechatronic unit has a heart attack and dies, leaving you with in your naked butt and with an invoice of several hundred euros. In 2008 the transition from DSG6 to DSG7 was made, which is much more reliable. However, when the engine is cold started, that’s when the autobox should be checked to see if it is jerking or on it’s last legs.
- The double mass flywheel wears out faster than you would like, and the costs are definatelly not to your liking. The issue is especially noticeable at 2.0 TDI, and the repair bill will shoot you in the testicles that will make you stay in a coma for a few weeks.
- The ABS pump also breaks down faster than you would like. If you have a 1.9 TDI or a 1.6 MPI you will never go fast enough to need ABS. If you have a 1.2 TSI or 1.6 TDI you will not need ABS because you will never get out of the repair garage. But for the rest of the engines, especially the sporty 2.0 TDI, 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TFSI, it’s good to consider.
- TSI turbocharged petrol engines have serious issues with timing chain tensioners. Tensioners no longer work properly, the timing chain stretches and goes for a stroll straight into the engine. You don’t have to be a mechanic to realize what happens when a timing chain enters a moving engine. Special mention for 3.2 V6, which has 2 tensioners, 2 timing chains and issues with both of them. It’s not TSI and it’s not even popular on the Audi A3 8P, but it’s good to know. The 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI engines are to be avoided altogether. The next generation went to the timing belt tech and they fixed the problem, but for these 2 engines stay away from a vegetarian who has just quit smoking and will preach now how you can be live without cigarettes, being a raw vegan.
- A fairly common issue with the Octavia II and present in the Audi A3 8P is the A/C compressor, especially Valeo made ones.
- The glove box is held by 2 pieces of plastic thinner than the legs of the women found in Harrods, legs that are also made of plastic.
Audi A3 8P Verdict
The Audi A3 8P still remains a beautiful car as a second-hand purchase. Even though it has an above average price, the car has proven to be decent and popular. Whatever configuration you want for the Audi A3 8P, you will find it. You just have to be careful with the configuration i.e. engine and transmission choices. I like it and I can recommend it with confidence, despite the slightly higher price. Instead, pay attention to the fact that the Audi A3 8P is a popular car and is heavily sold by car parks from dubious, hairy chested men. Extreme attention to cars bought from dubious, hairy chested men, because you do not want to know what lengths they are willing to go for 100 euros.
Which engines do I recommend? For petrol I recommend 1.8 TFSI or 2.0 FSI, and for diesel I recommend 2.0 TDI. 1.9 TDI is more economical and reliable, but it really can’t match up with the sportiness of the Audi A3 8P.