Audi A3 (2003 – 2008) Review

Audi A3 (2003 – 2008) At A Glance


+Classy hatchback with a premium interior. Wide choice of engines including efficient TDI models. quattro models corner sharply. S3 can be a blast to drive.

-All engines still belt cam. Oil pump problems with 2.0 TDI.

Outside, its chunky good looking and Audi-like. First with the new corporate two-tier Audi grille, like the Nuvolari concept car. Inside, you get a fully adjustable driving position and an interior that quietly shouts quality. Getting comfortable takes no time at all and, unlike some former Audis, you dont feel the need to re-adjust yourself afterwards.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

What's causing my brakes to make a hissing noise?
"My 2007 Audi A3 2.0 TDI quattro has started making a hissing noise when the brake pedal is depressed. It recently had a service, with new discs and pads all round. The brakes seem to be as efficient as they should be though. Any idea what's causing the sound? "
I would guess the servo. When they sit in the bulkhead vent well they can rust on the underside. Obviously also worth checking the vacuum pipe to the servo and, because it's a diesel and needs a brake vacuum pump, check the pump as well.
Answered by Honest John
How can I remove windscreen scratches?
"I've noticed recently that, on my Audi A3, there's a scratch on the interior of the windscreen. It is fairly deep, what can be done to get rid of it? Or at least try and lessen the damage?"
Nothing can be done apart from a new windscreen.
Answered by Honest John
Audi A3 vs Honda Civic - which is the better used buy?
"I am thinking of buying a used car; however, I can't decide between a 2005 Audi A3 2.0 diesel with 151,000 on the clock for £1500 or a Honda Civic (same year) with 79,000 on the clock for £1100. Can you help me decide? "
If the Civic is a 1.4 petro, 1.6 petrol or 1.7 diesel it will need a timing belt, tensioners and waterpump. If it's a 2.0 litre Type S that's chain cam so it doesn't. Could be lots of expensive problems with the Audi and it, too, needs a timing belt, tensioners and waterpump if they haven[t been replaced in the last 50k miles.
Answered by Honest John
Should I fit 17-inch wheels to my A3?
"I own a 2008 Audi A3. Recently I have been thinking of changing tyres from 16-inch to 17-inch, along with wheel rims. Would like to know if this will cause any issues which affects mileage and performance of the car?"
The only reason to do that is bling. You will suffer a worse ride, a greater likelihood of rim and tyre damage, faster tyre wear and more expensive tyres. If you really want to improve your A3, fit 205/55 R16 Michelin Cross Climate tyres.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Audi A3 (2003 – 2008) cost?