08-02-2006, 09:58 AM
I'm getting a new car sometime this year and I'm having an extremely difficult time deciding what to get. It has to be something fun to drive (ie. fast, handle well), affordable (<$22k), and reliable. I'm looking at a number of different cars, none are really in the same class. WRX, Legacy GT, RSX Type-S, GTI. I'd like to stay in the German family but I might end up going Japanese for the reliablity. Anyways, my question is how does the A3 compare to the A4? Thanks.
08-02-2006, 10:12 AM
alert and on it's toes.
You have a nice list of cars. Here's a few thoughts.
WRX - cheap interior, but if you have a canyon to carve every day, fantastic tool.
Legacy GT - much better interior, but isn't the stick going away for this model? If so, the gearing of the auto has huge holes in the power delivery.
RSX - Isn't Honda pulling the plug on this car? If so, no resale.
08-02-2006, 10:30 AM
Thus far very few people miss having quattro - since the trade-off is the heavier and less easily modded VR6 engine. However, some people have noted that at the track the Quattro cars are much better planted than even the cars with the aftermarket mechanical limited slip.
They gave me an A4 laoner when I took my car in for service. Couldn't wait to get the A3 back. Yes, the A4 is a better cruiser, and the interior is slightly nicer, but I much prefer the lively feel of the A3.
as my A3 is getting service for a dead A/C. The A3 is definitely more responsive and nimble. The A4 seems to have a slightly quieter ride, but less noticable power with the 2.0TQ engine compared to the 2.0T in the A3. Perhaps the weight difference has something to do with this.
I don't know if I would say the A4 interior is noticably nicer. The inner door sills seem lined with hard plastic on the A3, while the A4 has softer material (similar to what the dash on the A3 is made of). The A4 seems to have more rubbery dash than the A3. Otherwise the trim seems comparable.
I see no noticable difference between the interior space between the two models.
08-02-2006, 05:51 PM
I've driven an A4 3.0q for three years and will swap for an A3 2.0 DSG in Sept. I drove both A3s and strongly preferred the 2.0, even though I had assumed the opposite before testing them out. The A3 reminds me of a cross between my old TT and my old Jetta. But I like torquey turbo engines and lightweight cars. Only way to tell is to try them both.
08-02-2006, 10:08 PM
Yeah I def. want the 2.0t. I have the 3.0L on my A4 now and hate that there are very limited performance upgrades for the n/a engine. I'm in need of forced induction! How well does the A3 deal with torque steer though? Bad understeer on turns? Those things are what worries me about getting a front wheel drive car.
Matt in SoCal
08-02-2006, 11:33 PM
the RSX and GTI are your only options. The others are more expensive.
08-03-2006, 05:45 AM
From experience (both with a B6 Avant and a B7 Sedan), the A3 and A4 are different animals.
The A3 definitely feels lighter on its feet, while the A4 (with Quattro) feels more sure footed. Of course, an A3 wit Quattro would fix that.
08-03-2006, 09:14 AM
less wheel spin off the line and perhaps a bit less torque steer since power output can be slightly better modulated. Rear anti-sway bar helps understeer.