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A3 - great for restless father with urban family of 4 by Papa needs a race car on 01/15/2009. Trim: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T DSG, Owned 1 year.
Pros: See Overall Review below for my main 6 points. Some extras I like: Nice standard stereo -- it's not as fancy as the Acura ELS, but radio and standard CDs sound very good. Open sky sunroof -- I was shopping for an A3 without this feature, but I really enjoy having it. It's not summer yet - I may feel the heat later. The DSG transmission -- a true tech wonder. It has solved the dilemma of allowing my wife to drive my car, but I do miss a stick. Buying this car used with a dealer CPO backing made it a reasonable price and gave me some additional warranty to back up the press reports that Audi reliability has improved since the year 2000. So far that appears to be true.
Cons: I shopped hard for an American made car, whether Big 3 or foreign brand. None of them fit my six criteria. I wish Ford & GM would offer US customers some of the small but sharp cars that they sell in Europe. Wear can show on the interior of this car, e.g. the aluminum trim shows dings and scrapes, and one panel on the driver seat began to peel (fixed by dealer). I have seen a couple of small Audi eletrical gremlins in the radio controls, though neither has persisted.
Overall review: As a father with a family of 4 living in the city, I searched pretty hard to find a car that could meet all my needs but without charging me for things I don't need or want. The A3 2.0t offers a combination I couldn't find in any other car: (1) small, manueverable, sporty, (2) enough HP for fun, (3) luxurious interior, (4) seats 4 in comfort, (5) safety, (6) reasonable fuel mileage. The next best choice was a Mini Clubman (which has 1, 2, 6 and most of 3 and 5). I'm very happy so far with my A3 on all 6 points.
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