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    Thread: Audi A3 2.0T vs. Golf GTI ?

    1. 02-03-2009 01:14 AM #1
      Hi guys,

      I'm looking to add another vehicle to the fleet in the next few months. I currently have a supercharged BMW and a motorcycle (the fun toys). The wife has the practical vehicle, i.e. a Merc ML320.

      The Merc has 106k miles now and we want to just keep it for winter driving and hauling stuff. We're not going to sell it since we wouldn't get much for it anyway and the car still has plenty of life left.

      Anyway, we're looking to add a daily driver, which will be the wife's main car. Something reliable, fun and has good gas mileage. I was thinking about Mazda 3, Audi A3 2.0T or VW GTI (want a hatch). I like the classy look of the A3 but love the sportiness and retro interior of the GTI. Since it has to be an auto (wife can't drive a manual), the manu-auto of the Golf GTI seems a good option (so, it's still somewhat fun for me as well ). Oh yeah, I'm also considering the Mazda 3 since it is a fun car and reliable but the heart is really with the two Germans...

      So, question:
      * Is the reliability of the A3 and GTI very comparable?
      * What are the main things that break down on the GTI?

      I tend to keep my vehicles for an extended period of time, so if it is a problem car, probably not the best idea.

      Any other thoughts? I really like on in Candy White btw...



      Modified by luciano136 at 10:15 PM 2-2-2009


    2. Member VdubVSHonda's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 02:01 AM #2
      get a tsi gti... all the defects from the fsi motor were fixed... i bought one and i love it

    3. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 02:54 AM #3
      Consumer Reports rates the 2.5 Rabbit higher than average Toyotas or Hondas. Thus, with the totally revised, new 2.0T (that appears to get rid of all the previous weaknesses) the GTI should be one of the most reliable cars out there.

      Also, you will get much, much better mileage than with the MS3, and the GTI (and A3) are better highway cruisers.

      The A3 and GTI are pretty similar. The A3 has a little less room in the back seat, but slightly more in the hatch. Service is better (unless you know a good local VW place - they do exist), but you pay for it in higher purchase price. The GTI is slightly sportier, but the 2.0T A3 is available with AWD, if you like that.


      Modified by feels_road at 11:55 PM 2-2-2009

      Aung San Suu Kyi

    4. 02-03-2009 06:09 AM #4
      You can get the A3 with 2.0T and AWD - corners like it's on rails. Plus it's a nicer drive than the GTI (smoother and quieter). If you've got the $$, go Audi. The GTI is more of a bad-boy toy, with the honeycomb and red striped grille and interlagos...

    5. 02-03-2009 11:49 AM #5

      Thanks guys! So, what model year has the "revised new 2.0T" you guys are talking about?

      I also hear a lot of rumors about electrical problems in Audi's, especially when your reach 70k miles orso. Just wondering if that is really true and whether it is the same thing with the VW's ?

      Having a 6 speed would actually be cool as well since a lot of the driving will he hwy (non traffic).


    6. 02-03-2009 11:54 AM #6
      Quote, originally posted by luciano136 »

      Thanks guys! So, what model year has the "revised new 2.0T" you guys are talking about?

      I also hear a lot of rumors about electrical problems in Audi's, especially when your reach 70k miles orso. Just wondering if that is really true and whether it is the same thing with the VW's ?

      The newer TSI motor was phased in during the 2008 MY. All 2009's have it.

      In my experience with multiple Audi's those electrical problems have dramatically decreased over the past 5+ years. And if/when electrical gremlins do appear its often on the newer gadgets, which really the A3 doesn't have too many of.


    7. 02-03-2009 12:34 PM #7

      Gotcha. I was actually looking to buy used. Maybe a 2007 orso. What are the main issues there?

    8. 02-03-2009 12:39 PM #8
      If you go used, go with the A3 IMO

    9. 02-03-2009 12:42 PM #9

      Why do you think the A3 is better used?

      It's just that you can find low mileage cars that are practically new (10k orso) but are already a few thousands cheaper than new. I've never bought a new car in my life...


    10. Member applen's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 12:42 PM #10
      2007 is the older engine type (fsi, which is what i have) you have to get into the '08s to get the tsi. i'm almost at 40k and have had no issues. i expect to keep this one for a while too.

      i'm not sure on this but i think you have to get a pretty new A3 to get the 2.0T with AWD... as it was only an option on the V6 when the A3 first came over to the states.


    11. Member Buran's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 12:49 PM #11
      The 2.0T quattro is a really new thing - talked to an Audi salesguy here who said they're just starting to come in. If I buy another new or lightly used vehicle, that will probably be it -- I love the 2.0T, the DSG, and it would be nice to have AWD for those times when there's snow/slush/rain on the ground. However, I'm more than pleased with my FWD GTI FSI, am used to driving in inclement weather, and the 2007 package 2 was a great car for the money -- sadly you have to get a package or two to get the A3 the way I like it and the price shoots up quite a bit.

      I'd wait a bit and then pick up the 2.0T quattro. Even better, if you can pause for a year or two and get one used, you'll get even more car for your money. But if you don't expect a lot of inclement-weather use, a GTI would be fine.

      I haven't had any problems with the FSI engine. It's used a small amount of oil but that's to be expected with almost any car (2qt total since new -- 26000 km now) -- just check it every third fillup, if not more often, and when it's low, top it up with VW 502-meeting oil (I used Castrol Syntec).


    12. 02-03-2009 12:53 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by luciano136 »

      Why do you think the A3 is better used?

      It's just that you can find low mileage cars that are practically new (10k orso) but are already a few thousands cheaper than new. I've never bought a new car in my life...

      1) AWD
      2) More quiet, yet sporty
      3) It's not that the A3 is more reliable than the GTi... it's just less un-reliable, lol


    13. 02-03-2009 01:01 PM #13

      Well, I live in southern CA, so I REALLY don't have the need for AWD. I'd rather have just FWD and better gas mileage

      I guess I could buy a 10y 100k miles extended warranty if it's worth it?

      Or should I just go Mazda 3?


    14. 02-03-2009 01:03 PM #14
      I'm not sure what you're looking to spend, but the cheapest new car you can buy with the 2.0T tsi motor and the DSG tranny is the '09 Jetta Wolfsburg. Not a hatch, but it's pretty flexible on the inside. The trunk is very good size - 16 cubic feet - and the rear seat is split 60/40. fwiw, I got 28.4 mpg on my last tank.

      Here's a low price I found on the internet with a quick search - $20,399 includes freight!

      http://www.stohlman-vw.com/Veh...93873


    15. 02-03-2009 01:08 PM #15
      I assume you're talking about the Mazdaspeed 3 when you say Mazda 3? If so, it's also a good car, very fast, but the design is so common, even the MSP3 looks almost exactly like the other Mazda 3s

    16. 02-03-2009 01:15 PM #16

      Can't even get the Mazdaspeed since they only make them in manual. I know they are probably the best value and fun to drive but man, the styling is just so boring compared the the Golf and A3 ...


    17. 02-03-2009 01:17 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by MkV_2.5 »

      1) AWD - Only available beginning MY 2009
      2) More quiet, less sporty - corrected
      3) It's not that the A3 is more reliable than the GTi... it's just less un-reliable, lol - right lol, since they're mechanically identical one's powertrain can't be any more or less reliable than the other

      OP, the FSI motor found in early build 2008's and previous is still a solid motor. It has a few known weaknesses, but most are easily remedied:
      -DV's have a tendency to fail, even on stock cars. Replacements are cheap and can be done by most anyone.
      -PCV valve is weak, there are a number of solutions on the market.
      -Cam lobe wear, pretty much if the motor has a version "A" cam it wasn't hardened properly and can wear and lead to fueling issues over time. If you have a "B" version its not much reason for concern.
      -Like all direct injection motors its hard on oil, fuel dilution is an issue. If you plan to keep it purring for many miles, go with a shorter OCI, like every 5k miles instead of the VW recommended 10k.

      Its still a very good motor, and I wouldn't avoid a car simply because of it. The 2.0T in our '07 A4 has been problem free, including DV for example, and its been chipped for nearly 20k miles.


    18. 02-03-2009 01:51 PM #18

      Thanks again!! What is Cam lobe wear and how can it be prevented or fixed? If most fixes aren't too expensive, I don't have a huge problem with it. I'm an office guy but do a few things myself. I change the oil on my BMW every 3k (because of the SC) and was planning on 5k oil changes on this motor. I do it myself anyway (=cheap).

      One of the main issues of my Z3 btw, is the waterpump. It simply fails around 50-60k but you can get a great aftermarket for $180 that will last a lifetime. It's things like this I like to know about.

      I also have a great independent mechanic that can work on them for things that are more involved.

      With the ML for example, I found replacements parts to be really expensive, much more even than BMW.


    19. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 04:29 PM #19
      Cam lobe wear is really rare or non-existent on all but an initial batch of early GTIs. It affects the fuel pump and is related to a non-ideal design on how that is driven by the cam. As bcze1 said, don't worry too much which engine you get, perhaps get a CPOed one - those sometimes give you better interest rates, anyway.

      However, if you can find an early 2008 with the "TSI" engine (says so on the engine cover) that is in your price range, that would be the way to go, since it is completely revised and generally deemed to be the better, version 2.0 2.0T!

      Aung San Suu Kyi

    20. 02-03-2009 06:35 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by luciano136 »

      Why do you think the A3 is better used?

      Better dealer service.


    21. 02-03-2009 06:37 PM #21

      In that case, I'm not worried, I never go to the stealer . I have a local independent shop specialized in a few euro brands.

    22. Member windycityvdub's Avatar
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      02-03-2009 06:43 PM #22
      Be aware the GTI is at the end of its life cycle, so if you are ok with buying the old model and having a brand-new and improved one come out in a few months, it shouldn't matter to you.
      The A3 was just refreshed with a new look, which I think is a lot better then last year's.

    23. 02-03-2009 06:54 PM #23

      It looks like all of them (including Mazda) are bringing out new models. I don't really care too much. When you keep a vehicle for a long time, its resale value is pretty much the same anyway. All that matters, is that I like the model that I'm buying. That said, the current Golf V hasn't been around in the US for very long though?! Wasn't it introduced in '06 here?

    24. 02-06-2009 06:56 PM #24

      Any other opinions

    25. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      02-06-2009 08:20 PM #25
      Just buy a car already - the country needs you!
      Aung San Suu Kyi

    26. 02-06-2009 08:38 PM #26

      Haha! I want to but need to wait how my job situation will evolve. My current company is going out of business

      The Mazda seems the most reliable but I really think I might end up with the GTI. It's such a classic! When I grew up and lived in Europe, the 3 fun hatches were the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Golf GTI and the Opel Corsa GSI.

      You know how it is, you always like the things you grew up with.


    27. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      02-06-2009 11:09 PM #27
      I know what you are talking about.

      At any rate, given CR's data and the recent engine improvements with the GTI, I don't think there is any reliability difference between the Mazda and the GTI, at all. If anything, I would trust the GTI more, long run (after 100,000 miles, or so).

      Aung San Suu Kyi

    28. Member jmj's Avatar
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      02-07-2009 10:16 AM #28
      I have an 06 GTI with the FSI motor, about 76K miles. No DV issues, no cam lobe issues. Did my brakes all around for about $300. If you do your own maintenance (as I do), I wouldn't hesitate to get one if the price is right.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    29. Member aeproberts21's Avatar
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      02-07-2009 10:46 AM #29
      Sorry to hijack, but what is the motor in the 2008 a4. Did they make the switch to the TFSI engine in that powertrain as well?
      "Never Drive Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly"

    30. Member <Platypus='s Avatar
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      02-07-2009 12:14 PM #30
      07 GTi; Automobile Magazine car of the year, Car and Driver Top Ten, Pop Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award, Edmunds, Top Gear, Motor Trend, Motor Week all with very favorable ratings... Mine's been great so far.
      "Of course, but I can also downill ski and figure skate..."

    31. 02-07-2009 12:23 PM #31
      I've had both an A3 and have a GTI. I agree that the A3 has a more prestigeous feel about it, but the ride IMHO wasn't as good as the GTI. The Audi will cost more for what is basically the same car with a bland exterior. The A3 also had to have the mechatronics unit replaced under warranty and the GTI, so far, has been fine.
      Golf .:R DSG.....OD HTAGTX3071R.....11.08 @ 124.55mph

    32. 02-07-2009 03:55 PM #32

      Unless I really don't like the way it drives, I think I might be sold on the GTI. Since I'm in socal and the car will spend a lot of time outside, I always prefer a white car and the white GTI's don't seem very hard to find.

      A few other quick questions:
      * How's the stock audi system? Decent? I know it really sucked on my BMW.
      * The trunk seems to be the smallest of the three. Does it have the 60/40 split for the rear seats? Not too big of a deal since we will keep our old Merc ML for hauling crap but just wondering.


    33. 02-07-2009 04:10 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by luciano136 »

      Unless I really don't like the way it drives, I think I might be sold on the GTI. Since I'm in socal and the car will spend a lot of time outside, I always prefer a white car and the white GTI's don't seem very hard to find.

      A few other quick questions:
      * How's the stock audi system? Decent? I know it really sucked on my BMW.
      * The trunk seems to be the smallest of the three. Does it have the 60/40 split for the rear seats? Not too big of a deal since we will keep our old Merc ML for hauling crap but just wondering.

      we have both cars too.

      i have no idea the audio system on the newer model but im pretty happy with stock audio system. the gti stock system is horrible compare to a3

      the back seat is 60/40 fold down. not flat but close enough.

      the sport pkg on my a3 06 is kinda horrible when i think about it. more body roll vs the gti and the ride quality is ok i guess.

      the reason i got it is the sport is the seat LOL
      but, put some aftermarket rear sway bar or lowering spring , or even better co then the a3 is fun little car

      btw the gti trunk is somewhat wider than a3 ( especially when you carry something tall like giant luggage.

      both cars is pretty good @ stock. i just think gti is better value for the money, unless you wana roll in an AUDI





      Modified by T1noandaudi at 1:15 PM 2-7-2009


    34. Member aeproberts21's Avatar
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      02-07-2009 06:36 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by luciano136 »

      Unless I really don't like the way it drives, I think I might be sold on the GTI. Since I'm in socal and the car will spend a lot of time outside, I always prefer a white car and the white GTI's don't seem very hard to find.

      A few other quick questions:
      * How's the stock audi system? Decent? I know it really sucked on my BMW.
      * The trunk seems to be the smallest of the three. Does it have the 60/40 split for the rear seats? Not too big of a deal since we will keep our old Merc ML for hauling crap but just wondering.

      You actually nailed one of my big complaint about the GTI. The stereo is terrible unless you add some power.

      "Never Drive Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly"

    35. 02-07-2009 06:47 PM #35

      So, do they have an optional factory stereo upgrade that's better? If they have them, I could just get one that already has it.

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