Used Cars A3

Published on October 31st, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Audi A3 Sedan 1.4TFSI Used Buy Review

Is the A3 compact sedan a value buy in our used car market

We were asked by a reader if this evergreen looking sedan is worth a look against buying a new compact Malaysian badged sedan?

Well, the answer from us will always be a YES for people who have the available funds to maintain a used car and NO for people who have a tight monthly budget. With a tight budget you can calculate your monthly expenditure which includes the new car monthly payments.

With a used car, like this Audi A3, you will have wear and tear issues as the months progress, but with a well thought out budget set aside, the used German ownership can and will be much more rewarding.

This is the A3 1.4 TFSI and TFSI means ‘Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection’ which is the engine technology that Audi delivers.

If you scan through our local automotive classifieds you will see there are 1.4L and also 1.8L versions for sale. The request was for the 1.4L version, which will be better to run in the long term as its road tax will be RM70.00 a year and fuel consumption will be better than a MYVI if well maintained.

Yes, this German sedan sips fuel when driven with less enthusiasm and if you push the engine you will sip more fuel and get very decent power delivery from its 200Nm engine.

With 122bhp, Audi is able to deliver surprising performance in this package because like all bigger and more expensive Audi’s, this A3 uses a lot of lightweight aluminium. Plus you have a very advanced 7-speed smooth shifting gearbox that keeps the engine revolutions low in city traffic.
Compared to the VW Golf 6 which it shares underpinnings with, this A3 rides noticeably firmer, possibly to create a more sporting character. The overall balance and communicativeness of the chassis is high and the A3, in its 1.4 guise, is even perhaps the most satisfying FWD Audi to hustle around a corner, thanks to the inherent balance of the MQB platform underneath. Trust me, you do not need to invest more and buy a Quattro (four wheel drive) version.

All said, this A3 is a car not without some issues, but these issues are small enough that they can be dismissed as minor quirks that can be lived with like with other European cars.

We know it shares common parts with a Volkswagen Golf, but in no way does that diminish its case as a hugely convincing package for buyers seeking to make their first purchase of a luxury vehicle. It is decently-sized, handsome-styled, and pleasingly fine to drive even after 7 years on the road.

With prices hovering between RM45,000 to RM60,000 it is best if you find a car that was imported new (not a reconditioned unit) by the authorised importer (Euromobil). Try and get at least the last 2 years of service history to ensure this car was well looked after once the warranty had ended.

Most first owners would have been upper middle class or above and they would not have ignored maintenance. Still, best to get your mechanic (if you have a trusted one) to check the used A3 for you.

Factory paint means an accident free car and will still look great. Might just need a polish. Audi engines with high mileage will leak some oil and it is common to have high carbon build-up. The TFSI piston rings are prone to wear after 80 to 90k mileage and this also leads to engine oil consumption.

We suggest buying used from the owner and not a used car dealer as with a used car dealer, getting the car checked by your mechanic will be an issue. If the owner is selling, they should be happy to meet your mechanic and get a thumbs up, unless they are hiding issues under the hood. Then best to walk away and look again as there are many units for sale.

Flood damage is easy to spot and smell. Just lift the boot carpet and driver carpet to get a clear look at the floorboard. Audi provides thick carpeting and it should show signs of flood damage.

On a test drive  stop and check the exhaust smoke and when you return check for oil stains at the area where the car was originally parked.

Do not be in a rush to leave if you really like the car. Wait and see if there is an oil ‘drip’ under the engine after 15-30 minutes.

Good luck and remember to put aside at least 10 percent of purchase price for preventive maintenance AFTER buying your used cars. So, if you buy for RM50k, then have an added RM5k ready for possible servicing, brakes, lower arms, suspension, alternator, timing belt and so on. These are wear and tear items that might need replacing in the first few months, or if you are lucky, a year later.  

Audi A3 Sedan 1.4TFSI Specifications:
Engine: 4-cylinder Direct Injection Turbo
Displacement:  1,395cc
Transmission:  7-Speed S-Tronic
Max power: 122bhp @ 5000-6000rpm
Max torque: 200Nm @ 1400-4000rpm
Top Speed: 205km/h 
0-100km/h: 9.3secs

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