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2011 Audi A3


Taking possession of a new A3 TDI in a few days - but getting nervous due to Car Talk’s occasional dis of Audis and Consumer Reports’ recently published reliability rating. compounding my edginess - I skipped over my local dealer to buy the car 250 miles away

Any reassurances regarding the newer TDIs? Should I go ahead and cash out my IRA?

The TDI engine is a very reliable engine.
The only thing you need to keep an eye on is the liquid that reduces emissions.
You will need to have this topped up every servicing, and will slightly add to the cost of servicing, but not much.

Nothing to worry about, at all.


I don’t think the A3 uses the urea for emissions reduction, only the bigger engines need it. The A3 should do fine, just keep up with all the recommended maintenance and check your oil, it may need a quart or two between changes.

It did a couple years ago.
I know, because the dealer showed me where it was put into the car when I was there to look at the car, and take it for a test drive.


The 3l v6 TDI in the Q7 uses it, but the 2.0l i4 in the A3 (and Golf TDI) doesn’t.

Frankly I would love to try and come up with a really good survey of auto reliability. The problem is every study I have seen is full or likely errors. One big one is the expectations of the owners. Do people buying a VW expect more, or maybe tend to do less maintenance etc. You have to expect that the owners of one make are going to be different of another as indicated by their choice of cars, so you end up with an inaccurate repeatable result.

I suggest you stop by (a news group dedicated to all things VW DIESEL.

I never saw an Audi service department that did not have a two month waiting list to get in…

I think the Top Gear guys have a fairly good angle on that. There is a certain level of car that you buy because you can afford it and because it has soul. You don’t buy a Ferrari and expect great gas mileage and low maintenance costs. You buy it because it’s a Ferrari, and if you can afford one, you’re not too worried about how much it costs to fix it.

I view Audis as a lower class of this category. You buy an Audi because you like Audi. If everyone just wanted cheap reliable basic transportation, then everyone would be driving Civics and Corollas. You should know going in that Audi is going to cost more to run and maintain than an econobox. You’re paying for the driving experience and the nameplate, not reliability.

Thanks folks - all good points.

Seems like any other vehicle - it’s going to have plus and minuses.

Got a '04 Tundra 8 cyl, 4wd with 230k miles that I’m going to be giving a rest - still passes anything on the road at command & body’s in great shape after 6 years working in the woods. But I religiously maintain it.

Hope the A3 will do well with similar treatment.