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A3 auto Engine labouring on pull away?

Keith R

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Hi All,

I'm in the process of becoming a Audi owner for the first time. (For the last 13 years I've been driving a Honda Civic Type-R.)  I've been looking at the A3 Sportsback with S Tronic.  I had a test drive of the 1.5 l engine a few weeks back, and today I had a test drive of the 2.0 l engine.  One thing worried me:  I had the feeling that the engine was labouring, just initially, on pulling away.  I don't remember feeling this on my earlier 1.5 l test drive.  Can anyone else corroborate this?  I've asked for another test drive of the 1.5 l engine as a check.

(I live in Milton Keynes, so pulling onto roundabouts as fast as possible is a way of life.)

I've scanning other forums and seem to have come across some people say that they switch to manual 1st gear for a fast get away; and others refering to this being a "characteristic"?


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Welcome to the forum Keith :) 

youll find the members on here are a friendly and helpful bunch and will help you where they can :) 

unfortunately I can't be of much help as I have little experience of the brand new Audis. Sorry. But if it were me I'd go for the bigger engine. 

Il probably cause controversy on here now but the age old aging goes "there's no replacement for displacement" 



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Hello Keith,

I wonder what year these cars you have been looking at are. I ask, since it may help if you look under the recall section of this forum where you will see there had been performance issues with cars which have been subject to these recalls. I just wonder if you have been road testing so called rectified recalled cars.

Whatever, most folks will stress the vital importance of service history, as if it's the be all and end all - in itself - of the freedom from major mechanical issues. I take a broader brush approach and always recommend talking with the last registered keeper about the car , since thereby hangs the full tale of how the car has bahaved itself between its visit to the dealer for servicing! 

Good luck with finding the car which suits you, and if it were me, I would be doing as much pre purchase research on the actual car which finally interests you, and try to take a detached view on the falling in love with the look of it bit.

Kind regards,


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Thanks for the feedback guys.  I'm also wondering now if it's because I'm used to a manual and I'm sensing a combination of the following effects

  • Turbo lag
  • the S Tronic wrongly predicting what gear I'll be needing next (some suggest letting the car start to creep forward before accelerating)
  • economic mapping choosing the highest gear (althoughSport mode didn't seem to affect it, as I recall)

I'll let you know if I resolve this worry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Keith,

I've just pruchased a 2014 plate A3 1.8TFSI Sportback with the S-Tronic gearbox and I have exactly the same problem. I don't think it's a problem as such and, like you, have come form a manual gearbox in a Saab. I also live in MK and it does worry me about pulling away at roundabouts. I've had the car for just over a week now and love it, except for this one small issue. I think it's probably a mixture of the fly-by-wire throttle and the gearbox.

I'll try putting mine into manual and see if that makes a difference.

Let me know if you end up purchasing one and maybe we could meet up somewhere locally.



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