A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Audi A3 TDI

Consumers steered clear of hatchbacks for a while but Audi has brought a stylish, functional, high-end option into the arena and buyers have responded. The A3 TDI offers all the versatility and performance you expect from Audi in a non-traditional package topped off with an efficient diesel engine.

Key Features

Dual climate control, leather seats, knobs and controls with a high-quality look and feel abound, which isn’t surprising coming from Audi. The back seats fold down to allow for maximum flexibility and use of the 19 cubic foot cargo space, and you can opt to add the Bluetooth Value package which also adds 8-way adjustment of the driver’s seat, including lumbar support.

Changes for 2012

The A3 went through some refreshing in 2009 but remained pretty much the same through the 2012 model.

What We Like

The higher torque offered by the diesel engine in the TDI allows for vigorous pickup, especially in stop-and-go driving around town. The gas mileage is also out of this world, thanks to the lower horsepower.

What Concerns Us

The price of the great mileage means that the horses don’t like to get up and go as fast when passing on the highway or accelerating from 0-60 (the TDI measures up at about 8.9 seconds in testing). In addition, the A3 can present a challenge for particularly short drivers, as the seats don’t pull up excessively far.

Available Models

2.0 TDI Premium Hatchback:

  • 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel 6-speed automated manual with 236 lb.-ft. torque, 140 HP, and 30/42 (34 combined driving) mpg (the automated manual – known as S Tronic – makes for smooth gear shifting).

Major Recalls

October 2011, in the infancy of the TDI’s release, Volkswagen issued a recall due to an issue with fuel injector line 2. This malfunction presented the potential for a fuel leak which in just the right circumstances could lead to a fire. VW offered to replace the fuel injector line at no charge to owners.

Common Issues

In an issue that doesn’t appear to be related to the recall, the NHTSA has received complaints of the high pressure fuel pump breaking in the middle of travel, spraying metal pieces throughout the fuel system and requiring full replacement of all fuel system parts, from the engine compartment to the gas tank.

Another reported issue cited by the NHTSA has been a fuse that melts. The fuse is identical to one that was recalled on Volkswagen vehicles, but has not been recalled on Audis.

Audi A3 TDI 2012 Interior


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Attila

19 years of experience
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Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
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Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
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20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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