Endurance test Audi A3 e-tron (occasion endurance test) – 2015 – 116,848 km

Used plug-in hybrid as a used endurance tester: what does Joep think?

What exactly did we receive for our endurance test garage? The – apparently – almost new Audi A3 Sportback goes to our regular Klokje Rond address, Carrec Technocenter in Soesterberg, for an inspection from bumper to bumper. Of course, judge Joep will find something that is not good about our eight-year-old used car with 117,000 kilometers on the odometer. What, that is the question.

We always consult with Joep Schuurman from Carrec as briefly as possible in advance when we hand him the keys to a car that he is going to assess. After all, he has to enter it as a blank slate. Still, maybe we should have said that about that mirror. The evening before the inspection, I take over the keys from colleague Jan Renting, who drove the Audi. He is a bit taller than me, so I adjust the interior mirror while driving on the N201 provincial road. Sod crackers! Suddenly the entire unit comes off the inside of the window! I have it in my right hand and it’s still hanging by one thread.

Heavy, such a mirror

With the interior mirror in my right hand and the left on the steering wheel, I direct this German quality product to a parking space along the road. It is dark and I am sitting deep in the Audi. Then, in short, it is a piece of cake to mount the quite heavy mirror back onto the base piece. But it has to be done, because tomorrow morning, even in the dark, colleague Pieter has to take it to Zwolle to photograph a comparative used car test, with our Audi in the leading role against a Lexus. Ah! It’s back on, but it all looks fragile. So don’t touch it anymore.

Today Joep gets in for his test drive and yes, he also has it in his hands. Only he gets it clicked back on much faster. “It wasn’t mounted properly. Now we do,” said our judge. Everyone has his own profession. We still have to do something with that mirror, but we have a warranty on this used car from Vakgarage, so that will probably be fine.

We have more to complain about. While driving in the Audi with the radio off, you hear a persistent buzzing sound. It is so clearly present that I initially think of a wheel bearing. Other drivers estimate that it is the winter tires. There will probably be clarity about that today. Furthermore, I am not one hundred percent convinced of the automatic transmission. How it maneuvers through the transmissions does not always feel solid. First let’s take a closer look at the praise trumpet.

The seating position in the Audi A3 is great. We encounter it more often in the cars of the Volkswagen group, such as the Golf, Leon and Octavia. You feel comfortable and, in my opinion, just right to get the job done. The ergonomics are also well organized. What is special is that the volume knob for the audio is on the center console. Not the most logical place, but it is if you consider that it is intended for the co-driver. The helmsman can ‘roll’ the volume up or down in the right spoke of the steering wheel.

Great for on the go

The all-round view is not the strongest point of this A3 Sportback and we do have sensors all around for parking ease, but no reversing camera. And the space, well, it’s not a spacious family car, but it can get by. In any case, he is nice and quick and eager. In combination with the sublime seating position (the adjustment options are also extensive), it is nice to be on the road with it. Fortunately, Joep thinks so too, he says when he returns from the extensive test drive.

“I also briefly tested the battery. First charge it half full and I estimate that you should reach a distance of forty kilometers when it is full,” said the inspector on duty. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve that so far, and certainly not the fifty that the manufacturer specifies. Joep has even more good news: “This Audi doesn’t drive badly at all.” That’s a good start, because the test drive is usually an excellent indicator of the overall condition of the car, as later revealed by research on the bridge. That is not quite how it works in this case.

Joep collects the fault messages on the readout device and most of them disappear like snow in the sun, except for one: that of the headlight unit on the left. “I can’t see exactly what’s wrong with it. Unfortunately, it has become very complicated, such an LED headlight. There are nine wires going in anyway. I hope for you that it is a false alarm and that there is nothing serious going on,” says Joep. That makes you think. If you bump such a headlight unit against a pole or wall or another car, it’s your turn.

The inspector is disappointed with the condition of the front and rear windshield wipers. “It seems to me that you don’t give a car in the winter that already has worn windshield wiper blades upon delivery. And the rear jet is not good either. Sloppy.”

Until recently, the Audi had different (black) wheels and was lowered. It was rebuilt to the original just before AutoWeek stepped in. Joep: “So it has recently been tinkered with. Then I find it downright strange and wrong that I then come across a torn dust cover for the right front silencer. That spring was loose, so you wouldn’t leave a torn cover on, would you?” The same goes for the rear tires, which are indeed the cause of the whirring noise inside. “Old, cupped winter tires that look quite dried out,” grumbles Joep.

Fine bottom and block

Then the mood becomes more positive again. Joep finds a flawless soil. The four-cylinder engine block, which is crammed transversely in the front, also looks healthy. Oil naturally runs downwards, but we also see no significant wetness at the bottom. Well, the sump plug is a bit greasy, but otherwise the bottom of the German is easy to get through. The front axle does make a creaking sound, something you don’t actually want. But Joep: “Don’t worry, that’s in the platform of this car, it’s a product feature, so to speak. Not serious.”

All in all: this is a great car, in good condition. We will undoubtedly have even more fun with this. Joep is unrelenting in all cases. What is not good is pointed out, and our used endurance tester also has some things wrong with it. Nevertheless, for us two thumbs up means that this mission has at least already been achieved.

What is wrong with the Audi A3 e-tron?

  • Front wiper blades are bad
  • Front windshield washer is not adjusted properly
  • The cover around the interior mirror is missing and the mirror itself was not attached
  • The front axle creaks (tremendously) when driving over speed bumps
  • The rear window washer does not work properly/is unusable
  • The tires make a lot of noise
  • The caps on the service nipples of the air conditioning are missing
  • The dust cover around the front right shock absorber is defective
  • The rear tires are old, cupped winter tires with moderate profile
  • The sump plug sweats oil.

The opinion of Carrec Technocenter

“This Audi e-tron is a great car. It’s a pity that some things were overlooked during the latest work, or some corners were cut, so to speak. Apart from that, there could be something wrong with the left headlight. The automatic transmission shifts gears. Not super solid and occasionally seems to be a bit hesitant, but for the time being that is no reason for panic or major concerns, I think.”

This is what Vakgarage says

“Normally, the Vakgarage customer receives an invitation for a check within a few weeks after delivery. Then things like AutoWeek found also come to the fore. Just before delivery, the desired tires were not available. Due to the time factor to get the car In order to be able to deliver quickly, it was decided to mount the old tires. So we quickly make an appointment and ensure that everything is resolved, as we do with every delivery.”

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox