Less than 5 weeks after first setting my eyes on a feisty red A3 in Pune's SB Road showroom, we took delivery of our diesel, red with beige Technology Diesel A3 on 10th March, exactly 30 years to the day Ravi Shastri won his Audi 100 at being crowned the Champion of Champions.
Here is what influenced our decision:
1. It's an Audi. Ever since Ravi Shastri won his in 1985, it's been my dream car. The Beemers come close, but I had evaluated the 3 series when I bought my Endy 5 years ago and somehow, at that time, the 3 series' ride quality and fun quotient hadn't seemed too different from that offered by my Ford Fiesta SXi. That test drive pushed me away from the Beemers.
2. White was never in the reckoning. Blue was upstaged by black. My wife and daughter shot down the black in favor of the stunning red. And I have to admit, the red really is an eye catcher.
3. The Premium missed too many features that were important to me - xenon lights, DRLs, leather seats to name a few.
4. The Technology variant was another couple of lakhs more expensive. However, the best part - after we went ahead and booked the Premium Plus, Audi upgraded us to the Technology variant at no additional cost, a cool two big ones as a discount for being their customer!
5. I would have preferred the petrol, but the dealer tried his best at convincing me otherwise, and succeeded. He talked about all other Audis coming in Diesel only, about petrol requiring higher maintenance and so on, but the clincher was when he said (and I don't know how true it was, but that didn't matter any more) there was only one Petrol model available with Audi India as of date, and he wouldn't be able to promise me a delivery date any time in the near future. Impulsive and impatient as I am, I didn't want to wait any longer than I absolutely needed to.
6. I had seen the Skoda Octavia and Superb very recently, and while they are great cars, they didn't have the 4 rings, and that was a lot.
7. The A3 TD blew me away. I love squealing tires, I love tearing away when the traffic lights turn green, I love the sound of the engines revving, and the way the A3 pushed you back into the seats - it was beautiful.
8. I have never been able to not give an Audi a second look, and the red A3 was no exception. It's beautiful. It looks compact and strong and very reliable! The DRLs are mesmerizing, and lines are strong and defining. The sun roof fits beautifully, and the tires look hot. Compared to a 3 series BMW, the A3 is a clear winner in my eyes.
9. I can't part with my Endy, and the A3 will therefore do duty driving my wife to and from work in the city at most times. We are a family of 3, and the rear seat is no problem for my daughter. When parents and cousins visit, the Endy will step in with its cavernous 8-10 seating capacity
10. I guess specs and comparisons and logic sometimes need to defer to the heart!