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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. We are planning to sell back our A3 TDI which has been nothing short of a headache the last several months. Repairs right before the buyback on top of the whole diesel debacle has really annoyed me. The challenge is that I can't seem to find a suitable replacement. The A3 won over the 328d in our last purchase because of size. We live in Seattle which is booming. Parking spots seem to be getting smaller and smaller and I work downtown in an office building with tight parking. We also have two dogs so a hatchback is a must.

I love the 328d except for the length. it's 14" longer than the A3 and 1" wider. I think the 1" wider is doable but I'm worried parking will be a big headache. Do you live in a city with bad parking and drive a 3-series (wagon)? How is it working for you? How often are you driving in circles looking for parking because the car won't fit? Or do you just adapt and not think about it? Do you wish it were smaller?

It's hard to pull the trigger with this reservation. I wish the luxury brands made small cars that weren't 100% electric. Not all of us want SUVs or electric cars. I want a small luxury car with classic styling but that seems to be an oxymoron in the US market. And husband has nixed the X1, which is 6" longer and 2" wider than the A3 and 8" shorter than the 328d. I'm I silly to be so focused on dimensions? Any insight to push the barometer is any direction would be welcome. I would hate to buy this beautiful car and then not want to drive it to work!

Another problem light is on the A3 so thinking of pulling the trigger sooner than later.
 

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One thing to consider is that the 328xdt (t for touring which means wagon) doesn't turn as sharply as non-xDrive BMWs. My wife's 328xd has a noticeably wider turning radius than my rwd E90 335d - we live in a condo and the garage, while not tight, does present parking challenges.

Now, a 328xdt is not a large car and you should be able to park pretty much anywhere, but I suspect it will take a bit more care than the A3. One advantage is the backup camera and park distance control (don't know if the A3 had it) - makes it very easy to back and pull in just so. Some people like the "top-view camera" in the driver assistance package for that sort of thing, too.

I would not get a new X1 - while it's gotten nice reviews, it also is a new design (based on the Mini Paceman) and Mini has had many many quality problems.

Have you considered an i3? it's got a hatch and is quite small and city-oriented. Presents range problems, of course. Don't know your requirements, of course.

There are several threads here and there (look at F30post, in the main forum and in the N47 diesel sub-forum) talking about wagons. Quite a few VW TDI owners opting to upgrade to 328d cars both sedan and wagon.
 

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Hi. We are planning to sell back our A3 TDI which has been nothing short of a headache the last several months. Repairs right before the buyback on top of the whole diesel debacle has really annoyed me. The challenge is that I can't seem to find a suitable replacement. The A3 won over the 328d in our last purchase because of size. We live in Seattle which is booming. Parking spots seem to be getting smaller and smaller and I work downtown in an office building with tight parking. We also have two dogs so a hatchback is a must.

I love the 328d except for the length. it's 14" longer than the A3 and 1" wider. I think the 1" wider is doable but I'm worried parking will be a big headache. Do you live in a city with bad parking and drive a 3-series (wagon)? How is it working for you? How often are you driving in circles looking for parking because the car won't fit? Or do you just adapt and not think about it? Do you wish it were smaller?

It's hard to pull the trigger with this reservation. I wish the luxury brands made small cars that weren't 100% electric. Not all of us want SUVs or electric cars. I want a small luxury car with classic styling but that seems to be an oxymoron in the US market. And husband has nixed the X1, which is 6" longer and 2" wider than the A3 and 8" shorter than the 328d. I'm I silly to be so focused on dimensions? Any insight to push the barometer is any direction would be welcome. I would hate to buy this beautiful car and then not want to drive it to work!

Another problem light is on the A3 so thinking of pulling the trigger sooner than later.
No one can tell you what to do, I would get a 328d out and go parking with it and see how much of a headache it is. But all new cars will be difficult at first, after a month it should be a problem. I would get top and side camera to help.
 

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The sedan and the wagon are the same length and width, so you can get parking advice from any F30 owner, not just F31 folks. I have not had issues with parking my sedan around Sacramento. Sacramento tends to have more generous parking spots, though. I do also park in compact spots (the kind where you have limited length because of a tree in front). The backside juts out a bit more than I would like, but it's still not out of whack considering the humongous SUVs/Pickups around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your replies! I have thought of the i3 and test drove it, but I'm finding it hard to embrace the i3 for many reasons. We are not really early adopters, it doesn't have a long term track record, loses value so fast, is relatively expensive, it looks odd, and it's limited range makes the buying equation fall short. And the 328 is so dreamy....

The current small car best option on the table currently is the VW GTI Autobahn. Good reviews, ~$18k cheaper and well optioned and same size as A3. However, I think once I get in it (have not test driven it), I'll quickly realize options don't equal luxury, and I'm not a big fan of the red stitching on the interior - seems kind of man boy to me (no offense to any owners out there). And it's hard to support the company that put us in this pickle. We were planning to keep the A3 for at least a decade.

Yeah, I do think the park assist features would help mitigate my concerns. My husbands Q5 has this but I don't have it in the A3 - it would be nice and helpful.

I was thinking of trying to borrow a test car for 1/2 day or a day and test out a bunch of parking situations. Dealers do that, don't they? (One way to find out!). I've test driven a 328dt into my garage at work and while tight, it wasn't much tighter than the A3. I think the "tightness" has to do with the width and not so much the length, at least in parking garages. The length is probably more of an issue with street parking. Anyway, I'll probably keep fussing until I make a decision.

Thanks again for your input. Further thoughts are welcome!
 

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Get the 328dt. It's a great car. Don't stress about the parking, it is what it is. Buy, drive, enjoy.
 

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i have a wagon, yea the 14 inch difference from sub compact to compact is seemingly a lot, however it's still a 3 series at the end of the day, and it's not a big car by any means.

I have a 328 wagon, if anything I am finding it a bit cramped coming from a b8 s4.
 

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I don't think the 328 wagon will be an issue for you in the city. My Mz3 is super easy to park in the city (SF, Oakland, San Jose), and it's 8.5" longer than your A3. Even when I'm going there with extended family when they make me drive their Sienna it's not difficult. I'm sure if you observe all the different vehicles parked on the city streets that are even larger than than the 3-series, such as the ubiquitous camry and accords (2 ft longer than the A3), you'll realize you have plenty of room.
 

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only problem is he wants a diesel.
The OP doesn't state this explicitly, but does discuss the vehicle size concerns at length. If we trust that the number of words spent talking about specific aspects is indicative of their importance, my suggestion is exactly what the OP needs. Besides, the smaller gas engine in the Clubman offers similar dynamics to the 328dt at 30mpg combined, while 328dt is 34mpg combined, which in some markets would actually mean the same fuel costs.

I'm also not sure if you have correctly identified OP's gender.
 

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You Don't Need to Know
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Hi. We are planning to sell back our A3 TDI which has been nothing short of a headache the last several months. Repairs right before the buyback on top of the whole diesel debacle has really annoyed me. The challenge is that I can't seem to find a suitable replacement. The A3 won over the 328d in our last purchase because of size. We live in Seattle which is booming. Parking spots seem to be getting smaller and smaller and I work downtown in an office building with tight parking. We also have two dogs so a hatchback is a must.

I love the 328d except for the length. it's 14" longer than the A3 and 1" wider. I think the 1" wider is doable but I'm worried parking will be a big headache. Do you live in a city with bad parking and drive a 3-series (wagon)? How is it working for you? How often are you driving in circles looking for parking because the car won't fit? Or do you just adapt and not think about it? Do you wish it were smaller?

It's hard to pull the trigger with this reservation. I wish the luxury brands made small cars that weren't 100% electric. Not all of us want SUVs or electric cars. I want a small luxury car with classic styling but that seems to be an oxymoron in the US market. And husband has nixed the X1, which is 6" longer and 2" wider than the A3 and 8" shorter than the 328d. I'm I silly to be so focused on dimensions? Any insight to push the barometer is any direction would be welcome. I would hate to buy this beautiful car and then not want to drive it to work!

Another problem light is on the A3 so thinking of pulling the trigger sooner than later.
Seriously, I don't see how parking would be a "headache" in a car which is the size of an F30. If Seattle parking spaces are truly that small, you should look at a Mini.
 

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only problem is he wants a diesel.
Well--something's got to give. Without VW diesels, what's going to fit the bill of a diesel car of that size. It's going to come down to which parameter is more important.
 

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Hi. We are planning to sell back our A3 TDI which has been nothing short of a headache the last several months. Repairs right before the buyback on top of the whole diesel debacle has really annoyed me. The challenge is that I can't seem to find a suitable replacement. The A3 won over the 328d in our last purchase because of size. We live in Seattle which is booming. Parking spots seem to be getting smaller and smaller and I work downtown in an office building with tight parking. We also have two dogs so a hatchback is a must.

I love the 328d except for the length. it's 14" longer than the A3 and 1" wider. I think the 1" wider is doable but I'm worried parking will be a big headache. Do you live in a city with bad parking and drive a 3-series (wagon)? How is it working for you? How often are you driving in circles looking for parking because the car won't fit? Or do you just adapt and not think about it? Do you wish it were smaller?

It's hard to pull the trigger with this reservation. I wish the luxury brands made small cars that weren't 100% electric. Not all of us want SUVs or electric cars. I want a small luxury car with classic styling but that seems to be an oxymoron in the US market. And husband has nixed the X1, which is 6" longer and 2" wider than the A3 and 8" shorter than the 328d. I'm I silly to be so focused on dimensions? Any insight to push the barometer is any direction would be welcome. I would hate to buy this beautiful car and then not want to drive it to work!

Another problem light is on the A3 so thinking of pulling the trigger sooner than later.
The F30/F31 (with PDC) allows easy parking. A bonus with European Delivery is that afterwards any American parking space will feel like an oversized pair of pants.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Seriously, I don't see how parking would be a "headache" in a car which is the size of an F30. If Seattle parking spaces are truly that small, you should look at a Mini.
Well, honestly, I don't think the spaces are THAT small. I'm just sensitive to size and have always preferred a smaller car. Unfortunately, the Mini Clubman just doesn't float my boat nor do the Minis in general. I know...picky, picky.

As one poster pointed out, it is about what parameter I'm willing to give on. Right now I'm wrestling with the length of the wagon. If I went with a GTI it would be about sacrificing luxury. I'm too annoyed at Audi to consider the e-tron (not sure why I separate VW from Audi in my brain?!) but it does have size and luxury, though not at the BMW level IMO. I perseverate too much.
 

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If I went with a GTI it would be about sacrificing luxury.
Not sure what to make out of this. Personally, MkVII GTI has, in my opinion, the interior way more luxurious than my old E92 BMW and even at the level if not a tad more than my Cayman as far as I am concerned.

I have MkVI TDI and that interior was still better than E92 when I owned both at the same time. OP, make sure you do not fall for "it's just a lowly VW with cloth interior".

The only reason I am aginst getting a MkVII GTI in a month or so is that it is a too much car to use as a daily driver. That said, my favorite car salesman already offered ridiculous deal if I want to jump into GTI comes early November, so I just might do that when I turn in my TDI.

For the record, if criminals in our Government didn't force me to change, I would have kept TDI until wheels fell off.
 

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I haven't had much in the way of problems street parking my F30 in San Francisco. It's definitely bigger than a Mini or Golf, but in the grand scheme, the F30 isn't that big. It fits into any space the E46 did, same as most other compact sedans. Having previously owned an R56 Mini (in Seattle, actually), I can confirm that almost nothing will be easier to parallel park than that car.

The one thing I would say is to get PDC + backup camera, it is a game changer for city streets. My E46 only had rear PDC, having sensors on the front makes a huge difference in ease of parking in tight spaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not sure what to make out of this. Personally, MkVII GTI has, in my opinion, the interior way more luxurious than my old E92 BMW and even at the level if not a tad more than my Cayman as far as I am concerned.

I have MkVI TDI and that interior was still better than E92 when I owned both at the same time. OP, make sure you do not fall for "it's just a lowly VW with cloth interior".

The only reason I am aginst getting a MkVII GTI in a month or so is that it is a too much car to use as a daily driver. That said, my favorite car salesman already offered ridiculous deal if I want to jump into GTI comes early November, so I just might do that when I turn in my TDI.

For the record, if criminals in our Government didn't force me to change, I would have kept TDI until wheels fell off.
Well, I'll definitely give the GTI a test drive. I've never liked the red stitching, but I've definitely come to realize I can't have exactly what I want - it just doesn't exist in the US. It's good to know that you've been happy with the GTI and don't find it to be a sacrifice when comparing it to luxury cars. We are fine spending what is needed on a car I'll really enjoy, but if I can get something I'll enjoy for ~18k less, it's hard to justify the 3-series, especially if it's longer than I'd like, which has always been a top priority. I'd probably get the Autobahn as I like the leather interior, convenience options and now it appears to come in an automatic.

My main beef with the TDI is that we were planning to keep it for years so dropping 2k+ would have been fine except that this whole dieselgate issue means it's money being used only for a short time, and now another light it on and of course, who likes a cheater? I've actually really enjoyed the A3 diesel and will be sad to see it go but I'm not particularly interested in dropping more cash into it at this point.
 

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Well, I'll definitely give the GTI a test drive. I've never liked the red stitching, but I've definitely come to realize I can't have exactly what I want - it just doesn't exist in the US.
Welcome to the club :)

I need a practical, "normal people" car to replace the Golf. My wife has MINI which will transform into Tesla Model 3 (if they ever actually build that car :) ) and my other car is a two seater. Enough said.

So, I insist on MT if car has internal combustion engine (cannot be electric) and on cloth seats because left outside most of the time in temp range between -15 and +95. I found out cloth seats are enough and you do not need heated/ventilated seats if you have cloth.

Want to talk about slim pickings? :D

Good luck to you whatever you choose to buy. I hope you will be very happy with it.
 
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