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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs

VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old September 27th, 2005, 20:19   #1
Turbodude1
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

I posted this in the MKIV forum as well, hopefully the don't delete this because of cross posting. I am looking for a different opinion, and figure the MKIV forum will be biased towards MKIV

I am looking at 2 tdi's one is a 99 golf the other is a 97 jetta. I am looking for the pro's &amp; cons of the different generations. Any advice as to which is better? I am mainly looking for a reliable fuel efficient vehicle.

Any opinions appreciated
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Old September 28th, 2005, 05:23   #2
Toronto_Vento
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Default Re: MKIII vs MKIV

Both will be relatively reliable. Both will get good fuel economy. Some MKIVs seem to do better at highway mileage than the MKIIIs because of the different turbo design, and different aerodynamics.

Both generations have their issues as well. The MKIII power windows tend to fail, and it costs about $150-$200 for the part assuming you are willing to rip into your door and fix the problem yourself. (of course you can avoid this by going to manual windows) I am not saying it WILL happen, but it can. I have a 98 with power windows and have not had to replace a regulator. I have had to rebuild the steel cable which runs the system. ($10 vs $180) Windows-wise, the MKIV have a plastic clip holding the windows up. These can snap leaving you with an open window until you can get to a dealership. This is covered under an extended warranty, though.

The MKIII has a more traditional style wastegate turbo. The MKIV has a VNT turbo. The VNT will give smoother acceleration, and has to push less when cruising on the highway. If you are looking into modding the car, the VNT CAN be more prone to breaking. Precautions can be taken, but it's not always perfect.

Overall, they are both very good choices. The MKIIIs are available only in 5-speed while the MKIVs have the automatic tranny as an option. If you plan to do your own oil changes, the MKIV is much easier to do if you buy yourself an oil extraction vac pump. Don't have to jack the car up at all. You can just suck the oil out of the dipstick...and the filter is right there on top.

There are a few discussions on here in the past, so I suggest searching through and reading up. Last point to mention, the MKIII is a lighter car, and feels a little more nimble, but the MKIV has a smoother ride, and a more 'luxury feel' interior.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 06:24   #3
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Default Re: MKIII vs MKIV

I asked this question a while ago. Take a look at this thread.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?C...&amp;PHPSESSID=
I now have two A3s (three including my daughter's gasser) and I love these cars. The big drawback for me is they are a bit less refined and noisier than the A4, but the handling's better, they seem to be more durable (although few of us really press the envelope on this) and they do stand up to abuse (my son's '98 with 126K appears to be bulletproof, even with a 17 year-old driver).

I love both versions, but if I had to keep one I'd choose...I can't decide.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 06:42   #4
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

the Jetta MK3 may be the best (simplest) of the breed but is lacking in creature comforts. The earlier cars are easier to work on and appear to have far fewer failures. The newer cars are more refined and quieter. It's not an easy call.

My suggestion: If the Mk3 is real nice, scoop it up.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 08:16   #5
Turbodude1
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

Thanks for the info guys!! Both cars have crank windows so the should be a little more reliable. How is the VNT for high miles. It has 189K on it. Am I looking at turbo replacement?
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Old September 28th, 2005, 13:52   #6
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

189k is not high miles
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Old September 28th, 2005, 14:34   #7
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

OOH tough call. Depends on your personality. The a3 is an excellent nearly bullet proof car. The a4 is also excellent, but is newer and feels so. It is cool looking too. The engine is a bit quieter, the mileage is a bit better, more importantly, the mileage is more consistantly high even with spirited driving. The a3 feels faster, and is. The a3 handles much better. If modified, there is no contest. The a3 will out handle the a4 all day long. That is because of the wacked out backward suspension in the a4. Nothing can be done about that though. Rides well stock, rides better modified, but cannot approach the a3 for a well put together system.

If I had to choose, I may choose the a4...even with that awful suspension, as I am a power geek and most tuners &amp; suppliers dont support the a3 near as much as the a4. In addition, the a4 comes with more creature comforts than the a3...this I like. Mileage is unimportant with either as long as the maintenance was performed properly.

I currently drive an a3 and a b4. They are cool cars. I only wich the a3 had the creature comforts of the a4....it will though. Enter the jetta glx donor car. Now I can have my cake and eat it too. Now if only I could get Jeff to give me a 25 psi chip.......
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Old September 28th, 2005, 18:21   #8
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

Just moved out of an A3 to a B4. Wife has an A4.

All the comments above are valid. I prefer the A3/B4 cars because they are almost bulletproof, and easier to work on IMHO. Wife hated the A3 due to lack of creature comforts. She has grown accustomed to the B4 because of the more luxurious touches with this model.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 08:29   #9
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Default MKIII vs MKIV

I've had/have both an A4 and A3 jetta. The A4 is nice because it has all the luxury items in a GLS model. The A3 was much more fun to drive but is only available in the GL model.
Paramedick is right, the A3/B4 platform is damn near bulletproof.
The more goodies you get, the more stuff available to break.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 13:35   #10
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Default Re: MKIII vs MKIV

Uh, I have a 98 MKIII Jetta GLS. I've heard of more than just my own. Sunroof, power windows, heated seats, heated mirrors, etc. Perhaps people call them GLS models if they have a lot more features.
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