First of all hi! New to the forum, though I have been lurking for about a month now
I am looking to trade up from my Cooper S to an S3 - and am looking for some advice.
I have seen a few I like - they are all '59 plate (Late 2009 builds) with 30-60k on the clock.
First off - is the BOSE upgrade worth it? My largest complaint (aside from the repair/running costs and BMW's lack of enthusiasm to Mini owners in general) is the lack of quality in the default Mini stereo. It is lacking in every way - from how shoddy it sounds to how little I can turn it up! How fares the Audi default? I have been looking mainly at BOSE fitted S3's - but this is just because I am slightly put off "Defaults" from my current setup. I am not looking to do a post-purchase ICE installation, and I am no 18 year old needing shattering volumes around the estate - but if I want to crank it up whilst cruising down the M6 then I feel I should be able to. I have read nothing but good things about the BOSE, but dropping that looks to open up options in terms of what I can get for my budget.
Nextly - Transmissions. Whereas I have no preference over Manual/Automatic I would not mind Cruise Control. I have only seen Cruise control versions on Automatic gearboxes - is this the norm? Either way, how does the auto box fare in terms of reliability and lifetime? The car will quickly become a "high mileage car" (I do 30,000+ miles a year typically) is it going to cope with that sort of miles being piled onto it?
Now, onto general reliability - is there anything I need to be aware of, especially given that I am looking up to 50/60k starting mileage and then taking it (hopefully) well over 100k? Timing belt replacement for instance?
Lastly - I have driving a "generic S3" and yes, I want one. However there seems to be few for sale in the UK, even less within a comfortable driving range for multiple visits. I will need to buy from a garage as I will be looking to finance it - so would you recommend seeing the car before pulling the trigger (i.e. is there anything notable to check out), or is it suffice to make the call on the day I turn up to pick the car up and drive home?
Cheers for the help!
Stephen aka Geekcroft