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  1. #1
    john_cook's Avatar
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    Owners Views on Mk V R32 or 8P S3 ???

    Hi guys,

    I've got a 2.0 tdi A3. its a nice car, does the job well, but it aint fun to drive. Its just an A to B car, a great one, but I dont enjoy it. I used to have a Cooper S and that was great fun. Dont want to go back there tho.


    I've always like the Mk4 R32. Nearly got one in 2006 but the one I saw just didnt do it for me. Still like them but test drove the Mk V R32 and it was a much better car so can't justify looking at the Mk4 anymore.

    I've not tried out the new S3. On paper in the Evo magasine its pretty quick to 60 and 100 from 0. Not sure if thats the DSG version but 5.7 secs and 13.5 secs respectively is fast for a hot hatch. Its making me consider whether it may be worth looking at one.

    I love the engine note of the R32. The S3 tho is a serious machine, and probably has more tuning potential. I know this is an Audi forum and will prob be more biased to the S3 but if anyone has owned/driven both I would like to know what there opinions are. I know the S3 is quicker, is it really much better than the R32 or is the R32 better in some areas? Clearly both cars are very good at what they do.

    I'm really after opinions of people who have driven both cars or maybe even owned both cars, not just lots of people saying the S3 is better but they havent even tried either car (if that makes sense). Be kind, they are distant relatives!!!


    Cooky
    Last edited by john_cook; 5th March 2008 at 11:17.


    A3 2.0 tdi sport (2005), Xenons, Bose, Leather/Alcantara, 19" replica RS6 alloys, Rieger front bumper/side skirts, Eibach 30mm springs, Caratere Rear Spoiler, Silver wing mirrors, powerflow twin exhaust tips, Alpine iDA-X001 iPod Ready headunit, amp and 1000 watt sub....

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  3. #2
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    Never driven the golf,but I would suggest another test drive of both fairly close together so that you and only you can decide which one suits you best.Good luck with whichever one you choose.

  4. #3
    windsurfer

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    I have driven both and ended up on the S3.

    S3 - Great little car, very fast, a bit better built than the Golf and I prefer the shape... having a 2.0 is and feels lighter in the front end. If you are into tuning will give more options.

    R32 - Sound of the engine is good (better than S3) without being great. Feels heavier around bends. It is a nice car it is also exclusive but I think the S3 will hold its value better...

    Mate they are very similar cars in terms of performance... in real world where tenths of a second make absolutly no difference thei are pretty equivalent.

    I prefer the 2.0T and the A3 shape hence my choice... but you will be fine with either... For me is not a question of the S3 being better, they just have different ways of delivering more or less same performance.

    Test drive and make up your mind... there is really not much between them...

    Pedro
    FOR SALE: S3 Phantom Black, left hand drive, Xenons, FBMFSW, bucket seats, BOSE, rear parking sensors, armrest, interior light package, Symphony II+. Full Audi service history and 4 new Michelin Pilot Sport 2. 18500 miles PM for details! I want to give it away have a good family reason. For a quick sale around 19.5k PM only if interest is genuine! Thanks

  5. #4
    S3IZZO
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    I had a brand new Mk5 R32 on order before I got the S3, I too was in love with the engine note from the .:R and couldn't really justify the extra expense of the S3 with all the options over the .:R which you can get heavily discounted.

    I think one of the main reasons I prefer the S3 over the R32 is the interior build quality and feel!, the R32 is a fairly quick car but it's nothing on a S3 (especially a remapped S3).

    I think it's all down to personal preference, I wouldn't say the R32 is worse car than the S3 just depends what you want out of the car...test drive them both and make your own mind up I say!

  6. #5
    john_cook's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, thats exactly what I'm after.

    The build quality of my audi is great, the interior superb. The interior of mine is nicer than an R32, I will admit that already.

    I'm after the driving experience really and the fun factor. The looks also make a difference I guess but I dont think one looks externally much better than the other as standard, they are both a bit understated. Stick some 19 inch rims on either and they start to look hot. Thats external looks tho, plus dont want to mess with changing the alloys and unbalancing it from the get go.

    I guess I need to drive the S3, and then the R32 again as suggested. Its a real let down the new R32 doesnt look or feel as special as the old one. If it did, i think i would have my answer already! I'm after the all round aspect of the car tho, speed, handling, driver satisfaction, noise etc... I know they are similar, its really hard!! Never really tuned a car before, I know the S3 goes to over 300bhp without much difficulty, it sounds a bit much to get out of a 2.0 litre engine tho, 300bhp. What are the long term effects on the components/engine life if I did this. Thats another concern.

    keep the comments coming...


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  7. #6
    windsurfer

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    The only thing I would take from the R32 and put in the S3 would be engine noise... The R32 has a smoother power delivery but personally I prefer the turbo delivery...

    Apart from that, cornering, braking, accelerating... S3 wins.. even if marginally...

    You can't really go wrong with the S3 but again... your call.

    If you are buying new I would not buy either of them just now... new models are to replace this ones... hang to your TDI and in 10 months or so get the new one...

    If you were back in Portugal you could have a test drive in mine... see if some of the forum users takes you for a spin...

    Pedro
    FOR SALE: S3 Phantom Black, left hand drive, Xenons, FBMFSW, bucket seats, BOSE, rear parking sensors, armrest, interior light package, Symphony II+. Full Audi service history and 4 new Michelin Pilot Sport 2. 18500 miles PM for details! I want to give it away have a good family reason. For a quick sale around 19.5k PM only if interest is genuine! Thanks

  8. #7
    Kontraband's Avatar
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    yeah, I was in the similar situatuion looking at these 2. Drove both and for me personally the S3 was points ahead overall. Im not really that bothered about the V6 sound for me to choose a car for it and that all I felt the R32 did better... The S3 had everything the R32 did but tighter... oh.. except the DSG which I wasnt after anyway.

  9. #8
    hatmeow's Avatar
    Turbo is the only way....

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    What are your daily driving needs? If you need 4 doors and a big boot then the R32 will work better than the S3.

    S3 definately sexier though...
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  10. #9
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    is it a flagship model you're after? surely apples for apples, you would be comparing the r32 with the 3.2 a3 s-line? both can use dsg if thats a route you would want to consider, both have around the same performance, with a heavy lump at the front.

    neither can match the performance of the s3, especially when its tuned, i know what i'd choose.
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  11. #10
    Low life livin' the high life.

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    I'm probably alone here but i've never even considered an R32 and S3 in the same class to be honest. The new S3 is by far the more desirable, quicker and well built car in my book. It honestly wouldn't be a competition given the choice. Also, for the price, the Audi is a pedigree german car, designed and built in Germany whereas golfs are built in South America (i think thats correct?!) hence the price difference.

    Anyway, i actually chose a nearly new, well spec'd 2.0T FSI Quattro S-line over the above purely down to insurance and economy reasons. Had it not been for my previous convictions (ahem!) i would have bought the S3 without question. I do love the look of the S-line though so i'm happy.
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  12. #11
    Low life livin' the high life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodo
    is it a flagship model you're after? surely apples for apples, you would be comparing the r32 with the 3.2 a3 s-line? both can use dsg if thats a route you would want to consider, both have around the same performance, with a heavy lump at the front.

    neither can match the performance of the s3, especially when its tuned, i know what i'd choose.
    My point exactly, i've never considered the R32 to be anything above the 3.2 Q S-line. Maybe the set up of the R32 is more sports orientated than the 3.2 and in that respect it could be considered more in line with the S3.... All down to personal opinion i guess!
    A3 2.0T FSI Quattro S-Line, 3 Door, Avus Silver (special ed.)

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  13. #12
    consilio's Avatar
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    I test drove both, there was no comparison

    The S3 build quality is far better, especially inside. It looks great inside and out too, the R32 didn't have the same WOW factor.

    Also, I have to disagree with the noise comparisons. I was quite dissapointed with the V6 note of the R32, and when the salesman parked it up again afterwards, the exhaust sounded like an angry wasp stuck inside an empty tin of beans.

    I was very pleasantly surprised with the noise of the S3. Exhaust sounds great in the cabin and outside. Also the turbo noise sounds cool as well, and goes great witht the grunt of the engine when the windows are down.

    Of course I am biased as I bought the S3, but above formed part of my decision to buy
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  14. #13
    qstix's Avatar
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    No experience with either..

    Used to have an old MK3 VR6, lovely super smooth engine, but the car fell apart around it..

    How about the V6 A3, might be worth a look, a few subtle mods and you could have a lovely car..

    I agree, Audi are put together much better than VW..

  15. #14
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    Last edited by mitch78; 3rd March 2009 at 23:47.
    Ex 8L S3 driver

    also A3, 320, Golf, Clio, Astra, Focus, Mondeo, Laguna, Escort, Calibra, 220, others and now back to a Focus...

  16. #15
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    Never driven the R32 , but the mk 5 just looks plain IMHO , it never even crossed my mind when i decided i could get a 8P S3.

    I also love the looks of the Mk 4 R32 !

    I think the cheap-ish turbo tunning is the key for me!

    p

  17. #16
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    I think the R32 is a good car but most magazines say it's barely any quicker than the Gti - especially the Edition 30.

    Autocar has 0-100 15.5, 30-70 5.7
    S3 was 13.6 and 5.1 so a fair bit quicker really.

    When I was looking an R32 with similar options was pretty much the same price as the S3. I think leather was something like 1500 extra on the R32 - after discovering that the S3 was a no brainer for me.
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  18. #17
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    Well it was easy for me because I live in Johannesburg South Africa which is 5750 FT above sea level so the atmospheric pressure is real low which causes NA engines to suffer a lot more than turbo'd engines.
    08 Audi S3 - Phantom Black - Bose, Symphony, Light and rain sensor with auto dip int mirror, 7 double spoke quattro GmbH alloy wheels, Audi Exclusive front bucket seats, FBMFSW.

  19. #18
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    having owned a MkIV R32, test driving a MkV R32 and then buying an S3 , I would say the R32 sounds lovely, goes well and the looks are ok. Its failings are its pretty boring, it doesnt turn heads like the old one use to, the ride is good, but not sporty enough, the engine is nice but simply not fast enough for me. While its cheaper and a good car, it just doesnt do it for, the MkV has grown on me but im still not overly keen on the looks.S3 just had abit more appeal in every department, but the price tag to match it...

  20. #19
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    I sold my 2007 2.0TDi A3 for a brand new R32 a week ago and I also work for Audi.

    I considered an S3 but I didn't feel it was special nor well specced enough to justify the massive price being asked. I can also drive an S3 any day of the week, therefore why would I want to spend 30k of my hard earned on one?

    I also thought as I'd already had an A3 S-line then I would get bored of it very quickly. So I took an R32 with DSG for a test drive and it just blew me away.

    Ultimately the things that decided it for me over an S3 were;

    * Noise
    * DSG & 4WD combination
    * Image
    * NA engine
    * Better equipment
    * Cheaper
    * RNS510 is light years ahead of RNSE

    The interior on a MK5 Golf isn't half as bad as people on here are making out. Yes it's not up to Audi standards but my R32 doesn't rattle and the colour of materials used are allot more pleasant compared to my rather sombre S-line.

    All I can say is take a drive for yourself, but make sure you get at least a good 5 hour test drive in each one. If you were adament you only wanted a manual I would say S3. But give the DSG a go in the R32 as it's fantastic :D

    Pull up in an S3 and I very much doubt anyone will give you a second look. Pull up in an R32 and they've already heard you half way down the road :grin:
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  21. #20
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    Oh, and the other thing that won it for me was that the 3 gets facelifted in a matter of weeks. Whereas the facelift Golf isn't due for another 11 months
    2008 VW Golf R32 3dr

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  22. #21
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    Having owned a MKV GTI (250ish BHP) until it was stolen, then a MKV R32, and then a change to a BMW 335D, Im now awaiting a S3 - I think Im in a pretty good position to judge.

    GTI - Amazing car, great on fuel, fast and nimble. downsides - scrabbled a bit in the wet, lots on the road

    R32 - Stunning looks and noise, not that much, if any faster than my old GTI, downsides - very poor on fuel, and band G emissions - I think this is why their prices are dropping so much at the moment

    I loved the GTi for its nimbleness, and the R32 for the noise and 4WD - If only they did a 4WD GTI with the S3 engine - So I think the S3 will be a perfect blend of what I wanted, if a little on the overpriced side - This is a bonus as you very rarely see them on the road, which also hold the prices up well
    RS4 family wagon.....gone but not forgotten

  23. #22
    john_cook's Avatar
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    thanks Neil,

    great to get different opinions, esp from someone who has regular access to the audi's. I need to test drive the S3, but my heart has always be with the R32 so will be a tough call!! That sound is glorious, think it adds a lot to the driving experience. The S3 is a bit quicker and bit more expensive and a bit more understated. Nicer inside tho, that has to be said. Will test one and let you all know.


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  24. #23
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    Last edited by mitch78; 3rd March 2009 at 23:48.
    Ex 8L S3 driver

    also A3, 320, Golf, Clio, Astra, Focus, Mondeo, Laguna, Escort, Calibra, 220, others and now back to a Focus...

  25. #24
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    I'd take the locking glove box and the push button fuel cap release from the VW, and put them on the S3.

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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDI-line
    I'd take the locking glove box and the push button fuel cap release from the VW, and put them on the S3.
    Oh, and the indicator in the mirrors too.

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  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDI-line
    I'd take the locking glove box and the push button fuel cap release from the VW, and put them on the S3.
    Locking glove boxes may offer a feeling of security to the owner, but the reality is they only offer protection from your passengers. The smash and grab thieves simply lever them open, thus wrecking the dashboard in addition to the window.
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  28. #27
    jamiekip
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    As lots have said above, before buying my S3 I went through the same process regarding the MK V R32.

    I had both of them for 4 hour test drives (as well as a new shape 3.2TT) and it all came down to a balance between head and heart with me.

    R32, for me sounded great, didn't feel that quick and certainly had that nose heavy sensation when pressing along down a favourite B road. The interior was OK, but I started to weep when you ticked options like Leather etc and the price soon started to rocket, granted however, a lot of the more 'basic' options were standard. The other thing I was really conscious of was the way Band G cars we're starting to take a lot of stick from the tax man.

    With the S3, (I must say now, I had the old generation S3 too), I still thought it sounded great, OK, not 6 cylinder great, but light years better than the old 1.8t unit. It invoked a few smiles, especially when you get above 3k revs. The handling was a lot beter than the R32, more nimble around the front end, and seemed to ride nasty surfaces, bumps and compressions with more control. It came with a lot of the 'luxuries' like leather and xenons as standard.

    The TT was out due to delivery timelines and in the end I needed something a little more practical than a small coupe.

    I think you just need to test drive them both back to back if you can. What ticks my boxes, won't tick anothers! Either way, both great cars, just depends what's best for you.

    Good luck!

  29. #28
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    Talking

    Have a look at the GTI Ed 30, de-tuned S3 donkey (230ps), better wheels/interior than the R32, on a par with the S3.

    Remapped = better than the S3? Don't know yet, but the Ed 30 prices are coming down, so makes them more viable.

    for instance Steel grey metallic Ed 30 1000miles, 3 months old for less than 19.5k. they are out there, then remap and spend the money saved over the S3/R32 on v-power!

    My 1.42 (inflation based)

  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokeballoon
    Have a look at the GTI Ed 30, de-tuned S3 donkey (230ps), better wheels/interior than the R32, on a par with the S3.

    Remapped = better than the S3? Don't know yet, but the Ed 30 prices are coming down, so makes them more viable.

    for instance Steel grey metallic Ed 30 1000miles, 3 months old for less than 19.5k. they are out there, then remap and spend the money saved over the S3/R32 on v-power!

    My 1.42 (inflation based)
    Fair point, however a 330bhp FWD car could be a little tricky without an LSD up front. Although that can be added for some

 

 

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