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Thread: Heart says S3, Head says A3 1.4 Help me decide!!!

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    Heart says S3, Head says A3 1.4 Help me decide!!!

    I'm in two minds about the practicality of an S3 for everyday use. I know an A3 1.4 COD will be more than adequate for my needs.
    I only do a few thou miles a year, and am certainly no boy racer (57)

    I'm just looking for a few reasons why I should buy an A3 over an S3, apart from the obvious £6k price difference.

    Does the fact that I'm unsure have any bearing on the decision?

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    Yes look at 3 year costs . What Car residual value prediction for S3 is circa 56% 1.4 circa 48% ... More fun with an S3... 57 isn't old!! And although some on here seem to be hung up on their age I and probably you and many others aren't!!
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    you will have A LOT MORE fun in an S3
    Current - A3 2.0TFSi monsoon grey

    New 2014 coming March 3rd - 10am - S3 Phantom black - black styling pack - comfort pack with ACC - SSS - B & O - interior lights - rear parking sensors

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    No contest, S3 is the most fun I've had for run of the mill running cost in all my years of driving. If at 57 you won't be thrashing the a**e off of it the cost of the consumables diminishes significantly, the residuals are great, and you will drive something that puts a smile on your face every time you see a bit of open road. If you're not doing mega miles go on and spoil yourself, you only live once!
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    brand new S3 generation.......just read the reviews on here. Do it! YOLO
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    Is a S3 that cheap to run compared to the 1.4? I somewhat doubt it...
    Now a proud owner of a A3 1.4 tfsi Saloon S-Line, 6-speed, Daytona Grey, Technology Pack, Comfort Pack, Cruise, Advanced Key, Privacy Glass, Audi Parking System Plus, Interior Lighting, Folding Door Mirrors, Light & Rain Sensor. Hold Assist.

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    Just of the sums, if you can afford an S3 go for it! Fuel will cost more residual value will be higher. Head or heart decision and I believe you can justify if you need to!

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    I didn't need an S3 but I desperately wanted one. So I looked at it on this basis to help make my decision:-

    - I only do 5000 miles a year at a big push. Most of which is weekend "fun" driving with minimal commuting. Therefore fuel costs etc not a massive concern. So as it's basically a weekend car to have fun in it made sense to go for something that I wanted to drive.
    - The difference between a lower powered model (1.8 TFSI) was massive in terms of power / fun but minimal in terms of finance payments noting the much better depreciation of the S3 and guaranteed future value. I think the S3 was £20 a month more expensive compared to a similar specced 1.8 TFSI.
    - Insurance costs and general running costs on my minimal mileage just are not a big concern compared to doing say 20,000 miles p.a when consumables (tyres, oil, filters etc) would make the S3 potentially very expensive to run.

    I could understand your predicament but for the mileage you do I suspect actually the S3 would be more of an "event" when you drive it.

    I'm 28 and luck enough to be in a position to afford having a weekend car - at 57 you probably are in the same boat of being to afford most things you want.

    Go for the S3 and have a big smile on your face every time you drive it!
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    S3 Sportback S-Tronic - Amalfi White, Comfort Pack, LED headlights, LED interior lights, High-beam assist, hill hold assist, privacy glass, mono-pur, folding mirrors, TPMS, Audi sound system and black Alacantra. Built week 17. Arrived 17/05/14. Wow......just wow

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    Far too many unknown personal variables to make a judgement.
    What is your criteria and do you have access to other vehicles?

    For me the S3 is a sensible car. It's a practical 5 door hatchback.
    It's quick, but by no means over the top.
    It handles well, but there are better available drivers cars out there.
    It's fairly economical at 24.8mpg.
    Looks better than a regular A3.

    All depends though on your own personal preferences.
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    S3... do it now
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    Audi 8V S3 s-tronic
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    I have turned 60 years young and have ordered the S3 , as they say you cannot take it with you .
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    Life's too short - S3!
    A3 SB S-Line TDi 184PS Quattro S-tronic. Shiraz Red, Tech Pack, Comfort Pack, B&O, Sunroof, LED lights, lots of other stuff.

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    I only have one car. I have the cash to buy this one, but I don't earn a massive amount, maybe 50k
    I usually keep my cars for a long time, if I bond with them. My present car I've had for 18 years. I can see me holding on to a smaller, more economical version, for a long time, but I don't think the S3 would fall into that category. So, if I bought the S3, I would keep it for maybe, 5 years.
    Is it that good a car, to warrant that much of a financial hit? I think this may well come into the "you only live once" category.
    I've never had a proper powerful car, maybe now is the time.

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    You need to do it sometime ! Have kept my first mad purchase 32 years already !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond White View Post
    I've never had a proper powerful car, maybe now is the time.
    Is the right answer! Everyone who appreciates cars should have one once.
    Audi S5 3.0V6T Coupe Black Edition

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    The s3 is practical everyday car but it's more much more. Older than you and attend too many funerals. Buy an s3 .... With B&O and turn it up ;-)
    Scott, PilotAudi and Oily Audi like this.
    Delivered 1 March 2014, Estoril blue S3 Sportback STronic. B&O, Comfort, Aluminium rails, Interior Lights, Through load, lumbar, SD Sat Nav,TPM, Rev Mat.

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    Test drive both & the S3 will sell it's self!

    At 57, live a little!
    There are no pockets in a shroud!
    ...... Now this one's MUCH better!...

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    We can't answer this question for you - only you can tell how much monetary value you put on the 'fun factor'.

    If you're already seriously considering getting S3 I think you should get it - or you'll end up regretting it.
    Last edited by Anarch; 9th February 2014 at 21:50.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecosphere View Post
    The s3 is practical everyday car but it's more much more. Older than you and attend too many funerals. Buy an s3 .... With B&O and turn it up ;-)
    Absolutely Eco who says you have to drive boring 'coffin dodgers' cars because of your age! Some folks maybe but not us !! ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by warren_S3 View Post
    Is the right answer! Everyone who appreciates cars should have one once.
    Not just once Warren ... I've been in my mid life crisis for the last 20 years . Volvo T5s Saab Aeros, hot VW and Audis galore ... You can't take it with you.

    Pilot proud to still be a boy racer !
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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Not just once Warren ... I've been in my mid life crisis for the last 20 years . Volvo T5s Saab Aeros, hot VW and Audis galore ... You can't take it with you.

    Pilot proud to still be a boy racer !
    Agree, you can never have enough. For me it's a bug, I don't even use my cars to their potential 95% of the time but just knowing they are there ready to respond when the right piece of road presents itself makes up for the cost. Next goal, as I'm proper midlife crisis age now, 2 doors, 500bhp, V engine rumble, Supercharger whine!
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    Just a thought... do you want to know why S3 is better yourself or you want to justify the purchase to your Mrs ?

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    S3 is the obvious choice. Nothing worse than being in a car that doesn't have a decent amount of ooompf and knowing full well the chassis is capable of just SO much more.
    Build Week 1: Panther Black S3 SB S-Tronic, black nappa, anthracite alloys, comfort pack with adaptive cruise and parking plus, active lane assist, adaptive xenons with variable range control and auto high beam, technology package HIGH with connect, B&O, tyre pressure warning, fold/dim/dip/heat mirrors, reversible boot liner, extended mono pur interior, privacy glass, hill hold assist, LED interior light pack, electric lumber support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarch View Post
    Just a thought... do you want to know why S3 is better yourself or you want to justify the purchase to your Mrs ?
    No troubles selling the S3 to my Mrs she loved her 200PS 8P SB Quattro and the new S3 is better value, more economical you will love it etc etc.......means I can keep saving for my R8 or 911!
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    My misses told me to get the s3! I wasn't thinking of changing the my car until she arranged me a test drive in one!
    Build Week 1: Panther Black S3 SB S-Tronic, black nappa, anthracite alloys, comfort pack with adaptive cruise and parking plus, active lane assist, adaptive xenons with variable range control and auto high beam, technology package HIGH with connect, B&O, tyre pressure warning, fold/dim/dip/heat mirrors, reversible boot liner, extended mono pur interior, privacy glass, hill hold assist, LED interior light pack, electric lumber support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    No troubles selling the S3 to my Mrs she loved her 200PS 8P SB Quattro and the new S3 is better value, more economical you will love it etc etc.......means I can keep saving for my R8 or 911!
    Yep I did the same - sold the benefits and the fact it's a super nice car to drive around in. I managed to get sign off very easily after a test drive. This does make me chuckle as I pay all the bills anyway!

    Lol - she doesn't always play ball however. I tried to convince her that we should get an Merc A45 AMG - although she loved it she put her foot down and said it was too ugly, too crashy, too small and too expensive. She was the voice of reason and right!

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is still a boy racer.....

    Diamond White you need to join the S3 club!
    Last edited by Pulp84; 9th February 2014 at 22:22.
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    S3 Sportback S-Tronic - Amalfi White, Comfort Pack, LED headlights, LED interior lights, High-beam assist, hill hold assist, privacy glass, mono-pur, folding mirrors, TPMS, Audi sound system and black Alacantra. Built week 17. Arrived 17/05/14. Wow......just wow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarch View Post
    Just a thought... do you want to know why S3 is better yourself or you want to justify the purchase to your Mrs ?
    No, nothing like that. The old girl know's nothing about cars, doesn't drive, but does take an interest.
    This is purely my issue. When I decided to get an Audi this time, it didn't cross my mind to go for an S version. But reading this forum started me thinking "why not, don't I deserve it?" after 40 years working.

    Right, a little off subject there. But the feeling is genuine.

    I thought if I asked for opinions, some might advise me, that if you're not certain, then you don't really want one, and to go for the sensible option. Seems I was wrong on that front. I detect a very strong feeling in favour of the S3. I think I like it!!!
    Last edited by Diamond White; 10th February 2014 at 22:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond White View Post
    I'm in two minds about the practicality of an S3 for everyday use. I know an A3 1.4 COD will be more than adequate for my needs.
    I only do a few thou miles a year, and am certainly no boy racer (57)

    I'm just looking for a few reasons why I should buy an A3 over an S3, apart from the obvious £6k price difference.

    Does the fact that I'm unsure have any bearing on the decision?
    You really know what you want to do. It is much cheaper than a mistress. Go for it. 56yo here. Last 2 cars have been GTI and R. Loads of fun and they give me a smile every time I take them for a drive.

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    I'd say test drive them both if you can, but I really suspect you'll pick the S3 if you do. The 1.4 COD is nice, but 140 bhp doesn't feel that fast in a car like the A3 - you're looking at 1.2 tons unladen which is a fair chunk of weight. The other thing is you get more options as standard on the S3 which might skew the numbers a little once you have optioned them up.
    S3 (8V) S-Tronic Estoril Blue; A3 2.0TFSI S-Line quattro, Dolphin Grey [sold]

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    I'd say S3 too if you can afford one.
    I'm just in the process of getting rid of mine but it's for cost reasons with the mileage I'm doing.
    If you don't get the S3 you'll regret it big time especially if you have a go in one.

  32. #31
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    S3 all day long

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    I think the most ringing endorsement I can give of the S3's portfolio of strengths don't just come down to its power, but it's ability to cope in every situation life seems to throw at it. Day to day it's a fast / grippy hatchback, and as soon as the inclement British weather sets in it doesn't leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed, it just continues delivering in wet, sleet, snow. Consistent, predictable, and you know with the Haldex safety net you will have to be a complete fool (or incredibly unlucky) to lob it at the scenery. Even with Stage 2 I can hand the keys to my wife without a second thought, even when the weathers at its worst and know she is as safe as can be in any hot hatch available today (certainly wouldn't be able to do that in a 300bhp+ FWD car).

    It's fast, practical, comfortable, and classy. We've charged across Europe in ours and got out at the other end not feeling like we've been savaged by bears. In all those miles we've enjoyed the drive even more as your sat somewhere special. Because we're more passionate about the car we are driving, going to all these places seems more of an event, and driving becomes less of a process and more of an experience. More so in Europe we've come back to find people taking photos of our car. At Le Mans in 2012 a very young French couple were photographing our S3 when we got back to the car parks. Despite the slight language barrier (my French is weak), we let them have a sit / poke about in it and they seemed to enjoy it. If it had been something run of the mill they'd have walked on by, but it's the kind of car that even stirs the souls and desires of others (young like them or old like me!).

    The final testament is that twice I've been in a position to change cars in the last 7 years, the first time I went back for another S3 as there was nothing as complete that I could run for such a reasonable cost. Secondly there was nothing that offered the all round compelling proposition the S3 offers. To me it's just that bit nicer the the Golf's/Leon, and better than everything else hatch wise from most angles. You have to spend significantly more to improve upon it, but then you often find yourself still having to uncheck one box on the more expensive car as the S3 just does everything well.

    Certainly the most satisfying 7 years driving I've had (if you ignore the dealer intreractions, but then there's no pleasure without pain).

    Is it ordered yet?
    Audi S5 3.0V6T Coupe Black Edition

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    Hope the S5 is as enjoyable warren.. have to say we loved our 5's but always feel less engaging than the 8P.. Jury is out on 8V until 19 days time (well 451 hours) time ;-)

    Agree entirely about the French, they love Audis and not as common as here, not surprising given that an S3 is about £10k more expensive.

    Anyone got any comparative PCP quotes S3 vs A3?

  35. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Hope the S5 is as enjoyable warren.. have to say we loved our 5's but always feel less engaging than the 8P.. Jury is out on 8V until 19 days time (well 451 hours) time ;-)
    The wait is agonising isn't it. Had to wait 7 months for 1st S3, 6 months for second. Only a 3 month wait on the '5' as they've shunted a dealer vehicle out of the schedule but I'm already bored. Roll on April!
    Audi S5 3.0V6T Coupe Black Edition

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    Wife's last 8P ordered June 2010 for September delivery arrived March 2011 (9 months!) but at least Audi loaned us a car (naff FWD Tdi Sport) for 4 months! We are currently down from having 4 cars around here to just one!!

    Just done a quick calculation (fag packet) on A3 vs S3 costs.

    Assume RRP = £25k and 30k
    Assume 10% discount = £22500 - £27000

    RV on A3 SLine (according to What Car is 44%and 57%)

    Value at 3 years = 44% x 25 k = £11000 for A3 SB
    and 57% x 30k = £17100 for S3 SB

    Depreciation A3 = 22500 -11000 = 11500 = £319 a month
    Depreciation S3 = 27000 - 17100 = 9900 = £275 a month

    Anyone going to agree/disagree?

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    Surely the increased running costs of the s3 need to be taken into account as well?
    Now a proud owner of a A3 1.4 tfsi Saloon S-Line, 6-speed, Daytona Grey, Technology Pack, Comfort Pack, Cruise, Advanced Key, Privacy Glass, Audi Parking System Plus, Interior Lighting, Folding Door Mirrors, Light & Rain Sensor. Hold Assist.

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    £44 a month saving. Insurance on 1.4 would save me £47 a year so £40 to cover extra fuel. Tyres same size, no brainer really if your heart rules your head.

    Fuel will be cheaper on 1.4 but on the basis the figures suggest the 1.4 is 40%+ more economical the break even point on fuel is about 8500 miles a year.. at 10,000 miles a year the extra cost is circa £10 a month..

    As with all these things I tend to play around with the figures to justify what my heart wants to do... but then there's Road Tax... to factor in... what the heck I don't subscribe to being sensible.
    Last edited by PilotAudi; 10th February 2014 at 11:35.

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    As far as i'm concerned my head would say A3 1.4 but my wiggly bits down below would say S3 ... yep, in my case the wiggly bits down below won the battle.

    S3 oozes testosterone whilst the 1.4 obviously does not, completely different worlds.
    # Currently enjoying my Audi S3 8V Sportback in Estoril blue #

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    Quote Originally Posted by Battlekrapz View Post
    As far as i'm concerned my head would say A3 1.4 but my wiggly bits down below would say S3 ... yep, in my case the wiggly bits down below won the battle.

    S3 oozes testosterone whilst the 1.4 obviously does not, completely different worlds.
    Not sure what KempySue would make of that comment!! ;-0 But I agree!
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  41. #40
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    Remember when considering your costs NOT to go by manufacturer MPG figures.

    The S5 states 34mpg combined figure, but I couldn't get that on an A road at 56mpg in eco mode! I got 30.9mpg, so a good benchmark is to reduce MPG by 10% from manufacturer claims when considering your costs (or use https://www.fuelly.com/ for real owner data - caveat: some users quote in US gallons and these are different to UK gallons so interpret carefully).

    That said, unless you're doing BIG mileage fuel shouldn't really come in to it too much; how much of a price can you put on 'fun/wow factor'???
    Audi S5 3.0V6T Coupe Black Edition

 

 
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