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£12k to spend - is the A3 the obvious choice?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Duncan, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    do pretty much have my heart set on an A3 but do want to think about other possiblities -

    was considering the saab 95 or 93?

    maybe Mercedes C-class or BMW 3 series

    definitely want a Diesel automatic just not sure if the A3 is definitley the right choice...

    any suggestions???
    #1
  2. leighharris
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    leighharris Member

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    Ultimately it comes down to what you like. Personally I'd never buy a BMW because of the preconceptions I have about the people who drive them.

    They're undoubtedly good cars, but car choice is a very subjective thing and I don't think they're for me.

    If I was you, I'd get onto some dealers and get some test drives booked
    #2
  3. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    The A3 is a smaller car than those you mentioned.
    The A4 would be more comparable.

    Paul
    #3
  4. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    Blimey Duncan....how did you ever make a decision before you joined this site!!?? :lmfao:

    The other cars are totally different to the A3 so it's hard to tell you which to go for. Personally, I "need" a hatch so the BM and the C class would be out. And Saab just doesn't do it for me so it's A3 everytime!
    #4
  5. HotboxDeluxe
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    HotboxDeluxe automatic

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    I'd go Audi or BMW personally, but you do have to make your own decision :lmfao: are you posting on Mercedes, BMW and Saab forums too? Because this being an Audi forum n'all, I think a lot of people are going to say Audi anyway...

    Saab? :lazy:
    BMW? Fine fine car, if you don't mind the preconceptions of others - I personally don't give a rat's :asskicking:
    Merc? :lazy: unless it says AMG on it.
    Audi A3? Looks nice, goes well, lovely inside, Golf underneath. I like mine

    Personally with 12k to spend I'd buy a nice M635csi from the 80's - and to buggery with modernity. Not useful advice, particularly
    #5
  6. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    sorry, i know what you guys mean, stupid question to ask really after all it is what i would like, the real problem is im not in a position to test drive any cars or even have a look at them in the flesh becuase im still out the country

    have been in beijing for nearly 10 months straight now (10 months without driving once) am getting very excited about buying a new car and frustratingly all i can do is browse auto trader and the forums. next best thing without actually test driving a car!

    was just really after a new avenue to reasearch and look at lol

    if work wasnt so quiet at the moment it would be a different story - could probably wait the next 2 weeks without looking at auto trader until i get home.

    have even been ringing garages from Beijing to see what they would give me part exchange for my clio - chances of the car im interested in still being there in two weeks probably very slim...
    #6
  7. HotboxDeluxe
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    HotboxDeluxe automatic

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    Wait till you get home and do some test drives. You may hate the Audi. You may love the Saab. Some people are weird :lmfao:

    Seriously though, I appreciate your position. If I was away for 10 months without driving AND was getting a new car on my return I'd be more than agitated...still, nice thing to look forward to! 12 grand gets a nice motor...

    :o.k:
    #7
  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    You should look at a Volvo S60 too.
    D5 diesel engine is excellent.
    You can get an auto option.
    If you get one with the dolby surround stereo option, they're top notch.
    See if this link works.
    This one too.
    Or if you think the S60 is too big, go for the S40/V50.
    I prefer the looks of the V50.
    Again, available with D5 diesel and auto (gear-tronic) option.
    Nice one here.
    I know these are all slightly above your £12k budget, but I am allowing for the fact you would get dosh off.
    If they want £13k, I guarantee you'd get it for £12k cash.:icon_thumright:

    Also, if you like the Saab 9-3, go look at one.
    Sod all wrong with them, with the 150bhp Tid engine.
    I wouldn't bother with the older diesels though, they were rough.
    Got to be the Tid.
    I've had two Saabs in my time (saloon and coupe, both 'Talladega' models)
    Liked them both, they were just too heavy on fuel (petrols).
    Lucky to get 23mpg from them.

    Personally, if I were spending £12k, I'd be looking at an Alfa 159.
    But then I have the benefit of knowing people's prejudices against Alfas are baseless ****.:icon_thumright:
    #8
  9. Macduff
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    Macduff Member

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    Saab 93 is a good car but nowhere near the quality of an Audi (well an A4 anyway). I test drove one before we bought our A4 and was seriously underwhelmed by the interior finish. I actually felt that the Vectra (the 93 is on the same platform) is a better built car inside. Of course that may have changed as it was 2004 when I last drove one.

    95 is quite old now and the current facelift is absolutely awful.
    #9
  10. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Good spot there, Matt.:hi:
    #11
  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Another Mazda 6 MPS

    I know they're not what he's looking for, I'm just saying I'd like one for £12k.
    #13
  14. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    Thanks for all this guys - it has definitley helped me to figure out that i just have to find an S-Line A3 DSG 2.0 TDI,

    its the car that ive done the most research on but it did slightly dawn on me that maybe im missing a trick, but for what i want nothing comes close

    I just love the idea of driving a DSG, plus the A3 face-life S-line is a seriously nice looking car!

    Cheers for all the help guys - now all i need to do is find a Facelift S-line with less than 40k on the clock for around 11.5k

    proving trickier than i thought!!
    #14
  15. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Yeah, the idea is nice.
    The reality is horrific, as far as I'm concerned.
    Good luck though.:icon_thumright:
    #15
  16. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    in what way?
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  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Do a search on here under 'DSG'
    Then you'll see.
    I bloody hated that gearbox with a passion.
    Single worst option I've ever spec'd for a car.
    Nothing went wrong with it, it is just a seriously flawed product, IMO.
    I wasn't the only one who hated DSG, but we were in the minority on here.
    For every DSG hater, there were several DSG lovers.

    Cue David saying he wouldn't have a car without it now, etc.etc.
    No need, it's been covered above.
    #17
  18. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    What about the 9-3 Turbo X, is that still daft money?

    Ill have mine in black with a Hirsch conversion please:)

    Suppose Im not helping...
    Good look A3 hunting.

    cheers
    Paul
    #18
  19. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    My brother works for Saab, cars are fine but you will loose a lot of money on it compared to any of the German brands.
    #19
  20. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    BMW 3 series diesel for me mate. Anyone talking about 'preconceptions' of BMW drivers are quite frankly living in the 80's. Remember that era when BMW's were flash and Audi's were understated chic? Well it's totally the opposite nowadays and you'll find Audi drivers are considered in exactly the same regard, if not worse. The only preconception i'd be worried about is the beamer looking like a rep mobile.

    Anyway... Saab's just aren't my cup of tea, Mercedes are a little 'mature' unless you're going for an AMG model. The 3 series is just a bit more refined to drive and more spacious than the 3 series.
    #20
  21. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    Really, how much are they going for ??? also consider the Golf, the Leon, Ocatavia and the 120d, all diesel all auto. S Type 2.7TD is another good choice.
    #21
  22. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    I've just been offered £12250 trade-in by my dealer for my pre-facelift March 2007 A3 Sportback 2.0TDI-170 SE DSG with 28,600 miles on the clock.

    Getting a facelift S-Line with DSG for less than 12k may be rather difficult!

    The DSG/S-tronic is great as far I'm concerned. The A3 I'm about to order will be my third with one and I would not like to own another car without one.
    #22
  23. rollon
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    rollon Member

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    I was considering selling mine but realistically I will get around 12.5 for it so instead I'll just wait and trade it in when I change, less hassle and no one telling me "its a prefacelift mate", etc.

    Best thing to do is wait if your limit is 12k, they will come down eventually however mileage may be higher.
    #23
  24. kaz219
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    kaz219 Active Member

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    From looking around - i doubt you will find a S-Line bumpered S-Line for that price.

    You may pick up a facelift s-line but wihtout the s-line bumper with around 60k for around that price..

    But anything can happen is this current economic situation!

    Mate bought a civic type r, red, slight dent in wing which pdr guy will sort, 75k, FHSH, 02reg for 4k :p

    But if i had £12k and took everything into consideration (tax, running costs, insurance, depreciation) apart from space - I'd have a 06 Mini Cooper S JCW! Little go karts - we use to have one - really good fun! Im a bit mad so you might not want to take my advise on one lol
    #24
  25. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    I hate to say it but am looking at 2.0 TDI GT DSG golfs again -

    I dont want to - really want to get an S-Line A3 2005+ (dont like the front as much after before 2004)

    for the same cash i could get the 170 golf TDI - to be honest thought would probably prefer the 140 since its cheaper to tax and insure and im not sure how much slower it would be after a remap?

    have had a look at 5series BMW even S class Merc's but will cost an arm and a leg to run....

    as soon as I stray away from the A3, i just end up back where i started lol
    #25
  26. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    If you want an honest opinion, I wouldn't go for the MkV Golf. Ok, I'm biased because I own an Audi but the Golf is very disappointing inside IMHO. The centre console is very basic and cheap looking. Most of the GTs only have semi-auto climate control, which looks really poor IMO. The MkVs that I've test driven have all had annoying rattles, mainly on the dash.

    The A3 felt better built and the interior is a big step up over the Golf.

    Like I say, just my opinion, but it'd have to be the A3 over the MkV Golf.
    #26
  27. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    I know your right, is a tricky one - my budget keeps creeping up and up just so i can get an S-line 2.0 tdi DSG....

    i just need to bide my time and wait for a good one to come up for sale (there are a few 2004's but I would much prefer the single grill rather than the 2 part split pre 2005)

    also need to get a goodish trade in for my 172 cup...

    problem is im just going round in circles until i can actually get behind the wheel of one and take it for a spin,

    looks like im not going to be back in the uk for at least 5 weeks now......

    supposed to be back 1st week of feb, just keeps getting extended,
    #27
  28. kaz219
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    kaz219 Active Member

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    100% Agree - I had test drove/hired a 2007 Jetta, 2004 GT TDI, 2005 GT TDI and Mk5 GTI and they all had niggley rattles from the centre console/astry area and the jetta had a rattle from the seat belt area on the pillar - I actually wanted a mk5 but chose not to.

    A3 is definitly more refined tha the golf and better built - feels solid! And the Golf is insurance group 13 and equiv audi is 11 ! thats the tdi 140 models
    #28
  29. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    Unless you got a GT golf from the last couple of years, they will also be quite dull and low specced.

    The A3 V mk5 Golf price differential doesnt exist IMO, I looked all over when searching for mine. I had my heart set on a mk5 but decided to have a look at some A3's on Autotrader and they were hardly any dearer year for year so A3 it was for me!
    #29
  30. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    well to be honest im only looking at S-line spec A3's if you compare the GT to the SE A3 then yea there is not alot of difference but on the whole you can get a GT with lower mileage and newer for the same cash

    you can also get the 170 diesel with 25k miles for about 11ish - thats alot cheaper than the a3 equivilant!
    #30
  31. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    also was thinking...

    if i am really going to stretch my budget is it worth jumping up to the TDI A3 DSG 170bhp?

    looking at the economy stats - tax / insurance / mpg - on auto trader technical info the mpg is higher on the 170 than the 140 - tax is the same and insurance is only 2 groups higher - which doesnt bother me to be honest

    bearing in mind i probably wont map a 140 while it was under warranty - would i notice a big difference in performance between the 140 and 170?

    if i was to get the 140 chipped how would it fair against a standard 170?

    im guessing that if you chip the 170 it wouldnt be worth doing unless yo uprate the suspension and brakes (which i dont think i would want to do)

    lets just say im back on the A3 train - and not even bothering to look at other cars!!
    #31
  32. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Drive a 140 and a 170. There is quite a bit of difference in the performance. The 140 is a bit of a slug in comparison. 170 is much more livelier and responsive... I had a test drive in a 140 DSG and was all for getting one till I had a go in a 170 manual. Has so much more go about it and revs much more freely to the redline. The 140 runs out of a puff. 170 is quieter too...

    Its not as economical as the 140 but I still get over 40MPG. Long runs it creeps up to 45ish.
    #32
  33. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    is there a big difference in economy between the 170 and the 140,

    if i were to get the 170 remapped would i see a benefit in economy or would it not make much of a difference.

    have found a 170 wtih 40k on the clock for 13k hopefully bash them down to 12k but annoying thing is by the time i get back to the uk it will probably be sold.......

    as for noise well nothing will be as noisey as my 172 cup (with DCAT + single pipe recessed custom fit exhaust)

    dont think the noise of a diesel will bother me
    oh well - fingers crossed!!
    #33
  34. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    Not really a massive difference. I'd suggest mid-high 40s for the 140, low-mid 40s for the 170. I'm getting around 43mpg in mine overall.

    You might see an economy benefit from a 170 remap, however, I've recently been told that the older DPFs don't like remaps and there's possibility of it blocking, resulting in a fire risk.

    The 170 you've seen - is that an S-line?? Good price if it is.
    #34
  35. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    yup, is an S-line,

    am only looking at S-line's around the 40k mark, found a 140 s-line with 38k miles for 10990 would have snapped that up if i wasnt in china..
    #35
  36. nin
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    nin New Member

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    Buy the A3 Sline 2.0tdi 170bhp with DSG, its ******* lovely!
    #36
  37. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    would love to, just got to find one with reasonable mileage....

    and if i could get one in phantom black that would be even better!!
    #37
  38. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Phantom Black did you say? :moa:
    [​IMG]

    But with a proper gearbox...
    [​IMG]
    #38
  39. Duncan
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    Duncan Member

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    Very nice Matt, very nice - just need to get 4k for my 172 clio then ill have around 13k to spend!!
    #39
  40. nin
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    nin New Member

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    Dont know if this will help but i just bought mine last week for 14.5k from Bexley Audi with 26,000 on the clock.

    I absoultley love the DSG.
    #40

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