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A3 3.2 Q S-Line DSG or New S3?

Spook Sep 5, 2006

  1. Spook

    Spook Member

    Following on from stevec's excellent thread, I face an identical dilemma.

    I bought my 8L S3 new nearly 7 years ago, and have held onto it in eager anticipation of the new S3 being something special. Sadly, I share the views of many others on this forum in coming to the conclusion on the information available so far that it is not. I may be wrong, and it might drive better than some of the pundits are suggesting. However, even if it does (not likely in my view - Frankel of the Sunday Times and Autocar got it dead right first time about the 8L S3, so there's no reason to disbelieve him about the new one) there's no getting round the fact that it is still going to be hideously expensive to spec up the new S3 to a point where there is "clear blue water" between it and an S-Line.

    This has now got me thinking. I would be looking at spending upwards of £35k to spec a new S3 to the level I want (I'm a toys man :)), and even then, it would still have a 4-cylinder engine (always hoped it would be a V6) and no DSG (big disappointment). Is this value for money? I have seen a 12 month-old A3 3.2 Q S-Line DSG, 40k miles but with a very high spec (including SatNav Plus, which is what I would put on the S3 at a ridiculous cost) for just over half of what I would be looking at for the new S3 with the spec I want. This 3.2 seems to me to be a lot of car for the money.

    What do people think? Does this make sense? Or am I jumping the gun? Could I live with an A3 after having an S3 for all this time? Or is the 8P A3, even in non-S3 form, so much better than the 8L that I won't look back?

    Also, I don't have a lot of knowledge of the 3.2, and would welcome the thoughts of anyone who has one, particularly the S-Line, who could tell me what I would be missing out on compared to my old S3.

  2. JohnS3

    JohnS3 Active Member

    There are a few of us in the same boat. I'm starting to think that the new S3 isn't for me and I haven't even driven it yet....
    I'm arranging to test drive a 2.0TFSI Sline Special Edition, might have to buy it new as I'm also a toys man and like to have all the bells and whistles.
    I did drive a 3.2 DSG about 2 months ago, my average MPG for the 20 minute test drive was 18. That's not something I can live with and I wasn't driving it hard all the time. I average 26 MPG in my current S3 with some mixed driving, I do have a heavy right foot at times too.
    I cheeky revo on the 2.0TFSI takes you from 207 ft of torque up to 285, that should be enough for fun and decent economy if you back off.

    Regards, John.
  3. onianbag

    onianbag Member

    everyone is in the same boat!!
    i got rid of my s3 two years ago for a 3.2 Q sport with DSG and honestly have never looked back. a highly specced 3.2 (sat nav, tv, bose etc etc) is a LOT of car for what they are going for now. doeas anyone REALLY need the extra 15hp or so, the new S3 offers, given the financial outlay required? 3.2 all the way for me. i average 24 ish with mixed driving and about 19-21 when booting it (incidently fuel economy improves with the age of the 3.2)
  4. john_cook

    john_cook I was the STIG.

    depends if you are a total purist or not. The S3 will be the better car but like the last fella said, is it worth all that money for a badge and 15bhp. The A3 drives well in 3.2 form and can be tinkered with if u need more power. You can fit a body kit easily which looks discrete and better than the s3 too. I reckon go with an A3 3.2 kitted up but with less than 40k miles, more like sub 20k miles.

  5. dmaudi

    dmaudi Member

    Sunday times article and Autocar online thoughts I think mirror much of the dissapontment with the new S3,

    it does not seem to be a replacement for the excellent perhaps ground-breaking original, a real shame.

    I had got more and more interested in the S3 for the likely improved Handling over my 3.2, the lighter ali front suspension and perhaps more fun performance delivery but most reports and the recent videos this seems to be missing from the new car.

    What have Audi done to it?,

    just won an RNS-E on ebay so spec wise I'm now happy with my car and after 20K miles (10 with me) and the REVO I do feel I've got a much better performing car than when I bought it.

    holding out (fingers and everything crossed) now for a true highly tuned or turbo V6 engined RS3... in the mould of the RS4 if they ever do get round to it.
  6. dbm

    dbm Active Member

    I traded up from a heavily modified S3 at the beginning of the year. I had had it for 5 years, and had spent about £4.5k on performance upgrades over the last couple of years. I was also trying to hold out for the new S3, but in the end I couldn't wait any longer (this was just weeks before the S3 was confirmed).

    My 3.2Q DSG S-Line Sportback is much more refined car than the S3 was. I would say that the 3.2 S-line is as agile and as quick as a standard S3, though it isn't as performant as a modified one. The car is to a better build quality that the S3, although I would agree it isn't as 'special' as the S3 was.

    The 3.2 with DSG is vastly more relaxing to drive if you want it to be. Every day I commute into the centre of Liverpool, and that involves half an hour of driving in solid traffic. Putting the car in 'D' and chilling out is so relaxing. Alternatively, put the car in 'S' for quick standing starts, or switch to Tip for more control during enthusiastic driving. I don't think I'll ever go back to a straight manual gearbox again.

    And the engine in very refined and quiet when pootling about, but sounds great under heavy acceleration. The only thing better would be a V8...

    I have no regrets about buying my 3.2Q.


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