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Can you A3 drivers assist my Sister with car choice

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by abmunro, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. abmunro
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    abmunro Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    Hi Tony



    Got a car dilemma!



    We have narrowed the list of 2000 (all varieties of all cars) down to 3 which we looked at over the weekend – but I can’t decide, what do you think?



    Mercedes – C Class Sport C160K SE, looks very nice, very sporty – we all liked it but the tax per year is £1,843 (at 40%) and mpg is only 26.9. The other feature which put me off is it has a foot pedal rather than a handbrake, now I’ve drove a merc before with a foot pedal and it was a bit of an adventure so I’m not sure if I could go 4 years without having to do a hill start!
    BMW New 3 series Saloon 318i ES – looks lovely inside and out, but very long on the bonnet (Bri is unsure about my parking it!) there was only me really liked it. Tax per year would be £1794 and mpg is 28.2.
    Audi A3D TDI SE 1900 Sportback – we all liked this one it looks nice but very much a family car – Tax per year would be £1374 and mpg is good at 40.9 as it’s a diesel. There is also another version which is a TDI Sport just looks a bit sportier – can’t decide between the 2 as not much in it and same price etc.


    So, if you had a choice between only those 4 which would you choose? Then if you were deciding for me which would you choose? As I need all the help I can get.
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  3. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    Personally wouldn't choose the Merc as it will always be in the shop being fixed. Their legendary german build quality just isn't what it used to be (some on here may say the same about Audi but IMHO they're still better than M-B)

    The A3 is a nice car, but I would personally avoid the 1.9 and go for the 2.0, much more powerful and in my experience will easily return 50-55mpg on a journey (65mpg is my highest indicated average over 70 miles)

    The SE spec is a nice 'family' spec wit hsome useful features not on the standard, and some that aren't on the Sport/Sline models as standard.

    The Sport model will give a firmer ride (and the SLine firmer still), so if performance/handling aren't a criteria then stick with the SE.

    DSG is worth looking at (only available on 2.0 models), it's not a manual gearbox (don't be fooled into thinking it is) but in my opinion has the best of both the auto and manual worlds)

    Both the Sport and SE models have the option of either 1.9tdi or 2.0tdi 105bhp & 140bhp respectivley.
    #2
  4. simonl
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    simonl Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    For me it'd be between an A3 2.0TDI sport or the BMW 3. I'd discount the Merc on looks alone.
    As Eef says the 2.0TDI is well worth the extra bucks, which you'll recoup come sale time anyway. The Sport versions just make the car less family like, ride is still good and it still comes with a host of goodies. I'd definately get the roof rails though - I think they really set the car off and make the most of it's 'mini estate' looks.

    The 3 is also a cracking car, and arguably a league above, but i'm just not sure how much kudos a basic 3 series has these days, in many respects they just feel a bit dull.

    So after all is said and done, out of the 3 choices, i think i'd get the A3, but not before i drive a Golf GTI first though... now that would put a big grin on her face and get the neighbours curtains twitching!
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  5. abmunro
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    abmunro Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    This is going to be sis's company car.She is not buying it. I'm afraid 2.0 was not on the list. Its a choice between cars above.

    Cheers
    #4
  6. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    The 1.9tdi is much more economical though,in my experience.
    I got around 10mpg more from the 1.9tdi than the 2.0tdi.

    In my opinion,seeing as you've said it's a company car,you should always go for the one with the lowest tax.

    Simple as that really.

    Bear in mind you don't get the 3% discount on diesels registered after 1.1.06.
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  7. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    is she paying for fuel probably the Audi, if not I'd get the BMW no question over the others.
    #6
  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    I'd like to see some of the of the other cars on the list.

    No Saab 9-3 turbo diesel ?
    No new shape Honda Civic with the 2.2 diesel engine ?
    No Alfa Romeo 159 with the Jtd engine ?
    #7
  9. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    I'm in two minds over the economy, but I think it's my lying ba$tard of a DIS that is causing the confusion.

    If I try I can hit higher numbers on a single journey than I ever could in my golf...but the tank doesn't seem to last as long /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif
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  10. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    Also bear in mind that the beemer will be EMPTY for the basic spec, whereas the Audi SE is pretty good.
    #9
  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Also bear in mind that the beemer will be EMPTY for the basic spec, whereas the Audi SE is pretty good.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It's the ES spec BMW though,which I think is pretty well-specced.
    Here's a quick rundown.


    Power steering: Std
    Air conditioning: Std
    Traction Control: DSC Std
    Driver's airbag: Std
    Passenger airbag: Std
    Side airbag: Std
    Alarm: Std
    Immobiliser: Std
    Seat Belt Pre-Tensioners: Std
    Central locking: Std
    Alloy wheels: Std
    Electric window: Std
    Electric mirrors: Std
    RDS Radio: Std
    CD player: Std

    I note some of the options are cheaper than the Audi as well,such as £1220 for leather,which I'm sure is cheaper than the A3 (I stand to be corrected).

    Surely though,if you're looking at a 3 series you should be looking at an A4 and not an A3 ???

    The 3 series and A3 are not natural competitors.
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  12. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    Sorry but that's still pony compared to the Audi, most of the things on there shouldn't even be listed as extras.

    Power steering: Std
    Driver's airbag: Std
    Passenger airbag: Std
    Alarm: Std
    Immobiliser: Std
    Central locking: Std
    Alloy wheels: Std
    Electric window: Std
    Electric mirrors: Std
    RDS Radio: Std

    There really aren't many cars that don't come with the above.
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  13. cdb2
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    cdb2 Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    I was originally going to have a Merc Sport Coupe C200K Evolution but couldn't get out of it in the garage as the doors are very long and thick and need to be opened a fair way to obtain enough room to get out - and I'm no fatty! You may need to consider this.Therefore I had to write it off. The interior was a bit low rent mind you compared to Audi. Also mine was to be the Evo whcih has big wheels and a more sportier look. The C160K is bottom dollar so will be slow. I was going to have the auto for resale so unless you do that you'll have to manage with 4 pedals for a hill start - the setup is really designed for an auto. Unless you have parking sensors, rear view is very poor and the front dips away quickly.

    On the Sportback SE, have the roof rails and have the no cost option of changing the ginger wood to the aluminium interior - makes a huge difference and makes it look more sporty inside with the black seats. Could even add the 17" 5 Star Alloys to the SE if you have a spare £700. SE spec is good with the interior light pack, auto lights and wipers and cruise etc and no hard ride. The only difference you'll notice externally between SE and Sport is the Sport has fogs (but you can get them for about £120 I think as an option) and it has larger alloys - which you can also upgrade to if you want. However the SE is better appointed inside regarding armrest and toys and features. The SE is the more comfortable ride.
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  14. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 14, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Sorry but that's still pony compared to the Audi, most of the things on there shouldn't even be listed as extras.

    Power steering: Std
    Driver's airbag: Std
    Passenger airbag: Std
    Alarm: Std
    Immobiliser: Std
    Central locking: Std
    Alloy wheels: Std
    Electric window: Std
    Electric mirrors: Std
    RDS Radio: Std

    There really aren't many cars that don't come with the above.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    True,it was just a brief list I found.

    What do you suspect the BMW is missing compared with the A3,out of interest ?
    #13
  15. imported_unkle
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    imported_unkle Guest

    [Feb 14, 2006]
    If you get the Audi, ask for reversing sensors and the six disk in-dash cd changer....

    (two cheap but essential options IMHO)
    #14
  16. cdb2
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    cdb2 Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    Another thing to consider with the new BMWs is the w e e d y alloy wheels you get on the bottom models.

    You have to search for them in the wheel arches, they don't appear wide enough. Most alloys are nearly flush with the outside of the arches, these look like bike tyres as they appear about a foot in from the edge of the arches! Looks ridiculous, I laughed at the fist one I saw, almost looked like the guy was driving around on 4 spacesavers.

    But some will have the badge at any cost!
    #15
  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    But some will have the badge at any cost!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Like the girl in here.

    Absolutely must have a black BMW,to 'match' her husband's basic 318,so she goes and buys a basic 1 series without even checking the opposition.

    Unbelievable.

    then she has the cheek to say she doesn't like the look of my car !

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cry.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_2.gif
    #16
  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    It's like people who absolutely must have the S-line version of the A3, which is only fitted with a DSG gearbox, without actually trying one and then have the cheek to say they don't like the way it works !

    Sorry bowfer, but you asked for that one.
    #17
  19. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    It's like people who absolutely must have the S-line version of the A3, which is only fitted with a DSG gearbox, without actually trying one and then have the cheek to say they don't like the way it works !

    Sorry bowfer, but you asked for that one.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Indeed,or people who just buy cars without checking out the opposition.

    Touche,I believe. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/fuck_you.gif
    #18
  20. cdb2
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    cdb2 Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    I saw a 1 series around here in white with black door handles. Again they bought the base model as had to have the badge but didn't tick the 'door handles in same colour as body' option. Wasn't only the door handles, some parts on the body and bumpers too, very poor, poverty spec. With ref to a prev post last week, suppose at least the door handles might not fall off! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    But the w e e d y alloys on base 3 series do look daft. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cry.gif
    #19
  21. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    Not sure who these people are who just buy cars without checking out the opposition. Personally when it's time to change my car I always spend weeks trying out the opposition. Before my last cahnge I tried a Focus, a Golf, a BMW 3 series, a Peugeot 307 and several others but none were as good as the A3s, 2.0 TDI, 2.0FSI both manual and DSG, I also tried so I bought another A3.

    It's always worth checking on the opposition, but so far they have not come up with anything I prefer to the cars I have purchased.
    #20
  22. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Not sure who these people are who just buy cars without checking out the opposition. Personally when it's time to change my car I always spend weeks trying out the opposition. Before my last cahnge I tried a Focus, a Golf, a BMW 3 series, a Peugeot 307 and several others but none were as good as the A3s, 2.0 TDI, 2.0FSI both manual and DSG, I also tried so I bought another A3.

    It's always worth checking on the opposition, but so far they have not come up with anything I prefer to the cars I have purchased.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Out of morbid curiosity,if nothing else,why would you try a Focus and a 307 when they're miles cheaper than the Audi ?

    You could probably have bought a Focus AND a 307 for the same money as your A3 (well,I'm sure I could for my car's £24400).

    Isn't it a bit self-evident that they'll feel a bit disappointing compared with a much more expensive car ?

    Why not just test-drive cars in the same price range ?

    Just curious.
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  23. simonl
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    simonl Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    maybe beacuse you can see what floats your boat.
    It's not always luxuries that put a smile on your face.

    It's just different ends of the hatchback spectrum
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  24. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    Bowfer - Price is not the only factor. The size and type of layout are also important. I've had 3-door hatchbacks, 5-door hatchbacks and 4-door saloons in the past and now much prefer a 3-door hatchback. All the cars, with the execption of the BMW were just that. I still try a BMW every once in a while just to see if I dislike them as much as I did the last time. I recently tried a BMW 1-series just to see what is was like. I tend to prefer front wheel drive anyway and the 1-series is only available as a 5-door.

    What other 3-door hatch-backs would you suggest that are in the same bracket as the A3 apart from perhaps the Golf. I have had Mk1, 2 and 3 Golfs in the past and consider the Audi a little bit better in the areas that are important to me. I must admit I have not tried the Mercedes C-series. I rang a Mercedes dealer to ask about a test drive but they never did ring back. I have been out as a passenger in a colleagues C-230 and was not overly impressed.

    I do also read at least one and sometimes 2 motoring magazines a week so I am fully aware of what models are avaialble and at what price.

    More to the point, having now driven a car with a DSG gearbox and liked it so much what other cars in the same price bracket would you suggest that also have a DSG. I don't think I would like to go back to a manual, especially with a diesel engine and I don't want a normal automatic, which rather limits my choice.

    Fortunately Audi make a very nice car, which meets all my requirements and can be had with a DSG. So unless Audi do something silly with the A3 I think my next car will also be an A3
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  25. simonl
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    simonl Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    You could probably have bought a Focus AND a 307 for the same money as your A3

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You could also buy two A3 1.6's for the price of a well specced 3.2, That argument doesn't hold.
    I would consider a well specced ST as an alternative to an A3.
    #24
  26. mikep
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    mikep Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    Like Dave, I spend a long time working out my next car. Weeks of going through reviews and as many test drives as possible.

    In the end the choice was pretty easy, Diesel is compulsory due to my annual mileage, DSG was a must. Which left me with 3 choices, Audi, SEAT and VW (I did consider Skoda but they didn't have a model I liked). The Audi won on the total package:

    Quality
    Driving
    Residuals
    Dealers (honsest!)
    and the fact I run a VAG tuning business!

    Next time (2 1/2 years) there will be at least 4 other manufacturers offering a DSG type box, so the competition will be tougher. Hybrids may even come into the equation (diesel/electric, not pertrol/electric).
    #25
  27. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Feb 15, 2006]
    same here Mike, it was DSG that effectively made me go for the A3 - I usually use the opportunity to get cars for extended test drives and also reading up on whats out there but DSG was a must /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    #26
  28. imported_unkle
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    imported_unkle Guest

    [Feb 15, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Not sure who these people are who just buy cars without checking out the opposition...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thats me! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shutup.gif daft as it may sound, change car every 12 months so if I dont like something blah no worries, also Im into getting from a to b with minimal fuss.

    Got my first A3 (1.6 fsi sport) on basis of a friends recommendation, got the second one (2.0 tdi sport) on the basis I wanted something like the first one but a bit quicker.

    Depending on what my insurance is next year, might go for Golf Gti....

    But back to the topic, go for the A3.

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #27

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