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Choices, choices. What to buy, Yet another thread seeking advice (unbiased)

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by hooley, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. hooley
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    hooley Member

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    I appreciate the you are all going to to be biased, but I want to ask the opinion of people who I feel have similar car sensibilities to myself, and look for similar qualities.

    I'll start by saying i'm 37, married with a 3 year old and another about to pop out. Wife forcing my hand to get rid of 2 and get a single replacement.

    So, i'm in the market for a new(er) car.

    Got to get rid of an 8L A3 1.8 TQS that is chipped to 210bhp/230LbFt and a VW Touareg, but just don't know what to get.

    I've been lurking on the 8P site for a few months pondering if I should get a 3.2DSG, but cannot make my mind up.

    I have issues with the 4WD and just can't help but think that I would gain a lot more of the feeling of power and acceleration if I didn't have the quattro system robbing so much in transmission losses. The A3 is starting to feel really slow. I know it isn't the power/torque it is putting out as these are consistant, but my 'bum-dyno' feels it is lacking.

    The modern FWD cars can handle a lot more in the last few years and 210 bhp in a golf must feel a lot faster than the 210 I have now.

    OK curveball, how about a BMW 330D?
    Chipped to 260bhp and 440 lbft?
    Anyone? With only RWD not too much in the way of transmission losses, so must feel bl**dy quick.

    I do love my VW/Audi's and have a spangly Q7 sitting on the drive for the family bus, so I'm getting rid of the old 55-plate 2.5 TDI Touareg (worth about £11k)and my A3 TQS (worth about £1500 - was a Cat D, glass damage but has a dodgy re-spray and is 120k miles) and combining (most) of the value in to a newer car.

    Budget around £7-12K, depending on how low I can go for what I want.......but I just don't know what I want.

    OK so here are a few requirements:

    I love the security of 4WD, but feel it robs so much of the power.
    I love the interior of the newer Audis, but could compromise and get a fully loaded Golf - MFSW, Sat-Nav and bluetooth is a must.
    Would like to try a RWD saloon/estate as I used to drive a Caterham and loved every minute of this and a BMW would just about surfice.
    I need the car to be something the wife would want to take if she didn't want to take the Q7, so small(er), fast and luxurious is required.
    I need to be able to travel 15-18k miles a year in it so comfortable, but as these miles are often cross-country need something rapid and handles well.
    Also need to be able to get a car seat in it for the occasionaly trip with my 3 year old, so easy-ish access to the rear is a winner, as she falls asleep in the car all the time and getting her out of a 3-door would be tricky
    MPG not important as the company pays for my fuel.
    Love the push of a turbo.
    Would feel better in a smaller car than a larger one, as we have a Q7 and seeing both it and a Touareg on the drive makes me a little embarrased.

    OK, so I have a rough short-list:

    S4 Avant 4.2
    BMW 330 D Estate, chipped obviously.
    A3 3.2 +/-DSG, S-line with all mod-cons
    A3 2.0t with/without Quattro, S-line
    Golf GTI +/- DSG but chipped
    Golf GTI Edition 30 -a bit dear though.

    I'm not a 0-60 off the lights hero, nor do I go much above 90 (on the Autobahn), but want something that I can throw about in the corners and will pull away from most cars up to 80.

    I love the sleeper look, so something that looks anodyne, but goes like stink.
    I'm interested more in 30-70 than 0-60 or top speed.
    I loved the sound of my old 280bhp Subaru and Ducati, so personality does count, but now I'm getting old and want something more premium, tactile, and has the 'feel-good factor' that when I get in the car i'm happy to be there......i think you will understand what I mean by this. I travel a lot and if I get off a flight and get to the car, I want the drive home to be enjoyable, despite my knackered state.

    Ok so you now have a clue to my psychological profile and need/wants
    Any suggestions?

    Cheers
    Jason
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  2. WiZBiT
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    WiZBiT Member

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    BMW 330D coupe. However if doors are a must, saloon/estate.

    No competition in my view.
    #2
  3. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm with the 330D too. We were considering a new shape 335Cd M-Sport for our next car as recently the prices have dropped quite a bit on 'nearly news' (circa 10k miles)
    #3
  4. HotboxDeluxe
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    HotboxDeluxe automatic

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    Phew! After reading all that a) I feel like I know you and b) recommend the 330d for all your motoring needs :o.k:
    #4
  5. RAPS3
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    RAPS3 Well-Known Member

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    330d for me too ticks most of the boxes, however I know that if fuel was not an isssue that I'd have to go for the S4 4.2 V8 avant. Just for the sheer noise factor and grunt of the V8.

    the BMW will more than likely give a better driving feel. But come on the noise of the V8 or a stinky diesel? No comparison really.

    A friend has an S4 and I've drove a few miles in it grining from ear to ear. (He was paying for the fuel ha ha)

    Some would argue that they dont handle very well and are heavy louts, but I'd still buy one over the BMW.
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  6. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I went into Audi and saw an S4 on the forecourt second hand. I asked to try it, and whilst I'll concede that being auto boxed I didn't have too much in the way of expectation, it was a very nice car.

    However, considering it had a 4.2 V8 under the bonnet, whilst the symphony of tailpipes was something else, the performance felt slightly muted and some way off the claimed manufacturer figures. May have been a dog of a car, but I got out very disappointed as everything told me I should love it. My mates RS4 felt so much sharper.

    Hence I ended up in the S3 as it felt more connected and lively. In its defense I had been used to highly modified turbo cars for a while, so maybe it wasn't a fair comparison, but considering how fast the M3CS felt, I'd have been hard pressed to say it was a 4.2 V8 from performance alone. Still a lovely cruiser barge though.
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  7. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Seen as though you aren't paying for fuel I would be giving thought to an E46 M3. Although it would be at the top of your budget and a bit older than the other cars!
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  8. biggiep
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    biggiep Member

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    The 330D and 335D are the least diesel sounding diesel I think I have heard (apart from maybe the 143 CR TDi) but the roar from a decent v8 is something to make the heard tremble!

    I can't comment on the ride comfort of the estate 330d but it will probably be fine on sensible wheels.
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  9. hooley
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    hooley Member

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    Wife has vetoed any concept of an M3.
    She said they are getting to be quite chavvy, especially as there are a few near me with bling bling wheels and a very loud exhaust. Also the interiors are a little low rent.

    Also I could get a newer shape 330d (E90?), rather than the E46 M3.

    Hmmmmmmmmm. Would love an S3, but again would be a 3 door, so small child would suffer.

    I think i know the answers but looking to find a reason not to move away from VAG.
    Would love an 4.2 V8 S4 avant though........compared to an M3???
    Wife again thinks the 'old' Year 2003/5 S4 looks 'cr*p' to use her words.

    Oh!, what to do?

    :3sadwalk:
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  10. biggiep
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    biggiep Member

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    Tie her up buy what you want and deal with the pain after haha!
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  11. hooley
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    hooley Member

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    What sort of rope do you recommend?
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  12. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    i'm biased but a seat leon cupra for me or a renaultsport clio. i'm not a fan of the 3 series but what about the 123d ?
    #12
  13. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    £12K can buy a surprisingly good E46 M3 now.

    I'd swap my A3 for an M3 tomorrow! In fact if you want to buy my A3, it's yours, and I'll go out and buy an M3...

    However if you want something reasonable on fuel, and unlikely to need £1000+ services, then a 330d would be a good choice.

    You'll struggle with a Golf Edition 30 within budget, but I like them too.
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  14. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    I think she's talking out of her arse, sorry! I think the percentage of chavved up E46 M3's on the road is still very low. Different story of course with the E36...
    #14

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