1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Diamond White, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Joetidman
    Offline

    Joetidman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    372
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    You're not going to find many reasons beyond cost-saving for a 1.4 over an S3 as really, the S3 is an engine upgrade when you really get down to it. The only other area I guess of difference is around ride which would be somewhat harder on the S3 than the A3, and this is very much a thing of personal preference. If you like a more supple ride then the A3 SE would be your best bet.

    Personally (of course because I've ordered an S3), I'd suggest its a great choice, but I'm not so parochial to assume that just because I think something is right for me, everyone else should agree. I'd personally really think about what is important about your next car. It sounds like you're coming from a much older car, so the standard A3 will be a massive jump up, you'll get the same lovely interior, ride quality and sophistication, and premium badge. If you really want a performance car, all the extra bling (not that much really but you know what I mean) that comes with an S3, then perhaps it is for you.

    The S3 will always win a lot of battles againt the A3 as it is the top spec car (currently) in the range, so you're always going to get a lot of advocates on here for that (it the same way that all audio threads end up with people suggesting you go for B&O!), but I'd give it due thoughts on what is important about your car.

    Just my 2p
    #41
  2. PilotAudi
    Offline

    PilotAudi New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    478
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Nicely balanced post Joe... Suppose if you're not a boy racer (ha ha) as us S3 owners have been called it must be difficult.
    #42
    Joetidman likes this.
  3. Joetidman
    Offline

    Joetidman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    372
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Haha, yes very true. It wasn't a hard choice for me, I wanted the S3 as soon as I saw the first early reviews, but then, as you say, not everyone is as clear on their choice! I feel a Jeremy Clarkson like desire to shout "Power!" ;)
    #43
  4. SilureMark
    Offline

    SilureMark Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    113
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    I think if I had to drive a 1.4 I'd rather walk.... you did ask!
    #44
    Battlekrapz and PilotAudi like this.
  5. Diamond White
    Offline

    Diamond White New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    6
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    OK, this is going well.
    Indulge me a bit. Let's say your waiting to pull out of a side street, into traffic. It's sopping wet, you spot a small gap in the flow, and you go for it. In my present car, V6 Mondeo, your met with a frantic scrabble of wheels, and torque steer trying to throw you into the scenery.

    What's the result of the same scenario in the S3?
    #45
  6. Ecosphere
    Offline

    Ecosphere Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    50
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    If you can see a gap in an s3 you can make, no problems, no drama.
    #46
    PilotAudi likes this.
  7. vivalacoulter
    Offline

    vivalacoulter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2013
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    31
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Even in my 12 year old S3 it'll dart about around traffic as you please.
    #47
    Battlekrapz and PilotAudi like this.
  8. veeeight
    Offline

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    1,481
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    S3 Quattro.

    No scrabbling.
    No Torque Steer.

    Just launch like a scalded cat. Even with lots of steering lock on.
    #48
    Oily Audi and PilotAudi like this.
  9. Itguy
    Offline

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    438
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    There are quite a few videos showing a full on launch control max power start in the wet with zero wheelspin in the new s3.

    Quite amazing
    #49
  10. Battlekrapz
    Offline

    Battlekrapz Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    238
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    I'm yet to experience loss of traction in mine and it's not for the lack of trying - on wet roads for that matter. This thing grips like nothing you've experienced, it's phenomenal.

    You'll also get catapulted to such speeds that you'll easily get into that small gap without any issue.

    The tough thing with this baby is to try keeping your driving license.
    #50
    Pulp84 likes this.
  11. Joetidman
    Offline

    Joetidman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    372
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Share?!
    #51
  12. Diamond White
    Offline

    Diamond White New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    6
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    Is the S3 suspension the same as S-Line suspension?
    #52
  13. Flibble
    Offline

    Flibble Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    85
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    My current quattro A3 caught me out a bit with this when I got it - gave it a boot out of a wet junction and it just went, no scrabble. I wasn't expecting that (having come from a FWD); almost shot across the road due to not steering fast enough.
    #53
  14. Flibble
    Offline

    Flibble Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    85
    [Feb 10, 2014]
    It's the same as the s-line optional suspension - i.e. 25 mm lowered from the A3 standard.
    #54
  15. AJB
    Offline

    AJB Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    24
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    The boot is bigger on the non-quattro versions (as in the floor has an optional lower setting which gives quite a bit more space). This may or may not make any difference for you. It did make a difference for me, as I was coming from a much larger car.

    Probably! Although I'm not sure which way. I'd say don't order either until you're relatively sure. What you don't want to do is buy one, and then spend the next however many years wishing you'd bought the other.

    I think you need to consider practicality (running costs, purchase cost, boot space, tyre cost etc). And separately consider how much you want either on an emotional level. And then figure out the best trade off for you.

    For me personally, the S3 didn't quite do it and I've got the 1.4 CoD which is great. I don't regret not getting the S3 myself at all as, although the extra power and traction would be really nice sometimes, I don't think I personally would feel all that differently about the car and so it wouldn't be worth the downsides. For me, the car I couldn't quite get out of my mind was the M135i because, although it's horribly ugly and the interior wasn't anything like as nice as the A3/S3, I personally really like straight 6 engines and torque convertor autos. Once I'd decided on the Audi, the 1.4 CoD was an obvious choice and I didn't have any doubts engine-wise.

    I do still miss straight 6 and RWD though, and sometimes wonder if I made the right choice that way.

    So, I think what I'm saying is that it's a personal thing. People with S3s are mostly going to recommend S3s as that was (hopefully) the right choice for them. I've got the 1.4 and would make the same choice again. But either way I think you need to want the car you're going to own. After a few months you'll forget how much it cost or is costing, but you don't want to be constantly wishing you had the car you really wanted (which could be either way - you might wish you had cheaper tyres, better cheaper petrol station visits and more boot space, or you might wish you had more power and traction, and the look of the S3).
    #55
  16. Twizzler
    Offline

    Twizzler Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    27
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Perhaps Diamond White should buy both? Could make a choice each day then......
    #56
  17. veeeight
    Offline

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    1,481
    [Feb 11, 2014]


    I suspect that although the s-line and S3 share identical ride heights they have different dampers and spring rates.

    The S3 rides much better than a s-line, not as crashy, and much better secondary ride.

    Or I've imagined it. Only someone with ETKA or someone with the PR codes from the boot sticker will be able to verify.
    #57
  18. Diamond White
    Offline

    Diamond White New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    6
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Excellent post. These are exactly the issues I'm battling with at the moment.
    I can imagine driving the S3, and I'm pretty sure it would be fantastic, but I'm also concerned that I would be driving it like I drive the car I have now i.e. coasting whenever possible, barely touching the throttle etc.
    My car does 24mpg, I was hoping that my next car would do a bit better than that. The more I hear from S3 owners, the more I realise I'm going to be in the same boat. 24mpg + a smaller fuel tank, will see me at the pumps even more often. Now, while the actual cost doesn't bother me that much, the feeling of being raped by the government and the oil companies makes my blood boil.

    I really need to pull my finger out and make a decision. A test drive of both has to be the first move.
    #58
  19. cuke2u
    Offline

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    427
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Do it, do whatever is best for you!
    #59
  20. Itguy
    Offline

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    438
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    You need to test drive an s3 sensibly and see what mpg you get. I borrowed one for 2 hours in Cornwall and it returned 41.5mpg over 100 miles of Cornwall lanes and a30 duel carridgeway. I was deliberately not thrashing it as I wanted to see how economical it could be.

    On a different test drive I drove it like i stole it and yes, it did 24 mpg. I reckon 35 is a good estimate for day to day pottering if you haven't got a lead foot.

    #60
  21. Diamond White
    Offline

    Diamond White New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    6
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Is anyone able to expand on this. Are they the same, if not, what is the difference?
    #61
  22. steeve
    Offline

    steeve Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    433
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Its your choice, if you enjoy a bit of power and quick driving and you can afford it get the S3. But if you're bothered about fuel consumption and the extra cost then get a 1.4.
    The 184 diesel may be quick enough for you and economical too, might be a good compromise as if you have to think about it then perhaps the S3 might not be for you.
    #62
    BGS and Ecosphere like this.
  23. stetheo
    Offline

    stetheo Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    105
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    It honestly amazes me how economical the 8V S3 can be in comparison to my current 8P. Miles ahead and extra performance.

    OP - I'd say you need to try both, then see how you feel after that and take it from there. As mentioned above, drive how you intend to drive the car day to day to get best idea of what MPG can be achieved if that is of concern.
    #63
  24. Diamond White
    Offline

    Diamond White New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    6
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Yep, I agree with everyone who says "It's your decision" but can you help me decide.
    S3 owners, A3 1.4 owners, what are the reasons for your purchase, and what are the reasons you are happy with your decision to go with that model.
    #64
  25. CraigI
    Offline

    CraigI Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    396
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    I chose the S3 because it's more practical and more exciting to drive than my previous car.
    It also freed up funds to allow me to scratch a V8 itch.

    I'm largely happy with my purchase. 99% of the time it's spot on. 1% of the time it isn't.
    Had I bought a 1.4 I'd likely have already become bored by it I'm afraid, but that's down to my personal preference and criteria I look for in a car.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
    #65
  26. Flibble
    Offline

    Flibble Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    85
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Don't think I would recommend a diesel to someone who only does a few thousand miles per year, they're really not great for that.
    #66
  27. Lock & Load
    Offline

    Lock & Load Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    20
    [Feb 11, 2014]
    Decide one way or another before you give yourself anxiety or a heart attack Tomorow is promised to no one S3 all the way
    #67
  28. Rexus
    Offline

    Rexus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    28
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    Well, I went with the 1.4COD saloon as I wanted a smooth and quiet car, chose 17" wheels and no sports suspension for the same reason. I do have an R8 V8 though for more sporty drives.
    #68
  29. Flibble
    Offline

    Flibble Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    85
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    I went S3 as I wanted something at least as fast and sporty as my current car and I really like having quattro. Also the S3 is just a bit more special than a normal A3. I kind of regretted not getting an S3 last time (though finances didn't allow it at the time) so I wasn't going to make that mistake twice.
    #69
  30. AllanG
    Offline

    AllanG Stronic

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    34
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    Exactly the same reasons for my decision to order a 1.4 COD saloon, which, IMHO, is a FAR better looking car than the Sportback.

    My choice for the 1.4 COD was also based on the fact that I normally drive less than 10K miles/year, and most of those are spent on short urban commutes to work, so I don't need a more powerful engine.
    #70
  31. BGS
    Offline

    BGS Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    70
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    I have had my 1.4 CoD for nearly three weeks now. I love it. Smooth, economical and pokey enough to enjoy a spirited drive.

    But.

    Had the S3 had been an option it would have been a no brainer. It's the best of both, fairly sensible weekday car and something to put that silly grin on your face at the weekends. Unfortunately emissions restrictions on company leases meant it was not to be. Maybe next time.

    As I said though, I cannot fault the 1.4 CoD. It's a great little engine and if it suits your needs it will not disappoint, but be sure it is what you want.
    #71
  32. cemerson
    Offline

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    777
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    I don't think I'd have got an S3 anyway - want something more economical and don't need the speed - but the fact that a towbar can't be fitted to the S3 has sealed the deal anyway as I do need one!
    #72
  33. cuke2u
    Offline

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    427
    [Feb 12, 2014]
    1.4 COD all the way, plenty of poke and dynamics in the engine. You could spend thousands more on a S3 and get more performance, although I'd argue most of it will be unusable on our roads and with our traffic. Plus the S3 is quite unexciting to look at, I'd call it dowdy, and will not have anymore equipment. Save money, get the 1.4 and load it up with the options you would always want if you purchased a S3.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    #73
  34. royalsteve68
    Offline

    royalsteve68 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    142
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    im 46 and had a similar dilemma - I was looking at getting a bigger car than my current 11 year old Peugeot 307xsi

    I looked at the merc b class new 2012 onward version which is perfect as a bigger car without being massive and looks nice but in the end I though it just isn't me to be sensible.

    I was going to get a golf gti but I was a little underwhelmed and it wasn't cheap. Liked the s3 saloon but rear space not great. Then tried the s3 sportback and it ticked most of my requirements. Im glad I didn't buy a bigger car as getting a car into some car park spaces is a nightmare in anything bigger than a Peugeot 307/ford focus/a3 sized car - if we get a dog ill sell the Peugeot and get an oldish 4x4 as well

    Took me a year to decide, lol - buying property was easier
    #74
  35. PilotAudi
    Offline

    PilotAudi New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    478
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    I can't help laughing when people try to justify lesser versions as some how 'better' . As posted elsewhere the depreciation loss on an S3 is around £45 a month less than a CoD (piece) given its high residual value (57% at 3 years)

    Audis are fine cars but for us a performance quattro is what is needed!
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    #75
    kanecullen89 and BGS like this.
  36. warren_S5
    Offline

    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    7,229
    Likes Received:
    2,435
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    My power in the S3 was so unusable on public roads that I went out and purchased the relevant mods to give it another 100bhp! S3Alex will have added well over 200bhp more to his by the time he's finished his project. Both are daily drivers.

    A car should never be a 100% head decision, it's too emotive a purchase. I don't need all the power I have all of the time, but when I occasionally wind up at Combe, Nurburg, Spa, or wherever a 1.4 CoD with all the options wouldn't be the right tool for that day. It's about understanding what you're REALLY going to use it for and then sticking your neck out or playing it safe. I've never got up on a day I've had an arduous commute and thought I wish I'd bought a smaller engine. However if you're only going to run about locally, and your not someone who just buys the badge (as some do) then the 1.4CoD is a perfectly good car based on those needs.

    I don't think its that any one car is better than the other, it's just that one suits one persons needs (and pocket) better than the other.

    As for dowdy; you think it looks more dowdy than any other A3 (admittedly image posted is 8P not 8V)???
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    #76
  37. PilotAudi
    Offline

    PilotAudi New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    478
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    We loved the look on our 8P BE with Rotors and Black pack and Privacy... one of the best looking 8Ps IMHO and well rewarded when we sold it. An enjoyable 33 months of ownership (Mrs PA's car but I used a lot) and cheap as chips on depreciation as they are in huge demand at 2/3/4 years old and command prices way above book.. Sold ours for £20k book price £15,800.

    Dowdy Mr C ??? As they say 'Should have gone to Specsavers' IMHO SMILEY as meant as a joke !! ;-)
    #77
    warren_S5 likes this.
  38. cuke2u
    Offline

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    427
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    As do all of the posts that justify the additional expense of the S3 over that of other models. We can play that one both ways PA..
    #78
  39. PilotAudi
    Offline

    PilotAudi New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    478
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    Yes but in your scenario isn't that like saying 'I really want Fillet steak but always buy faggots?'

    Fortunately many of us on here luckily have other cars to satisfy our need, we have a Golf 1.6Tdi family hack which is cheap to insure, does 55mpg, £20 Road tax but is boring as hell and classics.

    The OP is looking to decide COD or S3 and I reckon as do others S3 is a good proposition.

    Each to their own.. at least you are in our 'drug dealers/boy racers club' (in some people's eyes) liking Privacy Glass and SLine!!
    #79
    Anarch likes this.
  40. cuke2u
    Offline

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    427
    [Feb 13, 2014]
    Yes each to our own PA, that was my whole point from the start wasn't it and that is why the OP has the dilemma in the first place. Seems to me that anyone who owns a S3 can say what they like, and I haven't criticised that, but when someone speaks out for a alternative then that is wrong. Isn't that a little biased and not really helpful to the OP?
    #80

Share This Page