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Is it worth the wait?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by smee, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. smee
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    smee Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    Hi all. I posted a few weeks ago asking for advise (Thanks to everbody who provided views / opinions) about whether I should change from a C Class diesel to a sportback (need the 5 door for the kids). My car is leased so must change in December anyway, I looked at lots of options from convertibles to people carriers. Looked at all the typical cars when moving from a C Class e.g. Lexus IS250, Jag X type, Volvo S60, BM 3 series etc. etc. and then some "toys" BM Z4, Mazda MX5 etc. Sensible ones like the Espace, S-Max, Only started to look at the SB because the A4 seemed like a good choice and did not have the same stigma attached as the Merc. The A3 seemed to be an acceptable compromise, quick, safe ad well built. I ordered an A3 Sportback, 2.0T, Q, S-line Special Edition in October. Been told this week that delivery will be mid January!
    To get back to the point! I have been reading this forum for a few months now and all I seem to see are lots of problems with Audi's in general and specifically with the A3. I so dont want to end up as another Bowfer (Hi, sorry to use you as an example but I get the impresssion that you are somebody who has ended up with a car that does not match your expectations!).
    Having read this forum for a couple of months, a lot of what seems to be reported are problems which I would not expect with a german vehicle. Are they really that unrelaible / inconsistent / Dealers that bad?

    Sorry for the very long posting, but as per my previous post I am having second thoughts about my wisdom in ordering this car. Right now I am tempted to tell the lease company to cancel the order and look elsewhere for something different.

    Is the A3 Sportback worth the wait or not?
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  3. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    just put it into persective really. The only (well, mostly) stuff you'll read on here is people coming here with problems looking for answers.

    The only gripe i have with 8P a3's is that they fell, well, numb.
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  4. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    Hi, I can understand your sense of doubt but as madvw says many people talk about problems not good things.

    I've had Audis for the last 6 years and never had a problem. This week I took delivery of a new A3 2.0TDI Quattro 170 and its beyond my expectations. I have no doubt I could not have chosen better. So yes... it's well worth waiting for. Only question... is it worth waiting a tad longer and getting an 07.
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  5. skooby
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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    i wouldnt worry, there is always the chance that you will have problems but that the same for all cars and makes.

    i have had my A3 2.0T FSI Q Sline S.E for 3 weeks now and im very happy indeed. like the car better than i thought i would after comming from a TT 3.2 DSG.

    there always thing that could be better, i think the steering is over assisted, and this is the place to pose those question but it not cause the car is beset with problems, in fact i would say that audi'd build quolity is about the best there is.


    hope that helped skooby
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  6. d3fy
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    d3fy Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    We all come on here and bitch, I like my car and have learnt a lot,

    I will probably never by a new car again because it falls short of expectations. I expect for 25k that you get a nice well made car. Engine wise it has never had any major failures. Build wise, not that good, squeaks, rattles, creaks, mirrors that don’t fold in or out when they should, alloys made out of milky bars.

    Dealers, awful in general (Gilders Sheffield - the worse dealer by far IMO) but you really have to blame Audi for turning out cars with problems like mirrors that don't fold, that dealers cant repair, cause they just swap them for new mechanisms that are the same and fail again.

    I will probably never buy an Audi again and will go back to what I know and have had fantastic service from BMW, Lexus, or I might try some others like Volvo, SAAB etc

    You could get a sound car, or you could get one that has rattles and problems and w*nk dealers that won't care or look after you... your call. Perhaps if you did cancel the order, put a letter into Audi explaining why you have.
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  7. powerplay
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    powerplay Grrrr

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    I've jumped from car to car over the years and have been on a number of forums including Ford, Renault and Peugeot.

    There is nothing about the A3 8P forum that is any different to any of these. All cars and dealers suffer from a percentage of problems and generally its only those issues that find there way onto the forums.

    Having said that my brother is a regular patron of boxa.net (Porsche) and there seems to be far less issues on there and a lot more good experiences documented.

    Its always a bit of a gamble and there is nothing to say you won't get problems with any other brand.
    #6
  8. tinka
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    tinka Guest

    [Nov 18, 2006]
    the a3 is a popular car,so there are more of them,and more problems reported.
    i personaly will not have an audi again,and ive had a few loaners aswell that hav'nt impressed me,but thats just my opinion.
    i think the company like to give the impression that they make cars of a sporting nature,but in truth they are not,the steering feels dead for a start,i feel negative because of the problems ive had with it,some have had no problems so are happy,but it was enough to change brand.
    i suppose you have to be comfortable with the car you have,and ignore the image that comes with them,and you are in a position where your having second thoughts,but as powerplay said it can happen on any car you have
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  9. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    I won't be bothering with an Audi again.
    Even if my car weren't full of niggly problems,I still wouldn't go for one again.
    As others have said above,the driving experience is duller than a North Korean wardrobe and,IMO,they simply aren't worth the money Audi want.

    I read the perfect description of the A3 in a car mag the other day,in a dentist's waiting room.

    Audi A3 = Golf with a bit of jewellery on.
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  10. skooby
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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    i do fel for all of you out there that are not happy with thier car. after spending for hard earned you should be happy, within realsonable expectation.

    i have had 5 audi ,including my car at the moment (2.0TFSI Q Sline S.E.) over about 10 years and in that time ahve have had a ciol pack failuer a blown speaker and a air con fault and thats it. and im very fussy.

    they are a bit prices but still cheaper tahn BMW and Mercs but they arent realy sports cars except mayby the RS ones and a spect up Porche would cost a lot more than a TT. though i like the Q as its good in the wet for pullinf off at the lights ect and saver on the limmit than RWD on roads that is not talking about the track as ive spent exactly not time on a trake with my cars atall.

    skooby
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  11. smee
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    smee Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    Thanks to everybody for your views / thoughts on my dilemma. Been thinking lots about this recently. There is no simple answer, no matter what car any of us have I am sure that something else appears tempting. Sometimes its just worth biting the bullet and just going with instinct which is what I did when I placed the order. I wish you all the best with your Audis and hope that I dont end up being one the people who has lots of gripes on theis forum.
    Delivery date is 17/01/2007
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  12. vagman
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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    Over the past few years, I have had previous model A3, a current model A3, 4 TTCs (180, 225 and 2x3.2 DSGs) and most recently an SLK350.

    All have been great cars in their own way, but the best car I've owned is my current 2.0TDI 170 DSG S-Line Sportback.

    It is practical, goes like **** off a shovel, averages 40 odd mpg even when one is gunning it, looks fabulous, and is supremely well built.

    You can't beat an Audi.
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  13. smee
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    smee Member

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    [Nov 18, 2006]
    Defintely not going to get that sort of economy from the 2.0t. Oh well, it should be fun anyway. First 4wd car I will have had so looking forward to that.
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  14. stevec
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    stevec Member

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    [Nov 19, 2006]
    I have had 2 8L A3's, one an 1.8TQ and the second an S3
    Just put my deposit down on a new 8P S3 yesterday,

    There are problems, and my experience is that most forum posters will post bad storoes not good ones. Unless they want advice or are changing their car.

    My 1.8TQ A3 8L had a serious defect causing it not to stop when it was braking in the wet, go look under the forms at audiworld.com and my username stevencarpenter :-( you will see loads of posts. But a great chief engineer at Audi Newport fixed that and I never looked back!

    My current 5 years old S3 has been unbelieveable car, first service at 18500, second at 38000 and getting ready for its third at 64000 (hopefully in the dealers hands as part ex by then). Its still got the same set of pads and discs from new and i'm no sunday driver! Residuals near 50% for first 3 years, only had problems with the coils and zenon headlamps which were remedied under warranty. brought new (import UK spec) for £22.5K and current value £10K. Fantastic.

    The total cost of ownership for the right model of Audi and the build quality is amazing. Do you get the best driving car, no, but then if you buy a Ferrari/Porsche, be prepared for a lot of money out the window with depreciation and servicing bills. My mate and his Maserati will tell you some sad stories...

    I loved the new S3 (the steering is too light - but i'll live with that). I'm looking forward to another 5 years motoring with the same total cost of ownership and, well, just love quattro, meaning you can have the same fun on wet days as dry ones!
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  15. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    [Nov 19, 2006]
    In the last 4 1/2 years I've owned the following new cars: Hyundai Coupe, Ford Mundano, Mazda 6 and Nissan Navara Outlaw and and briefly owned a modded 05 WRX Impreza.

    I bought a S-Line Sportback 2.0 TDi (170) in late August and have now covered 6.5k in it.

    The Audi dealership in Peterborugh is head and shoulders above the other listed above by a big margin. All the new cars I've bought admittedly have not been up in the Audi class of but have been high end models in the range and have still cost around the 20k mark.

    The A3 is the best built car of the ones listed above and the only one NOT to go back to the dealers for teething problems. I have had no problems of any sort which is quite novel as with previous cars trips to the dealers were all too regular, with some faults never being sorted.

    The A3 is fantastic to drive to with more than enough performance to keep me happy (even after the WRX Impreza) and extremely comfortably on the long motorway journeys we do. I can easily keep pace with mates that still own their 'performance' cars and none that have test driven my A3 have reported a 'numb' drive or lack in the dynamics department. MPG in my TDi never ceases to amaze me given the performance and way I drive.

    As a new convert to the Audi experience, I must say that after years of scepticism I now know what the fuss is all about when owning an Audi.
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  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 19, 2006]
    I have visted the Peterborough Audi dealership several times and although I have never purchased a car or had any work done by them, they have always come across as very pleasant and professional.

    I am on my 8th Audi, the last 4 being A3s. Since 1976 I have owned 13 VW/Audi cars including 3 Golf GTIs and a Golf VR6 and have been very happy with all of them. As far I am personally concerned the A3 is much better than the Golf in many ways and better than the opposition. Some other cars may be better than the A3 in one area or another but as an overall package, for me, the A3 is hard to better. Reading about some of the small improvements that have been added since I purchased mine in 2004 I am already looking forward to my next A3.

    You do hear of problems on this forum but, compared with those having problems, there are many drivers out there who are quite happy with the choice they made.
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  17. cdb2
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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    I agree with D3fy.

    For the price I paid I didn't expect the plethora of probs I have had and do have. I also expected a dealer network who perhaps at least made out they cared and wanted to help you out. I doubt I will buy another new car - you buy a new car thinking it won't have any issues and if there are that they will be fixed without fuss - WRONG !

    The PDI quality was shocking, unless the poor guy was blind.

    Mechanically, a brand new car shouldn't leak water, leak oil, have electrical faults. So many other things too, from rattles to petrol flap not opening to creaky seats.

    Vorsprung Durch Technic - I don't think so. Thinly veiled image - yes.
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  18. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    What,just because they're not on here moaning,they must be happy ?
    Helluva assumption.
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  19. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    I tend to agree with Dave R on this.

    I'm on my 6th Audi (a mixture of A3s and A4s), and all of them have been largely fault free. There have been some very minor initial 'faults', but all have been rectified without question by my dealer.

    A good guide can be obtained by looking at the 'What Car' reader reviews, where people rate their cars from 1 to 5 stars. The A3 scores 3 stars on average (as does the new 3-Series, interestingly).
    #18
  20. southpaw66
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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    I thought this until I drove a Golf with the same 170 TDI I have in my new Audi. For me the Golf was clearly built down to a price (especially compared to mk4 paltform), not only in quality but in design - what is the piece of trim between the bottom of the windscreen and the top of the dash? Looks such an afterthought because the bits didn't line up.

    Not to be critical of any post in particular, but about car quality in general;

    I've worked as an engineer at Automotive OEMs (but not Audi/VAG) and I've seen the work that goes on to design and build these things. And no matter what you buy (i've worked of £70k cars) there sometimes things that don't perform as expected no matter how much testing goes on - modern cars are one of the most complex machines created.
    Furthermore, it's very often the same suppliers for different OEMs, so if you have something mechanical fail chances are Audi didn't make it and it's the same bits on BMW, GM, Ford, Daewoo (sorry Chevrolet)... The problem sometimes comes with how much the OEM is willing to pay for the part. I've heard suppliers defend their failing products by saying 'What do you expect for the amount your paying...'

    Statistically no car is faultless so I think it may be unfair to dismiss a whole brand based on the failing of one or two examples - unless you could prove it was endemic from a deliberate act of bad design/cost cutting. It appears Audi spend more time than most ensuring things do work a little better, than say VW or Seat on the same platform, but then they do have to budget (price) to allow them that freedom.

    So yes buying new is a risk, as buying second-hand someone else has fixed them for you - its ultimately the same cars.

    I think where things fall down is crappy dealers who clearly don't care once you've handed over the money. And that would and has stopped buying a car from the same brand.

    (fingers crossed with my new car)
    #19
  21. tinka
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    tinka Guest

    [Nov 20, 2006]
    i dont think its just to do with faults alone,i enjoy driving my cars,that ive paid for out of my own pocket,(and paid a lot too),and i expect to get some reward or satisfaction,and i just dont get that with the audi?.
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  22. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    Have you read the reader reviews ?
    There are quite a few more reader reviews for the 3 series and they are generally more positive than the A3 reviews.
    The reader reviews for the A3 mention more faults.
    Faults that are widely reported on here too,like excessive oil consumption and dodgy steering racks.
    #21
  23. unkle
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    unkle Beer God

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    [Nov 20, 2006]
    Speaking from my own personal experience, Im on my third A3 in as many years, had no problems in all that time, I have been happy with every car that Ive had (A3 Sport 1.9 Diesel, 1.6 FSI and now 2.0 TDI). I guess the steering is a bit lighter than some of the other cars that I have owned and driven but with the Sport suspension the handling is pretty tight for a car of its weight and size (according to some friends that drive stripped out Hondas).

    I love the quality and the solidness of the car and all the nice small touches and attention to detail.

    I hate how water pours in when the roof is wet or when its been raining and the visibility out of the back (reverse parking sensors are a must) and no one can figure out the mechanism for moving the seats to get in the back of the 3dr version.

    Overall, yeah it is worth the wait.
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  24. mfspen
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    [Nov 21, 2006]
    I have.

    But surely the point is that the overall rating is the average of all the reader's ratings for that particular car. So, if both the A3 and 3-Series both score 3 stars on average, it is because both cars have received an equal spread of positive and negative reports.

    I realise that you may not like this result, but you either believe the statistics or you don't !
    #23
  25. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 21, 2006]
    Depends on how you read into them I suppose.
    The A3 only gets 3 stars from Whatcar's own testers,yet the BMW gets 4 stars.
    So,you could argue that the BMW wins,with 7 stars overall as opposed to the A3's 6 stars overall.
    Then again,you could argue that the readers' reviews are as average as Whatcar's own opinion of it,whereas the BMW drops a star in real-life ownership terms.

    I've said it before,but after recently driving a BMW320D,I fail to see how anyone could possibly,possibly go for an A3 instead,unless they have a particular reason to,such as DSG or quattro.

    The 3 series is just light years ahead,full stop.

    So far ahead that I still can't get my head around the fact the A3 costs the same.
    It just feels like so much 'more' car all around.
    That either suggests the BMW is inexpensive,or the A3 is too dear.

    It's also so far ahead that I can't believe I let stupid BMW prejudice colour my judgement and make me ignore it when I was choosing a car.

    I could have been driving a better car for the last 20 months.
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  26. mfspen
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    [Nov 21, 2006]
    I certainly agree that the BM diesels are vastly superior to the VAG offerings, but with petrol it is not so clear cut. (Eg. the 2.0T is a real gem, and has been voted 'engine of the year' for 2 yrs running).

    For me, it is mainly the Bangle styling that puts me off BMWs. The 3-Series doesn't have the outright ugliness of the 1, 5, and 7, but to me, it just looks like a 5 yr old Nissan Primera !
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  27. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 21, 2006]
    The 3 series is one of those cars that relies heavily on the wheels fitted.
    With the standard titchy-witchy wheels,it looks stupid.
    The bigger the wheels,the better it looks,IMO.
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  28. killbill
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    [Nov 21, 2006]

    I agree that the 3 series is a better car than the A3 in most areas you look at, but they are not direct competitors, at least I dont think so, surely you are better compairing the A4, which is an inferior car in most ways to the 3 series.

    I like the 320D but unless in poverty spec, it is to expensive when compaired to the equivalent A3 eg M-Sport to S-line. A better comparison for me would be the A3 to 1 Series where I believe the A3 scores, both in build and for me space and practicallity. The area it may fall down would be driving dynamics, but my experiences here and in some of the reviews I have read suggest there isn't much in it.

    The 3 series is a fine car and maybe one day I would like to own one, but direct comparisons with the A3 seem wide of the mark IMHO.

    :think:
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  29. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    They're probably not competitors in size/body style,but they certainly ARE competitors in price !

    My car was £24400.

    I would have got a pretty well-specced 320D for that.
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  30. mfspen
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    Well I just went to the BMW site, and configured a 320d SE to the same spec as my A3 S-Line. It came to £29,970, compared to my A3 which was £23,500 !

    A lot of the extras which come standard on the A3 are options on the BM.
    #29
  31. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    I didn't do a 'like for like' comparison,as there are plenty of things I would happily forsake to get the better car.

    I'd happily ditch the part leather interior.
    I'd happily (more than happily) ditch DSG.
    I'd happily ditch Bose.
    As long as a motor has a basic level of luxury (oxymoron,but there you go),like climate control,a CD player and decent wheels,the rest is incidental to me.

    Don't forget too,that the BMW has a 163bhp engine,as opposed to the 140bhp in my car.

    I'm really,really interested in the Alpina D3 version of the 320D.
    It's list is £26995.00
    That's £2595.00 more than my car was.
    Or only 10% more.

    It's spec is more than equal to my car + some extras.
    It's got climate,CD,part-leather,parking sensors (mine doesn't have those),body kit,19" alloys etc.etc.
    It's also got a 200bhp engine,which (IMO) is probably worth the extra alone.

    It would also be a damned sight more exclusive than my car.
    A3's are like a-holes up here.
    Everyone's got one.
    #30
  32. southpaw66
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    So it's not the same price. If you take off the DSG option which you admit you don't want that's a significant difference.

    If you want a BMW/Alpina just buy one - you don't need to justify it here. You've just realised you have even more expensive taste than you thought :)
    #31
  33. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    The fact remains that for the price of a semi-decent spec 170bhp A3,you can buy a semi-decent spec 163bhp 3 series.
    They may not be exactly equal in spec,but they're not exactly equal in driving enjoyment either (IMO).
    That's just going by the list price too.
    Using Whatcar's 'target price' you could have got a 320D M-sport for £23441,which is less than you paid for your car.

    The bottom line is,it doesn't matter how well specced your A3 is,it still won't drive as well as a 3 series.
    So,better spec/worse drive,or lesser spec/better drive ?
    I'll take the latter,as the 'lesser spec' is still reasonably luxurious,especially when you consider how much more refined the 3 series is all round.
    #32
  34. mfspen
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    No, you won't get 40mpg, that's for sure !

    With my car, I get about 31mpg on my short (10 minute) drives to work, and anything up to 38mpg on A-road long runs. Quattro will knock about 3mpg off those figures, and it will also be about 2mpg worse for the first 1000 miles.

    But it is a great engine !
    #33
  35. southpaw66
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    £23441? What car website; 320D m-sport £25121+paint£535+split-rear seats £305+multiCD £295 = £26256...

    That's a more than 2 grand more than I paid for mine! And quattro makes a significant difference to the abilities of this car. Not in the same league as fwd variants.

    If you think that BMW is better value then go for it, get one. I test drove the 5 series and thought it was excellent but pricey.

    Did you know there are now more 3-series sold than Ford Mondeos... so if you're looking for exclusivity I think you're going the wrong way.
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  36. smee
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    I currently only have a ten minute drive to work and I am probably getting less than 30mpg from the Merc diesel so these figures sound good to me. Its probably because the journey is so short the diesel engine does not get a chance to fully warm up. Economy is much better on long runs (50+ mpg). But I really like the idea that I will be getting the same economy from the Quattro petrol as I get from the diesel on my commute
    #35
  37. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    Apologies,I wrongly quoted the target price for the 320i M-sport,not the 320D M-sport.
    You're right,the target price for that model is £25121.
    Still only £700 more than I paid for my car.
    I wouldn't want the extras you've listed,depending on what colours are 'free'.

    With regard to exclusivity,the one I want would be more exclusive.
    The Alpina D3.
    I believe there are only 400 or so in the UK.
    There are certainly only 3 on Autotrader just now.
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  38. tinka
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    tinka Guest

    [Nov 22, 2006]
    off subject,but i picked up the m sport today,
    i know ive had just 3hrs but its light years ahead of the a3,the engine can only just be heard whilst driving,and it has little touches that i did'nt know about,at the moment its worth the extra over the a3,and when i left the a3 at the dealer i had now regrets whatsoever
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  39. killbill
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    [Nov 22, 2006]
    I guess it is whatever suits the individual, the 3 Series however when I looked at it on our company car scheme was miles more expensive than for an equivalent spec A3, this is what I would expect given that it is a different class car and thus I don't feel is a fair comparison.

    Most people would agree that it is a fantastic drivers car and better than the equivalent Audi ie the A4.

    I personally like to have a reasonable spec car and would find it difficult to drive around in a very basic 318d for 4 years when I can get in a very good spec A3, which I believe is a better car than the equivalent 1 series.

    Anyway, I am sure you will love the Alpina, I hope your budget streches to it, mine couldn't.

    :p
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  40. smee
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    [Nov 23, 2006]
    With the C Class today after a number of short journeys all with cold engine (about 3 hours between them) I only managed 25mpg over 10 miles in 45 minutes of driving! Never thought that I would see the day that a petrol was more economical than a tractor!
    Probably need to explain that my current car is my first diesel car and that I was one of the bores talking bout lots of miles to a tankfull etc. From what I have heard and experienced lately I reckon the A3 could well end up more economical on short journeys!?!
    Anybody do a short commute and have mpg figures to compare?
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  41. Amchlolor
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    [Nov 24, 2006]
    I do a 3.5 mile commute.
    My car barely gets time to warm up.
    Probably the worst type of driving you could get for fuel consumption.
    In those conditions,I get mid 30mpg.
    It improves to low 40's mpg once I start driving on open roads.
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