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Manual or DSG

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by L1ARR, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. L1ARR
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    L1ARR Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    I have decided to order a new S3 and have a good idea on spec apart from the gearbox. I am keen on Ibis White Black Edition with Recaro's and a few other toys. However the gearbox is doing my head in, as yet I haven't driven a DSG version.

    Am a little unsure about the S Tronic set up in the S3, I have been looking and cant seem to find much info about tuning potential. Does a DSG S3 have the same tuning potential as a manual? If not does the gearbox need to be programmed?

    Cheers
    Rich
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    Stronic/dsg all the way mate, it relieves alot of stress driving, no need for clutch down, gear cange a million times a day, really is nice to drive & I've driven manuals since 17, now 36 & had dsg for 2 years or so, wouldnt go back full stop.

    As for tuning, yes the S3 auto can be tuned just as well as the manual, there is also a gearbox map but doubt you'd need.
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  4. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    I agree. Ive had loads of manuals, and loved them, working through the gears was fun but.... I had a beama auto (hated it) so was going to jump to another manual.....but with the A3 glad I chose DSG! Absolutely love it. Smooth, precise and effortless. Still have the fun to change if I choose, paddles of stick but hey im lazy now. Stick it in sport and its brilliant! Wont be going back to manuals. Have a test drive in one, then make your mind up!
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  5. L1ARR
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    L1ARR Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    Just the answer I was looking for, I managed to get to North Weald on Sunday. Saw a couple of lovely S3's both with DSG and got me thinking, until then hadn't even thought about DSG.

    Has anyone had any major problems with their DSG box? have Audi released any software updates. I know BMW keep releasing software changes to there SMG software.

    Does anyone know what current build dates are being quoted for Black Edition cars?
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  6. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    Yeah the dsg is a marvel of engineering imho, love it, driving is well alot calmer, but can be little bit of fun with the paddles trying to be a schumacher lmfao.

    Not afaik, but with 3yr warranty its all covered mate.

    Sorry have to ask your dealer, but iirc lately dates for new cars have been a long wait, why not 2nd user with 10k on clock, will save you untold & still long warranty.
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  7. One Spoke
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    One Spoke Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    If you look hard enough you'll see some people have concerns about the DSG long term reliability - but you will find every scare story you can think of on forums!

    I did think the DSG had a torque limit that it could cope with, which was the limiting factor in tuning the engine, but this may have changed.

    Couple of things for you to research and feel free to let me know if I'm talking out of my backside!

    PS I have a manual S3.
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  8. jbs2472
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    jbs2472 Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    I have an A3 SB BE 170tdi Ibis White on order with the Stronic and have been told April 2011 due to the Open Sky and Stronic but mainly the Stronic.
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  9. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    All cars will have issues on forums, most forums are there for that as its a common place for folk to seek help and advice. There will always be a few with issues but also loads without! Some have had mechatronic issues which if it happens is costly but hey, manuals have problems too esp if they have been mapped and the boost is high! There are remaps for the DSG too which if ever needed can make it cope better, doubt you'd need it though

    Test drive one of the cars you saw, and be prepared to smile!!!!
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  10. L1ARR
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    L1ARR Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    I am now keen to see how smooth the gear change is, I have an SMG set up in my CSL and I know its built for a different purpose. You do get a good old push in the back when you pull back on the up shift. Interested to feel the difference between the two.
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  11. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    given the choice i would go for DSG in a heart beat ive driven a few A3's ,A4's and A5's with dsg or s-tronic and the next car i buy will have dsg for sure such a smooth effortless gearbox and it must be a good gearbox if volkswagen put it in the bugati veyron so enough said really DSG all the way
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  12. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    you dont feel the changes at all thats how smooth they are
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  13. willmac
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    willmac Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    DSG all the way. Fantastic
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  14. heeman10
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    heeman10 Audi driver since Dec 08

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    I test drove two S-Tronic A3s before buying my manual. At the time, I was deeply unimpressed by the lengthy downshifts when I wanted engine braking, and then unimpressed by the lack of engine braking once the lower gear had been selected. I enjoy my spirited driving, so to me, that first downshift when I was heading towards a corner at speed was all I needed to disregard the S-Tronic gearbox in my hunt.

    That said, I really enjoyed the speed and smoothness of the upshifts, and given that I initially bought the car to help me in my 160 mile daily commute, the DSG 'box would've been a sensible choice. However, now I don't have to sit on motorways for four hours a day, I'm glad I have my clutch and gear lever. If I still had two cars, one being an econocruiser and one being an all-out fun car, I would go for DSG on the sensible car. Last time I drove a DSG-equipped car (A4 S-Line) I wasn't as aware of the slow downshifts, so perhaps the software has been changed since that first drive I had.

    Just my input :) If you're spending this much money on a car though, you would be a fool to entrust your gearbox decision with a bunch of forum monkeys like us, with all due respect. Get yourself into a dealership, try all the cars you want, and ask the dealer how long the wait is. Forums are great for lots of things, but some things you just have to try and feel for yourself. Should be a lovely car when it arrives!
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  15. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    i have a DSG and i had one of the older tiptronics before that. i think both those gearboxes were fabulous, but they both have their vices.

    in regards to the DSG, it's a brilliant gearbox but that statement is engine specific. i've driven a few cars with it (A3 2.0 TDI 170, Golf V GTI, Golf V GTI Ed30, TT 3.2 quattro, A3 3.2 quattro, my current car - A3 2.0 TFSI but to name a few).

    i thought it was jerky and horrible with the diesel A3, but other than that it's been a marvel. only down points are that if you catch the gearbox napping (and you will do if you do multiple downshifts for example) it's no faster at changing than a regular slush box. it can be a little jerky around town and compared to some autos i've driven it's hard to modulate at first so you get a thump in the back if you push too hard or no acceleration at all if you're too gentle. you get used to being perfect with it tho.

    in regards to the S3 specifically, someone mentioned that because it's got a larger turbo than my 2.0 TFSI it has more turbo lag, and sometimes the gearbox drops it out of it's sweet spot so you've not got that much power. definitely test drive one before you make a decision, but i doubt that that proviso will be that much of a concern because if you're dawdling the lack of boost won't matter that much and if you're pressing on you'll be changing yourself (i assume anyway). just take it for an extended test drive under several road conditions and see what you think.

    as a final word - i'm only being so negative because i think the gearbox will sell itself to you. i just wanted to play devil's advocate so you know what to look out for and can make the most informed choice. i love my DSG and i'd never go back.
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  16. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    oh and tuning MAY be an issue but have a look at reputable tuners to be sure. REVO offer a tuning package for the gearbox but only up until '07 cars because after that they have a different ECU. they do have a torque limit, which may be exceeded if you remap the car, but i'm afraid that's something i don't have much knowledge of.

    hope all that helps anyways.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
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  17. sub39h
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    sub39h Active Member

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    [Sep 21, 2010]
    oh yeah sorry one other thing:

    have you considered that ordering an S3 will lead to an ~8 month wait for delivery? and they're probably going to change the model soon after that? have you considered an A5 2.0 T S-tronic? yeah the tuning potential won't be as high but it'll cost the same, you'll get a better four wheel drive system and a more balanced car. and because it's got the newer 7-speed 'box it might have a higher torque limit. and it's also seen as a model up so arguably more prestige. and has better infotainment.

    quite off topic i know, but just putting it out there...
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
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  18. Lima
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    Lima AUSmotive.com

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    [Sep 22, 2010]
    Manual for me.

    The box in the S3 is really nice to use. Although, on flat out acceleration runs shifting from 1st to 2nd can be a bit tricky to get nice and smooth, haha. Apart from that, it's a delight.
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  19. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 22, 2010]
    I'm on my third A3 with a DSG and personally I will never buy another car fitted with a manual. I had 19 cars with manual gearboxes before my DSG cars. I never had any problems at all with the DSG and spend most of my time driving in 'tip-tronic' mode and changing gear when I choose using the paddles.
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