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New Car Advice/Opinion

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Hellz, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Hellz
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    Hellz Geordie Racer

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    Hi All,

    Been a while since I posted but I'm back because I value opinion/advice on here! This is a bit of a brain dump so apologies if this is an unstructured rant...

    I'm in the market for a new car, partners just gave birth before Christmas so originally we were looking for something a bit bigger than the A3 (i.e. A4 or *cough* 3 series). My car is nearing its 7th birthday plus I've had it for nearly 2 years now - the longest I've ever owned a car, its time for a change!

    Through living with the A3 + baby for a couple of months we've found that the A3 is fine for the most part, can fit pushchair, shopping + baby & passengers in reasonably well.

    Based on my requirements (safety, reliability, comfortable/stylish cabin and a bit of oomph) I'm looking at one of 3 cars - S3 (I've always wanted one!), A4 2.0t S Line Special Edition - Quattro, or a 3 series M sport either 330d or 330ci...

    I'm wondering if anyone has been through this dilemma/scenario recently and what the outcome of it was. Ideally, I'd like the S3 BUT with the new A3 soon to be announced would I be best off waiting with a view to the new A3 announcement having a downward impact on 8p prices?

    Would it be underwhelming going from the 3.2 (mine has a huge spec) to the S3, essentially the same car with a little more performance...but more tuning possibilities (I'd probably only go as far as stage 1...).

    On a side note - I've recently seen an S3 on autotrader for around 15k but its vinyl wrapped... it looks great (in the pictures) but I guess that will have serious implications come re-sell time in that it narrows the market? Also, should vinyl wrapping be avoided in general?

    Should I simply go for the A4 S Line Special, a lovely car in its own right? Or switch to the dark side and find out what they mean by the ultimate driving machine?

    Advice or experience would be greatly appreciated, I'm in no rush to make a decision but I have a habit of buying cars on impulse so going in mentally prepared is essential this time!
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  3. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    A4 S-Line, my dads getting one next hear hopefully.
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  4. daz del
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    daz del New Member

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    hi mate

    iv got an A3 sportback and my two children fit in the back fine,had a BMW 330ci m sport...not a patch on the audi,plenty of room in the boot for push chair and your lasses shopping bags!
    Its 3yrs old just had 1st MOT flew through no problem,toying with the idea of swapping for S3 sportback.
    #3
  5. Hellz
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    Hellz Geordie Racer

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    Cheers guys - S3 sportback is probably out of my league price wise at the minute... Thanks for the opinion on the 330ci - I think partner and I are slowly ruling the beemer out (its the E90 platform we've been looking at), the specifications are often poor - good spec versions of the 3 series seem to carry a hefty premium. Attention was turned to the 3 Series as the performance of the 330d (and the luxury of a well spec'd model) is impressive - she thinks they look nice too :)

    I'm looking to book some test drives this weekend, not many S3's or A4 S Line 2.0T special editions on sale in the North East atm so looks like I'm going to have to do some travelling... I know they are very different cars intended for different markets but I guess rather than struggling with the practical dilemma of safety, space etc. I'm probably sub-conciously tussling with the fact I have to grow up now and should buy a grown ups car as opposed to adding to my long history of hot hatchbacks (not that I'm saying the S3 is for kids but does appeal to my inner child!)... The A4 looks wise doesnt appeal hugely but ticks all of the other boxes, the S3, to me, does appeal and ticks the boxes even if to a lesser extent in some areas...

    Have I answered my own question?

    meh
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  6. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    Ummm... Yeah I think you have. I had a E90 MSport 330d a few years back and the engine was great and it went VERY well though it wasn't that economical given it was a diesel.

    Think the A4 S-Line is the best bet, plus it's a new model. The BMW will be replaced in the next year or so....
    #5
  7. Ben H
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    Ben H On a journey...

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    [Jan 24, 2011]
    Congratulations on your baby - and for being in a remarkably similar scenario to me!

    With a baby on the way, I bought our A3 Sportback 2 years ago as an upgrade in terms of space and practicality compared to my previous string of hot hatchbacks and coupes. Our daughter is now 14 months old and the A3 has been great - although I've been getting itchy feet of late.

    Like you, I've been through the motions of considering:

    - S3 Sportback: spot-on in every regard apart from high price and rarity of the options I want on used cars; that inclines me towards a new car, but it feels too late in the model cycle to spend top whack to wait 6 months in the queue for a last-of-the line car.
    - A4 Quattro Avant: high spec B7 2.0Tq or 3.0TDIq appealing but, while still handsome in the classic Audi way, hard to find with some options (xenons?) and can't be had with ISOfix. New B8 model is too big for me and will lose more money due to being new but not as rare as an S3. I suspect a B8 facelift is on the way too.
    - 3-Series Touring: again, hard to find in a high spec on the used market - although a 335i/d could fit the bill and is a useful 25cm shorter than a B8 Avant.

    The current A3 Sportback is a very versatile and sound choice as a medium family car. Just think about the ISOFix mounts, easy parking, nice interior, 4WD etc. It's hard to justify the expense of a new car that's not much different (e.g. S3), so I ask myself why I want to change at all?

    It's also worth examining whether you need a bigger car, which seems to be a default assumption once a baby arrives. We drive (in order of frequency) with 1+ baby, 2+ baby, 2+ not much stuff and finally some proper space-filler journeys. The boot and roof rails take care of the 5/6 times a year that we fully load-up and we're generally taking less clobber since our daughter has outgrown the real baby stuff (steriliser, breast pump, play gym etc). Look around and see how many Golf or Polo sized cars there are with at least one baby seat in them!

    I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to wait a little while and either keep an eye out for a used S3 Sportback or see what news emerges in 2011 about the next-gen A3 Sportback.

    If you need a newer car for warranty or lower running costs, then I'd recommend you also considered a used 2.0T quattro or TDi 170 quattro. These are fine cars in their own right, but at a lot lower cost than an S3...
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
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  8. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Jan 25, 2011]
    The Tdi 170 Quattro is a cracking motor in an A3.. just gets better BUT if you can find one and stretch to an A4 (or5) with the 3.0V6 Quattro you will be stunned by the power and flexibility, even better than the 170 4 cylinder in many cases...

    I would forget the BMW **** (personal opinion).
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  9. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Jan 25, 2011]
    The build quality of bmw's I would say is slightly behind Audi but their diesels are ahead in terms of refinement and economy. The 330d I had was very powerful and had a smooth delivery. The 335d must be mad to drive!!

    The engine in the 123d with 204bhp is a peach but to buy one over an A3 as a complete package would be mad but then we are all bias to Audi!

    Agree with Pilot on the V6 diesel in the A4 but you pay for it...
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  10. Hellz
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    Hellz Geordie Racer

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    [Jan 25, 2011]
    Thanks for the input guys - much appreciated. I dont really do enough miles to justify paying the extra for a deisel engine (the 3.0 v6) where I wont really see the benefit.

    I think I'm pretty much decided in that I'm going to go for the A4 2.0T S Line special edition Quattro (220bhp). I just need to find a well spec'd model for 15kish or less - ideally I'll be going for the Avant but if a well spec'd saloon comes up I'll probably go for it providing it ticks all the boxes.

    Is it definitely the case that ISOfix is not employed an any B7 model? seems ludicrous considering my A3 has isofix (MY04) and that when buy a newer car (>=MY06) which is a step up in the audi range, I get less in the way of safety options...
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  11. audicruiser
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    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    [Jan 25, 2011]
    I have a B7 A4 brochure from July 2005 and it lists Isofix as standard on both the Saloon and the Avant plus front passenger airbag deactivation as is in the A3....

    I think it was standatd fix across the Audi range from around 2004 onwards.
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  12. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Jan 26, 2011]
    Had a 2006 Avant Quattro as you are looking for. Great car had to sell early to get a lower CO2. We had an issue with Isofix, apparently a load came out without it (ours was registered March 2006) and were recalled for retrofit so I would check!!! Useful if you can find one with a sunroof, Nav and Bose and F/R parking all of which are nice to have.

    Good luck.
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  13. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jan 26, 2011]
    Be careful when comparing A4 and A5 diesels, the 3.0 ltr is not the same engine and i think the A4 is over 225g Co2 so high tax
    My problem with the A4 is the silly little doors !!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
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  14. A3_Rider
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    A3_Rider Member

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    [Jan 26, 2011]
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