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NOOB Questions about A3 - S Line Version

machomanrandysavage Jan 29, 2010

  1. Hi guys

    I've been doing a bit of research in my quest for a new motor - I've had a Fiat Punto for 10 years and I think it's time to grow up!

    Been looking at VW's and Saabs, but to be honest, Audi's are really what I'm after, in particular an A3. Got some questions if you dont mind:

    -- I'm keen to get the S-Line version's styling, ie: leather seats, etc... but I've read it's a very stiff ride. Whats the experience on the forum of this? The reviews also suggest it's not the greatest ride

    -- If I didnt get an S-Line version, what spec would you suggest? I'm not looking for crazy speed, I'm indifferent about petrol/diesel but it must be a manual. Rightly or wrongly, i'd like a nice interior and decent alloys. 5-door (Sportback) is preferable

    -- In terms of doors,I've been advised to go for the Sportback because it's got 'better resale value and a wider market, ie: families' .... anyone disagree with that statement?

    -- I'd prefer to buy used - my budget is around £12k - but am taking an A3 sportback for a test drive this weekend at the Docklands Audi garage. Any tips when dealing with them?

    Any help appreciated!
    Cheers, L
  2. Lee_R

    Lee_R Active Member

    When looking at sportbacks you will find most of them will be the 2.0 TDI 140bhp. It a popular choice because its economical and pulls well.Its also cheap to tax.

    I think the sportbacks holding their value more than the 3 door is rubbish, they are more common these days thats for sure. The only practicallity issue is the extra doors, The rear seats and rear leg room is identical to the 3 door. The boot is 6 inches deaper too but if you look at a 3 doors boot its more than big enough for most people.

    The S line ride is terrible, its harsh and jumpy. Its one of the few cars that can be made more comfortable by lowering it! Your biggest problem when looking will be to see what options each car has, you will struggle to find 2 the same.

    Most preferable options are the RNS-e sat nav, multifunction steering wheel and cruise control. Some cars will have silver trim, other will have piano black, some will have full leather but the s line standard is only half leather. I'd definately try and find one with the Xenon lights though as they are expensive to fit later.

    I chose the s line because it has better wheels as standard 18" and the interior is all black trim, including the roof so it looks classier. The 2006 or newer ones also come with much nicer looking bumpers too.
  3. Thanks for taking the time to reply - most helpful
    The guide to features is useful... I'll bear it in mind this weekend

    I like the shape of the 3door more - just more compact and less familycar-like (NB: i have no kids :))

  4. pu6486

    pu6486 New Member


    I've a 59-plate Black Edition sportback 2.0TDi 170bhp. I didn't consider the 3-door as I've a family. I went for the 170bhp for no other reason that I fancied the extra power - I test drove both and there was little in it as far as I could tell ("a fool and his money...."). It costs the same to tax as my old P-reg 1.3 Nissan Micra, £120 per-year.

    The ride is harsh. I took it to Co. Mayo (RoI) on holiday and was thrown around the inside on the exceptionally-poor roads. However, most of my weekly driving is on Motorways/Dual carriageways and it really is no problem at all. In hindsight I'd have definitely bought the adaptive suspension too.

    Options: leather (heated seats) - a real boon twice over during this cold-snap; auto lights/wipers; parking sensors front and rear and ipod-dock (this is utter **** - a real waste of £120 (see above!)). The Xenon lights come as standard and they're amazing. The RNS-e wasn't for me - I much prefer my TomTom and at £1850 it was a little steep.

    All in all a sweet car (and a BIG step-up from the trusty old micra - which I was able to "trade in" using the scrappage scheme).

  5. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Then go for the 3 door. There's no point buying a car you don't "want" :) Plus if the 3 door apparently has poorer resale values and you're buying used, you'd get more of a bargain yourself so it's not like you'd lose out, but either way I've never noticed 3 doors going for any less than Sportbacks.
  6. Quietlife

    Quietlife Member

    I picked up my 2.0d Sportback Black Edition a couple of weeks ago. My old car had a sublime ride, but previous to that, I'd always had 'sports' editions with big wheels. However, I've found the S-Line ride VERY choppy (must be getting old!!). Travelling down roads I've used for years, I've almost felt sea sick at times.

    Fuel economy is good and there is plenty of space for my two kids. I bought it as a long termer, but I have genuine concerns that it might have a very short life with me because of the ride.

    Have a LONG test dive. I wish I had!
  7. ghouseman

    ghouseman Gazza

    S-lines the better one,but yes it is a bit harsh. Dont know how the other guy got his tax for £120 on the 170 tdi though. The 2wd 170s that i test drove seem to spin the wheels in the wet very easily due to the amount of torque, so i went for the quattro, different again. Mpg is not as good as i hoped, but this could be down to quattro and my heavy right foot. Go for a 170 s-line, you'll only wish you had later!
  8. Scott134

    Scott134 Member

    I definitely recommend the s-line. Only had mine a few months now and you get used to the hard ride. I've had lots of cars lowered with bigger wheels etc. so am used to a hard ride anyway.

    The extras you get are worth it, as everyone's said above. I also bought the 3-door as I preferred the shape and don't yet have a family to worry about loading into the back. I didn't notice any obvious difference in price when I as searching for mine between 3 and 5 door. I can't really comment on what model to go for, as you have said you are not looking for speed ... that's what I wanted from mine so went for the 2.0TFSI and love it! Economy isn't bad for the performance, but I agree with the others that if you are not worried about petrol/diesel the diesels are meant to be very good, quick and economical.

    If you find a car you like, post the details and some pictures up here and you'll get some honest opinions on what to look for. Good luck with your search.
  9. Ben H

    Ben H On a journey...

    I disagree that the S-Line ride is really harsh, if you are used to firmly suspended cars. Looking at my signature, you'll see that for me going to an A3 S-Line wasn't much of a shock in the ride quality department. That said, it doesn't really feel to me that the S-Line is a particularly gifted car in terms of handling - I'd say the suspension is more for looks.

    I'd definitely seek out an S-Line spec Audi though. They do seem to have most of the desirable kit and often come with some options. Unlike you, I did mind what engine my A3 Sportback had, so had to wait a while for the right spec to come up. It seemed to me that 75% of S-Line Sportbacks were black or grey TDi 140s!
  10. All

    Thanks for your ace feedback - appreciated

    Just back from a test drive of a 2L 1.8 SE sportback and enjoyed the ride. Great at low revs, smooth, I felt secure in the sports seats and it had a bit of poke when I put the foot down. I'm sold on it

    Looking specifically at the Black Edition, 2L 140PS.... the Audi guy advised me not to go for the 170PS because most of my driving will be in town, and the 170PS is more suited to motorway driving - the logic being around the diesel technology. I'll be honest and say I only just understood, but I appreciated his honesty - it may save me £1000

    will post some pics of the black edition I was looking at - even in the showroom, buyers of other audis were looking on jealously! :)


  11. evapor8

    evapor8 Member

    All the cool people buy a Black Edition (if they can't afford an S3!)

    Picking the 140 over the 170 would also save you on insurance I believe .....

  12. PH1L

    PH1L Gievf Buckets

    i like that rear vallance a lot
  13. robby

    robby Active Member

    I've just bought a 3 door S-Line 2.0tdi 140 today :)

    I've been looking for a few weeks and all i could find in the sub £13k range (06-07) were sportbacks which look nice but aren't for me

    On the test drive today i was after reading about the harsh ride expecting a lot worse but after my Focus ST the A3 was a lot better especially with the comfy seats

    Roll on collection in 2 weeks
  14. PH1L

    PH1L Gievf Buckets

    congrats pics up and welcome to the club
  15. c4thb

    c4thb New Member

    Congrats on the purchase! The ride is quite hard but I love "feeling" the road when I drive :D
  16. pu6486

    pu6486 New Member

    FYI: The emissions from the 140bhp 2.0TDi are 129g/km, whilst for the 170bhp it's 139g/km. This means their car tax categories are D and E respectively. (madly) both categories are subject to the same levy of road-tax :)tocktock:)for 12 months: £120

    (see http://www.audi.co.uk/content/dam/audi/production/PDF/PriceAndSpecGuides/a3-s3.pdf pages 56 and 61 and http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/HowToTaxYourVehicle/DG_10012524).

    I was also advised that if most of my driving was around town, then the 140bhp was the better option. The dit I was spun went along the lines of the diesel particulate filter (on the 170bhp - guess there's not one on the 140bhp?) not having a chance to warm up on short (town) trips, and would most likely become clogged up earlier in life than it would if the car was used for long (motorway) trips.
  17. PH1L

    PH1L Gievf Buckets

    D: my 1.6's emissions are 164 results in 215 a year tax and arguing in the post office when you have to hand it over :laugh:
  18. that was the explanation he gave.... kind of made sense at the time

    bit torn b/w a 2L 140bhp diesel or a 1.8L petrol at 160bhp.... perhaps its not a fair comparison
  19. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

    If you've got £12k to spend on an A3 and you want a 3 door, then I would be looking at a 2006 onwards S-Line. I personally would get a 140bhp and go for a remap, at a cost of around £300, you'll see about 175-180bhp and 300ft-lb. This will give you better economy and the drive of the car will be better. The S-Line models come with full or half leather, better looking bumpers and nicer wheels.

    I have an S-Line myself and the suspension setup is awful its very stiff and crashy, you could either fit eibach or h&r lowering springs or go for adjustable coilovers depending on what budget your on! If you want some options I'd try and find one with heated seats and BOSE, as pretty much all other options i.e. Xenons/Sat Nav/Flat Bottom Steering Wheel/Criuse Control/Folding Mirrors etc can all be retrofitted at a later date, its just depends how serious you wanna get with the modding!

    Ta N8
  20. cheers... food for thought... seriously considering the 2nd hand option now. Not sure if I can justify 23k on a car I'll drive twice a week!

    Excuse my ignorance.. but what is a remap? is it a change in the engine management chip?
  21. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

    Yes you alter the settings in the ECU, which will give the car more power and economy.
  22. cheers - makes total sense

    On a diff note - had a test drive of a Golf GTD for comparison's sake. Although the interior is nice enough, its just behind the A3 in my mind. In terms of the drive, it was similar but the cornering on the A3 seemed a bit smoother

    Have pretty much decided to go for a 2nd hand Sportback S-Line because I cant really justify a brand new one :( Looking to spend a max of 17K... the search goes on!
  23. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

    Make sure like I said, BOSE, Heated Seats, 06 >, you'll be fine with £17k budget..
  24. hello folks

    thanks again for all your input. I test drove a black edition A3 2L petrol version at the weekend and I'm sold

    The choice now - based on my ever growing budget - is whether to get a 1.8L or 2L version. The 2K diff is a concern

    I'm not getting much in the way of extras, so it's a choice b/w the performance of each car. Have any of you experienced A3 drivers noticed *that* much of a diff b/w the 1.8 and 2L engine? To someone who currently drives a 1.2L car, does it really matter? My driving will be predenominately around town with the occasional scoot up the motorway


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