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S3 and its Competition

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by adam12thjojo, May 16, 2012.

  1. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    I have been looking around for a new car for when my Astra is all paid off and the Finance has finally gone :rolleyes:.

    I looked at the BMW 1Series Coupe, Focus ST and of course the Audi A3 and after LOADSSSSS of research and checking i decided i like the S3 best.

    I was just wondering if there is any other car you would consider a close competitor to the Audi in both price and performance? Also i am aware you will all have nothing but good reviews of the S3 but i was wondering about its Pros and Cons compared to its rivals?

    All help much appreciated

    Adam
     
  2. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    Interior is far nicer than any other in its class I find.

    that's what sold it for me.

    Speed wise. For me, it's only "OK" when standard. Its a heavy heavy hatchback. it needs at least 300bhp to be quick. so a stage 1 map will sort this.

    MPG - 25 mixed, 33 long run. it's heavy and therefore thirsty. DSG is a must (S-Tronic).Manual will need new clutch straight away after modding. Or at least budget for one. (1k) ish.

    Focus RS? cheap interior. 300bhp from the off. looks are too boy racer for me. But it does have a presence to it.

    Apart from that, you pretty much named them I think?

    Either way stay German. Generally quality far exceeds all other brands(obv not rolls and Bentley etc).

    residual values also end up higher in general.

    Be careful though. The new A3 is due, this will de-value the current A3 a bit.

    This however could work in your favour at the dealers, get a bargain price now as Audi will want the old stock out.
     
    #2 mjr901, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  3. Reload

    Reload Bird is the Word!

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    As mjr901 said you are better off staying German for the quality. I can think of 2 other obvious rivals to the S3 for cost / performance.

    1. VW Golf R - as far as I can tell its an S3 in a golf shell, pretty much on par performance, fuel consumption, 4WD on a hadex diff etc. Horses for courses here, both cars are pretty subtle but would you pay more for a VW than an Audi?? I certainly wouldn't

    2. BMW 130i - The 3l straight six is a damn fine engine, solid but plain interior, ugly (in my opinion) front end and without the quattro stability. Also the hatchback reminds me of a bread van :D
     
  4. S3 Rav

    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

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    How about a 135i as an option?
     
  5. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    Hell I forgot the Edition 30 golf Mk5. lovely car.

    Also Mk5 R32. You'll never get out of it. The sound is THE best. Untunable unless you have a big pocket full of money.
     
  6. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    I think to be honest, Value for money and quality....

    It has to be VW.

    These Audi's are ruddy expensive, and quite often the VW's come better spec'd.

    Audi's are lovely. But if I had my head screwed on right, it'd be VW.
     
  7. Reload

    Reload Bird is the Word!

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    135i is a good machine almost (but not quite) like a miniture M3, I didn't mention it though as I thought it was coupe only (I stand by to be corrected).

    My neighbour has a Mk5 R32, certainly sounds good but can't keep up with a stage 1 S3
     
  8. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Thanks for all your opinions.

    I do love the look of the S3 compared to the R32. I have looked at the golf and spec/performance on paper is just as good, if not better however i dont know if im a fan of the VW look. Where as with the Audi in a 3dr i certainly do like the look!!

    I would like to go German as the only way to go better then mine is either another Astra but VXR or an Insignia!

    1series coupe BMW have interested me but when you've had a 1.4 Astra i really want a car with some poke as mine really doesnt! I found i could afford a BMW 3 series but at the age of 22 next year, is that a bit to sensible??
     
  9. Reload

    Reload Bird is the Word!

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    At the age of 22 your insurance will be a bit of a killer won't it?

    Mind you, if you're looking at that sort of metal that probably won't bother you anyway.

    Audi has the best forum too! :)
     
  10. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    talk to Paullie about the VXR. she had a beautiful one.

    interior wise it's nothing on these Audi's though.
     
  11. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Ive checked the insurance on a comparison site and there all around the £1200 mark which i can cope with, god knows what they think of me i checked so many cars they must think im rich haha!

    I dont even think i want a VXR if im honest lol want to change had 3 Vauxhalls now and i do like my Astra but i want a change.

    I no with an Audi your looking at more expensive parts, tax and service but then so is BMW. Im really quite un-decided. Better take another look at the Golf :think:
     
  12. daver555

    daver555 Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain here (and I own an Audi!). If you take a stroll through this forum you will see numerous people with performance A3 variants be they S3's or 3.2's who have experienced problems. I think it would be fare to say that the performance Audi's need A LOT of looking after so make sure you have a good garage close by that you trust as you will get to know them very well. The problems are numerous and include faulty coil packs, software issues re the DSG/S-tronic system, MAF sensors, crank shaft position sensors, stretched cam-chains (3.2 only), Haldex issues particularly the mechatronic box..........these seem to be the most common issues we are experiencing and all these require specialist diagnostic equipment to rectify. More often than not you will need to take it to an Audi dealership to get a full understanding of what the problem is at the time which means £££.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Audi but if I knew then what I know now I think my decision would have been a different one! Like I said, great cars but they need plenty of TLC to keep in tip-top condition which again means £££. If you like spending money on your cars then a performance Audi would tick all the boxes but if your not into your cars and don't like regular servicing with fairly moderate to high bills then a performance Audi may not be for you.

    In summary I think you should read up on the make/model you decide on as much as possible so you know what your letting yourself in for.
     
  13. Ben H

    Ben H On a journey...

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    I presume you're looking at a used car?

    It looks like entry-level 8P2 (pre-2009 facelift) S3 models start at around the £13k mark for a nice car with good spec. For that money, the obvious competition includes the cars mentioned above; notably the Golf R32, Focus ST, Golf GTi, Megane Renaultsport and 130i. Depending on how much more you spend than that entry price, then the competition will also open up to include the Golf R and Focus RS.

    Given what people on this forum say, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the standard S3 isn't a very quick car, but remember that 0-100 in 13.5s puts the S3 into the very hottest hatch category. It's just that even a Stage 1 re-map will give you noticeably better performance for very little outlay.

    For me, the key to the S3's appeal is the package you get. It's very practical, discreet, classy, fast and tuneable - I can't think that any of its competitors do the combination of those things better. :)
     
    IceHanger and pinterovski like this.
  14. IceHanger

    IceHanger Active Member

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    ^^ding

    For me it was sophisticated pace, I wanted a fast practical hatch with 4wd that wasn't a Scooby or Evo.

    I wouldn't let the posts on here about problems put you off, thats what forums are for, you'll get a heaverly skewed opinion if you do, most run well but all cars have there TADTS (They all do that sir)

    Enjoy some test drives
     
  15. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    I understand they will have problems and yes i am looking at second class so i dont expect perfect. It seems the general idea is that the closest to the Audi is the VW Golf but they dont do it for me on looks. I assume that with people saying the S3 isnt amazingly speedy thats because you all have experienced a faster car but compared to my Astra i assume it would be a Rocket??

    If i was to get a Audi thats about 5 years old, would people still expect it to have an Audi full service history or can you get away without at that aged car?

    Really would love a RS but the car is to much, insurance i can afford but its finding the right car thats not overally expensive like the S3.
     
  16. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Just found a Renaultsport megane cup edition 11 plated for 16grand, and checked insurance and got a quote of £884 :shrug: how does this insurance stuff work haha?!!
     
  17. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    if you want the airbag light on all day long and airbags going off willy nilly, Buy the Renault..... Forgot to mention the windows will probably stop working. These French cars are useless at electrics!!
     
  18. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Is that an honest opinion or just a dig at the french haha?? Bet it does have a great reverse gear being French though :lmfao:
     
  19. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    in all seriousness. I've got nothing against the French. just wet on holiday there. loved it. they just cant do electrics.

    ive had 3 peugeots. and a clio. they are all terrible for electrics. but easy to rip apart to rip apart and put in a new switch or the like. :).
     
  20. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Does that mean the Renaultsport Megane is not decent option in your book??

    I do need something with a bit of speed though guys, my Dads just brought a 350z and i need to compete haha!
     
  21. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)

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    I've never driven one, however it was also on my list before I got my Audi.

    The quality isn't even close.

    Im not saying buy Audi. just buy German. :)
     
  22. MBK

    MBK Well-Known Member

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    The Megane Cup is a good car, totally different to the S3 but good all the same - if you are thinking of doing a few track days the Megane is the choice. Don't listen to the electrical problems - in the modern cars, in my experience, it simply isn't true. My Megane R26.R saw many track day outings and other than plenty of fuel, a few front R888's and the odd set of brake pads it was perfect, no electrical gremlins at all.

    The upsides of the Megane are involvement is up there with the best as a fwd hatch, track ability it will out perform quite a few, the feedback it gives the driver, price and maintenance cost. Downsides - quality of the cabin, stiff suspension (it's a cup!) and the badge (always a subjective idea of course). If I was after and everyday car with a bias toward trackdays I'd choose the Megane.

    The S3 is a different proposition - upside, refinement, 4wd security and certainty, ability to cover ground effortlessly and in style, carry a family and just be a pleasure to live with. Downside - it's slightly more detached (it has to be to be more refined, hard to have both in one package), it's more expensive and consumables cost more. If I wanted a more discreet car, mainly for the road, to time warp the family to destinations I'd choose the S3.

    In all honesty either choice is a good one so enjoy!
     
  23. adam12thjojo

    adam12thjojo New Member

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    Thanks for all you advice guys really making me think now.

    To be honest with not, i am one of them people that says i cant find a decent french car so ive never ever looked at them but then when the megane cup was advised i did really like the looks of it. I think i get what your sayin that the Audi is more of a sensible option??

    I think id like a car that doesnt need to be a racing car but maybe a bit more wacky n twitchy not just plain, so by what you say i would assume thats the Renault??
     
  24. IceHanger

    IceHanger Active Member

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    lol I think we are talking modern french cars!! The R26 though is built in a totally different factory to the rest of the Renault offerings so more of a hand built special (I think most if not all Renaultsports are).
    Within the industry French cars are well know for shocking build quality (we're talking engineering side not just high street) and their tendency to fall apart just out of warrenty (more snap off than on)
     
  25. MBK

    MBK Well-Known Member

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    Lol yes oops, indeed, I probably should have said current generation (and late last generation) rather than modern.

    In my experience the build quality and customer care, when the odd niggle did arise, has been good on the RS models.
     
  26. MBK

    MBK Well-Known Member

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    First thing I'd say is if you don't like French cars probably best stay away.

    This however, would be my choice:

    - young, wanting fun, the odd track day, b-road blaster, grin on face induced by ride harder than an 18-30 holiday (do they still do those?), head turning car for reasonable money and still have some cash in my pocket (for more 18-30 holidays) I would take the Megane.

    - more mature, wanting speed with discretion, ability to carry family safely without drama, more nods of quiet approval than head turning, you'll probably holiday once a year in the Maldives (rather than 3 times in Ayia Napa) I'd take the S3.

    Think of the Megane more as a fling with a naughty french girlfriend, she'll do all sorts but might not be classy enough to take home to your mum. The S3 is more the long term marrying type, you know her charms but she's less shouty about it.

    All really depends what matters most? Have you thought about a SEAT Leon Cupra R that is about the closest to a mix of the two I can think of.
     
  27. phildo

    phildo Member

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    A perfect summary! I had an phase 1 megane 225 followed by an R26 megane and over the 7 years I had them I had no problems at all with mechanicals or electricals, I loved them totally as they were so much fun.

    I now have an S3 as I am a bit older, got married and like the refinement and comfort. (although I do still like Ayia Napa & Ibiza!)
     
  28. chris.vincent3

    chris.vincent3 Own a BMW now, HOWEVER I still own VCDS!
    VCDS Map User

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    Have you concidered a 170 TDI S-Line or even with the Black Edition? I know its a different kettle o' fish, but the modern diesel engines now are far more reliable, cheaper to run and quick.
     
  29. dan0701

    dan0701 New Member

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    you are in the same situation i was in a month ago.. 21 years old.. selling a car(fiesta 1.6 zetec s) and wanting something faster..

    i looked at VW's, ST's, meganes etc... im now a proud owner of a audi s3 :yes:

    closest competitor is the golf R... similar package all round - but more expensive to run(fuel cost, tax etc.)
    the megane is a very nice car, but i personally would never have one after the problems my parents had with several renaults, newer ones should be better now tho.

    if you want fun on country roads then choose golf R or megane - slightly better than s3 (s3 more refined so less feel when driving)
    or if you want speed, acceleration, build quality etc. then s3 wins hands down compared to everything else. its faster than all similar cars (apart from evo's etc but without the insane running costs)

    after test driving them all i prefered the s3, was offered a really good trade in on my fiesta, good deal on the s3 and insurance is not too bad so really couldnt turn the car down, and have not regretted it at all, but then again you wont regret buying any of those cars - they are all brilliant to drive.
     
  30. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    Well,I'm clearly biassed as I already have an S3,but it did come across as the best solution when I bought mine.
    I didn't want either the Focus ST or RS,as I like at least a bit of 4WD,and the interior is much better too,but as you've seen,considering the various BMW and Renaults is also a must.
    Mine has been almost totally reliable,from 260bhp,to around 500bhp,and to be honest,providing you improve the brakes and suspension,it just gets better and better as the power goes up.
     
  31. Benji.S3

    Benji.S3 New Member

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    I did a WhatCar Reader Rescue and was lucky enough to have the below dropped off to me for the week. They were all fully loaded with the toys that you would want (some you wouldn't) and expect.

    I don't need to bore you with the details but - x3 hot hatches given to me to play with, a full tank of fuel in each (didn't last too long) took a week off work to play (KID IN A SWEET SHOP:yahoo:)


    1. Audi S3 (Manual)
    2. Volkswagon Scirocco R (DSG)
    3. Renault Megane 250 Cup (Manual)

    Which to drive first....the VW was dropped off first..flicked it straight into Sport Mode to see how the DSG performed at 7:30am..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    • If you want fun, quick, great handling, not fussed about interior finish / build quality, for a cheaper price - consider the Megane (perhaps an equivalent - VXR, Focus etc)
    • If you want something a little different, quite unique, head turner, comfortable, cracking exhaust note with DSG (Sport mode) and slightly cheaper option to its cousin - Scirocco most certainly should be considered in over a Golf


    • If you want comfort, luxury, handling, blistering pace, day to day drive-ability, oh and handling, plus the tuneability (a little bit later on...should you require it) do what i did - Buy the S3 (I was not and still am not disappointed with my choice after two years)
    [​IMG]
     
  32. Lil ad9

    Lil ad9 Member

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    Loving the look of that drive,
     

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