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s3 or R32

alexA3 Nov 19, 2012

  1. BBlackburn

    BBlackburn Member

    I think it just depends if you want to mod your car remap, cold air intake and so on then the s3 is the one. If you want to just listen to the v6 soundtrack and enjoy then the r32 is definitely the one for you.
    I had to decide between an r32, s3 or golf mk5 GTI and considering I may have to drive to work in it every so often I just went for the GTI DSG.
    But seriously considering the r32 if I can next year that sound is just priceless and if I was going to buy an s3 I'd want a facelift, which is out of my price range currently. I'm also 21 by the way.
  2. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    i work for vw and drive a fair few r32s, and currently own an s3, the only thing the r32 is better then is noise... its very poor interior wise compared with the s3, its very slow, and this may be down to the tyres that were on them but handle ****. just my opinon :)
  3. alexA3

    alexA3 New Member


    Thanks for all the replies.

    I also think the s3 i really want is the facelift one which is way out of my price range. Im not that bothered about modding it. Im leaning towards a blue R32, with sat nav, recaros, dsg and put a miltek exhaust on it. I can get a decent one for around 10k so i could save abit of money.
  4. shady-ninja

    shady-ninja Active Member

    R32 or AUDI A3 3.2 is a good cruiser with the noise to go when needed.
    the S3 is just mre economical to run.
    IMHO, i woud get either of the V6 R32 or A3. Forget the S3
  5. gixerson

    gixerson Member

    As has been said, your best bet is to take a few good test drives in both and see which you prefer.

    If your after something that's entertaining to drive and offers a good amount of driver feedback then to be honest i wouldn't consider either.
    Sure you can through money at S3's and they handle better, but then the same is true on any car, and something like a 3 series will handle better straight from the off.

    I test drove a fair few S3's and just couldn't get on with them.
    The styling was too flash for me and the ride to jittery which made the dull feedback even more annoying.
    Drove a few R32's but preferred the 3.2L A3 interior.

    In the end i went for a V6 A3 as i found it didn't shout about it's looks but went quick enough on public roads.
    It was also a LOT more comfortable to drive and on the terrible roads here was faster on the bumpy corners than the S3's i drove.

    It's still as dull as 2nd hand dishwater to drive, and it's taken me a few months to start to come around to liking it, it IS growing on me though, the comfort, ease of driving, noise and sure footedness are starting to overshadow it's lack of driver control feedback.

    By far the best thing for me though is it's throttle response.
    No matter what the gear of revs a jab on the throttle has the car responding instantly.
    Don't get me wrong the S3's aren't exactly lag monsters compared to many other cars i've driven BUT no matter what type of forced induction is used, you just can't get that instant throttle response that normally aspirated cars offer.

    So if you want sporty handling i'd advise to look elsewhere
    If you want something sportyish and are a bit of a show off and drive of smooth roads the S3 might be best
    If you want something with instant throttle response, understated, fast enough for public roads and aren't too concerned about running costs i recon the V6 A3 trumps the Golf purely on interior and level of finish.
  6. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

    On topic....

    S3 v R32 (on UK roads)

    Not much in it I would say.

    R32 can be had cheaper, sound better, drive similar, better throttle response, but slower.

    S3 quicker, bit cheaper to run, faster, much faster when mapped, tuneable, badge snob value, residuals, image ?

    Similar but not the same.

    I came from a Stage 1 MK5 Gti so R32 wasnt enough for me and prices at the time (2007) were VERY similar. S3 won for me, particularly as I liked the elastic fizz bang power delivery of a turbo and a map was a prerequisite.
    So much so I bought another one.

    Having owned a Corrado and Golf VR6 I can see the attraction of a small car with a punchy 6 cylinder and wouldnt be sad to have another.
    In fact I surfed PH for SC R32s not that long ago....

    For the record I drove my Stage 1 57plate S3 and A3 3.2 back to back on a afternoon hoon and the 3.2 felt slow by comparison. Not slow in real terms, but `felt` slow in comparison on the road.

    If you are on a budget and 250bhp is enough then the R32 makes most sense IMO.

    Good luck

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