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S3 vs S4

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by onianbag, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. onianbag
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    onianbag Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    Well, like a lot of 8p owners who have been waiting for the new S3 i am now in a pickle. after having a 3.2Q dsg with sat nav plus, tv and other extras for two years i face the prospect of parting company with A LOT OF CASH to get the new S3 similarly specced to mine - and the prospect of losing dsg.

    The new S3 has grown on me and i do like the looks and appeal but as said its a big outlay for small performance gains.

    So the question is S3 or nearly new S4 with toys and maybe tiptronic? the new S3 posts near identical 0-60 times of the S4 do you think there would be a big real word performance gap between the two? how do we rate the two cars against each other? is tiptronic a step back from dsg? which car looks the best?

    discuss!:)


    ps: i still believe a RS3 is possible. Why? the non-flared arches on the new S3; if you look accross the audi range ie the S4-only subtle styling changes, no flared arches - the RS4 on the other hand? gotta keep hoping!!!
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  3. stevec
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    stevec Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    I looked at S4's (and test drove one - which i reported on in the forum). Nice car, but not as nimble as the new S3...

    I feel you are right about the RS3 simply because BMW are doing the 135i and I can't see Audi lying down on that one... Except my nearly fully spec'd S3 is going to be £33K i am not sure I would get an RS3 anyway, as it's likely to be nearer £40K, hmm...

    The second hand values of RS4s are dropping, and in a couple of yars I feel these will be the better bet for the money...

    The S4 fuel consumption did swing the choice for me too... I got 22MPG driving it "normally" whereas the new S3 was closer to 28, not a lot, but over 5 years its enough...

    * I'm sure we all know what "normally" is too :) woo hoo!
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  4. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    Can't comment on the performance differences but the S4 will be much better value as you'll be letting someone else take the 20% depreciation when they drove it off the forecourt.
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  5. .:R2theT
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    .:R2theT Dreaming of Boost

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    You might be starting with smallish gains, but once you get it chipped you would probably see huge gains...300 HP and 280+ft./lbs.

    If I had the option of the S3, there would be nothing to consider!
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  6. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    Plus you get a nice V8 :) although my mates are constantly moaning about really poor tyre wear...
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  7. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    OK, So I have driven all the cars you mention and owned all except for the new S3. I think S4 vs S3, S4 wins every time especially on the higher end and torque (0-60 is a bit misleading really). I do think the 3.2 V6 A3 is a hidden gem really especially with some of the discounts dealers were giving out; I changed mine for my S4 but still miss it. Wouldnt sell a 3.2 V6 for an S3 especially if it is nice spec and have to pay extra!.
    So, the S4 is no cheap car though; it does eat up the tyres since it is torsen driven rather than haldex its a bit cruel on the outsides of the tyres and they cost about 130 a piece. Tax is near enough 200 quid per year and servicing is higher due to the engines 9 litre oil capacity.

    Still love it though and would recomend the V8 and V6 to anyone; they are such 'sleepers'

    (love the old s3 too though; they are a steal these days!)
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  8. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    [Wouldnt sell a 3.2 V6 for an S3 especially if it is nice spec and have to pay extra!.


    I think you need to drive the S3, having driven both in my opinion there is no comparison, the S3 wins hands down. The 20T Q is a better drive than the 3.2, maybe not quite as quick or sound as nice but it handles and drives better.
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  9. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    I drove a 2.0T sline today actually and liked it; It wasnt quattro so it was spinning away but nice when pushed.. I am was tinkering with the idea of changing the s4 for one (quattro of course) if the deal was right... 24 mpg is killing me at 180 miles a day 3 times a week!..
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  10. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
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  11. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    post the spec.. (or pm)..
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  12. mark88
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    mark88 Member

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    [Nov 25, 2006]
    S4 is just so boring looking. I know I moaned about the S3 being dull to look at but the S4 is even worse
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  13. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 28, 2006]
    Think your missing the point of what S cars are supposed to and have always looked like. Thats the whole appeal of the S4 for me.

    Guess you like your votex kit right?!... ;-) :o.k:
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  14. mark88
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    mark88 Member

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    [Nov 28, 2006]
    Perhaps I really am missing the point, but when I spend £40k+ on a S4 I kinda would like it to look better than the bottom of the range A4 S-Line.

    And few people would describe the 8L S3 as boring looking, yet the same cannot be said of the 8P.
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  15. AL_B
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    AL_B Active Member

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    [Nov 29, 2006]
    I too have been considering an S4. I drove one a few years ago, so probably need to drive a more recent example. But what I remember from my test drive was, it was bloody quick, glorious engine, and a nice feel to the gearbox. Unfortunately, I didn't take in any twisty roads, so can't comment on how it felt to handle - hence why I should really take one out again.

    But you can't escape the fact that its a bigger car than an old or new S3. And although the old S3 was never the best handling or nimblest of cars, comments on Audi-Sport drives in the 2002/2003 years from owners of the old RS4's where "they are slippery buggers those S3's" - when on twisty roads, and especially when chipped.

    So my guess is, the new S3, when on the right roads, would be more nimble than an S4. And personally, I'm looking to keep that nimbleness. I wouldn't feel right tanking down a twisty road in a bigger car like the S4. But thats me personally.

    The other thing that put me off a little was also the fuel economy. Never thought I would say that. Must be getting old. Yep, you don't buy a performance car if you are worried about fuel economy. But I think the fuel costs of an S4 would push my own personal budget too far. Town driving I believe they give about 15mpg, motorway you are lucky if you get 26mpg I think (please correct if I'm wrong S4 owners). Now I like to drive experiencing the performance when ever I can, thats how I drive my S3. So if I drive an S4 like that, it will mean I'll be putting in more fuel than I am now.

    In terms of performance. I think you have to consider the lag of the turbo in the new S3. The S4 would have the edge I think. Instant throttle response, lots of power and torque. I've experienced the same thing in my S3 versus DavidR in his old S4 bi-turbo. Yes it had turbos, but it also had grunt from much further down. So much so, out of slow corners and roundabouts, it would pull away easily.

    In an overtaking situation, I would think it would be easier to get caught in the wrong gear in the new S3, and be waiting for the turbo to spool. Whereas in the S4, you've got that instant throttle response.

    The other thing about the S4 which you can't overlook is: do you carry rear passengers often? There is far more leg room in the 8P A3/S3 than there is in the back of an S4.

    I've probably not helped you have I? :)

    AL
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  16. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 29, 2006]
    Spot on I think... The S4 has bags of grunt and torque. Plant your foot in pretty much any gear and it goes like a rocket, never wanting for spool up time. I actually get caught out on my a4 2.0T 220 PS waiting for the turbo, or trying to use the lower range in second to speed up; its just totally different that the S4.
    On back roads and twistys you could be right as the S4 is more of a higher speed car (i mean on the motorway its awesome at overtaking etc) but an S3 on boost in the tight corners would prob be quicker..

    The drag away from the severn bridge tolls though... The S4 rules most things! childish I know!...
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  17. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Nov 29, 2006]
    Oh and by the way, I am staying in the S4 line now and just pricing up a new one ready to change mine in the next couple of months... Plenty around for low to mid 20's now so a real steal!..
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