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Should I buy a 3.2 A3 QT - and why?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by AudiSport, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. AudiSport
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    AudiSport Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Hi Guys,

    I've sold my REVO remapped 190 S-line A4 and I'm looking for a change!
    Currently on my hit list is a Mk5 Gti or an A3 3.2 quattro coupe in around 2003/04 reg. Obviously you guys all bought the A3 over the golf so I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on the A3, what it is like to live with and what the 3.2 engine is like - fuel and power wise as they now represent amazing value for money starting around 7k..

    Additionally a guy at work has DSG on his 2006 R32 and he loves it, although it is a little jurky when driving slow around car parks. Should I buy a DSG or manual?

    Thanks in advance!
    #1
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  3. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I drove a 3.2Q recently.
    Its much better than the reviews suggest and sounds superb. Its fairly quick, probably quicker than it feels due to the very linear power delivery.
    And thats one of the reasons why I prefer the fizz bang power delivery of a Turbo although there is something quite cool about a V6 in a hatch back.
    Ive owned 2.8 VR6`s, which I beleive is a descendant of the 3.2V6, and its a great engine when its in the sweet spot, both sound and delivery.

    Ive also owned a couple of MK5 Gtis and rate them very highly, dont beleive the `**** interior` hype, its not true, yes the A3 is better and leads its class, but that doesnt mean the Golfs is bad, just not as good as an A3.

    Its down to tastes at the end of the day but personaly I would be tempted by a MK5 Gti and remap it. REVO Stage 1 dramatically improves the car for a meagre £500.

    It might sound obvious but the best thing to do is drive them both.
    Both nice cars so its not a choice you can get wrong really.

    Be sure to check out some of the threads on here regarding 3.2 running issues

    It would be manual for me everytime. I have fairly limited experience with DSG but did drive an E92 M3 with paddles and didnt really like it. Maybe its something you have to adapt to, but I dont like the car shifting for me, something felt `missing` from the drive (and not just the clutch pedal!)

    Good luck:icon_thumright:
    Paul
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
    #2
  4. col6821
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    col6821 Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I'm considering the same question...

    I've owned a 2005 TT Roadster with a 3.2 manual, which I sold last September and replaced with a Mini Cooper S (2006 supercharged). However, wifey is expecting and the Mini only has 3 doors and difficult access to the rear seats.

    The 3.2 V6 is a sublime engine, it sounds awesome and has a much more relaxed type of performance, I never found the TT slow, it just never sounded as though it was pressing on like the 2.0's do.

    We've looked at Golf, Leon, Focus, 1 Series, but in terms of value for money, a 3.2 A3 5 door looks really appealing at the moment, and I'd really like to try the DSG 'box.

    If you drive one before I do, please post up your thoughts.

    Cheers

    Col
    #3
  5. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Hey, come join the 3.2 club lol.

    I love mine, sounds fantastic and goes like a train. I have the DSG and wouldn't be without it. Absolutely superb! Smooth and when in sport mode! wow, it shifts!

    Fuel economy can depend how you drive them, I tend to be very heavy right footed lol and can average between 24 to 30 foot depending and length of trips. I tend to do shorter trips so not always a fair idea. Mine is 3 dr and feels very sporty.

    Drive a few, get a feel for them and try the DSG. It is personal choice and for me im glad I got it. Some have issues with hesitating at 2k revs but a simple ecu upgrade at the dealers sorts this, there is a long ongoing thread regarding it. Things get sorted so ive never been worried about it. I've had Golfs, loved mine but the A3 is something above them (sorry!)

    Good luck deciding and hunting for a good spec'd one.:jump:

    Sarah
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  6. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Yes would agree with Sarah the gearbox is subject to opinion.... Mines a manual and i like it that way but having driven the DSG they are very good if that's what you like.

    The sound and performance are both good :)
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  7. EvilxElf
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    EvilxElf New Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    What year is your A3? I wasn't aware there was a sport mode? Never seen any seller advertising their A3 by stating it has sport mode?
    #6
  8. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    They are either Sports or S-line.
    #7
  9. EvilxElf
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    EvilxElf New Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I've seen S Line models, so if stated as an S Line it will have sport mode? Is this activated by just a button?
    #8
  10. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    mines a late 2004 S Line with DSG inc sport mode on the DSG
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
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  11. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]

    Its the next nudge down below the Drive!
    #10
  12. EvilxElf
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    EvilxElf New Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    What if it was an S Line with only a manual gearbox? How would you activate it then?
    #11
  13. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    then if its manual its manual, just the 6 gears! Remember mines DSG
    #12
  14. EvilxElf
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    EvilxElf New Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I think you miss understood what I was asking :(

    I know yours is DSG so for you to use sport mode you just put the transmisson into the one below drive? But if you have a full manual S Line, how would you put it into sport mode because all you have is 6 manual gears?
    #13
  15. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Sport mode is on the DSG. Move to lever to S. Downshifts early to keep the revs above 3k.

    I have no longer got my A3 but I had two manuals over 4 years - a 2004 Sline 3dr and a 2006 model Sportback sline. Traded in for a new 330d Touring to cope with family life.

    Pros - lovely engine. Linear power delivery and very smooth. Great performance. They really can do an indicated 155mph, apparently. No need to thrash to drive enthusiastically. Fantastic traction. Preferred the 3 door shape. Economy averaged 26mpg over 27k miles. Worst was 11 on track, best about 32 on an easy motorway drive. Fab exterior and interior build quality. Decent back seat space for adults. Design is 7+ years old now but still looks good. 2005 model year from May 2004 got rear boot spoiler and option for brushed aluminium trim inside.
    Cons - Sline ride is hard. Some love it and I did when on my own, but when not trying and wanting a bit of comfort, it could be frustratingly harsh, especially on our dodgy roads. My 330d shows a decent balance can be made, even with BMW's known reputation for a hard ride. Mechanical quality was pretty rubbish - got the first one replaced after so many faults. Second one not much better. Worst aspect was steering rack problems - I had 6 in total. I also had the hesitation at 2k rpm but sold before it was sorted. If you need to carry stuff, boot space in all Quattros is reduced vs FWD (boot floor higher). I preferred the manual to the DSG due to most of my driving being out of town, but often difficult to drive smoothly when changing through lower gears. I was still impressed by the DSG though.

    Anything registered before late March 2006 will mean lower road tax too (around £200 vs £400 or so).
    #14
  16. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    you cant, only on the DSG, sorry thats what I was trying to say.
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  17. EvilxElf
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    EvilxElf New Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    So an S Line full manual doesn't have sport mode?

    :(:(
    #16
  18. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I agree the suspension is hard but I much prefer that, its just the damm pot holes at the moment, but hey, again all personal choice
    #17
  19. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    No. Manual transmission cars do not have any mode options. Only DSG cars have a sport mode on the gearbox. And all it does is keep you in lower gears for longer. Nothing to do with sharpening responses, suspension or anything else.
    #18
  20. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    The Sport mode delays upshifts to make use of the maximum engine power and can be much smoother than manuals can be. J(ust for interest some Drive mode ratios on some models are designed so max speed is only achieved in sport mode). DSG changes are so fast to change and it has 2 clutches. Anyway, try one, you wont know until you do, compare maual and DSG so you can see and feel the difference for yourself.
    #19
  21. AudiSport
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    AudiSport Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Sport is a name for the trim level. Sport was replaced by the name S-line in around 2004.
    Not sure about the A3, but on an A4 this ment better seats, bigger wheels and lower ride height.

    The sport button on a dsg gearbox just confuses things!
    #20
  22. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    'Sport' was picked up when I referred to it in my first reply when talking about the DSG/manual. You are right, they are trim levels inc lower suspension etc etc.
    But in 2004 S Line was over Sport apparently! (maybe always was, dunno)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
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  23. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    In terms of trim levels, back then there were "standard", SE, Sport and then Sline appeared in early 2004. Sline did not replace Sport. Sport had sports seats and 17" wheels and lowered suspension. Sline brought the 18" 5 spoke wheels, part leather seats (called Speed), even slightly lower suspension (depending on what you read - might have just been German spec), perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, and from May 2004 a rear boot top spoiler and aluminium interior trim option. Think that was about it. At the time it was a £700 option on top of the Sport models.
    #22
  24. S3 Rav
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    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Why not get the best of both worlds and go for an a3 2.0T?
    #23
  25. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I'd get a Golf GTI but year for year they are generally more expensive than the Audi which always suprises me. Like you say, a 54 A3 3.2 will cost about 8-9k but a 54 Golf Gti will cost 10k! Weird considering the Audi is the upmarket version of the same car and isnt 4x4 either!
    #24
  26. col6821
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    col6821 Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    I looked at one tonight, and I HAVE to have one now... Just need to sell the Cooper S...

    Can anyone comment on service costs though? The one I looked at was a January 2004 with 58k miles and hadn't been serviced since 37k in 2008.I know that's not unusual, and it looks like it had brake fluid and Haldex last time round, but I couldn't confirm spark plugs had been replaced. My local dealer couldn't locate the car on the Audi UK system due to a private plate, but gave rough prices as follows: -

    60k Service, inc Oil, Pollen and Air filters - £320
    Spark Plugs (if required) - £130
    Haldex (not required now, only every 40k) - £75 - I thought Haldex fluid was every 20k, and fluid and filter every 40k?
    Brake Fluid - required every 2 years - £78.30
    DSG oil change (every 40k) - £190
    Front Pads and Disks (looked like they needed changing) - £400!

    Best part of £1k on servicing then! Although the last owner had the car for 5 years (7 days after the first 19k service) and only needed to service it once...

    Still gotta have one...

    Col
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  27. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2010]
    Good luck, well worth the effort!
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  28. wickyianr1
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    wickyianr1 Member

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    [Apr 29, 2010]
    i agree with sarah,having the best of both worlds i have an 06 3.2 dsg the wife 08 1.8 tfsi manual,yes the dsg on hills takes some getting use to and yes there is a delay sometimes between gears but you get use to it,stick it in s and the thing flys they say over 6 seconds 0-60 na feels like less than 6 but all that goes away when u listen to the sound,and with four wheel drive you just cant get them wheels spinning even in launch control would i go back to manual i dont no an s3 maybe.
    #27
  29. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 29, 2010]
    :icon_thumright:
    #28
  30. AudiSport
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    AudiSport Member

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    [May 1, 2010]
    I drove a DSG today and it was great, although very jurky when pulling out of junctions slowly.. Is this normal - I'm a little worried of the DSG box after hearing all the Audi multitronic problems...
    What is this hardware or software problem people have sorted on the DSG - does it solve the jurky problem and how much does it cost to fix?

    The A3 I was looking at was a 3.2 quattro on a 2004 plate with 65k... Great drive - is it the same engine as the R32?
    #29
  31. TAC
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    TAC 3.2 V6 Burble... hmmmmmmm

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    [May 1, 2010]
    Good luck looking, I took ages to find mine and was toying between R32 and A3, I went for the A3 as it was simply the better package.

    3.2 engine is great and the DSG box is just a perfect option on the engine in my opinion, I have had no isses with it and it isn't to jerky at low speeds. I do a range of driving and average 26-27mpg. As far as servicing goes shop around, I found Oxford Audi very good and you can get the AVS service cost down by doing the spark plugs air filter and pollen filter yourself, still comes in at a hefty £250 for essentially just an Oil change and Audi stamp!! If your a practical type of guy you can change the pads yourself or there are many helpful people on here who I am sure would be willing to help. If you do everything through Audi they are expensive to keep on the road but if you have a bit of knowledge it can keep the costs lower.

    The cars are great and engines are good as long as it has full service history, pre05 engines seem to suffer this erratic idle speed at 2k however mine is an 06 so I haven't had any issues. Shop about and be prepared to wait for the right one don't buy on impulse.

    Good luck.
    #30
  32. suthsy
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    suthsy New Member

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    [Jun 4, 2010]
    3.2 all the way!! i am 23 years old and have not regretted buying one even with the extortionate petrol prices!

    once you get one you wont look back, DSG gearbox is immense, Bose sound system is second to none, comfort of the seats is perfect for cruises especially with the aid of an arm rest, huge boot, back seats aren't too bad so im told (have never sat there so i couldnt really give my own opinion). fantastic to look at, had mine for over a year and still peep out the window to check out the S-Line bodykit. 'Sport mode is orgasmic', so my mrs tell me... for that quote alone, i recommend you buy one lol.
    #31
  33. akash_sky1
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    akash_sky1 Active Member

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    [Jun 4, 2010]
    v6 sounds nice and are relatively cheap-ish buys second hand, but some majorly expensive stuff can go wrong with them - ie timing chains, they are quick but not raaapid, and cant be made much quicker that easily. Also road tax will now be in the top band over £400. That plus only ok economy while crusing - not better then 30 (while a remapped 2.0T can get 35-40 in same situation) is high price to pay to pay for something with the show but not quite all the go.
    #32
  34. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 5, 2010]
    Maybe Akash but least we have no turbos to blow, clutch issues etc that others get often when starting to map! Horses for courses!

    3.2 for me, love it and yup the sounds orgasmic! The S3 should have been made with a V8, now that would have been good!
    #33
  35. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 5, 2010]
    3.2 is the nicest engine in the A3 range.... I think that goes without saying.... the more cylinders it's got normally the better it is!!!

    :)
    #34
  36. felixtcat
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    felixtcat crash test dummy

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    [Jun 5, 2010]
    I recentley bought an A3 3.2 V6 with a manual gearbox , 04 plate , I just love the engine , traded in a golf gti (turbo) best thing I ever did . I have driven a sportback 3.2 with the DSG and absolutely loved it (as previously mentioned) there are actually 2 gearboxes , 1 for 1st 3rd and 5th , the 2nd for 2nd , 4th and 6th, so gear changes are virtually instantaneous, would have liked to have one in my new one but couldnt find one at the right price. The 3.2 engine is truely amazing its the same engine as in the new tts which I have also driven. Unfortunately I havent driven an s3 so my opinion maybe a bit biased , but i just love the torque with the 3.2 , had the car over a week and you cannot wipe the grin from my face ! The sound and constant power is amazing , technically in a straight line the 3.2 (248 bhp standard) should be quicker than an S3 (225 bhp standard) but tuning is more effective (if thats the right phrase )with the S3 , depends what you want really. As far as fuel consumption goes , the 3.2 is thirsty , but again as others have mentioned before me , it depends how you drive it , I try and trundle around in 6th as much as I can , still good torque at low revs , but its not long before I end up burying my foot in the floor and listening to the V6.
    #35
  37. Sarah's A3
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    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 5, 2010]
    lol, I cant help pushing it, that sound is moreish! Yup S3s can be tuned, thats been said loads before, but for what I could afford I wouldnt change it! I love him, and fuel...ah well, its only money! lol
    #36
  38. mikeav6
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    mikeav6 New Member

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    [Jun 5, 2010]
    I've just bought an '05 A3 3.2 V6 S-line with DSG. I can't to pick it up. I was orignally looking for a TT v6 but felt that the A3 offered better value, understated looks with decent performance, and after driving one, the sound of the V6 and the excellent DSG box sold it straight away.

    I found that it felt sporty yet comfortable, smooth, silky, and practical.

    Hopefully it will prove to be a good choice!
    #37
  39. suthsy
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    suthsy New Member

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    [Jun 7, 2010]
    can i just say... all 3.2's registered before march 31st 2006 will NOT be in the higher tax bracket, therefore you wont have to pay over £400 for a years tax :rulez::haha:
    #38
  40. suthsy
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    suthsy New Member

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    [Jun 7, 2010]
    also, i raced a 2.0T the other day... think he had trouble changing gears... couldnt see much from my rear view mirror though :whistle2:
    #39
  41. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Jun 7, 2010]
    :applaus:
    #40

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