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Sport/S Line or SE

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by SteveTDCi, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    I'm (still) toying with the idea of an A3 (or A4 even) but just wondered how much of a loss it would be in not having the Sport/S Line version. I've seen a car that has a few toys on it, leather sat nav xenons etc but its the SE model with the fake wood and strange steering wheel. If I was to consider looking at it do you think the handling will be rubbish ? I don't mind a firm ride but if I went for an SE would it be tooooo soggy in the bends ?
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  3. roadrunner
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    roadrunner Member

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    Hi Steve,
    I have an old SE but have ordered a new Sport but only because I like the current Sport package better than the SE package. I have only had a quick spin in the current SE and the ride and handling seemed fine in fact I can’t really say I noticed a difference but I didn’t drive the SE that far. So if you find an SE that suits you I wouldn’t be put off by ride or handling issues…. the plastic wood and wheels YES…. but not the ride or handling.
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  4. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    Well I've lived with an SE for nearly three years now (complete with wood (is it fake!?) and four spoke wheel) and I have to say that the ultimate handling is a bit poor but at normal speeds it's fine.

    Unless you're going to be hooning it around the Nurburgring :whistle2: then it's fine. When pressing on hard and pitching into corners at speed it does tend to bounce and roll about a fair bit though.
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  5. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    Thanks for the replies, I might just continue looking although I suppose I could always buy a set of eibach springs .. but then I'd be into the modding scene again and I really should grow out of it ... still i'd chip it !
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  6. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    Like Vertigo1, I've also got an SE and am really pleased with it. Although it misses out on some of the nice standard Sport features (like DIS, front foglights and 17s), the spec is balanced by more comfort equipment, like a centre front-armrest, cruise control (excellent addition!) and extra interior lighting. I added DIS to mine along with Xenons, and have since retrofitted 17s to improve the spec.

    Also note that while wood trim is standard, buyers could opt for aluminium which was free-of-charge. I did, because I didn't like the wood. And yes, the four-spoke steering wheel isn't the prettiest or the smallest, but, erm, it steers just fine.

    As for handling and ride, another recent thread speculated that there's not really much in it between the SE, Sport and S-Line. I think the differences are mainly caused by the wheels, because the SE has thicker sidewalls with its 16s.

    One final point - are you the same SteveTDCi from the FFOC? I seem to recall you were instrumental in instigating "The Dark Side" with your Focus and went on to buy a Mk5 Golf TDI. Am I right???
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  7. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Oct 31, 2006]
    Yep, I started off on the FFOC and do indeed have the MkV GT TD remapped to 182, the A3 I've found at the moment has a very good spec including the 17" star alloys its just the SE .... its a similar spec to my Golf or I have found a highish (56,000) S Line 2004 54 plate .... I'll probably end up keeping the Golf !
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  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Depends what kind of driving you do.
    If all you do is motorway or 6/10th's driving,the SE/Sport will probably be fine.
    If,like me,you hoon over twisty B-roads,body control is more important than ride.
    I have an S-line,but was given a Sport loaner for a weekend about 2 months ago.
    The thing that shocked me was that although the ride was only slightly softer,the body control was so much worse.
    The Sport needed to be set up for corners in advance,and your line had to be planned.
    If the SE is softer again,it would be way too lurchy for me.

    Aside from the handling,the S-line is the only A3 spec that interested me from an aesthetics point of view.
    I love the 18" wheels (don't like any others in the A3 range) and I like the aluminium interior.

    If I were restricted to an Audi again,it would be an S-line again.
    As with women,I have to like the way they look.
    If they look good,I can put up with other things !
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  9. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    I tend to spend most of my life on a short trip up the A1 stuck in traffic, hence the reasoning behind looking for an A3 SLine. THe other reason for wanting to change is because the Golf is a little lacking in driving thrills, and whilst I appreciate diesels aren't sports cars my previous focus was more fun than the Golf. It looks like i'll look towards the S Line and try and get a demo
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  10. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Err...if you find a Golf lacking in driving thrills,I'm not sure an A3 is going to be the answer to your problems....

    They're competent,but they are miles away from being fun,involving or exciting.
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  11. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    I know ... but what smallish diesel hatch is there - i've driven the 120d and didn't like it.
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  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Alfa 147 1.9 jtd ?
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  13. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Love the looks of the 147 but aren't they supposed to be on the fragile side ?

    Dare I say new Civic if you fancy a change from the VAG group ?!? Not sure what they drive like but reviews are pretty good and the looks are a bit marmite but certainly a change and chippable.

    I'd agree with Bowfer the A3 won't set your pants on fire in the excitement/handling dept but it will be certainly no worse than your Golf and will have a nicer interior IMO, I love the A3 as an all rounder and never fail to look back when walking away, after the GTi it is not as exciting but I can forgive it as when stuck in traffic its a nicer place to spend time.

    However if you are bored of your Golf the same is likely to happen with the A3 as looks aside they are very similar to drive.
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  14. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    What about another Focus? If handling is top of your list, the Ford is still the benchmark in its class for handling, miles cheaper, and the new model has the 138bhp 2.0 TDCi which matches the A3 output.

    Worth a test drive!
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  15. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    I don't like the new FOcus, its a little bland inside I did have the ST2 as a demo and it was a stunning car, the only problem was its drink problem ! I also tried the 2.2 ST Mondeo again not a bad car... I really like the look of the Audi's and am even tempted to look at an A6, sell the wives Puma and get her an XK8 .... another reason for chopping the Golf is the heavy clutch and seats that dig into my leg ..
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  16. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  17. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Fair enough. My Dad has just ordered a Focus 2.0 TDCi Zetec for December delivery, and I'm keen to do a back-to-back drive with my Sportback to see how the two compare.
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  18. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Don't get me wrong the Focus is a good car and is better than the Mk1 in terms of build / finishing its just that the Audi or even Golf is much better inside, having said that I could pick up a new Focus for the same money as a 2 year old A3, TDCi Zetec CLimates brand new are £14000 otr at my local stealer. Handling / brakes the Focus wins easy.
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  19. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 1, 2006]
    Another area I can see the Focus excelling is the engine. My Dad currently has a 115bhp 1.8 TDCi and a while ago one cold morning, he asked me to move my car off the drive to get his out.

    From cold, the VAG 2.0TDI is truly shocking - noisy as hell and the kind of engine that gives diesels the tractor teasing name. After I'd moved my car and shut it off, I stepped out to hear the Focus idling, also from cold and it was extremely quiet. Common rail technology obviously has its advantages, but I understand VAG are working on this for the next range of TDIs.

    But even so, for all the extra money I'd spent on the Audi, the extra noise levels were just embarrassing next to the Ford.
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  20. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    The 170 version is apparently common rail technology although to what extent knowone seems to know. The 1.8 TDCi is probably the worst ford for noise, the 1.6 is quiet with the 2.0 close behind gearbox wise the ford wins too .... actually the is probably better in most areas it just a shame I don't want to own it ... unless they bring out an ST version. After demoing the 120d it really did show up how crude the VAG unit is.
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  21. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    That thing about Alfa 147's being fragile seems to be a myth.
    For example,someone on here reported (just the other day) that their parents' one went three years with less problems than his own A3.
    My Alfa 156 was certainly less hassle than my own A3.
    My Alfa salesman mate also reports no problems and he loves driving them.
    I haven't driven a 147,but I have driven other cars fitted with the 1.9jtd engine.
    The Saab 9-3 and Alfa 159 have the same unit,and I've driven both.
    Great engine.
    Really quiet and free-revving.
    The only thing that goes against the 147 is depreciation,but I don't believe depreciation figures.
    They always calculate them based on full RRP,which hardly anyone pays.
    You can get some fantastic deals on 147's,so the more you save,the less the depreciation,as used values don't seem to be affected by what you pay.
    It'll be worth the same in three years,regardless of whether you paid the full £18000 or negotiated one for £14000.
    On paper,one depreciation figure looks horrendous,but the other doesn't.

    BTW,that black Focus looks nice.
    Nice wheels.
    Like them on the S-max too,which (if we decide to add to our family) I will be looking at come replacement time too.
    I like the idea of all that space combined with sporty handling,which the S-max seems to offer.
    The press certainly love it.

    BTTW,there was a lovely used XK8 down at the local garage the other day.
    It was around £26K.It was mint.
    Helluva motor for that money,if you can live with the MPG !
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  22. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    I don't think the MPG on the XK8 is to bad, they seem to average around 22mpg but if you give em hell then they will drop, when you consider that the ST above averaged just 21 mpg when I had it the XK seems fine. The S Max looks a nice car but its big almost as big as the new Galaxy and you can have it with the same 2.5 engine.

    Alfas look great but I'd go for the 159, I'd just let the prices drop. As for depreciation, its a con. A BM might hold its value in % terms better than a FOcus but you actually lose less money on the focus and thats what counts !
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  23. Tim Stuart
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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    Believe these figures Bowfer - in March 2002 I paid £17,995 for a 147. I went to trade it in a couple of weeks ago and it's worth £3,250. That works out to be 18% of its original value!!!

    Also, if you're looking for a useful boot, forget it with a 147 (particularly if it has the CD changer and subwoofer in the boot) as it's supermini sized. The ride on standard suspension is patchy too (I know as I've driven many loaners over the last 4 years).
    #22
  24. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    That's just one example though.
    It's hardly indicative of the whole range.
    Perhaps you paid too much for the car in the first place,I dunno.
    Perhaps the dealer didn't want it,so offered you a derisory trade-in figure,I dunno.
    Perhaps there is 'something' about your car that narrows the appeal and lessens the value.

    I've seen plenty of examples of so-called 'bad depreciation' motors over the years and I stand by my belief that they only appear to depreciate badly if you pay full RRP.
    Many of these cars can be had for far less than RRP,which makes the standard depreciation figures a pile of baloney.

    Take one example I've found today.
    My bro-in-law just bought a Vauxhall Vectra.
    According to the official figures,he can expect it to depreciate by 20% a year.
    So,if he paid full RRP (£17000),they reckon it will be worth £6800 in 3 years time.
    However,he didn't pay £17000 for it,he paid £12500.
    The depreciation figures are then thrown out the window,because using the 60% figure it would be worth £5000 in three years.
    That's **** though.
    It'll still be worth £6800,same as the one sold at full RRP.
    So his real-life depreciation figure is ACTUALLY 46%,not 60%.

    I always try and do my own depreciation figures.
    It's rough,but it's served me well.

    I see what I can actually get the car for,not it's full RRP.
    I then look to see what 3 year old ones are going for on autotrader.
    Very quick,very simple,but done me well over the years.
    #23
  25. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    The only car I have owned for just over 4 years, similar to Tim Stuart's Alfa 147 was a Golf 2.8 VR6 which I bought for £21,200 in April 1994 and sold 4 years later in June 1998 for £11,000. That works out to just over 50% of it's original value after 4 years and 60,000 miles.
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  26. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    Them were't different days..
    VR6's were quite sought after then,petrol prices weren't so ridiculous and roadtax didn't go by Co2 rating.
    If you were to do a direct comparison today,you would have to look at the Golf R32.
    I doubt one of them will still be worth 50% of it's value after 4 years and 60K miles.
    They're going for anything between £27K and £32K new,so still worth between £13.5K and £16K in four years and 60K miles ?
    Time will tell I suppose,but if the 3.2 A3 is anything to go by,I doubt it.

    With regard to the Alfa 147 1.9jtd,as that is the engine I would assume the poster would be looking at,3 year old ones of those with average mileage seem to be going for around £5K to £6K (autotrader)

    3 year old A3 diesels are going for £6K to £7K (autotrader)

    So there isn't a massive difference in 3 year old value.
    I bet there was a massive difference in original purchase price though,so who'll have lost more money ?
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  27. Tim Stuart
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    Tim Stuart Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    Unfortuantely it is indicative of the whole range. Nothing else depreciates as quickly as an Alfa (apart from large French saloons and BMW 7-Series). This is because of the age old perception that they're nothing but trouble with a terrible back-up from the dealer network. It will take a long time to change the way in which the brand is perceived.

    Image is also important when considering depreciation, as is supply vs demand. That's why a Porsche Boxster is in a league of it's own when it comes to retained value. Earliest examples from 1997 are still going for £15k, which is over 50% of its original value!

    Finally, I got £3k off the list price of my 147 when new. Factor that in and it's only worth 15% of its original value! However, it is a Selespeed (prone to expensive-to-fix meltdowns) which has meant that the price I was offered was £1k behind the book price.
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  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    Sorry,I think that's your personal opinion rather than hard fact.
    I take an interest in Alfas because I owned one,my mate still owns one and another mate sells them.
    I've seen very little evidence of it in general,especially when you factor in the large discounts you can get when buying one.
    You were evidently very unlucky but,as they say,one swallow doesn't make a porn star.

    You can point to specific cars within the Alfa range,like the 166,which loses money horrendously quickly,but it's unfair to tarnish the whole range.
    Practically every maker has their nightmare car.
    Audi themselves do.
    I believe some of the A8/A6 models lose money quickly.
    #27
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    Very true and the VR6 was rather special at the time. But out of interest I have been given a trade-in value of around 55% of original value for all my A3 1.8T Sport's up to now after usually between 3 and 4 years old. It will be interesting to see what I'm offered for my current A3 when it's time to change for probably another A3, possibly a 2.0 TDI 170.
    #28
  30. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 2, 2006]
    The slowest depreciator I ever bought - was a Ford. In June 2001 I took delivery of a Y-reg Puma 1.7 and paid just £10,500 for it (RRP was £12,980). Traded it in just over two year and 27,000 miles later for £8,800. Even now I can hardly believe how cheap it was to run.

    I'm also a fan of the S-MAX; it hides its MPV dimensions well and as you say, the press like it. However, look it up on whatcar.com and read some of the owner reviews - to say it has plenty of faults is an understatement! I reckon a couple of years down the line when the build is sorted out, there'll also be some good deals around too.

    PS - sorry for going so off topic.
    #29
  31. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Nov 3, 2006]
    I've still got a Puma, get little cars
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  32. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 3, 2006]
    Talking of Pumas...
    Last Friday night,2140.
    Sitting watching TV.
    Bang...screeech...........BANG.....SCREAAAAAAAAM

    Black W plate Puma in my back garden...

    She'd been clipped by a car exiting our street,spun round,hit a lamp-post and went through my fence into my back garden.
    I'd post photos,but I can't figure out how to since the 'new' site came up.
    I don't seem to get any attachment icons or smileys these days.

    The back end of the car was a right mess.
    No damage to either door,but both were jammed.
    I had to get her 11 year old son out the smashed window,but she had to be cut out.
    #31
  33. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Nov 3, 2006]
    Again,I'd like to know what you're paying for your new car David.
    Are you getting a good deal,or are they giving you a high trade-in value because they're charging over the market odds for your new one ?

    I know trading in is less hassle,but I avoid it like the plague.
    Not only do you get better offers for your car privately,but nothing beats going into a dealer with no px and cash.
    #32
  34. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Nov 3, 2006]
    Wow - hardly a dull evening then! Upload pictures into your gallery and we can view them from there.
    #33
  35. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 3, 2006]
    I usually get around 5% discount on the new car plus a 'slightly inflated' trade-in value. As you say the great advantage of trading-ins is that it's hassle free. Drive to the dealer in one car and drive away in the new one. The saving of a few hundred pounds is not worth all the extra hassle and uncertainty to me.

    I have sold some cars privately in the past and have not gained very much. The new car is already on order and a price agreed long before I've sold them. The VR6 and one of my A3s went to a 'friend' who is a local car dealer who was looking those particular cars at the time. I have also in the past sold 2 of my GTIs to the same guy, 3 years apart. In those cases the sale was very easy and straight forward and they were all based on them saying to me 'If you ever want to sell you car, let me know' before I was even ready to sell and I only got approximately the same as the trade-in price I had been offered by the dealer.

    But as things stand, I am quite happy with trading-in.
    #34
  36. a3guy
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    [Nov 4, 2006]
    have you considered the new LEON FR ? got the 170 tdi in it.
    #35

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