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VW Golf GT or A3 Sportback S-Line

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by bobwilson, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    The mod quattrojames asked me to try posting this again, so hopefully a bit more luck this time :)

    We're thinking between these 2 cars, so thought we'd make a pro's and con's list and share it here. Would be interested in people's thoughts. We're going fully loaded, so both cars are the same price, £30k.


    A3 s-line sportback 1.8TFSI (180) s tronic loaded £30k:

    pro: exterior looks great
    pro: iphone connector in convenient location
    pro: generally feels more solid
    pro: not forced to have tinted rear windows
    pro: has upmarket appeal, has 'the badge'

    con: general dashboard & air vents look ugly / kiddie
    con: cupholders are main focus (?!)
    con: seats aren't as pretty as the golf's
    con: gimmicky retractible MMI screen
    con: ride not as comfortable / quite firm (will try to find a standard suspension s line to testdrive)
    con: louder on motorways
    con: engine has lag problem (press pedal, wait almost a second, then car moves)

    Golf GT (5 door) 1.4TSI (140) s tronic loaded £30k:

    pro: dashboard looks classy
    pro: seats are pretty
    pro: more comfortable
    pro: quieter on motorways
    pro: engine has no lag problem (will verify this in another test drive)

    con: exterior looks dull
    con: iphone connector in bad location, with gearstick in the way
    con: doesn't have such upmarket appeal
    con: doesn't have 'the badge'
    con: steering wheel doesn't feel as nice
    con: forced to have tinted rear windows

    Most other things about the 2 cars seems quite similar, both can use voice control, have the same sat nav, the same technology options (keyless entry, adaptive cruise etc.)
    #1
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  3. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    In fairness, this is what I said...

    I didn't mean copy the post out again word for word...
    #2
  4. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    Hi quattrojames, you said to ''try again'', so I posted it again. I then read your PM asking me to re-write it, *after* having already re-posted it.

    My only expectation is to hear different opinions and thoughts, but what I don't expect is to receive personal attacks from forum members, in any form. We're on here and a VW forum because we've reached a stalemate between the golf mk7 and audi A3, so at this point, making our situation public might help to sway our opinion in one direction or another. The only thing any audi forum members are doing by sending personal insults, is to make us think twice about whether or not we should become part of that crowd. We have no intention of winding people up and hope it's possible this time to hear audi forum member's thoughts (particularly those who may have driven both cars) without the need to degenerate.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
    #3
  5. V6 Quatt
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    V6 Quatt Active Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    Audi A3 everytime I have had both in TDI versions and found the Audi too be better. Also A3 will hold values
    #4
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  6. daveb99
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    daveb99 Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    The A3 vs Golf Mk7 thing has been covered a lot on this forum already to be honest - worth reading other threads to see opinions too.

    Being an Audi forum most people on here will probably prefer the Audi. Clearly both are great cars.

    Personally I have an A3 Sportback on order, due in June, and saw my first Sportback at a local dealer last weekend. Immediately afterwards, out of interest and for a direct comparison, I went over the road to the VW dealer and took a good look at the new Golf.

    I must stress this is just my personal opinion, but boy was I disappointed. The Golf didn't feel special, unlike sitting in the Audi. The plastics were definitely slightly inferior (rear doors felt a bit hollow for example, when tapped!) and as you've said above, it was less solid overall. The styling left me cold to be honest too, although I recognise it's a step forward from the Mk6 and I'm sure the GTI will look the business.

    I've had many VWs in the past - including a Mk5 Golf GTI - so have nothing at all against the brand but comparing the two, there would have to be very compelling reasons to choose the Golf over the Audi.

    Regarding the pop up MMI screen - personally I think this is a much better solution than a touchscreen that is too low to not be a distraction while driving, and just going to get covered in fingerprints. If you've ever used the A3 MMI with the Technology Pack fitted its a very clever piece of kit - especially with the full voice recognition and touchpad - tried it at the weekend and I'm very impressed.

    Also completely disagree about the dashboard. Feels much more special to me with the distinctive circular vents, not plain and bland (the Golf dashboard reminds me of the Golf Mk3 and Mk4!) though I agree about the daft placement of the cup holders.

    Please let me stress this is all just my opinion. Remember I have an A3 on order so, like others here, I will focus on the bits I really like. There will probably be bits I don't like so much too in time.

    Above all though - each to their own. If you prefer the Golf overall - buy one.
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  7. deci
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    deci Active Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    As per the last time this was posted, plenty of people on here will disagree with your pros and cons so I don't see how asking will help you decide. Not trying to be rude at all, but its a decision you'll have to make based on your own tastes and opinions which seem quite strong on the subject.
    #6
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  8. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 11, 2013]
    Thanks for the input, at the moment we've reached a stalemate between the A3 and the golf. At least we've whittled it down to just those 2 cars! Having looked into a lot. We have test driven both, but still there's no clear winner. It's very difficult to make a decision based on 5 minute test drives, so it's always great to hear from users who already have had their car for a few months. I heard something about the mk6 golf rattling after a few months- but nothing about the mk7 yet. It'd also be good to know any bad and good points or things people wish they had ordered on their a3 sportback, having had theirs for a few months
    #7
  9. dubdemand
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    dubdemand VAG Addict

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    [Mar 12, 2013]
    Can't you explain your situation to the dealers and see if they will arrange an extended test drive so you can use the car over a couple of days and keep it overnight?

    Have you been on VW AUDI Forum - VWAF - VW Audi Forum Being that they represent both brands you might find you get more of a balanced opinion? I like this forum a lot but with any brand specific forum you will always find a biased toward the brand in question.
    #8
  10. Neesh
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    Neesh Member

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    [Mar 12, 2013]
    Audi A3 ,test drove both the audi feels better on the road theres also a lot less road noise in the A3 and the interior of the A3 cabin is the best in the class hands down....Those air vents give the A3 some character in my opinion I think they look awesome!

    The Audi overall is the better car...not forgetting the status of the brand Audi over VW anyday,its actually very suprising that they would cost the same...I understand its the same platform and engines blah blah blah but an Audi is an Audi it can not be replicated...but thats a debate for another day:icon_thumright:
    #9
  11. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 12, 2013]
    If you getting a petrol engine and are spending £30k why don't you consider the Golf GTi instead of the GT ?
    #10
  12. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    it's not available yet
    #11
  13. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    We tried, it took us many phone calls and a lot of persuasion to find a dealer just willing to let us do an unaccompanied test drive.

    At this rate, the dealers are going to put us off altogether, yesterday went to the Audi Dealer with my mother just to show her the inside of the car, and the vultures circled.. the salemen wouldn't stop hassling us and asking questions... One guy even came up to us and asked if our car had been written off... where this came from we have no clue, but my mother was getting rather irritated with the fact they wouldn't leave us alone, and their personal line of questioning! We explained to each one that we were already registered with the dealer and had done a test drive etc. and just wanted to see the inside of the car quietly, but when you get rid of one salesman, he walks away and the next one pounces on you! It's enough to put you off alltogether.

    Anyway...
    #12
  14. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    VW order book is now open for new Golf GTi and first deliveries are expected in June this year !
    #13
  15. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    there's no online configurator..
    #14
  16. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Whilst I'd personally disagree with some of your pros & cons, I accept many are down to personal preference and each to their own so fair enough.

    One thing that did occur though - you said both will be loaded specs and you've mentioned the B&O in other threads so can I assume that the Audi spec would include this or the Audi Sound System upgrade? If so then one thing I noticed about the Golf is it offers no such comparable high-end speaker system which seems utterly bizarre to me and, personally, is something that would strike it off my list immediately.
    #15
  17. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Dynaudio will be available on the Golf from the middle of this year apparently. I don't believe this is much of a competitor against the B&O, but it is at least some upgrade over the standard Golf setup.
    #16
  18. XXXCorps
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    XXXCorps Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Personnally I don't think VW group do bad sounding systems as standard as much as some other car manufacturers I could mention so it's a bit of a moot point, however as Vertigo1 mentioned it's nice to have the option to upgrade to a system that's been designed and tuned around the car rather than an afterthought or bolt-on.
    #17
  19. Clewsy
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    Clewsy Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    VW do actually do the 'Plug and Play Sound System' for the Golf. I think it's an upgraded AMP and a sub in the spare wheel well, and gives about 480W for £500. I guess that puts it somewhere between the two Audi upgrade options, in terms of price and power.
    #18
  20. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    I would rather a balanced neutral 'flat' response than a bassy one with sub - any day.
    #19
  21. Chester Draws
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    Chester Draws Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Bob ,

    Just had a moment of divine inspiration whilst watching the new pope on his balcony .

    You mentioned you currently have a hire car - why not investigate renting both the Audi and the VW for a week . That way you would be able to answer most of your concerns and come to a decision .
    #20
  22. basilcat
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    basilcat New Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]

    The A3 dashboard is ugly/"kiddie"? - Its a masterpiece of understated, minimalistic design. A Bang & Olufsen Beocentre to the VW's Dynatron radiogram.
    #21
  23. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    this is what we've been trying to do for weeks lol, can't find any branches with mk7 or a3.
    #22
  24. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Bmw's are more understated and minimalistic! If anything the new a3 is intended to scream out at you "I'm retro!" Which is great for a fiat500 or mini but in my audis I prefer restrained quality design.. ;)
    #23
  25. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    I think you'll struggle, hire car companies usually like to buy fleets of cars that are towards the end of their lifecycle such that they can get a good price from the manufacturer (there are exceptions to this). Avis had hundreds of A3 Sportback 8P's around Christmas for this very reason. Avis do a Prestige service with some more exclusive / newer models, but I can't see the new A3 in at the moment.
    #24
  26. mack71
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    mack71 New Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    Buy a Golf, I really think that's what you need to do, go down to your VW dealer in the morning and stick a deposit down then find the nearest VW Golf forum and join it.
    #25
  27. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 13, 2013]
    mack71, if you've read the posts then you'll realise we've reached a stalemate between the golf and the A3 SB, and are waiting to test drive the real thing. We're not about to put a deposit down on any car just based on you posting "stick a deposit down". We're of course registered with the VW forum as well, and have posted our pro's and con's list there too.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
    #26
  28. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Well at least the VW forum is sharing the burden! Lol
    #27
  29. mack71
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    mack71 New Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Well your thread says VW golf or Audi A3, I'm saying you should get a Golf.
    #28
  30. deci
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    deci Active Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    Get an A3. Drive it blindfolded so you don't have to look at the retro-kiddie interior.
    #29
  31. basilcat
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    basilcat New Member

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    [Mar 14, 2013]
    In what way shape or form is it retro? Do you know what that means?
    #30
  32. Chester Draws
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    Chester Draws Member

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    [Mar 19, 2013]
    Having owned my SB for about a day now I would just like to say how glad I am that I went for the tech pack with the larger screen , well worth it in my opinion as I will be looking at it every day of the week .

    I spent most of the drive home playing with the MMI and found the screen to be in the ideal place and of course you can have the screen down but with all the controls straight ahead of you if you maybe want to rest your eyes .

    I cannot see how I would have been easily been able to do that with the touch screen in the Golf which is also in a lower position .
    #31
  33. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 19, 2013]
    Starting to think I should've gone for the tech pack now....anyways it's too late!
    #32
  34. XXXCorps
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    XXXCorps Member

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    [Mar 19, 2013]
    I'm sure you'll be more than happy with your choice when collection takes place. The only reason I've changed to the Technology Pack is because my build date has moved to May so will have a bit more money for this when I collect in June (all being well)...
    #33
  35. bobwilson
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    bobwilson Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    Should you really be playing with the MMI / screen most of the drive home?
    #34
  36. Ruthus_1
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    Ruthus_1 Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    should see me when I'm driving phone in one hand vodka bottle in the other! Next you'll be saying that's irresponsible !!!!
    #35
  37. XXXCorps
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    XXXCorps Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    He's back; Bob it's been far too quiet chum...
    #36
  38. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    I'm shocked and disgusted....it's got to be whiskey every time!! Ha ha
    #37
  39. daz5182
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    daz5182 Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    Having had both the Audi is the better car IMO.
    #38
  40. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    But your not comparing the new Golf VII with the A3. The new Golf is so much better than previous Golf models that is basically comes down to whether you prefer the Golf's touch screen setup or the Audi MMI/popup screen.
    #39
  41. Sootchucker
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    Sootchucker Member

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    [Mar 21, 2013]
    OK, I'm going to be really controversial here......I like both cars, however the ideal one for me would be an amalgamation of both. There are some things about the Golf that I think they do better, and I certainly think the 5 door Golf looks less estate like and more like a hatch than the SB. The only "problem" for me is that after owning a MK5 and then for a brief time a MK6 Golf, I just think the MK7 looks a bit too...samey (if that's even a word), however, I do have to agree with Bob that after having a good drive in both, I can see no difference in internal quality of the materials between both (maybe I wasn't looking hard enough ;)).

    I think the Audi looks better quality because of it's minimalistic approach to the dash, which sets it's apart from most other vehicles in it's sector. However this approach is one of the reasons why you either love the A3 or hate it. I happen to think it's quite refreshing and like it a lot. I also thinks the S_Line seats are more comfortable and supportive that the ones in the Golf GT, especially for me with long legs, the extending base on the A3 makes a real difference.

    I also love the face on the A3 (especially with the S-Line xenons), which I do think looks much better than the MK7, however I sort of prefer the rear end of the Golf (although do love the LED rear lights of the A3).

    Basically, these are both 2 exceptional cars, and had they both been launched at different times and didn't compete with each other, would probably be top of the tree in it's own market sector. I would have no problem driving either and paying with my own hard earned cash for the privileged. However all things considered, there are just a few more things that I like about the A3 than the Golf so the A3 would be my preferred mode of transport, but (in my opinion I must say), the Golf runs it a very close second.
    #40

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