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E90 318d M Sport vs 8P A3 Black Edition

The Governor Mar 31, 2012

  1. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    I thought I should get around to posting some pics, this week I've gone from my 2009 318d M Sport to a 2011 A3 Black Edition Quattro.

    It's been an interesting transition. I'm not going to lie, I saw my brother drive away in my E90 with a slightly heavy heart, that car had gotten under my skin more than I thought :kiss: I'm certainly not ruling out a return to BMW one day.

    Anyway, here's some pics, I've gone from this:

    [​IMG]

    To this:

    [​IMG]

    The E90, undoubtedly a beautiful car, especially the facelift Efficient Dynamics version, love those bonnet lines :)

    [​IMG]

    To this mean looking mofo, check those bumper skirts :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Face off!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A saucy botty shot :w00t:

    [​IMG]

    1st impressions?

    The BMW is better laid out versus the Audi's better spec, small things like the window controls being at the end of the hand in the BMW against the Audi position that requires you to move your elbow back to operate them.

    Cupholders in the dash on the Beemer against the cupholder being slightly behind you in the centre console, again requiring you to reach back a little to pick the cup up, and also the daft idea to have the armrest fold down OVER the cupholder in the A3 :tocktock:

    The stereo in the BMW is appreciably better than the A3 due I suspect to having two subs below the front seats, although the Bose in the A3 does reward a decent source fairly well.

    The old school Audi key slightly surprised me, I assumed they'd have changed since 2003, the BMW key is a neat little device that plugs into the console. Also, the Audi has an old school ignition barrel instead of a stop/start button.

    [​IMG]

    WTF? An actual key :faint: ?

    [​IMG]

    I can't comment too much on driving dynamics and the like, I've not settled into the Audi enough yet to be able to feel the engine and gear sweet spots. On balance I'd say the 8P is quieter than the E90 and has a throatier sound.

    I'll be very interested to see what the fuel economy is like between the BMW Efficient Dynamics 150 bhp Engine and the Audi 170 CR.

    All that said, you've got to love the:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
    MrWhItEwOlF and N8 like this.
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  3. Farhan

    Farhan Registered User

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    Fantastic review, a very interesting read there. Lovely spec A3 bdw.
     
  4. audicruiser

    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    I came from a E90 BMW 330d and so I know how you felt seeing the BMW drive off. Both cars have their ups and downs sides. A3 wins on interior and practicality, BMW wins though for steering feel and handling. I too will return to BMW one day I expect though the A5 is looking tempting these days!
     
  5. spencer361

    spencer361 Registered User

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    Great write up!
    I used to be a mechanic for BMW form 2001 to 2006, now own an A3 sportback. E90 looks have really improved since it came out and the A3 has been tidied up too but the Audi wins on the inside, Its a nicer place to be compared to the Beemer.
     
  6. cloughy

    cloughy Registered User

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    Nice wheels! I had an E92 and IMO thought the sound system was pants, paid £300 to upgrade the speakers and still not on a par with the A3

    The A3 has a sub too in the boot above the near side rear wheel arch

    Enjoy the new wheels
     
  7. Minstadave

    Minstadave Registered User

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    Why the change?
     
  8. amr79

    amr79 Registered User

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    Enjoyed the the write up. The BE dash beats the Beamer all day long.
     
  9. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    Thanks mate :) I thought people would like to see the side-by-side comparison.

    I bet that was an even starker change moving from a six cylinder diesel, how have you found it? The 330d is a more powerful engine too, I'd be interested to hear your experience.

    You're right about each having pro's and con's, I have yet to find the perfect car for me, I wonder if it even exists!

    I may have a different view when I'm used to it, at the moment I'd say it's a pretty close thing. The Audi has nicer materials I think, it's just less intuitively laid out...

    Thanks man, I'm going to have a look at that sub, it does sound a lot better from a good high bit rate source via the CD player, the radio reception/sound seems a good bit weaker to me...

    A host of reasons I think, what finally prompted it was the impending end of warranty on the BMW, knowing the N47 has some potential timing chain issues I knew I'd need an extended warranty. Initial investigation told me that would cost between £50 and £80 a month to do, which just nudged me to take a look around and for not much more I could buy the Audi.

    That, coupled with my fondness for the A3 I had in 2003. Factor in a little boredom with BMW after 5 years or so driving one, plus the fact I have to drive 80 miles to get to a decent dealer who treats me like a human being.

    There were also some practical issues with the E90 that have always bugged me, for example the use of run flat tyres by BMW combined with the removal of the wheel well meant when I put normal tyres on (to get rid of the crashy ride) I had to store the space saver in the boot space which lost me useful storage.

    Not having split fold rear seats was another minor annoyance, as was not being able to drive it when there was anything more than 3mm of snow on the ground!

    Of course I might find Audi dealers are equally miselry with warranty work and just as snooty, but I figured I'd have a go at it and see what happens :icon_thumright:

    Glad you liked it :)
     
  10. audicruiser

    audicruiser Audi Heaven

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    If I had another it would be the 330d or even the 335d, power wise the 330d felt strong and powerful and always on tap too. It was an auto so spread the torque evenly through the gears. I've had my A3 mapped and that now is how it should be from the factory. More torquey and a lot more responsive.

    I had my 330d early on in the E90 life as it was a Mar 06 car with only 8k miles on it. I prefer the practicality of the A3 and the interior design, the BMW interior was a bit bland and I had the Lemon leather! The steering in the BMW was a lot more to my liking though, Audi steering is feeling less probably due to this electromechanical thing they use. However BMW I think are going over to that so that's no saving grace now.

    The E46 325i I had before that though was the real drivers car. It was probably the last model before things started going all safe and electronically over ruling!

    Problem is, I take my A3 for granted because of its spec and find myself looking around at other cars and then have to wake myself up and realise what I already have with in my A3 package as a whole. A 235bhp 4 wheel drive car which returns 36mpg on a run and 28mpg around town. Wouldn't get that much more from the big BMW diesels to be honest. Miss the noise of a straight six though!
     
  11. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Just come back to an S3 after a MY10 320d and there are still lots of things I miss about the BMW.
    Seats, steering, cabin space & ergonomics, Media system were all highlights.

    Fine cars, but you need Pro nav, Leather and all the tinsel to make the cabin feel nice.
    Wouldnt hesitate to have another.
     
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  13. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    Great review.
     
  14. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    The spec issue has always been BMW proiblem for me, the new F30 can very, very easily cost £40k + if you add the bits you actually want, which is crazy money for a compact exec/family car.

    I'll be keeping an eye on how the F30 3 series develops, although they are doggedly sticking with run flats and no wheel well...

    :thumbsup:
     
  15. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    Run flats are AWFUL tyres.
     
  16. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    I'm of the opinion that they're not actually tyres, by definition a tyre is buffer between you and the road surface. If it can't go flat it isn't providing a buffer, if it isn't providing a buffer it's no more than a modern version of the wooden wheels we used to use on horse drawn carriages :w00t:
     
  17. A13x

    A13x Registered User

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    I have run on flats on mine atm and i do agree with you (them being pointless and expensive) however its too late to change now, i just keep on thinking that i will be better off if my wheels got shot in armed fire ;)

    Simialr setup to yourself but i am 320d M sport and also a A3 quad (2008 model) and i do like the BMW chasis compared to audi but the audi inside gadgets always win me over. I always find myself wanting to drive faster in the Audi compared to the BMW.

    I think i will keep the wife on audi and stick with bmw so i get best of both worlds.
     
  18. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    The tyres have no give whatsoever, the sidewalls are so stiff, I'm constantly fixing/welding cracked BMW wheels.
     
  19. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    I can imagine, are you in the trade then N8?
     
  20. Ash187

    Ash187 Registered User Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    nice review!
    the main thing about BMWs that gets on my nerves are the crappy orange dash lights! when are they going to change that ****??
     
  21. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    Yes brother, if you need a set of wheels refurbing, give me a shout.
     
  22. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    Thanks mate. I didn't actually mind the organe lights, I'd gotten used to them. I've not been out in the dark in the A3 yet lol so don't know what colour they are :jump:

    Really? Thanks man, the Black Editon has these 18" Titanium Grey things on so having someone who knows wheels will be handy one day I'm sure :)
     
  23. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Curbs already had a nibble at mine:sob:
     
  24. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    :sadlike: It's a horrible feeling that, when you hear and feel the curb having a munch on the wheel...
     
  25. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Defo, its pretty small thankfully so not too obvious.
    Curbage is more `if` than `when`.
    Pleased it was me and not the wife or she would have had a Solicitors letter by now......:weight_lift2:
     
  26. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    LMAO :lmfao: I know exactly what you mean, I will forgive myself if I make the mistake but if the mrs does it it's kick-off and sulk central for a week :w00t:
     
  27. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    She cabbaged 2 of the MONZA 2s at the same time on a previous MK5 Gti.

    The closest she ever came to being ex-Mrs Paular:slapped:
     
  28. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    Send em my way then people :wub:
     
  29. spencer361

    spencer361 Registered User

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    How difficult is it to repair the polished face on them N8? I want some but scared of curbage
     
  30. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    Just as a minor point of interest to anyone, first brim to brim calculated fill-up since I got the car shows MPG at 41.69. Will be interesting to see how this changes as the car loosens up, I remember getting about 45 mpg from my Leon Cupra, that had the 150 engine in.

    Interestingly the car tells me on all my journeys that I'm getting about 55 mpg, so the computer is way out!

    That compares to an average of around 50 mpg on the 318d.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  31. WAFTER

    WAFTER Registered User

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    Do you not feel that the BMW brand has been stigmatised as it is no longer aspirational and has become too common?
    Too many pushy salesmen in poverty spec. diesel 3 Series, ugly runt 1 Series, flash smart-**** executive 5 Series up your backside in the outside lanes of motorways, bloated 7 Series, all the 4 x 4's red-neck Chav. Traveller image, cabriolets on housing estates with mums trying to look like their daughter.
    A good friend said to me years ago when in a nano-second I paused at BMW on my company car option list "You're not thinking of becoming a BMW driver are you?" Somehow the brand had a whiff of not being as socially acceptable any more, and devoid of credability.
     
  32. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Unfortunately BMWs and AUDIs seem to have sufferred the same fate in many respects, lots of reps charging around in boggo A4s, rude boys in Q7s and A4 Cabs, and pimped A3s that seem to have had the accelerator swapped for an on/off switch.

    Then there are the stereotype EVO/SUBARU drivers, `gansta`Range Rovers with cheap oversized 20 something inch rims, limo tint etc..

    All perfectly good cars in their own right, so IMO the secret is to get a nice one and enjoy it without consideration for any undesirable that share your taste in cars.

    Fwiw I was a BMW sceptic but bought one because a 320d represented better value than the equivalent A4 (and I had tried a FWD A4 and wasnt a fan), and was really pleased I did. It was a superb car and oddly my perception of a typical BMW driver completely changed.

    It was a just a good car at the end of the day, and boll*cks to the nobbers who have one!
     
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  34. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    Hmm, well, I tend not to buy into other people's sterotypes when I'm looking at cars. I'm more interested in how good the car is.

    There are some that describe Audi drivers as having taken the mantle of "***** of the road" from BMW drivers :laugh:

    The problem that the 3 series has is that it's been too successful. BMW made a real effort to sell that car and now it sells more than the Mondeo, which is why it's become pretty anonymous, but it's still a great car, very precise, well specced and undeniaably good looking.

    There's always a danger in letting other peoples prejudice afffect your decisions, BMW make fantastic cars, the dealers leave a bit to be desired and as I've said RFT's do the cars no favours whatsoever...
     
  35. audigex

    audigex Registered User

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    There are knobs in any type of car, and tbh unless you're going for a supercar you're going to see a few around like your own. I buy the car I want and then forget about it. The only annoying thing is that there's an exact twin (in the factory within weeks, so I don't even get the "yeah, but mine's a 12 plate" exclusivity) and two close-enough's around my town, so my friends and family don't instantly know it's me :p
     
  36. plezz

    plezz Registered User

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    lol i have 2 other black '60 plate sportbacks in my work car park that are exactly the same as mine, so sometimes even i don't know which is my if i cant see the plate! all private as well as my firm uses pugs as the company car.
     
  37. c_w

    c_w Registered User

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    Interesting you think the A3 is quieter than the 3-series, the diesel engine must really have come on a loong way since the PDs!!
     
  38. MrLapou

    MrLapou Registered User

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    Having had an Auto E46 3 Series BMW, Mk5 DSG Golf GTi and now A3 S-Tronic Quattro, I'd prefer the A3, esp since they are far easier and better to drive in wet greasy or icey conditions.
    But, cabin ergonomics and diesel engines gives BMW the edge.
    Repairs and ODB2 diagnostics kit for DIY user... Audi leagues ahead.
     
  39. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    Certainly my E90's didn't leave the garage if it had snowed which was pretty inconvenient at times!

    Nice to know repairs and diagnsotics is easier/better (?) :w00t:
     
  40. audigex

    audigex Registered User

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    I'd honestly compare mine to a petrol in volume most of the time. A little bit of the diesel slow-rev sound (I dunno how to describe it, but you'll all know what I mean) at idle, but it hardly sounds like a bus. And once you touch the accelerator it just sounds like a petrol with a low voice which I think even sounds better.
     
  41. The Governor

    The Governor Registered User

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    On the move you wouldn't know it's a diesel, which is true of the BMW too really, what the E90 had was more of that diesel clatter/chatter at idle, where the A3 seems to tick over a little bit less noisily, which might simply be down to soundproofing for all I know!
     

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