Power vs Spec

Spec or power?

  • I'd go for more spec and less power

    Votes: 25 44.6%
  • I like more power

    Votes: 31 55.4%

  • Total voters
    56

S32B

Registered User
A mate of mine has just asked me an interesting question! "Would you miss the power of the S3 if you went for a smaller engine?".

He is looking to buy a new car for himself but is stuck on a fixed budget, he can either go for a manual S3 sportback with a few options, or an s-tronic s-line 1.4 saloon with a lot of options. Most of his driving is in and around town and a few motorway trips with the family at weekends.

I said I'd ask on here and see if anyone has downsized on the power and what their thoughts are.
 

David83S3

In my opinion .....
Very good question / poll !!!

Its one I ask myself a lot ...especially after getting the S3. I absolutely love the power and would miss it ......but .....I also feel that having this power makes me (At times) drive like a twat :racer: lol. So my next car (I keep telling myself this) will be a downgrade on power and as you say I will probably go up in the Spec/Gadge to make up for it. I really do like the A3 Saloon :hubbahubba: and that will be a strong contender for the next car .....maybe even a Diesel :sadlike: ?!??!!??! (Not sure on that one yet ...will need a test drive)

BUT ....I am pretty sure I said all this when looking at buying my last car and ended up with my S3 :wtf:.....so not sure what happened there?!!? :whistle2:
 

Daveotto

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Power for me but I don't do a lot of town driving.

If I did i think I would have a sensible head and opt for options to play around with whilst sitting in endless traffic jams
 

musicegbdf

Registered User
For me right now it is controllable power like Quattro gives. Options , too many things to go wrong ...
In four years from now , I think I will be after refined power with comfort .... So may be heading to jaguar ...
 

h5djr

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
When I was last looking to change my A3 from a 170 diesel my first reaction before changing was to go down in power to the 150. I had a number of day long drives in both an A3 150 and a Golf 150 and each time I really missed the extra power of my 170. So in the end I went for the 184 and because I definitely wanted s-tronic it had to be a quattro. It's without a doubt the best A3 of the nine I've had so far. As far as the options are concerned I am probably quite lucky in that I have not upper limit for the purchase so I can still have all the options I want.
 

Muttley75

Registered User
I tend to agree with the above. I had a SEAT Cupra, then an Audi TT (2011). Had it a year and I'm selling already. Yes it's quick, but in tech terms it's in the dark ages and the 2010 Cupra had tons more gadgets. I've got a budget and I have a phobia of used cars due to OCD so I compromised on power and have ordered a new A3 1.4 150ps S-Line.

I'll miss the power of the TT but in the real world, you can never really use it all. Apart from burning people off at the lights or a quick overtaking manoeuvre on a single track A road, 90% of my time is spent commuting to the city centre or ******* around behind people who are scared to go any faster than 43mph. And if you pass one, the next car you catch up will also be doing 43mph. And will likely brake hard at every slight bend in the road or each time a car comes from the opposite direction. Which doesn't make for a relaxing drive.

The roads I mainly drive on also have very few passing opportunities so with S-Tronic to take the agro of changing up/down every ten seconds because the bell end in front is incapable of driving properly and lots of toys to keep me occupied, I say tech beats power when comparing mk2 TT to a new A3 S-Line.

However, it very much depends on the cars you're comparing because if it's between a fully loaded new A3 vs a new base spec S3... I'd probably go with the S3 on the grounds even the base spec has far more tech than my TT. But a fully loaded new A3 would beat (IMO) a base spec previous gen S3.
 

mfl

Registered User
I've spent 30 plus years, going from impractical, high powered cars , some low spec, some high spec to practical sensible family cars and used all the usual justifications, but in the end , as far as I am concerned the only thing that matters is the power... everything else is secondary...:smile new:
 

Muttley75

Registered User
I've spent 30 plus years, going from impractical, high powered cars , some low spec, some high spec to practical sensible family cars and used all the usual justifications, but in the end , as far as I am concerned the only thing that matters is the power... everything else is secondary...:smile new:
I think the compromised power should also cone into consideration. For me, dropping from 211ps to 150ps isn't such a big deal. If the drop was to 110ps however... Then power wins.
 

JohnM100

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
It's a car - engine choice should always come first.
 

cemerson

Registered User
Perfectly happy with 150PS. I thought I might want to upgrade to the 184 at some point, but I really don't think I do now. Power needs to be at a certain level I think, but other than that base requirement, spec all the way.
 

S32B

Registered User
Cheers for the replies so far guys, I'll pass the link/page on ;)

As someone else mentioned the power 'at times' is great. I was in Cornwall last week, I only needed the smallest bit of straight road to pull out-pass safely-and pull back in with 300bhp under the right foot....on a lower powered car I'd have been sitting behind for a good few miles! Plus it always makes you smile when you do use the power on tap!!! :)
 

s3_trev

Northern Ireland
Power for me.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
ln real world terms cars these days are getting far larger/heavier.........a few years ago 150/180 bhp was a lot in a hatchback and these cars where smaller/lighter compared there modern equivalents.
My Focus ST had 247 and to be honest 99% of the time the S3 isnt any faster,So in my opinion a 200 bhp diesel/240 bhp petrol is more than enough for a Daily driver's car today.

But then again l never got my "S3 FOR IT'S POWER"
 

NotquiteWelsh

Registered User
In my book, no amount of extras will ever make up for the power and grip of the S3. Mind you I'm not into adding lottsa extras; just keep them to those that fit with the driving I do. The same will be with an RS3 which I intend to order latter on in the year; my spec. will be about £44k.
 

Muttley75

Registered User
A mate of mine has just asked me an interesting question! "Would you miss the power of the S3 if you went for a smaller engine?".

He is looking to buy a new car for himself but is stuck on a fixed budget, he can either go for a manual S3 sportback with a few options, or an s-tronic s-line 1.4 saloon with a lot of options. Most of his driving is in and around town and a few motorway trips with the family at weekends.

I said I'd ask on here and see if anyone has downsized on the power and what their thoughts are.

I posted a couple of replies earlier from my phone and didn't really read the original question correctly. Anyway, I am/was in the exact same situation. Loved my SEAT Cupra and it's power/gadgets but hated it's cheap interior. Hence the Audi TT. Love it's quality and power, but it's sorely lacking any features at all - in fact the spec is less than I had on a Vauxhall Astra SRi (before the SEAT) so I feel like I have a fast, quality car but ten year old technology. Looking to change again, I decided I definitely wanted S-Tronic (the Cupra was DSG, the TT was a manual) so that immediately used about £2k of my budget. This meant the S3 was just out of range. The petrol 1.8 A3 was also just over budget but dropping down to the 1.4 150ps meant I could go for the S-Line plus about £1k of options. Which is what I did. I figured 150ps and a 0-62 of 8.1 secs isn't a whole world away from 208ps and a 0-62 of 6.2 - it's not as if I've gone for a 1.6 diesel with a 0-62 of 12.5 secs. I feel, for my budget its the best of both worlds.
 
Very good question / poll !!!

Its one I ask myself a lot ...especially after getting the S3. I absolutely love the power and would miss it ......but .....I also feel that having this power makes me (At times) drive like a twat :racer: lol. So my next car (I keep telling myself this) will be a downgrade on power and as you say I will probably go up in the Spec/Gadge to make up for it. I really do like the A3 Saloon :hubbahubba: and that will be a strong contender for the next car .....maybe even a Diesel :sadlike: ?!??!!??! (Not sure on that one yet ...will need a test drive)

BUT ....I am pretty sure I said all this when looking at buying my last car and ended up with my S3 :wtf:.....so not sure what happened there?!!? :whistle2:

Keep us informed, because I had similar thoughts and I'm on my second S3.
I bet you don't drop the bhp... it's a bug... a ****** awesome bug that ignites passion for all things 'car'
 

Sean_Jaymo

Registered User
Another way to look at it is that the s3 with a few options will be worth more than a 150 with a lot of options. Options money is normally dead money and rarely recouped come sale time.

Don't get me wrong, we got the 150 COD with options as that engine suited our lifestyle more than the S3 but that doesn't mean it was perhaps the most savvy financial option.
 

K4RL

Registered User
I could have a basic RS3 or a well specc'ed S3, after 5 years of owning a very high spec 8P I've gone with the latter for my new car. It comes down to how you drive & your type of daily journeys.
I used full power maybe 10% of the time, I use the BOSE, sunroof, Recaros, etc, every day for every mile.
 

s3_trev

Northern Ireland
In my book, no amount of extras will ever make up for the power and grip of the S3

I agree. Doesn't matter to me if I only use that 360bhp 5% of the time, its there when and where I need it, and I would definitely miss it if it wasn't there. No amount of gadgets its going to make up for that.
 

stetheo

Registered User
Having gone from a remapped 8P S3 and remapped bmw 335i to now a 3.0tdi heavy a4 cab (work forced the move) which is fully speccd.

I can categorically say power and weight will be top of my list when I swap cars. Which I feel is going to be very soon, even if it has been only 3 months. I think paying the extra on fuel is worth the smiles per miles. But put it this way it isn't the Bose sound system putting a smile on my face...
 

steeve

Registered User
I did exactly that, bought a diesel 184 for the economy but there's always the feeling somethings missing.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
......

I can categorically say power and weight will be top of my list when I swap cars. Which I feel is going to be very soon, even if it has been only 3 months. I think paying the extra on fuel is worth the smiles per miles. But put it this way it isn't the Bose sound system putting a smile on my face...

I can't even hear the Bose in mine and even when I could I wasn't keen on its bloated sound.

Anyhow,I'd take power and handling over spec any day but a few comforts such as aircon are nice.

The thing is the car has put on a lot of weight over various model changes and it's still no lightweight at nearly 1500kgs all in.
 

SmileyS3

Registered User
Power for me.
I think it all depends where you live and drive.
I do about 15 miles on normal roads to work(slowly,granny speed)
But I live 5 minutes from all of the roads around Buxton. So, fast is good for me.
If I lived inner city, I'd maybe be talking diferently.
 

h5djr

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
So much depends on where you live and how much chance you get to use any extra power that may be available. It's always a matter of balance. At least Audi enable us to choose how much power we want and then what extra we also want without making them into pre defined packages like even the other makers in the VW Group.
 

Muttley75

Registered User
I can't even hear the Bose in mine and even when I could I wasn't keen on its bloated sound.

Anyhow,I'd take power and handling over spec any day but a few comforts such as aircon are nice.

The thing is the car has put on a lot of weight over various model changes and it's still no lightweight at nearly 1500kgs all in.
Yeah but would you want an Ariel Atom as a daily driver and one and only car? Probably not. There has to be a balance. The real question that should be asked is what is the minimum power that is acceptable. To me, the minimum I'd accept is a 0-60 of 8 seconds, thereafter I'm looking for S-Tronic and pop-up screens, Xenons, etc.
 

mfl

Registered User
So much depends on where you live and how much chance you get to use any extra power that may be available. It's always a matter of balance. .

Given my current driving requirements and where I drive and live etc, I couldn't justify an S3, but who cares.

Oh I did actually make a practical decision, I chose a small hatchback, 4.3m in length with 210kw which uses about 12-15l/100km in peak hour traffic instead of the large family car (5.0m long) with 340kw which uses about 25l/100km in peak hour traffic- because it uses less petrol and is easier to park in inner city Sydney. What they have in common about 5.0s 0-100km.

Audi-S3_Sportback-2014-thumb-01.jpg
practical choice

impractical alternative
hsv-gen-f-clubsport-r8-exterior-2-sm.jpg
 

S32B

Registered User
To me, the minimum I'd accept is a 0-60 of 8 seconds
Same here mate, for me I think it comes from the times when the hot hatch to have was the 1.9 205 GTi and Astra GTE 16v, both of those were just under 8 seconds....strange to think that most 'normal' cars can do it in that these days!!!
 

Roberto71

Registered User
Having gone from a remapped 8P S3 and remapped bmw 335i to now a 3.0tdi heavy a4 cab (work forced the move) which is fully speccd.

I can categorically say power and weight will be top of my list when I swap cars. Which I feel is going to be very soon, even if it has been only 3 months. I think paying the extra on fuel is worth the smiles per miles. But put it this way it isn't the Bose sound system putting a smile on my face...

Agree with that sentiment. I had a pretty sparsely kitted out E46 M3 years ago. Even though it had a nifty Harman Kardon stereo, I didn't often have it on as I enjoyed listening to the engine too much!
 

jaypers777

Registered User
Have been looking and for me, it would have to be a 1.8TFSI Quattro if not an S3. Not a big saving, taking into account I would have to have super sport seats, which are double the price on the S Line compared to the S3. Weird or what?!
 

musicegbdf

Registered User
Yes spotted the same thing and went for the S3 as the insurance was not that much more either.
So went for it...
 

Muttley75

Registered User
Those that are saying power... Here's a question for you. Let's say your max budget is £23k. Would you buy a lightly used (6 month old) A3 S-Line with tons of options... Or, buy a 4 year old previous model S3?
 

S32B

Registered User
Those that are saying power... Here's a question for you. Let's say your max budget is £23k. Would you buy a lightly used (6 month old) A3 S-Line with tons of options... Or, buy a 4 year old previous model S3?

lightly used (6 month old) A3 S-Line with tons of options. Reason: I don't want to get into MOT's and out of warranty....I'm too old now to be pi55ing about. OR if you are talking a cash buy! Keep most of the money in the bank for other things and then just get a new S3 on a PCP deal, that's what I did ;) win win...new car and money in the bank, then if your doctor says you have 3 months to live you can blow the money you have on high class hookers and beer lol.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
Yeah but would you want an Ariel Atom as a daily driver and one and only car? Probably not. There has to be a balance. The real question that should be asked is what is the minimum power that is acceptable. To me, the minimum I'd accept is a 0-60 of 8 seconds, thereafter I'm looking for S-Tronic and pop-up screens, Xenons, etc.

Having had a GpN Escort Cosworth as a daily driver,I don't think the Atom would be much of a problem...LOL

Seriously though,you're right,there has to be a balance,acceptable to the individual driver.
Maybe the question shouldn't be the minimum power,but the minimum power/weight,as we know our cars usually get heavier!
 

s3_trev

Northern Ireland
Those that are saying power... Here's a question for you. Let's say your max budget is £23k. Would you buy a lightly used (6 month old) A3 S-Line with tons of options... Or, buy a 4 year old previous model S3?
I dont think that comparison is very realistic to be honest. Id like to think you could get a fresher S3 for 23k....
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Those that are saying power... Here's a question for you. Let's say your max budget is £23k. Would you buy a lightly used (6 month old) A3 S-Line with tons of options... Or, buy a 4 year old previous model S3?

£23,000 neither, a brand new Focus ST3 with a Mountune kit fitted, as fast as the S3
 

razza1

Registered User
Power, we're moving offices in August which means I won't be doing back roads every day, and thought about a swap, but as well as having the power on tap for when you do need it/want it, and knowing the power is under the hood, means power for me. I have to mod every car I get to get the best out of it....
If you have a certain element of the spec that is a definite can't live without then you might compromise, but for me now, compromising on anything less than an S car isn't going to happen...it's also the knowledge you're driving something a bit more special...
 

h5djr

Registered User
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Seriously though,you're right,there has to be a balance,acceptable to the individual driver.
Maybe the question shouldn't be the minimum power,but the minimum power/weight,as we know our cars usually get heavier!

The new Audi A4 is 120kg lighter than the model it replaces. The current A3 was also lighter than the model it replaced so perhaps the times of cars always getting heavier are over!
 
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