S-Line config vs Sport/SE

ryanb741

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Hi all. Would appreciate your thoughts as to why the S-Line config is so popular - is it simply the sportier looks or is it a better value package factoring in the extras it comes with?
 

Jenks108

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I'm not sure the sline spec is the most popular in terms of models selling, it just appears to be on this forum!
 

cemerson

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It's all styling elements as far as I can see, other than the Xenon lights, which you can specify for a lot less than the S-line package on the other levels if you don't care about any of the other bits.
 

cemerson

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I read somewhere that the S-line is the most popular by quite a margin
 

Vertigo1

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The big three differences are the different front and rear bumpers, the Xenons and the 18" wheels. Only you can decide if these are worth the £2k+ price over the Sport.

As for being the most popular, I don't know really. I've seen more A3s without Xenons that I have with on the roads suggesting the S-Line isn't the most popular around here. The vast majority of A3s sold will be company cars too and I wonder how many of these people will be able to get the S-Line.
 

mjcourtney

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I initially specced a sport with xenons and a few extras. When I did a PCP quote at the dealer it was £2 a month more to have S-line as it held its value better over three years. So for me it was well worth the difference to get the s-line.

Two of my colleagues had exactly the same scenario, and we've all ended up with S-lines.
 

RossR

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Yeah it makes sense on PCP.

I read somewhere that the expected split is SE 30%, Sport 30% and S line 40%.
 

smk82

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What always annoys me is that when they do their promotional shots, Audi always mix and match the specs. I.e. Sport alloys on an S-Line car etc. Whilst this is available in Germany or other countries, its never possible over here!
 

Zig

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It really depends on whether what the Sport offers in addition to the SE or the S-Line offers in addition to Sport/SE is what you are really want.

In our case the best approach was to order an SE and add options to tailor the vehicle to what we really wanted and as such we added options to the list value of £2770 (not including £525 for metallic paint which we also went for), which is only £605 less than the difference between a SE and a S-Line with no options and the same engine size.
 

SJW

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For me the choice was quite simple. I liked the additional styling that comes with the s-line over the other two. Havings said that, the trade off for me was that I had less spec/ optional extras.

We do tend to sit in the car more than stand outside admiring it so perhaps with hindsight I should have gone with more spec on a sport. Each to their own.

It is nice to have choices but certainly adds to the complexity of decision making.
 

h5djr

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I tend to go for the SE spec because I'm not keen on the sports seats or sports suspension. My current Sportback is an SE spec which when I bought I added £4,625 worth of opions. If I was to replace it now with another A3 again I would go for the SE because of the seats and suspension and also because I prefer a light coloured interior and on the Sport you can have any colour providing it is black! At today's prices I would add £4,535 worth of opions.
 

cemerson

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Suspension isn't a problem because you can just spec the normal suspension setup at no cost on both the Sport and S-line.
 

h5djr

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Yes but you cannot specify normal seats or a light coloured interior. Also if I a look at the items I would add as opions on the SE that are standard of the Sport the cost works out less for the SE.
 

Zig

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Is there any difference in the cost of insurance between a SE, Sport and S-Line with the same engine size?
 

h5djr

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hittchy

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I initially specced a sport with xenons and a few extras. When I did a PCP quote at the dealer it was £2 a month more to have S-line as it held its value better over three years. So for me it was well worth the difference to get the s-line.

Two of my colleagues had exactly the same scenario, and we've all ended up with S-lines.

You make a very important point often overlooked by many.

This tends to be the same with BMW M-Sport cars. The better residuals mean you effectively get the extras for free (or very little cost). Free 18" wheels, Xenons, black headlining, interior and exterior styling. A no brainier for me on all my Audis for the last 8 years.

A similarly priced Sport (optioned up) will cost you more over 3 years... a similarly priced SE even more!
 

h5djr

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You make a very important point often overlooked by many.

This tends to be the same with BMW M-Sport cars. The better residuals mean you effectively get the extras for free (or very little cost). Free 18" wheels, Xenons, black headlining, interior and exterior styling. A no brainier for me on all my Audis for the last 8 years.

A similarly priced Sport (optioned up) will cost you more over 3 years... a similarly priced SE even more!

But that depends whether you want those extras in the first place.
 

cemerson

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And whether you are buying the car to drive or to sell later on
 

h5djr

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And whether you are buying the car to drive or to sell later on

Also as I tend to buy my cars cash I save the £3-4,000 that you have to pay in interest costs over 3 years which covers the cost of most of my extras.
 

manmoth

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This is going to sound a little shallow but I went for the s-line, because its the "s-line" The spec if course is important as I obviously wouldn't pay 2k extra for a badge but I wanted the best spec of the range as I couldn't justify the S3 (or the wait time)
 

hittchy

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But that depends whether you want those extras in the first place.

But that's the point. If you add just one of the options included in S-Line to a Sport car, it's costing you more than the S-Line.

Each to their own, but the numbers have never stacked up on SE or sport cars for me. I always go for the highest spec with minimal options. Lower spec cars with more options always cost more.

If I was ordering a car with no options, I'd consider a sport.
 

h5djr

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But that's the point. If you add just one of the options included in S-Line to a Sport car, it's costing you more than the S-Line.

Each to their own, but the numbers have never stacked up on SE or sport cars for me. I always go for the highest spec with minimal options. Lower spec cars with more options always cost more.

If I was ordering a car with no options, I'd consider a sport.

But most of the options I would want on my car are not standard on the S-Line or the Sport for that matter and most of what is standard on the S-line I would not want. If I'm spending the sort of money involved in an A3 I want the car to be as near to exactly what I want as possible and my current Sportback is just that.
 

hittchy

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And whether you are buying the car to drive or to sell later on

I never consider that I own a car.... it's not a house or any other purchase I consider long term. A car is a 2-3 year prospect for me. Therefore the lowest cost per month is important and I weigh up the options I choose on that basis. Financing it is also done the cheapest way, whether that be self financed (cash), lease or PCP.

Unless you're buying a car to keep 10 years plus, not considering its potential residual value is pure madness in my opinion. It's a bit like renewing your car insurance without shopping around or continuously sticking with your energy supplier.... feels like throwing money away.
 

hittchy

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But most of the options I would want on my car are not standard on the S-Line or the Sport for that matter and most of what is standard on the S-line I would not want. If I'm spending the sort of money involved in an A3 I want the car to be as near to exactly what I want as possible and my current Sportback is just that.

Which is fair enough.... but the thread is about why people choose S-Line rather than your personal circumstances. The point I made was that S-Line spec is probably the most cost effective for most buyers if they want any of the options included in that trim level. This is reflected in the lease quotes others have mentioned above.

It's also probably down to the more dynamic looks of the S-Line which appeal to the car's target market.
 

cemerson

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I agree - but your post implied that everyone who didn't order an S-line is silly because of the resale value, whereas you've just acknowledged above - the circumstances are different for different people. I do intend to keep this car for a long time, so I've specced it highly, and not ordered a trim level I don't want. The only thing S-line has that I have put on mine are the Xenons, which is far cheaper than the upgrade to S-line.
 

hittchy

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I agree - but your post implied that everyone who didn't order an S-line is silly because of the resale value, whereas you've just acknowledged above - the circumstances are different for different people. I do intend to keep this car for a long time, so I've specced it highly, and not ordered a trim level I don't want. The only thing S-line has that I have put on mine are the Xenons, which is far cheaper than the upgrade to S-line.

I can't see anything to imply that SE or Sport buyers are 'silly'. What I said was if a Sport buyer was going to spec any of the options which were standard on S-Line, it'd generally work out cheaper to just buy the S-Line. That doesn't translate as 'silly'. There are various reasons why buyers will choose one model over another. The OP asked the question why S-Line cars were so popular, and I believe this is one of the reasons.

I'm assuming you crunched the numbers on your own car before making a decision and in the end it was just that... your decision! It worked for you. However, with Xenons over three years I'd bet the S-Line would cost less than the Sport. The point still stands for most buyers who change their cars more regularly. The only way to test it is to get a few PCP or lease quotes as these tend to have more accurate predictions of residual values. As has been stated above, the S-Line for some was £2 a month extra. However, the Xenons alone would add around £25 per month to the Sport as options carry very little residual value (if any).

Unfortunately, just because the total price of the Sport model with Xenons is less than the S-Line doesn't mean it'll cost you less over a period of time. Buying decisions are sometimes about more than finances though. If you wanted blue seats, for example, there's not much point in ordering the S-Line.

Everyone makes their own decisions but it's important they're well informed. That's the beauty of the forum.
 

cemerson

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It depends on the options as to whether they carry any value or not - some do, some don't, but I'm going to be keeping my car for a while so it's fairly irrelevant to me anyway, so it's not true to say that the S-line would be cheaper for me just becaues I have one of the options from it.
 

viperfire

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S line is far better than the sport enough said and its worth the 5 quid extra a month or so it has better residuals and is a lot more desirable to most people.
 

h5djr

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It's interesting about residual values because my dealer always gives me a very good trade-in value when I change my car, usually between 2.5 and 3 years and one of the reasons he gives it that, because it's an SE with a good range of options, he knows he will be able to resell it very quickly. My particular car never sits on his forecourt, as it's often sold before he gets it based on it's spec, whereas the are often quite a few Sport and S-line cars that seem to be there for some time.

When I next change I may investigate a PCP and see what happens. When my wife last changed her car see was thinking of another Polo but my dealer asked if she had considered an A1. She intended to buy the Polo on a PCP and he said he was sure he could give a better monthly cost on an A1 against a Polo. He worked out the figures and true to his word the A1 came out nearly £10 per month cheaper for a similar spec car. He siad this was down to the A1 having a higher residual vale than a Polo.
 

hittchy

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When my wife last changed her car see was thinking of another Polo but my dealer asked if she had considered an A1. She intended to buy the Polo on a PCP and he said he was sure he could give a better monthly cost on an A1 against a Polo. He worked out the figures and true to his word the A1 came out nearly £10 per month cheaper for a similar spec car. He siad this was down to the A1 having a higher residual vale than a Polo.

Spot on. It's always worth scratching a little deeper than the initial purchase price, as you did with the A1. A quick Internet search for contract hire or leasing will give you an indication of what different cars cost over a period of time. I find these to be a much better indication of residual values than any price guide.

It sometimes amazes me what cars you could be driving for a similar monthly cost.
 

h5djr

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I suppose it depends on how you intend to buy the car. If you are using a PCP then the monthly cost can vary because of the residual value. If like me, you intend to purchase cash, then you also have to factor in the extra £2-3,000 of using a PCP. This is especially true in the current situation where money in the bank earns almost no interest to offset against the cost of the PCP.

Out of interest I have just worked out the costs of a A3 2.0TDI Sportback s-tronic to the spec I would order in each trim level and they come out as SE: £28,140, Sport: £28,360, and S-Line £: 30,505. Not a lot between the SE and the Sport but the Sport has items in the standard spec that I would not want.
 

neilmcl

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But that's the point. If you add just one of the options included in S-Line to a Sport car, it's costing you more than the S-Line.
That's no true.

for example, cost for an A3 1.4 TFSI 140 3dr:

S-Line = £23430
Sport = £21280 (+ Xenon pack = £22530)
 

cemerson

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That's no true.

for example, cost for an A3 1.4 TFSI 140 3dr:

S-Line = £23430
Sport = £21280 (+ Xenon pack = £22530)

He means 'cost' as in 'costs more over 3 years if you hand the car back to the finance company at the end'
 

Vertigo1

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He means 'cost' as in 'costs more over 3 years if you hand the car back to the finance company at the end'

You always have to factor in residuals and think about the TCO (total cost of ownership) when buying a car.

The most extreme case is leasing, where options usually have zero residual value attached to them so you literally pay the full price of the options over the term of the lease. In such a situation, you're always better off by going for the highest standard spec you can and adding as few options as possible.

If buying yourself then it's a bit more murky as there will often be some residual value or benefit to the options when it comes time to sell. Some highly desirable options like Xenons will actually increase the resale value of the car whilst others may just make it easier to sell and some will have no value whatsoever.

It's not just options either but can even be the basic bodystyle. Sportbacks will always be in far higher demand than three door models and will thus be far easier to sell when the time comes. I've got a three door partly because that's all that was available when I had to order but also because it suits me better, rarely having people in the back and valuing the larger doors and better visibility. Had I been spending my own money however, I'd very likely have waited for the Sportback simply because I know how much easier it would have been to sell on later.
 

mfspen

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If buying yourself then it's a bit more murky as there will often be some residual value or benefit to the options when it comes time to sell. Some highly desirable options like Xenons will actually increase the resale value of the car whilst others may just make it easier to sell and some will have no value whatsoever.
.

As someone who only ever buys cars using my own money (savings), my experience is that whatever options you add, it makes little or no difference to the resale value, but they might make the car slightly easier to sell. For instance, my last car had £1000 worth of leather seats, but they were worth nothing at trade-in time.

But to get back to the original comparison, the choice of trim doesn't necessarily just come down to cost. In my case, I absolutely hate black interiors, so the only way to get a light coloured cloth upholstery was to get an SE. I then added options to bring the overall spec up to a similar level as the Sport.
 

cbope

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Like others have said, I believe it depends what you want and what extras you really don't need. Going the full S-line package is fairly expensive as a whole, especially here in Finland where taxes on cars are very high. I went a less expensive route and got the most important parts (to me) of the S-line package without ordering the package. I started with the Business Sport package, which brought in the heated sport seats identical to S-line but witout the logo, the roof spoiler, xenons and LED DRL's, and a few other upgrades that are part of the S-line package, then added the S-line suspension and 18" wheels. There is one S-line logo on the car, on the scuff plate under the driver's door. I call it a stealth S-line. Except for the missing logos on the fenders, it looks identical and has the most important features of an S-line for a lot less money.
 

frazzeld

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Like others have said, I believe it depends what you want and what extras you really don't need. Going the full S-line package is fairly expensive as a whole, especially here in Finland where taxes on cars are very high. I went a less expensive route and got the most important parts (to me) of the S-line package without ordering the package. I started with the Business Sport package, which brought in the heated sport seats identical to S-line but witout the logo, the roof spoiler, xenons and LED DRL's, and a few other upgrades that are part of the S-line package, then added the S-line suspension and 18" wheels. There is one S-line logo on the car, on the scuff plate under the driver's door. I call it a stealth S-line. Except for the missing logos on the fenders, it looks identical and has the most important features of an S-line for a lot less money.
have you posted any photo's?
 

cbope

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have you posted any photo's?

Look in the pics sticky not too far from the last post, there is one smartphone shot there, still need to download the better shots from my camera... (thanks for the reminder!)
 

hittchy

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As someone who only ever buys cars using my own money (savings), my experience is that whatever options you add, it makes little or no difference to the resale value, but they might make the car slightly easier to sell. For instance, my last car had £1000 worth of leather seats, but they were worth nothing at trade-in time.

But to get back to the original comparison, the choice of trim doesn't necessarily just come down to cost. In my case, I absolutely hate black interiors, so the only way to get a light coloured cloth upholstery was to get an SE. I then added options to bring the overall spec up to a similar level as the Sport.

I couldn't agree more. Spot on.
 
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