S3 DSG test drive.......thoughts

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
Wow!!! just been on my first 8P S3 test drive which turned out to be a DSG car - I was ideally looking to source a manual but i can now say i am truly torn. It took me a good 5 miles to get used to it, only realising that it changes down for you upon slowing down on the final stint. What i love about it, is the smoothness, never have i experienced that before - so much more refined than my 8L and felt a little quicker (i know from experience that they are roughly the same) - so much so that i approached my first roadabout and ended up with a four wheel slippage!! and i dont tend to push cars that much so it took me entirely by suprise. Even had a tail end trying to race me in his new 2.0T.....i just looked over when he drew parallel and laughed, not going to play with a car that isn't mine

Anyway, couple of questions, the car will get mapped within 12 months of purchase without doubt....what are the consequences of this with the DSG? What is reliability like on this box? as i understand they cost a fortune to replace....and would a new clutch(s) ever be on the agenda?

Now for the car itself, i was after a 3 door ideally...this was a sportback which looks to have a longer wheel base, it certainly felt bigger than mine going into the first roundabout!! am i right in saying that 3 door will handle a little better with less weight? i can see the benefits of the 5 doors as we are planning on having kids in the next couple of years, but i dont think its a 'must have'.

Overall, i was very impressed, that said i did go in there with higher expectations...after having driven a 60 plate A4 for a week i was expecting it to be a little bit more 'next generation' than mine, sure its a definate upgrade but it felt like a definate downgrade on the A4 - hence why i was asking the other week about planned newer models - but then with the RS3 on the horizon....18-24 months at least before another comes out. The outside looked mint, i love the DRL's and the overall stance despite the lack of flared rear arches etc, the dash is a bit bare but then the car i took out only appeared to have heated seats, i certainly didnt spot any other options on it (apart from the metallic green bodywork!!).

off to the Audi site now to check out the specs available.....

only requirements so far are heated seats, DRL's, Auto lights/wipers, oh and the newer alloys...so looking at 58 plates onwards

nice to haves are :-

Sunroof (always wanted another car with one despite not having had one for the last 2)
Folding mirrors
Heated rear seat (just to say i have one!!) :cold:
Cream leather - not seen an 8P S3 with it yet though :ermm:
Buckets would be nice but are prob furthest away in terms of priority
Ipod functionality (or mki9200?)
Bluetooth (need to research how hard this is to fit, otherwise might just fit my parrot mki9200)
Sat nav - as it makes the dash look much better (only just bought a Tomtom XL so not priority)
Auto dim mirrors
and possibly rear tints (never been a fan but they do look good on the 8P's)

I shall update on the progress peoples :thumbsup:

Tim
 

Lee_R

Registered User
3 or 5 door the wheelbase is the same, just a larger overhang on the 5 door.
 

akash_sky1

Registered User
Yes wheelbase is the same, however there is more space in the back of the 5 door i think when compared it to my bro in laws 3 door.
DSGs seem to be very robust- more then the manual, I've read of people running around 400lb ft torque with just a DSG software reflash reliably.
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
cheers chaps.... thats helpful about the DSG, i'd assume it would be more up to the job but needed confirmation given the cost to change.....

weird, i haven't seen a 3 or 5 door side by side but the Sportback does look bigger..... oh well. I'm guessing there would a small handling difference given the addition of the rear doors and overhang, not a big issue but i expect the 3 door may feel a little different when i eventually test drive one.
 

Matt2010

Registered User
I've got 59 plate 3 door with DSG which is mapped. I got the Evolve switch and by god it has some shove when the turbo kicks in whilst still being very drivable in slow stop/start traffic.
Evolve also told me, and i quote "[FONT=&quot]One of Stage 1 s3’s beat Revo Stage 2 cars at a dyno day at the weekend"[/FONT]. :)
 

paddy

Registered User
There is a little more space in the back of a SB but you get less boot space really because the overall length is only 60mm more if i remember correctly. If its load space you want you might as well go for the three door.
DSG will be no problem, mines as good as new at 50k miles and even if it went wrong they just exchange the whole box as a sealed unit.
I agree that compared to the A4/A5 the A3/S3 is a blast from the past inside. and it techno levels are back with Atari and co. :) Dont expect to get a DAB or anything modern in it like key less or touch screen. Air con is pretty useless as well.
Personally i would not have anything else after this DSG i have now, it really is the best of both worlds. A god send in traffic and great fun on the paddles round the lanes.
If you ever go near motorways get cruise or retro fit it for about £300. If you buy new get the lighting pack, its a nice touch for just £90. Mapping a DSG will be less hassle than a manual as the DSG has a twin multi plate wet clutch. It wouldnt suprise me if its the same unit they are going to fit in the RS3
 
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1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
My misus was actually batting against the SB saying it looked..and i quote 'retarded'. That said i can appareciate the practicality of it and certainly wont be discounting one if the right spec comes along, this goes for the DSG too..... I'm not looking at new unfortunately, probably 58-59 plate - first mod will be MY11 rears before i get it home :)

What is included in this light pack...ive read a few times that its a no brainer option....
 

akash_sky1

Registered User
There is a little more space in the back of a SB but you get less boot space really because the overall length is only 60mm more if i remember correctly. If its load space you want you might as well go for the three door.
DSG will be no problem, mines as good as new at 50k miles and even if it went wrong they just exchange the whole box as a sealed unit.
I agree that compared to the A4/A5 the A3/S3 is a blast from the past inside. and it techno levels are back with Atari and co. :) Dont expect to get a DAB or anything modern in it like key less or touch screen. Air con is pretty useless as well.
Personally i would not have anything else after this DSG i have now, it really is the best of both worlds. A god send in traffic and great fun on the paddles round the lanes.
If you ever go near motorways get cruise or retro fit it for about £300. If you buy new get the lighting pack, its a nice touch for just £90. Mapping a DSG will be less hassle than a manual as the DSG has a twin multi plate wet clutch. It wouldnt suprise me if its the same unit they are going to fit in the RS3

The 3 doors load length its 1511mm whereas the Sportbacks is 1544mm, and the sportback has a 370 L boot compared to the 3 doors 350L. Boot sizes for FWD only. However in a quattro the sportback still has a bigger and longer loadbay.
Makes sense when the SBs rear overhang is longer, dunno how you thought a 3 door had a bigger boot lol.
 

brough74

Registered User
Cream leather can be a pig to keep clean, i had it in my last car and even after 1000 miles it needed cleaned with wearing jeans and getting in and out, you leave blue dye behind of your jeans.

But it can look good with the right colour if you keep it clean.
 

PilotAudi

Guest
Cream leather can be a pig to keep clean, i had it in my last car and even after 1000 miles it needed cleaned with wearing jeans and getting in and out, you leave blue dye behind of your jeans.

But it can look good with the right colour if you keep it clean.

Have got silver leather in another car and a cream leather sofa. A weekly clean with leather cleaner sorts it out very quickly and light colours are nice if rather less practical than Black. Remeber seats will still be dirty with Black just don't see it!
 

paddy

Registered User
Ok so the SB has 33mm, more load length. I assumed that the extra rear leg room took up the extra inch and a quarter. I find it incredible how you can be so pedantic !! its 30mm for Christ sake ! I try and post helpful info for people and you seem to follow me around picking stupid holes in every thing i say. even what car say there is no point in buying a SB if you want more load space, just if you need 5 doors.
 

akash_sky1

Registered User
Ok so the SB has 33mm, more load length. I assumed that the extra rear leg room took up the extra inch and a quarter. I find it incredible how you can be so pedantic !! its 30mm for Christ sake ! I try and post helpful info for people and you seem to follow me around picking stupid holes in every thing i say. even what car say there is no point in buying a SB if you want more load space, just if you need 5 doors.

LOL sorry! Just saying- the SB does have a bigger boot ( and nicer back lights), thats why I bought one ;-)
 

paddy

Registered User
A light pack gives you front and rear reading lights in the roof, foot well lights, puddle illuminating lights in the bottom of the doors and red warning lights in the doors that show when they are open at night as well as illuminated interior door handles etc. The sort of stuff thats standard on a 10k Nissan micra...take note Audi :)
 

PaulAr

S3 (8P)
Agree that the latest A4/A5 cabin makes the A3/S3 seem quite dated.

Had a couple of A4 loaners last year and thought the cabin was excellent, was a bit disappointed when I jumped back inside mine, and it has a decent spec too. The A4 didnt drive great in 2wd TD140 and 18T flavours, not enough grip and the Derv wasnt really powerful enough for the A4 avant IMO.
 

sub39h

Registered User
my understanding from reading around is that the DSG box is quite robust, so i wouldn't worry there. i love mine, indeed is the best of both worlds and i'd never go back now either. however Paddy is mistaken about the RS3 using the same box as the S3 - the S3 is a 6 speed wet clutch, the RS3 is a 7 speed dry clutch so they aren't the same. doesn't make a difference anyway, if you're buying new it's a must to extend the warranty if you're keeping the car past 3 years and then you wouldn't be paying for a gearbox failure anyway. i've only read 1 instance of a failure on here.

if you're thinking kids (i'm only 24 myself so i can't comment from experience - just mirroring what others with kids have said on here) then it's probably best to get the SB and do not get Recaros on the 3dr. for the minimal extra price for the SB i'd get that instead of the 3dr - it'll hold it's value better anyways. and i think it looks better than the 3dr anyway (and i own a 3dr!)

the reason you've not seen an S3 with cream leather is because you'd have to go down the Audi exclusive route - up to £3k depending on what it is you want exactly. certainly not worth it imho, but each to their own!


good luck with your purchase, be interesting to see what you go for in the end!

S.
 

paddy

Registered User
Cheers sub, the box thing was just a guess.
 

paddy

Registered User
Agree that the latest A4/A5 cabin makes the A3/S3 seem quite dated.

Had a couple of A4 loaners last year and thought the cabin was excellent, was a bit disappointed when I jumped back inside mine, and it has a decent spec too. The A4 didnt drive great in 2wd TD140 and 18T flavours, not enough grip and the Derv wasnt really powerful enough for the A4 avant IMO.

lol ! dont say the 2wd 140 dosnt have enough grip !! I tried that and was nearly lynched :)
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
Cream leather can be a pig to keep clean, i had it in my last car and even after 1000 miles it needed cleaned with wearing jeans and getting in and out, you leave blue dye behind of your jeans.

But it can look good with the right colour if you keep it clean.

When I bought the 8L, the cream leather was on the top of the wish list - lived with it for almost 4 years now. I use liquid leather cleaner which does a really good job...cleaned twice a year, once you've past the first major clean i find its a doddle

LOL sorry! Just saying- the SB does have a bigger boot ( and nicer back lights), thats why I bought one ;-)

I said exactly the same thing to the chap at the dealership, the biggest win for the SB are the rear lights.... :)

A light pack gives you front and rear reading lights in the roof, foot well lights, puddle illuminating lights in the bottom of the doors and red warning lights in the doors that show when they are open at night as well as illuminated interior door handles etc. The sort of stuff thats standard on a 10k Nissan micra...take note Audi :)

Ahhh, i thought it might be like the colour changing LED set up in the Mini, LED's on the B pillars, interior handles etc etc - you can change the colours through the spectrum - tiny thing but a nice to have ;)

Agree that the latest A4/A5 cabin makes the A3/S3 seem quite dated.

Had a couple of A4 loaners last year and thought the cabin was excellent, was a bit disappointed when I jumped back inside mine, and it has a decent spec too. The A4 didnt drive great in 2wd TD140 and 18T flavours, not enough grip and the Derv wasnt really powerful enough for the A4 avant IMO.

luckily i had a TDi quattro S-line, unsure what TD engine it was though..seemed to pull well, but then all diesels feel like they are rockets :)

thats why i am trying to spec auto lights, the A4 had them and saved you having to turn the knob!! nothing worse if you ask me.... :)
 

PaulAr

S3 (8P)
lol ! dont say the 2wd 140 dosnt have enough grip !! I tried that and was nearly lynched :)

Exiting wet roundabouts with a bit of throttle was ALL understeer, especially disappointing as the second one I had was the `sporty` 18T S Line. :tapedshut:
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
*awaits the 2wd boys response to this unheard of phenomenon - wheel spin* :)
 

PaulAr

S3 (8P)
*awaits the 2wd boys response to this unheard of phenomenon - wheel spin* :)

:laugh: (flamesuit on)

Joking aside, Ive no problem with 2wd, all my previous cars have been 2wd, I just didnt expect the wheelspin it to be so obvious on a modestly powered car.:(
Loved everything else about the A4 though.

Cheers
Paul
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
yeah i know what you mean, it is a next generation car....unfortunately the 8P is just behind that curve, not a million miles away though.

I have always had 2wd too...cant ever seeing me going back though, its that extra thing you need to think about when applying the right foot - and when it rains/snows it's just a 'no go' with much over 200bhp
 

akash_sky1

Registered User
If you can spin all 4 wheels in a 4wd then you know you got something special...or crap tyres.
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
oooh forgot to ask.... when i was getting the DSG to stretch its legs, i noticed a nice subtle pop from the exhaust on every gear change, is this consistent with the manuals too? or as a result of the quick gear changes and rapid changes of air through the exhaust....sounded really nice and could well sway my decision to DSG.
 

PilotAudi

Guest
If you can spin all 4 wheels in a 4wd then you know you got something special...or crap tyres.

Absolutely akash.... that's what Quattro is all about.
 

sub39h

Registered User
Absolutely akash.... that's what Quattro is all about.

lol what has that statement got do with a Nissan Pulsar GT-R? you're being a bit of a quattro fanboy i think

it certainly has it's advantages but i'm beginning to think there's a lack of objectivity in your strong passion for quattro

i'm making no further comment on this, positive or negative. i know what your opinions are on quattro from other threads and it doesn't need to spill over onto here!
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!

Ads

ASN Veteran
oooh forgot to ask.... when i was getting the DSG to stretch its legs, i noticed a nice subtle pop from the exhaust on every gear change, is this consistent with the manuals too? or as a result of the quick gear changes and rapid changes of air through the exhaust....sounded really nice and could well sway my decision to DSG.

I've owned an A3 manual and currently have an A3 DSG, and the "subtle pop" was only present on the DSG, but only during swift acceleration.
Reckon it's a combination of the engine being under increased load and the quick gear changes.

And you're right, it does sound quite nice!
 

K4RL

Registered User
As Aythreee - my DSG pops but only when givin' it the beans.

:racer: Karl

PS - totally converted to DSG.
 
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jungleman

Registered User

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
And you're right, it does sound quite nice!

suprisingly it was the misus that noticed it first...sounded a lot like the Mini S - i hate the chav style of a lot of cars these days, the remus exhaust on the nurburgring VXR is poppingly chavtastic!! this is a nice subtle quality pop.....a pop i would very much like to experience again in the near future!! once you pop.... NO!!! i refuse to bow down to the catchy pringles ad campaign

or rain... was getting the tc kicking in the other night when i was shifting from second to third

or if we're really drilling down to the detail..... pot holes, annoying the hell out of me, you swerve to avoid one, then hit another!! the car then proceeds to do this retarded TC dance....dunno if the 8P deals with this better than the 8L??
 

paddy

Registered User
My 3.2 doesn't pop but it crackles on the over run...probably a sign of leaky valves...:)

By the way...four wheel spin is a sign of ESP and ABS faliure :-0
 

Khufu

Registered User
LOL, my lowly FWD 2.0 fsi is struggling to move off without wheel spinning in this weather but its needing new front tyres TBH LOL
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
My 3.2 doesn't pop but it crackles on the over run...probably a sign of leaky valves...:)

By the way...four wheel spin is a sign of ESP and ABS faliure :-0

That reminds me, someone mentioned to me about the 2.0T units having crappy high pressure valves in the head, and apparently its common for the heads to be replaced by the 1.8T heads...2.0T bottom end.... anyone heard of this?

and yup on the TC, hence why it goes off in snow ;) .... although cant see exactly how the ABS controls wheel spin under acceleration :)
 

paddy

Registered User
I have to keep the brakes on when accelerating or its just to fast...we are talking 6 pot 3200cc here not girly 4 pot 2000cc
 

Ads

ASN Veteran
suprisingly it was the misus that noticed it first...sounded a lot like the Mini S

I'll tell you the other DSG induced sound that I like...... when you're cruising along at about 50 or 60 and you press the gas pedal firmly enough to make the box drop a couple of gears, the engine pauses to rev match and when it takes up drive again the exhaust adopts a nice "sporty" tone for the burst of acceleration that follows. Something else I didn't notice with a manual.

Listen out for it next time.
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
I have to keep the brakes on when accelerating or its just to fast...we are talking 6 pot 3200cc here not girly 4 pot 2000cc

that must be why my crappy stage one 1.8T passes so many of them :p ;)
 

paddy

Registered User
1.8 really...do they come in such small sizes ? how twee :) I think my starter motor is 1.8 !
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
I think your ashtray is!! That's what makes it so gratifying ;)
 
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