Tough Question... S3 or A3 1.8T

chillergorilla

Registered User
Hi Everyone, I've been browsing your forum for awhile - as I really want an S3. I have about £5k to spend on the car (I realize high milage) - insurance isn't a problem and probably another 1.5k to spend on services/ extras etc a year.

The problem is that I really want and S3, seeing all your pics and comments about it. But some friends family think its like throwing money away, so my second choice would be a 1.8T. Has anyone had experience of both? Just wanted to know your opinions it really. :blahblah1:
 

Gareth_RS3

Registered User
well thing is if you can stretch to a s3 go for it otherwise you will probably end up doing the same thing i did, buyin an a3 1.8T then losing money selling it because your really after an s3.
 

S3 Rav

Registered User
go for the s3 mate. yea itll be highish milege but prices are falling all the time. just make sure its got all sh, cmabelt etc etc. you'l not regret it. oh yea and then get it remapped!!
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
A3 will be more of a waste as it would fall far quicker......
 

themanthatcan

Member
VCDS Map User
Now is an ideal time to be buying a performance car like the S3 as second-hand car values have dropped massively over the last 9 months or so.

I paid £7500 for a 107k mile 2001 S3 this time last year. That was considered quite a good deal and I thought the car would be a safe bet residuals-wise as the S3s had been holding their values for a long time. It's now probably worth less that £5k, which is gutting, and it's all thanks to the "credit crunch" and high fuel prices.

I think £1.5k is quite a fair amount to be allowing for general upkeep and servicing, but be warned that if you do end up with a lemon, things can get expensive! I've paid out almost £5k just to keep my car on the road..a lot of that was stuff which would fail at the sort of mileage my car has anyway (clutch, suspension, brakes, rubber bushes etc and she's on 120k miles now), but it can add up very quickly.

If it's what you want though then you should go for it! You only live once after all :thumbsup:
 

Maz

Moon is made of green cheese
S3 all day long, but at £5k you may have to look far and wide for a decent/unmolested example. I did consider a 1.8TQ previously but thought why have second best...

Can't bear to think that mine cost more than three times that amount back in 2005. Having said that, it’s the best car I have ever owned and with the right mods and maintenance it won’t let you down!

Now go and buy one!
 

Essflee

Registered User
I had an A3 1.8T and although it was a great car and I loved it, I always yearned for the S3...and they same may happen to you...as long as the car has been looked after the mileage shouldn't be to much of a problem, there was a bloke on here selling one recently with 175,000 miles on the clock, you'll probably save money in the long run if you go straight for the S3 :)
 

Ian W

Registered User
You would be happy with a 1.8T until you saw an S3 drive past !

Go straight for the S3.
 

A3_Turbo

Swaying towards IHI....
Tough Question this one as im not sure what sort of S3 you would get for 5k?

I paid 6k for my A3 some 2-3 Years ago, you can now get an S3 for that price. If i could have insured an S3 at that time i would have gone straight for the S3.

Personally id go straight for the S3 if it was me ive spent so much money on my A3, just go for the S3 try save a little bit more and you'll get a half decent one maybe for 6k?

Jason
 

Autograph Baz

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The S3 has far more aggressive looks and in my opinion is a lot nicer car. I paid £6k for mine about a year ago as that was all I had to spend at the time mine is a 2000 which had 92k on the clock when I bought it. I am in the trade and have access to VAG-COM and so knew exactly what I was looking when viewing cars. All I can say is there are a lot of cars with problems that have been hidden/masked in order to be sold that will end up costing you a packet if you dont get them properly checked before purchase. one of the cars I looked at before I bought mine had supposedly "never missed a beat , and runs perfect" but after inspection needed over £1500 worth of work doing. I had to look at nine cars until I found mine that was in the right condition. Dont be put off by this as the S3 is much better than the A3 if you find the right example. just remember that because you are spending more on an A3 it wont neccessarily mean you get a better car. Proper inspection by a qualified person with VAG-COM is the only guarantee of a good car
 

chillergorilla

Registered User
I like that I'll "probably save money in the long run if you go straight for the S3". And on other thread something like.. can't help but smile when I look at in the drive.

I was hoping for this reassurance, what could I expect from an S3 owner's forum, ha ha. I guess its just justifying the cost. I'm young have a whole life of work right?

I think I'll be getting it in just over 4 months, but I can't wait and will be an active member from then on.
 

Westy

Registered User
I bought my S3 for £6K in November on 107K miles. It had FSH and has been absolutely fine except for the usual thermostat issue
 

nath-w

Registered User
i just bought my s3 for 5500, and it already had brembo brakes, bilstein shocks and eibach springs and a stage 2 remap. its got 98k on the clock. i have had some problems including a coil going, and it needs a new thermostat, but apart from that its all good and its the best car i have ever owned.

Go for the s3!!
 

Andy_S3

Registered User
I too bought a 1.8T Quattro, great car, but it was no S3. Sold it after a few months (lost about a grand) and started S3 hunting...
 

Ash B

Registered User
I'd go for the S3 over the 1.8T as many members have said you probably losing money and buying an S3. Never owned either car, but i do like the S3 a lot after seeing Mr G.

S3 all the way:s3addict: :)
You know you want one really ha
 

alijames

Registered User
No brainer really... A bit like comediennes Jo Brand vs Chelsea Handler. Both will put a grin on your face, but which would you rather be seen in public with??

Cheers,
 

Westy

Registered User
I think the title of you thread should be changed from "Tough question" to "Stupid Question" :p

Oh and I dont mean to offend any A3 owners by this comment :friends:
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
most of us are ex A3 owners!!! even Prawn and Dave B are closet S3 enthusiasts!!!:p:lmfao:
 

ianysm

Registered User
S3, you only live once and you'll live to regret it if you go for the TQ

I paid 6400 for mine with only 70k on it. Immaculate and from a dealer. Ok i had to get a train up north then drive it home but it was an adventure!

Good luck

P.S. How about eating into your 1.5k 'running cost' fund to buy a better car in the first place. Look for 6k S3's and keep £500 to help run it????
 

ianysm

Registered User
Look on Auto trader at cars around 6k - there are a few decent ones with 70-80k miles. You might even get them for 5.5k then have a grand left over!
 

Prawn

My other car is a MINI!!!!
get an A3....ask Prawn to sell you his beast.

What's with the subtle prawn victimisation lately Jase? :sob:


most of us are ex A3 owners!!! even Prawn and Dave B are closet S3 enthusiasts!!!:p:lmfao:

I've never claimed not to be Timmy! I simply have typical strong prawn views.

When I bought my A3 almost 3 years ago, I was just 19, insurance even on a 1.8T was a joke, and it only cost me £3k, when even pre facelift S3's were still fetching 10k. I was actually looking for a mint mk2 golf GTI when the A3 came up silly cheap, so I snapped it up.

The standard S3 is dull as dishwater, that's a fact. Go back a year, when I spent all the money on my A3, and to when standard S3's were £7k+. My A3 is/was faster and more interesting to drive for less money. it's still just as quick as a mapped S3 now :)

That said, the S3 is a far better car all round, and if you've got the money, go for it. Just don't expect it to be anything special if you get a standard one, they're slow, and handle like a boat. although not as slow or boat like as a standard 1.8T A3!

Both cars need a good wedge of money spending on them to make them quick and handle well, an A3 with £3k spent on it will be quicker and handle better than a standard S3, but of course, spend a good bit of money on an S3, and it'll be quicker and handle better again.

All I'm against is the mass S3 group on here simply refusing to accept that a lowly A3 could ever be quick or challenge the mighty S3, which is infact a a massively dull car.
It is however, a car I want to own after my A3, as I know that with a bit of money spending in the right places it can be a very capable all rounder.

Neither will ever be proper drivers cars, but for quickish comfy every day motors, they're both absolutely brilliant.

perish the thought, when I finally get myself an S3, it'll probably only cost about £4k anyway, and the first mod it's getting will be a detachable tow bar, to tow my 200bhp/ton Mini, which is where the real fun is to be had at the track :)
 

jojo

Looking for Boost!
Staff member
Moderator
I think most of the above answers your question, in my opinion, if you can afford to run an S3, then get one, they are cheap as chips now, though not as cheap as an A3 1.8T of the same age/mileage.
Lets see, S3 for say £5k, ok you are probably looking at one with higher than average miles, but you get as standard Quattro(or part time 4WD as some will put it), wider body, Leather seats(or Alcantara), Climate control just for starters, which are not garanteed on an 1.8T. It's the top of the range FFS!, why settle for 2nd best?
 

A3_Turbo

Swaying towards IHI....
Well Said Prawn.

Not many of us Modded A3 boys around these days as Dave deserted us for the dark side lol.

Mine and Your car's are pretty much identical and both spent a small fortune on them getting them to the spec they're at now.

Im really happy with my A3 with the amount of power way it handles etc. Just wish it would grip better through 1-2nd!

As above though if you can afford to insure/buy an S3 its the better all-rounder. I only went the A3 route as i couldnt afford to insure an S3 i was 17 when i bought my A3, and insurance on an S3 at that age was impossible!

My A3 was 6k, and if i remember rightly i drove a few S3's and they were all around 8-9k how they've dropped since then!

With the prices of S3's these days id go for it!

Jason
 

A3Tom

Smell my finger.
I'm fighting the A3 corner too :D

I looked at S3's but to be honest they were very expensive compared to my A3 when I got it two years ago. It was either buy a minter of an A3 1.8T with really low miles and great history or a very ropey high miles S3 with no history.

Its not as quick as an S3 for sure but to be fair after a remap its not far behind a stock S3. I'm spending a fair bit of cash on my car at the moment and it's going to be worth it as its not the best handling car straight out of the box.

Cheaper to run, cheaper to insure, cheaper to service,...less things to go wrong.

Dont get me wrong, I'd love an S3 but when I was buying my car a decent S3 was £10k plus. S3 in the future?, maybe but I'm happy with a very nice A3 thats peanuts to insure and run for now :)
 

Westy

Registered User
It all boils down to the amount of cash you have. At the prices that S3s are going for now you might as well hunt for one. Remember that most sellers whack their asking price up a bit on their adverts and you can knock people down quite easily in the currently economical climate.
 

A3Tom

Smell my finger.
I think the S3 looks far better too! I love the flaired wheel arches!

Agreed, the S3 is a good looking car straight out of the box, add some 18's and a bit of a drop and you have yourself a hard as nails looking car.

Add to that the nicer looking bumpers and its a winner.
 

MintyS3

Works 60% the time, Everytime.
S3....Need I say more? lol If you can afford it, get it.

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