Audi A3 or S3

Webarno

Registered User
Good morning all,

I'm new to the forums and have just registered to obtain some information.
I think I'm set on one of these models as my next car.

I currently own a Fiesta ST and will be looking to upgrade to bit more luxury, finesse, and power of the Audi.

I'm only considering petrol, and have been looking around and think I'd like the A3 1.8 or 2.0 turbo S Line, or the 2.0 S3.
Preferably a facelift model as well, with DRL as I think they look much better.

What I'd like to know, is what are the differences between the two? I know the S3 is 4WD and obviously has more power, but apart from that I don't have much knowledge on them.

Also, what are they like to live with? Common issues? Fun to drive? Handle well?

Thanks in advance for any information :)
 

Webarno

Registered User
Ah ok good point! So between the 1.8 A3 and 2.0 S3 then. Won't be getting the car for a few months yet. Will be looking around a lot to make sure I get a good example that has been looked after.
I want some speed and power and I think they both deliver that, but I think I prefer the aesthetics of the S3 slightly, but it would also be more costly to run.
 

Alex_Wil

S3 - DSG - Black Edition - TTE Hybrid Turbo
Regional Rep
1.8 would be more economical and good for modifying to make it look better . the S3 comes with it all and great for tuning. i'm running 30mpg with everything i have done on a nice steady trip so they can be economical when needed. an S3 with just a stage 1 map should better that and that would require no mods. but bare in mind i started off the same and i did one thing and then hell broke loose! lol
 

Webarno

Registered User
Wow ok, I wasn't expecting those sort of MPG figures. I'm only getting around 27 now on my silly ST, and I don't drive like a maniac either. Plus, I've never owned a 4WD car either. What's it like? I bet it puts the power down like a demon? That 4WD is what's tempting me the most I think!
 

Alex_Wil

S3 - DSG - Black Edition - TTE Hybrid Turbo
Regional Rep
It can be very nice to you if your nice to it! lol. Its really nice having a 4WD,really get to appreciate the power on the road all at once with no wheel spin! I think an S3 would suit you the best , you'll only want more from the car once you start doing things to it and kick yourself if you don't have it ;)
 

Webarno

Registered User
I think you've swayed me already. Just got to keep my eyes open for an S3 that's be well looked after and not abused now.
 

Dave90

Registered User
Just throwing out there what i did...

I was looking for an 09+ S3 (circa £14k) on finance until my mate suggested a 3.2 quattro (same engine as the mk5 R32), anyway 3 weeks later i bought one for 4k (less than the deposit on the S3!) with 60k miles and one owner from new with FASH, ive bought all the facelift parts apart from the drl headlights and wingmirrors, its looking like its going to cost all in including the price of the car around 6.5k which is nearly 8 grand cheaper than the 'equivalant' S3.

It was a no brainer for me and the sound it makes is amazing!

Just an idea for you :)
 

Webarno

Registered User
Ok now you've made it harder for me! It's not turbo is it and I love the sound of turbos. Having said that, I also love the grunt and scream of a normally aspirated car like my own.

That price is so good. I might have to rethink my plans now!
 

Dave90

Registered User
Ok now you've made it harder for me! It's not turbo is it and I love the sound of turbos. Having said that, I also love the grunt and scream of a normally aspirated car like my own.

That price is so good. I might have to rethink my plans now!

Its not a turbo but it sounds amazong, i have a k&n induction on it now too and it sounds even better.

Theyre marginally slower than an s3 but for the price difference i can deal with that, id definatly give one a test drive at least, i was in the same boat and a test drive converted me, the fuel isnt bad either for a 3.2, its on par with the Mk5 GTI i had round town and better on the motorway (although this has cruise control and the gti didnt)

All the facelift parts are reasonably cheap too apart from the DRL headlights, but you can get normal halogen headlights for about £80 for the pair (DRLs are about £500-£600)

Definatly reccomend it
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
Really? I have a 2.0T Quattro S Line and paid probably 3k less than you would for a S3. ;)

Mapped it's still 250bhp +

I think it depends on what the long term plans are.

If you want up to 360bhp without changing the turbo etc then the S3 makes sense but if you don't need or want that then the 2.0 may make more sense.

The 3.2 does sound nice(and I had one before the S3),but the economy if that's important,is worse and the tuning potential very limited without serious investment.
 

_Zerocool_

Registered User
S3 all the way. More power. Quattro, better styling, stance, nicer inside not to mention the s3 badge front and rear.

2ltr and 3.2ltr a3s are fine I'm sure but they're not an s3

I regularly see 35mpg in my s3, if I'm being good.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
S3 all the way. More power. Quattro, better styling, stance, nicer inside not to mention the s3 badge front and rear.

2ltr and 3.2ltr a3s are fine I'm sure but they're not an s3

I regularly see 35mpg in my s3, if I'm being good.

I got an average of 85mpg from mine the other day.

But the new ECU is telling porkies to the DIS.
 

Webarno

Registered User
Yeah again that sort of economy out of a car with that sort of performance has really impressed me. Don't know if I'd be able to cope with the supposed 20mpg or so from the 3.2.

Plus, I do still find the visuals of the S3 to be the most enticing out of all the variants.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
Yeah again that sort of economy out of a car with that sort of performance has really impressed me. Don't know if I'd be able to cope with the supposed 20mpg or so from the 3.2.

Plus, I do still find the visuals of the S3 to be the most enticing out of all the variants.

I was joking to an extent.

My S3 averages around 28mpg which is pretty good considering there's 500+bhp in there but obviously if it's hoofed it will do a lot less.

The only reason it said 85mpg the other day is a bit of conflict between the ECU and the DIS.

My 3.2 never got close to 28mpg.
 

Webarno

Registered User
I was joking to an extent.

My S3 averages around 28mpg which is pretty good considering there's 500+bhp in there but obviously if it's hoofed it will do a lot less.

The only reason it said 85mpg the other day is a bit of conflict between the ECU and the DIS.

My 3.2 never got close to 28mpg.

I was referring to the MPGs in the thirties impressed me :)
 

Jake 61

Teacher of bad things..!
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Seeing as all the S3 brigade are weighing in with their views, I'll throw my bit in.
I can get 30-35 mpg out of my 3.2, yes, that's being careful and if I want, there is 250 ish bhp, (and a lovely exhaust note), when I'm bad.
Everyone with an S3 gives the best mpg figure when they're quoting numbers but, they are probably just as thirsty as the 3.2 when the boot goes down. (Especially after spending lots of money on fast bits).
The cost of an S3 is a lot more than an A3 3.2, but as long as you don't want to lose your eyeballs in their sockets, the 3.2 is a good cheap option.
And just in case anyone thinks I'm biased, my next car will probably be an S3, only because they don't make 3.2's any more.
It's all about what you want to do with it and how much you want to pay.

:lick:
 

Webarno

Registered User
Thanks for your input Jake, it all helps me, and also makes things more difficult too haha.

I'm just thinking that the S3 is more equipped than the 3.2. Is that correct? I want the most bang for buck I think.

In time, I may perform some mods, but they'll be subtle (air filter, maybe a new cat-back, personal touches, maybe a new map etc.)

This decision is proving to be very difficult. Glad I don't have to come to final one just yet.
 

Jake 61

Teacher of bad things..!
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
I'm just thinking that the S3 is more equipped than the 3.2. Is that correct? I want the most bang for buck I think.

This decision is proving to be very difficult. Glad I don't have to come to final one just yet.

Oh there's no doubting that the S3 is a better specced car, of course it is. It's also much quicker off the line.
I still like what I have though and with the S-Line pack coilovers, Powerflow exhaust and BBS CH's, it's not a bad place to be.

;)
 

Webarno

Registered User
Thanks for all the comments so far. It's nice in this lovely forum.

I'm sure I'll be an owner in the near future and you'll be hearing/seeing a lot more from me :)
 

S3 AEX

Registered User
Just throwing out there what i did...

I was looking for an 09+ S3 (circa £14k) on finance until my mate suggested a 3.2 quattro (same engine as the mk5 R32), anyway 3 weeks later i bought one for 4k (less than the deposit on the S3!) with 60k miles and one owner from new with FASH, ive bought all the facelift parts apart from the drl headlights and wingmirrors, its looking like its going to cost all in including the price of the car around 6.5k which is nearly 8 grand cheaper than the 'equivalant' S3.

It was a no brainer for me and the sound it makes is amazing!

Just an idea for you :)
The notes of the 3.2 are very nice but the performance and tuning abilities of the S3 leave it in it's wake. My own opinion obviously.
 

S3 AEX

Registered User
Seeing as all the S3 brigade are weighing in with their views, I'll throw my bit in.
I can get 30-35 mpg out of my 3.2, yes, that's being careful and if I want, there is 250 ish bhp, (and a lovely exhaust note), when I'm bad.
Everyone with an S3 gives the best mpg figure when they're quoting numbers but, they are probably just as thirsty as the 3.2 when the boot goes down. (Especially after spending lots of money on fast bits).
The cost of an S3 is a lot more than an A3 3.2, but as long as you don't want to lose your eyeballs in their sockets, the 3.2 is a good cheap option.
And just in case anyone thinks I'm biased, my next car will probably be an S3, only because they don't make 3.2's any more.
It's all about what you want to do with it and how much you want to pay.

:lick:
I drove to Surrey for work and couldn't average more than 27mpg in my S3. An that's topping at 100 but most of it was 80 cruise control then the ****** 50 zones.
 

Sayam

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Imagine a S3 that sounded like the 3.2, oo la la
 

Dave90

Registered User
The notes of the 3.2 are very nice but the performance and tuning abilities of the S3 leave it in it's wake. My own opinion obviously.

Thays fair enough, the s3 does have a lot more potential for tuning but for the price difference is it worth it? You can make a 3.2 look identical to an S3 with only 10bhp less for 8k cheaper, that 8k could go towards a turbo conversion for the 3.2 which will leave 99% of S3's in the dirt.

As for the MPG talked about above, as mentioned earlier round town its on par with my stage 1 mk5 GTi and about mpg better on the motorway (this could be helped by the cruise control though)

Dave :)
 

Sayam

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Thays fair enough, the s3 does have a lot more potential for tuning but for the price difference is it worth it? You can make a 3.2 look identical to an S3 with only 10bhp less for 8k cheaper, that 8k could go towards a turbo conversion for the 3.2 which will leave 99% of S3's in the dirt.

As for the MPG talked about above, as mentioned earlier round town its on par with my stage 1 mk5 GTi and about mpg better on the motorway (this could be helped by the cruise control though)

Dave :)

Seems plausible, however, I must say that in my opinion the only thing going for the 3.2 is the exhaust note. On every single 3.2 that I've heard with the turbo conversion said exhaust note is muted or 'turned down' which defeats the whole point?

Also...£500 per annum to tax #JustSaying *covers eyes and runs away* lol
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
Thays fair enough, the s3 does have a lot more potential for tuning but for the price difference is it worth it? You can make a 3.2 look identical to an S3 with only 10bhp less for 8k cheaper, that 8k could go towards a turbo conversion for the 3.2 which will leave 99% of S3's in the dirt.


Dave :)

That's a variable feast to be fair....

An HGP turbo conversion will get you to around 400bhp for about £10k

The 500bhp conversion will clock in at around £17k.

What I'm getting at is that to produce a reliable,quality conversion will cost at least as much,if not more than,getting an S3 to the same power levels.

But....you can get an S3 to 400bhp for significantly less outlay,by using something like a TTE420 hybrid,but you could supercharge the 3.2 for similar prices.

It depends on what you want.

Big power on either is expensive.
 

TomSx

Registered User
I must point out there is no doubt the S3 is the better car. Much more tuning potential, looks the best. etc But not everyone wants mental power. A 3.2 and 2.0T Quattro is a fair compromise.

For example my car would be 6k if I sold it. It's a S Line with heated seats, xenons, etc so a very good spec. It's a Quattro and you can still push 280 bhp from them should you wish.

For the equivalent S3 you'd be looking at minimum of 8.5k I'd say. So although not as good, if you want 2.5k in your wallet it's a fair compromise as is the 3.2.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
I must point out there is no doubt the S3 is the better car. Much more tuning potential, looks the best. etc But not everyone wants mental power. A 3.2 and 2.0T Quattro is a fair compromise.....

True,not everyone wants mental power,but for those that do,there is again little to choose between the two,as there a good number of people from both 3.2 and TFSi camps running in excess of 600bhp,so it's not really correct to say that one has vastly more potential than the other.
 

Webarno

Registered User
Coming from my Fiesta ST that's running about 170bhp I think I'm going to be impressed with standard and don't plan on going for mad power.

Just some subtle mods maybe
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
If you want power we all know there's one way to go..

Coming from my Fiesta ST that's running about 170bhp I think I'm going to be impressed with standard and don't plan on going for mad power.

Just some subtle mods maybe


There are a few of us around who just need more...LOL

I think I am getting close to the point that the great Walter Rohrl made about a car being just fast enough when you're afraid to start it in the morning....maybe.

@Webarno....don't be too sure.....I said I wasn't going to do anything to the current car.
 

Schlaag

Bwah
If you want luxury, you probably have more in your Fiesta ST than what you get in an 8P S3! and yes, I own one.
 

TomSx

Registered User
If you want luxury, you probably have more in your Fiesta ST than what you get in an 8P S3! and yes, I own one.

Hey? lol

Ford-Fiesta_interior_1x1024x768.jpg
 
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