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Audi A3 2.0T SLine vs VW GTI

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First time poster, many times reader!

I'm saving up for a new car later in the year:

- Is there much difference between the above cars (apart from badge / styling)?

- Have you driven both? If so what did you think of each?

- Is the new A3 due in Sept 10 or March 11?

Thanks! :)

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I test drove them both 5yrs ago...I ended up buying the Audi....but I would`t for one second say it`s the better car.

Basically the local Audi dealership arranged several test drives in different variants of the A3...2.0Tfsi/ 2.0tdi....manual/DSG/"quattro".......At the time the Golf Gti was the in demand car and the Volkswagen dealership attitude was; "well if you want one mate...give us your £££ and join the que."

I eventually managed to get a test drive in a manual but by this time I`d already made up my mind I was getting the Audi.

In summary the s-line Achilles heel is its stiff and fidgety suspension....I live out in the sticks and the local roads are in pretty good nick but you feel every crash and wallop if you drive over the pot holed roads that thread their way through urban Britain......The Gti suspension is a bit more compliant(softer)....some say it`s akin to the "sport" set up in the A3 range.

Road testers all seem to agree the Gti is the better handling car....but I`am not into taking anything to the limit so apart from the more compliant Gti suspension there`s not alot more I can say about the handling......Although the A3 seems pretty planted to me and when driven on smooth roads it feels like it`s riding on rails.

I personally feel the interior of the Audi is a much nicer place to be....and it was a bit of a deal clincher for me:o

I took delivery of an A3 2.0Tfsi s-line DSG in Sept 05 and have covered 55k miles and the car has`t missed a beat....no rattles, squeaks and apart from routine servicing it has`t been back to the dealers....Would I buy another....Well I`am having this very debate at the moment.....For my needs there just is`t another motor out there for the same money that floats my boat......I`am in the very fortunate position were I can afford to upgrade £££.....I`v tested a Jag XF....and I love it....but it`s a physically big car and I don`t criss cross the counties motorway network so it`s virtues may not be fully utilized by myself.

Hence I`am seriously thinking of getting an S3 sport-back...or possible a 2.0Tfsi sportback; black addition...but in silver or white.....with magnetic ride...as I`v heard it makes the suspension more compliant....but I`d like confirmation from a few owners who`v specced this option before I sign on the dotted line.....As for replacement dates, the rumour mill suggests 2011 at the earliest....but undoubtedly the S3 wont be replaced until at least 2013

Edit....forgot to mention the engine....It`s ace....even in standard spec it has almost diesel like low down torque.....my average mpg is 32.....and if your into tuning, the sky is the limit(well within reason) for this engine....but there are countless other forum members who can tell you a lot more about tuning than I can

Edited by Mr Man

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Thanks for the response mate!

As I said it something I'll be getting towards the end of the year... apart from the Golf vs A3 issue I'm 50:50 about a few other things:

- TFSI vs TDI - Any thoughts from your test drive or recent experiences?

- Manual vs DSG - I don't wanna open that debate! ;)

- Magnetic Ride - Similar to you I'm really interested to hear anyone elses thoughts on this new tech!

Cheers

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Thanks for the response mate!

As I said it something I'll be getting towards the end of the year... apart from the Golf vs A3 issue I'm 50:50 about a few other things:

- TFSI vs TDI - Any thoughts from your test drive or recent experiences?

- Manual vs DSG - I don't wanna open that debate! ;)

- Magnetic Ride - Similar to you I'm really interested to hear anyone elses thoughts on this new tech!

Cheers

Diesel/petrol....well I suppose that depends on a few factors....If your doing big mileages annually( 20k+) then it makes financial sense to go down the diesel route....but the 2.0Tfsi is one sweet engine so that has to come into the equation as well.

I drove the 2.0tdi(140bhp) A3 first and I have to say I was impressed....At the time I was totally anti-diesel but if I was covering 20 or 30k miles per annum then I`d have quite happily taken the tdi....It was refined and pretty quite....the latest engines, are by all accounts alot better than the one I test drove and I have to say having now driven the 3.0 tdi engines in the Jag XF/Audi A5....and also the 2.2 tdi in my Brothers C-class and a friends Insignia I`d have no qualms about buying a modern diesel.

I then stepped into a 2.0Tfsi quattro and within 100m I decided I wanted that engine.....There`s no top end rush....it`s just a constant pulling power from tick over to the red line....absolutely no turbo lag......and when mated to the DSG box the exhaust note when changing up through the gears is ace....especially when pressing on.

I`am a massive fan of the DSG system....but even I`ll admit it does have it`s quirks(99% of the time it`s perfect...but it can at times be caught out when approaching junctions).....In order to get the most from it you almost have to re-learn your driving style......I`am sure you`v read some of the many threads on this forum about DSG......The golden rule being never buy one without a very long test drive.......but if I`am honest it took me a month or so to figure out the little quirks of the system and adapt my driving style....It`s all second nature now and if I do get another Audi it will definitely be fitted with a DSG box.

As for magnetic ride....every review I`v read says to get it if your budget will stretch.....personally if it`s as good as everyone says I`d rather have it, than say Sat Nav.....as I know for sure I`ll only use the Sat nav once or twice a year....but that`s just down to my personal circumstances.....I`v just noticed earlier today that a forum member called "Merlot" has magnetic ride and he`s posted a few positive comments about the system....I may pm him in the near future for his opinion.....basically if it makes the ride more compliant then I may very well get a another s-line or S3.......Speaking of which I`d definitely ensure you take a test ride in an s-line specced car before buying one.....There`s no getting around this but the suspension is stiff...that said there are a few m-sport BMW`s that will rattle your fillings.....and thinking about it the suspension fitted to a Toyota Celica I bought in 1993 was pretty stiff as well.

Edited by Mr Man

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I used to have the 2.0 petrol A3 and now have a GTI. (both manual)

When you sit in an A3, the dash plastics / interior to appear to be of a slightly better quality. That said, the Golf is still a nice place to be and a lot better than other mainstream class rivals. I think the sports seats are nicer in the GTI too.

To drive, the GTI is a much more involving car. They both have fairly hard sports suspension but the GTI just seems to commumicate with you better. The steering feels a bit more alive on the GTI too You kind of feel that you 'operate' the Audi where as you 'drive' the GTI.

Both are very good cars but for me the GTI just steals it. THe only A3 I would consider over the GTI would be the S3 because of the quattro and more bhp.

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You may find getting a new GTI very hard as no one seems to have allocation if their truthful.

So your talking 5 months plus wait on a factory order on a GTI.

Each person has different prioritys but if i was buying again i think the A3 TDI 170 Quattro would probably be my choice.

Also remember Audi are discounting of 10%+ were VW are not. So price can play a factor too.

IMO the Audi is the better built, better designed and better assembled car.

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I'll answer the question simply. I currently drive an S3 Sportback, which is very well built, very quick and has bags of grip and traction. But you know what? I really miss my MkV GTI.

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I test drove them both 5yrs ago...I ended up buying the Audi....but I would`t for one second say it`s the better car.

Basically the local Audi dealership arranged several test drives in different variants of the A3...2.0Tfsi/ 2.0tdi....manual/DSG/"quattro".......At the time the Golf Gti was the in demand car and the Volkswagen dealership attitude was; "well if you want one mate...give us your £££ and join the que."

I eventually managed to get a test drive in a manual but by this time I`d already made up my mind I was getting the Audi.

In summary the s-line Achilles heel is its stiff and fidgety suspension....I live out in the sticks and the local roads are in pretty good nick but you feel every crash and wallop if you drive over the pot holed roads that thread their way through urban Britain......The Gti suspension is a bit more compliant(softer)....some say it`s akin to the "sport" set up in the A3 range.

Road testers all seem to agree the Gti is the better handling car....but I`am not into taking anything to the limit so apart from the more compliant Gti suspension there`s not alot more I can say about the handling......Although the A3 seems pretty planted to me and when driven on smooth roads it feels like it`s riding on rails.

I personally feel the interior of the Audi is a much nicer place to be....and it was a bit of a deal clincher for me:o

I took delivery of an A3 2.0Tfsi s-line DSG in Sept 05 and have covered 55k miles and the car has`t missed a beat....no rattles, squeaks and apart from routine servicing it has`t been back to the dealers....Would I buy another....Well I`am having this very debate at the moment.....For my needs there just is`t another motor out there for the same money that floats my boat......I`am in the very fortunate position were I can afford to upgrade £££.....I`v tested a Jag XF....and I love it....but it`s a physically big car and I don`t criss cross the counties motorway network so it`s virtues may not be fully utilized by myself.

Hence I`am seriously thinking of getting an S3 sport-back...or possible a 2.0Tfsi sportback; black addition...but in silver or white.....with magnetic ride...as I`v heard it makes the suspension more compliant....but I`d like confirmation from a few owners who`v specced this option before I sign on the dotted line.....As for replacement dates, the rumour mill suggests 2011 at the earliest....but undoubtedly the S3 wont be replaced until at least 2013

Edit....forgot to mention the engine....It`s ace....even in standard spec it has almost diesel like low down torque.....my average mpg is 32.....and if your into tuning, the sky is the limit(well within reason) for this engine....but there are countless other forum members who can tell you a lot more about tuning than I can

Go for magnetic ride. I've tried standard, sport and MR on Audi TTs and went for MR. After 5 years use I don't regret the decision, it does what it says in the tin, comfy in normal driving and flat and firm when pressing on. PS the 'sport' option is redundant, just leave it in auto unless you want it bone hard all the time!

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