RE: Audi S3: PH Carpool

Monday 20th November 2017

Audi S3: PH Carpool

This PHer has loved S3s since the 1990s; ownership is only deepening that affection



Name: Aidan Keenan
Car: Audi S3 8P
Owned since: 2016
Previously owned: BMW E36 3 Series, Toyota Corolla T Sport, Volvo S60R


Why I bought it:
"I love all generations of Audi S3 and have since I can remember. The plan was for an 8P (2007-onwards) variant and when a one-owner car with FSH came up for sale close by at the right price, that was that! In my opinion, not many cars in this price range offer as much. Tax, insurance and running costs are low for what it is. I love the exterior touches and think the car in its standard form looks great. The interior is typical Audi and a really nice place to spend time and although it has the standard seats and not option wingback Recaros, they are nice and supportive. Also, the Sprint Blue colour looks fantastic after a polish!"

What I wish I'd known:
"Not a huge amount as I had done lots of research, I have friends who work for Audi and I'd driven similar cars. The Audi forums are a good wealth of knowledge also." 


Things I love:
"What an all-rounder it is. It's at home sitting on the motorway at 70, around town and on the twisty stuff. The grip is what impresses most about the car; dry and wet roads get eaten up and it takes time to get used to having Quattro and throwing it into a bend, keeping the power on and not backing off. The engine has a nice powerband and makes any form of driving easy. The build quality of the car is impressive and. after 87K, it still feels solid."

Things I hate:
"I went in eyes open with this buy so very little but the fuel range is poor, especially when driving hard. Wish I had a few factory options but nothing that some online sourcing can't fix!"


Costs:
"Once I collected it, I had it fully serviced including cam follower, Haldex and diff and all the usual pieces. A small leak was noticed on the test drive and it turned out to be the vacuum pump seal and a blow in the exhaust was repaired - two cheap fixes. Four new Uniroyal Rainsport tyres went on, and for the price, they are excellent. H&R Trak+ 10mm front spacers and 12mm rears give a nice stance while keeping it nearly OEM; it's a standard car so this space works well. 

"It's in for an oil and gearbox oil change this week, ahead of a cambelt and water pump next year, but apart from that the car has been super and nothing unexpected cost-wise. The B-pillar trims are chipping, a common fault, so these are being replaced at the next service - they came in at around €70 from Audi." 

Where I've been:
"It's my daily driver so I rack up some miles in it, but it's there to be enjoyed. A trip from Ireland to the 'ring is on the cards next year hopefully, taking in some nice driving roads on the way (open to suggestions on routes!). It's something I have wanted to do for a while and the S3 is the ideal companion.

"A recent trip took in some fast B-roads and the car felt fantastic; more of this will be on the cards soon." 


What next?
"The S3 will be here for the foreseeable future. Upgrade wise, well maintained and OEM+ is my standard approach, although a remap is tempting! More immediately, a couple of small bodywork touch ups, a wheel refurb and a bigger brake set up will be done - what the set up will be is under research! Coilovers will come down the line with a proper alignment. Also, investment in a CarPlay Pioneer head unit is inevitable, and having seen this done on similar cars it looks great, while giving lots of functionality over the OEM unit. 

"As for changing it, RS3s are starting to look tempting but who knows!"


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

 

Author
Discussion

ZX10R NIN

Original Poster:

11,582 posts

58 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
The Pioneer headunit is very good I have one fitted & can't fault it, also on these a K&N replacement panel filter adds a nice bit of intake & wastegate noise for a very small outlay, glad you're enjoying the car OP & go for the remap you won't regret it. smile

culpz

3,893 posts

45 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Fantastic all-rounders. I still reckon that these look pretty fresh, too. I'd usually always go for the VW Golf equivalent, but the S3 was probably the car to go for over the R32.

With that being said, the MK5 R32 has always been a bit of a dream-hatch for me. It's just a silly over-engined car that i just think is bonkers. However, the S3 was much quicker.

It's probably the better car aswell

shotta287

301 posts

27 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Think these are starting to look pretty dated now although the facelift 2009 onwards still looks fresh. But the interior didn't change much at all, essentially the same from 2003-2012!

Leins

6,503 posts

81 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Very nice, rare enough car here in Ireland

Re the 'Ring, any time I've gone it's been via Dublin-Holyhead and then Hull-Rotterdam. This year I took my B5 down and saw the Eiffel Rallye at the same time (rally centre in Daun is only about 30mins away from the 'Ring). That's an annual event if you're thinking of going July time

9k rpm

87 posts

143 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
A very surefooted car and on a greasy B road in the wet very capable.

However in my opinion not very exciting to drive; understeers like a boat and no steering feel whatsoever.

If you are remapping be careful of the clutch giving up; it did on mine.
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toby-w8jtf

57 posts

25 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Great cars! As above they really are well suited to greasy damp roads, I own the Golf Mk6 R DSG which is practically an S3 in drag and its a great all weather point to point car yet it does lack the fun factor in perfect conditions.
These TFSI's are very cheap to tune, throw 2k on decat, intake, uprated high pressure fuel pump and a decent map and you'll be knocking on 370bhp+ 400ftlb+
The manual cars WILL need an uprated sach clutch and flywheel even with just a simple stage 1 remap.

Unfortunately these TFSI engines are prone to running issues, faulty injectors, coked up inlet manifolds, worn cam followers etc but when running right they are absolute weapons. Mine does 0-60 in around 3.7secs, 1/4 mid 12s and 175mph+ flat out.

My cam chains just snapped, killed a piston and belt some valves so its worked out as being quite an expensive car to keep on the road however for the money, performance, tuning potential and peace of mind that my Mrs isn't going to wrap it round a tree its a great shout and highly recommended


ChezzaV8

70 posts

95 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
I used to have a 61 plate sportback S3. I enjoyed it, but I started to get frustrated by the very front biased quattro system and its general tend to understeer. It was a great car for bashing down B roads though, and was incredibly practical and comfortable. I ended up replacing it earlier this year with a brand new TTS which is a completely different car. I was surprised at how good it was and how they'd sorted all the small niggles I had with the 8P S3.

JohnnyQ86

7 posts

106 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
I always see this parked near Bushy Park when I'm on the bus. Lovely car.

Ahbefive

11,150 posts

105 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Article said:
Things I love:
"What an all-rounder it is. It's at home sitting on the motorway at 70, around town and on the twisty stuff. The grip is what impresses most about the car; dry and wet roads get eaten up and it takes time to get used to having Quattro and throwing it into a bend, keeping the power on and not backing off. The engine has a nice powerband and makes any form of driving easy. The build quality of the car is impressive and. after 87K, it still feels solid."
Surprised that the OP is shocked or impressed by any of this when he had an S60R which is like a bigger version of the same boat.

TonyF55

507 posts

139 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Lovely. I'd like one in orange.

Super_G

213 posts

31 months

Monday 20th November 2017
quotequote all
Thought about going apr?

Mr Tidy

6,237 posts

60 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
toby-w8jtf said:
Unfortunately these TFSI engines are prone to running issues, faulty injectors, coked up inlet manifolds, worn cam followers etc but when running right they are absolute weapons. Mine does 0-60 in around 3.7secs, 1/4 mid 12s and 175mph+ flat out.

My cam chains just snapped, killed a piston and belt some valves so its worked out as being quite an expensive car to keep on the road however for the money, performance, tuning potential and peace of mind that my Mrs isn't going to wrap it round a tree its a great shout and highly recommended
So I'm guessing yours doesn't do 0-60 in a week at present? Cam-chain or rubber band seems the obvious question? laugh

No wonder your Mrs won't wrap it around a tree!

toby-w8jtf

57 posts

25 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
Cam chains meant to last for ever, obviously not when pushed hard....
In the words of my mechanic `you pay to play‘ I learnt the hard way cry

rastapasta

367 posts

71 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
Leins said:
Very nice, rare enough car here in Ireland

Re the 'Ring, any time I've gone it's been via Dublin-Holyhead and then Hull-Rotterdam. This year I took my B5 down and saw the Eiffel Rallye at the same time (rally centre in Daun is only about 30mins away from the 'Ring). That's an annual event if you're thinking of going July time
You could go rosslare to calais(?) and onwards from there no? I remember before I emigrated in 2010 that there was a good few around the roads with nordie plates on them. Lads went up and bought them in the hope that the revenue wouldnt see them. Lovely car though. Is it an Irish car or an English import??

aaron_2000

1,879 posts

16 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
Never understood the first one tbh. The Leon 225 had the same engine, interior, looked better and costed less. I guess the S3 was AWD but other than that I don't get it. I do like these though, and this looks like a good one.

Ahbefive

11,150 posts

105 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
aaron_2000 said:
Never understood the first one tbh. The Leon 225 had the same engine, interior, looked better and costed less. I guess the S3 was AWD but other than that I don't get it. I do like these though, and this looks like a good one.
But the 1st one had AWD, much nicer seats, a similar but nicer dashboard with nicer dials and piano black inserts etc too, nicer doorcards and rest of interior was also much nicer, was a 3door and subjectively looked much nicer.

Both seemed to sell well.

aaron_2000

1,879 posts

16 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
Ahbefive said:
But the 1st one had AWD, much nicer seats, a similar but nicer dashboard with nicer dials and piano black inserts etc too, nicer doorcards and rest of interior was also much nicer, was a 3door and subjectively looked much nicer.

Both seemed to sell well.
You could get the same seats in the Leon, but I see what you mean about the interior after looking at some on AT. I guess the Leon is just the alternative of the time to a 5 door S3.

Ahbefive

11,150 posts

105 months

Tuesday 21st November 2017
quotequote all
aaron_2000 said:
You could get the same seats in the Leon
Nope, you could get a (rare option) cloth version of the Recaro seats from a Golf Gti but the Recaro seats in the S3,S4 and S6 are different and could be had as full leather or half alcantara in several different colours.

g7jhp

5,664 posts

171 months

Friday 24th November 2017
quotequote all
Ahbefive said:
aaron_2000 said:
You could get the same seats in the Leon
Nope, you could get a (rare option) cloth version of the Recaro seats from a Golf Gti but the Recaro seats in the S3,S4 and S6 are different and could be had as full leather or half alcantara in several different colours.
If we talking seats in the Mk1 S3 1.8T (225bhp) they looked great but weigh a ton.

The OP's Mk2 looks great in the launch colour. Test drive the 1st in the country at launch but was a little underwelmed, the B7 RS4 felt so much better. But that was a step up!

These still look classy, nice place to be and VFM, I'd take a 5 door Sportback if choosing.

nickfrog

8,996 posts

150 months

Friday 24th November 2017
quotequote all
aaron_2000 said:
I guess the S3 was AWD
In theory yes but not in practice. What a turd to drive that was !