Audi S3: PH Carpool

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!"

"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!"

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Comments (21) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ZX10R NIN 21 Nov 2017

    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 21 Nov 2017

    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 21 Nov 2017

    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 21 Nov 2017

    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 21 Nov 2017

    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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