Audi S3 8P

Soldato
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If you’re only keen on fun, I would be looking at a hot hatch, something like a Fiesta ST, or Focus ST if you need something bigger.

It’s going to be a downgrade in quality, ride, comfort and pretty much everything else, but you will find it more fun.


I’m surprised you don’t find the merc fun - I went from a Fiesta Zetec S, which while not powerful, was immense fun to drive, to a 320d, and I’m still able to have fun on twisty roads up and around the South Downs if I’m in sport.

I have had a look at the Focus ST3s, and they are in price range, but a few friends have had them and I never liked them that much.


Surely the sensible option here would be to remap the Merc and save your money. Now is not the time to be buying second hand.

I looked 2 years ago at a remap but the insurance company I was with did not accept any modifications. I may look again but I am still not getting away from the fact that I do not like the diesel anymore.


Some nice options and was about to call up about that Cupra, but then noticed even though its younger than the S3 I am looking at it has 50k more on the clock already. I admit, I would love a Cupra if I could find one with the right mileage.

Much of this depends on your idea of a fun car. I don’t think anyone ever described an Audi 8P S3 as fun. I had an 8V S3 with 306hp from new and being a much better car, was still fairly boring to drive.

As has been said, your budget is the limiting factor here and you aim to lose much in changing to a much older car design (build quality, ride comfort, reliability, etc) and pick up all the unknown risks associated with an old 2nd hand car.

If you just want more speed, I dare say you could chip the Merc and get a reasonably improvement that would make it more ‘fun’ for minimal outlay.

^ damn, beaten to the punchline lol

What did you not like about your 8V?

I am not overly bothered about an older design of car to be honest, and its not like I am buying a mid-ninties car here with AC as the core selling point. It has, as far as I can see, everything my car has including cameras, satnav, heated seats, SD cards for music and Bose speakers...its far more equipped than my brothers 8P.

I understand the risk, and I do accept your point. I think I have more confidence due to my brothers ownership of his and knowing the issues he has had to face.

The ride in my Merc is nothing to write home about either in my opinion. Having 19" alloys on run flats with AMG suspension does make it rather crashy and solid.

tbh i would keep the C class and spend 1500-2000 on a small hatchback for a bit of B road fund as and when the mood takes you,

early Mini Cooper S alongside the C class might be a good shout or a Fiesta ST150?

as it stands the C class (more so with a remap) will do 95% of what the S3 will do in more comfort

My wife has a MY20 Seat Ibiza manual with 115bhp. It is a right hoot to drive on occasion so I do have access to another car where I can have a bit of rag, but I do respect its my wife's car still. No room for another car either.

Remap the merc cost around £150

take it up to 255bhp

Again I may look into this but I still do not get away from the fact I am bored of the diesel noise all the time. Also, 255bhp is far more than I would get. Looking about on forums (not figures that remappers quote) it seems most get a modest 230-235 maximum. Still 25-30bhp more than standard of course but I am unsure if this would actually make a difference. Generally I find the gearbox a limiting factor when i want a blast. Sometimes it is spot on, but other times it just hesitates and gets it all wrong.
 
Man of Honour
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I am not overly bothered about an older design of car to be honest, and its not like I am buying a mid-ninties car here with AC as the core selling point.

Actually it almost is this - I don't think you realise just quite how old the 8P is. It's a car that outstayed its welcome on the market when it was around, so even the 'newer' ones are far older in feel than you'd expect. The 8P Audi A3 was introduced in early 2003, so it's only really a couple of years away from being a 90's car. SD cards is an interesting thing for you to note -

Again I may look into this but I still do not get away from the fact I am bored of the diesel noise all the time. Also, 255bhp is far more than I would get. Looking about on forums (not figures that remappers quote) it seems most get a modest 230-235 maximum. Still 25-30bhp more than standard of course but I am unsure if this would actually make a difference. Generally I find the gearbox a limiting factor when i want a blast. Sometimes it is spot on, but other times it just hesitates and gets it all wrong.

Remapping the C Class isn't the answer, I agree. Power and performance is only part of the story, making a car you don't find fun faster won't suddenly make it fun. But this is exactly why the 8P isn't the answer either - it's quicker, but thats about it.

I really think you need to look at something entirely different. What about an F56 Mini Cooper S?

I still think you'll struggle though, the reality here is that your budget isn't big enough to replace a 2016 C Class with something that is both more fun and won't feel thoroughly rubbish when the novelty wears off and you realise you spend 95% of the time driving to work and only 5% of it doing whatever it is the C class is boring at.
 
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Soldato
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What about this?

Yes it doesn't meet my manual requirement, and is actually the same time period as the S3, but the interior does look more "modern" etc.

I am taking everyones opinion onboard by the way and this thread has made me think. I have always liked the S3 and the age doesnt worry me, but I am happy to be corrected. What is amusing me a little is that 10-14k isn't a small amount of cash and I am struggling to find something that works for me.

The Merc has been good to me and my work up until 2 months ago paid for it for me. I actually only paid 15k for the Merc when it was worth 23k at the time due to it being in the family, and as just mentioned work have paid for the car up until now, so if I sell for 14-15k, its actually free money if that makes any sense?
 
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Man of Honour
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and is actually the same time period as the S3, but the interior does look more "modern" etc.

It's actually the perfect illustration of my point about the 8P. Despite being the same age as the S3 you're interested in, it's actually a full generation newer than the S3. In my view it's a far better car. I think it looks good, but my concern would be that if a car is something I think I'd want to drive then it's unlikely to hit the fun criteria properly :D It's a powerful automatic saloon/hatch, so it's going to be like driving a faster C class with a better soundtrack. Is that what you want?

so if I sell for 14-15k, its actually free money if that makes any sense?

You should never think this way - its irrelevant and it leads to poor decision making. £15k is £15k regardless.
 
Soldato
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What did you not like about your 8V?

I missed the B8 V8 S5 coupe I had previously. I thought the smaller, lighter car would be more fun. It wasn’t really, I missed the sound of the V8, the better comfort and much better interior. The four pot engine was soulless and the handling rather too dull and safe compared to the Golf R, which I thought was the exact same car. Ultimately it was the wrong choice for me.

I replaced the S3 with a Lexus V8 LSF, probably what I should have chosen in the first place.

You should go and drive more cars, that way you’ll better workout what it is that you really want.
 
Soldato
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It's actually the perfect illustration of my point about the 8P. Despite being the same age as the S3 you're interested in, it's actually a full generation newer than the S3. In my view it's a far better car. I think it looks good, but my concern would be that if a car is something I think I'd want to drive then it's unlikely to hit the fun criteria properly :D It's a powerful automatic saloon/hatch, so it's going to be like driving a faster C class with a better soundtrack. Is that what you want?



You should never think this way - its irrelevant and it leads to poor decision making. £15k is £15k regardless.

Yea I think that's good with me. I mean, I want the c43 which is just a faster version of mine. I think the s5 gets near. I am viewing tomorrow with the old man who is bringing his diagnostic reader. Seller says its just had an mot with no advisories too and he's selling due to upgrading to an rs5.
 
Caporegime
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I want the c43 which is just a faster version of mine.
You’ve answered your own question here, keep your existing C-Class until such a time as you can afford what you want not what’s close to your requirement.

Where’s the sense in changing into something you still won’t be 100% happy with? - namely the S5 which in your own words “gets near” - it’s not as if your C is about to go bang nor is it too old to be viable, it owes you little by the sound of things, use that saving on buying it to eventually end up in what you really want, namely the C43.
 
Soldato
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You’ve answered your own question here, keep your existing C-Class until such a time as you can afford what you want not what’s close to your requirement.

Where’s the sense in changing into something you still won’t be 100% happy with? - namely the S5 which in your own words “gets near” - it’s not as if your C is about to go bang nor is it too old to be viable, it owes you little by the sound of things, use that saving on buying it to eventually end up in what you really want, namely the C43.

Sorry I should have said more than "Gets near". I have had a few experiences of S5s (4.2 and 3.0) and I love them, but, I do prefer the visuals of the C Class. Also, there is the consideration that in 2-3 years I may need to go more sensible again as I might be on the road a lot more and that puts any C43 goodness out for even longer.

My plan is to see this car tomorrow and get a good first impression. I have no expectation to purchase on site, but to come away and think. There is a chance that when I get a full look about, a drive, and inspect the condition in person it could be the wrong car.
 
Caporegime
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Sorry I should have said more than "Gets near". I have had a few experiences of S5s (4.2 and 3.0) and I love them, but, I do prefer the visuals of the C Class. Also, there is the consideration that in 2-3 years I may need to go more sensible again as I might be on the road a lot more and that puts any C43 goodness out for even longer.

My plan is to see this car tomorrow and get a good first impression. I have no expectation to purchase on site, but to come away and think. There is a chance that when I get a full look about, a drive, and inspect the condition in person it could be the wrong car.
You’ve said nothing there to alter my initial opinion tbh, get the C43 whilst it’s still doable/suitable I’d say. :)
 
Soldato
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You’ve said nothing there to alter my initial opinion tbh, get the C43 whilst it’s still doable/suitable I’d say. :)

Thats the issue, the C43 is a good £15-20k away from where I am at right now. Even the ones that are the same as mine, so MY14 onwards are still asking £30k starting.
 
Caporegime
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Thats the issue, the C43 is a good £15-20k away from where I am at right now. Even the ones that are the same as mine, so MY14 onwards are still asking £30k starting.
Stick with what you have for now then, you said yourself the C43 is just a faster version of yours, ergo, put up with the Diesel engine,because I interpret what you say as the rest of the C class can’t be that bad if performance is the lacking factor,put your money aside, and get what you want when funds allow.

Remember, one of the most expensive parts of car ownership is changing it, especially in an inflated market, in a year or so prices most likely will have returned to non insanity levels and that C43 shouldn’t look so far away from a possibility…
 
Soldato
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Just feels like a tuned A3. Quick to 60 but not much else to offer. Pretty dull with horrid Audi "sport" suspension, which is like having no suspension. Understeers badly.
 
Soldato
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Stick with what you have for now then, you said yourself the C43 is just a faster version of yours, ergo, put up with the Diesel engine,because I interpret what you say as the rest of the C class can’t be that bad if performance is the lacking factor,put your money aside, and get what you want when funds allow.

Remember, one of the most expensive parts of car ownership is changing it, especially in an inflated market, in a year or so prices most likely will have returned to non insanity levels and that C43 shouldn’t look so far away from a possibility…

I find the merc not the most comfortable if I am being honest, and yes, the performance is lacking in my opinion. If I could capture the looks and the audio from the merc into a faster car that would be ideal. The only way to do that is the C43 really. Nothing is stopping me having fun with the S5 whilst still saving for a C43.

Just feels like a tuned A3. Quick to 60 but not much else to offer. Pretty dull with horrid Audi "sport" suspension, which is like having no suspension. Understeers badly.

From my limited experience I dont find the Audi S5 suspension that bad actually - at least it never felt worse than the merc. The understeering comment I hear a lot, but also I hear its only an issue when pushing the car hard - something ill rarely do.

Ill see what tomorrow brings. I may just not like the driving of the car itself (power aside) and so just will walk away. What I do know though is that I will be looking to change the merc within the next few months.
 
Soldato
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That S5 is a LOT of money for a car of that age and miles.

Worth checking the wheel bearings if you do go to look at it :) Listen for a hum/vibration from any corner of the car
 
Soldato
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I find the merc not the most comfortable if I am being honest, and yes, the performance is lacking in my opinion. If I could capture the looks and the audio from the merc into a faster car that would be ideal. The only way to do that is the C43 really. Nothing is stopping me having fun with the S5 whilst still saving for a C43.



From my limited experience I dont find the Audi S5 suspension that bad actually - at least it never felt worse than the merc. The understeering comment I hear a lot, but also I hear its only an issue when pushing the car hard - something ill rarely do.

Ill see what tomorrow brings. I may just not like the driving of the car itself (power aside) and so just will walk away. What I do know though is that I will be looking to change the merc within the next few months.

A relative has had an S5 for a few years now. The ride isn't much smoother than my Elise. So maybe that puts things into prespective :p The current one isn't nearly as bad as the old A5 though, that used to actually make me car sick. It was so bad.

Yes in normal relaxed driving you won't notice the understeer much. But if you want to blast it down B roads or on a track you will, especially when it's wet. It's because the engine is mounted so far forward in VAG cars.
 
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Soldato
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That wasn’t my experience with my S5, the ride was very smooth and comfortable and that was with the optional 20” alloys.

I didn’t have the adjustable suspension, so maybe that was a factor. My S3 did, but that just went from wallowy at the softest setting to super firm and brittle at the other end.
 
Associate
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I had a ‘59’ S3 8P.

I found it was a ‘one trick pony’. (Quick)

Mine was a black edition, but was still quite a basic car, it went pretty well and certainly liked to drink fuel, but I quickly lost interest and sold up just 5 weeks later.

Bought my current M135i and that is far superior in terms of equipment and having ‘fun’ out on a drive. A decent one could be had for between 12-14k. Just research first. Pretty thirsty, but a bit of an animal
 
Soldato
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So...I am picking up on Saturday.

Both my dad and I test drove it and found no issues, and we ran diagnostic too which advised a regas of Aircon but apart from that mechanical sound. Cosmetically it's as advertised bar I will need to remove the rear tints as they have bubbled.

Interior wise it actually shocked me how modern it felt. I wouldn't sat it was 11 years old inside.

So, roll on next Saturday! Thanks for everyone's help btw and thanks for talking me out of the s3. Opinions were appreciated.
 

mjt

mjt

Soldato
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So...I am picking up on Saturday.

Both my dad and I test drove it and found no issues, and we ran diagnostic too which advised a regas of Aircon but apart from that mechanical sound. Cosmetically it's as advertised bar I will need to remove the rear tints as they have bubbled.

Interior wise it actually shocked me how modern it felt. I wouldn't sat it was 11 years old inside.

So, roll on next Saturday! Thanks for everyone's help btw and thanks for talking me out of the s3. Opinions were appreciated.
Heh, wouldn’t call the interior modern (it’s very similar to my 2010 A6, which was launched in 2004), but it’s solid and well put together.

I guess it’s the 3.0? Enjoy! :D
 
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