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Audi S3: Buying guide and review (2006-2012)

Audi S3: Buying guide and review (2006-2012) Classic and Performance Car
Audi S3 Audi S3 Audi S3 Audi S3 Audi S3 Audi S3
The Audi S3 has always been the default choice for drivers who need a relatively understated performance car, with a bit of extra style. Not just a warmed-over A3 with silver door mirrors, the original S3 featured bespoke transmission and wider wheelarches, as well as significantly more punch. The second generation S3 continued this trend, and with 261bhp on tap it was the most powerful A3-based model available, until the arrival of the much more expensive RS3 in 2011. 
 
With the usual well-specced and high quality interior and four wheel drive, the S3 was one of the quickest and most capable point-to-point cars you could buy at the time, especially when the conditions start to get slippery. Four-wheel drive competition was mostly limited to another Volkswagen group offering, the Golf Mk5 R32, which despite its characterful engine could not match the sophistication and speed of the S3. 
 
The evolutionary nature of Audi’s model range means that the S3 still looks fresh today, and well cared for examples can provide many more years of performance motoring at a fraction of the outlay of a new model.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Initially only available in three-door manual guise, the S3 had a number of running gear and trim options to set it apart from the run of the mill A3. At £ 27,000, the price was possibly the biggest differentiator, but for this you got sports suspension (with revised spring and damper settings), unique 18-inch alloys and of course quattro four-wheel drive. When combined with its 261bhp four-cylinder turbo engine, it was blessed with blistering acceleration off the line. 
 
2008 saw the introduction of a mild facelift, with the S3 now being made available in a more practical five-door Sportback body style. The automatic S-tronic gearbox became an option, and is a good choice if your commute includes a lot of stop start driving.
 
As a second hand purchase the combination of the Sportback body style and S-tronic gearbox makes for a great daily driver, providing practicality and unflustered performance in a great package. Fuel consumption and acceleration are also slightly better than the manual models.
 
Performance and specs

Engine 1984cc, 16-valve DOHC turbocharged in-line four-cylinder 
Power 261bhp @ 6000rpm 
Torque 258lb.ft torque @ 2500-5000rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-60mph 5.5 seconds 
Fuel consumption 31mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual/S-Tronic
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2578mm
Length 4214mm
Width 1765mm
Height 1399mm
Weight 1455kg
 
Common problems
 
• Parts are still widely available, while many specialists can carry out the majority of servicing and maintenance, which helps to avoid paying main dealer prices.

• Radiators can sprout leaks over time, so check for any corrosion or low water levels around the core and pipes. Coolant expansion tanks can also be troublesome.

• Air conditioning compressors have been known to fail, and replacements can be sourced from specialists for a fraction of OEM prices.

• Hesitation in S-tronic gear changes could require an ECU reflash or in some cases a mechatronic replacement unit.

• Ignition coils on early cars can fail, however this issue should not be a concern on cars built after 2006.

• Clutch and flywheel failures are not uncommon and some cars would have had repairs carried out under the original warranty. Check the history of your potential purchase to find out whether it was one of the affected cars.

• The six-speed manual can develop a stiff action in between the first two gears. Fluid replacement can resolve the issue, but if not the synchromesh rings will need to be replaced. Early 2006-2007 S3 manual gearboxes can expire due to an issue caused by planetary gear failure. Although generally resolved by now, watch out for very low mileage cars which might still fail.

• Engine chipping is very common, and while it is a relatively inexpensive way to liberate more power from the engine, it can also cause reliability issues and reduce engine component lifespans. Ideally it is best to source unmodified cars.
 
Model history
 
2006: Second Generation S3 launched with 265bhp 2.0 litre engine. Initially available in three-door body style and six-speed manual transmission
2008: Facelift carried out on entire model range. Full length front grille and daytime running lights now standard. Five-door Sportback body shape introduced. S-Tronic gearbox becomes an option
2012: Last year of production for second generation S3
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.s3oc.com/forums
• www.audi-sport.net
• www.audiownersclub.com
• www.audis3.org
 
Summary and prices
 
If you’re not scared of high mileages, then the early 2006-2007 S3s start at £8000. They offer a lot of car for the money, provided they have a solid service history and no signs of abuse. The sweet spot in the range is found around the £12,000 mark. For this you can get a face-lifted 2008 car with far fewer miles. It’s worth stretching the budget to the Sportback and S-tronic if you have a family and intend to use it for the daily commute. 
 
If you would like to go for something even newer, then the last of the line 2012 models can be found for around £20,000. The second generation S3 remains a great, family sports car which continues to offer a great mix of performance and practicality.
 
Words: John Tallodi
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Last updated: 11th Dec 2015
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Audi S3 cars for sale

34 Search results
Audi S3
12850 43850 GBP
  • Audi S3 Reserved

    POA POA

    ONE owner Audi S3 presented in Sepang Blue comes with the following specification; Fine Black Nappa leather interior, heated seats, three spoke multi-function flat bottom steering wheel, dual zone climate control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, DAB digital radio with CD, Audi Drive Select, comfort pack, privacy glass, cruise control, rain sensor, electric heated mirrors, automatic Xenon headlights, park assist and 18" twin spoke star alloy wheels. Part exchange welcome, competitive finance available. Viewings welcome by appointment only. Body: Hatchback Transmission: Manual Mileage: 4,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2016 (16) Doors: 3 Engine Size: 2.0 Finished in: Sepang Blue

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 4000 mi
    For sale
    Maundrell
    01235 762033 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 2014 Audi S3 Quattro

    POA POA

    1 OWNER, FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY, FULL LEATHER INTERIOR, HEATED SEATS, MMI SAT NAV PLUS, HARD DRIVE, Bluetooth, COMFORT PACK, INTERIOR LIGHT PACK, USB and I-Pod Connection, Digital DAB Radio, Cruise Control, Rear Parking Sensors Interior Light Pack, Privacy Glass, Climate, A/C, Computer, Auto Xenon Headlights, TECH PACK, Auto Dim Rear View Mirror With Rain Sensor Wipers. Still Under Manufacture Warranty

    For sale
  • 2015 Audi S3 Quattro

    POA POA

    FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY, SEPANG BLUE EXCLUSIVE + SAT NAV + Bluetooth + PANORAMIC Glass Sunroof + + HEATED SEATS + INTERIOR LIGHT PACK, USB and I-Pod Connection, Digital DAB Radio, Multifunction Sports Steering Wheel With Paddleshift Gear Change, Cruise Control, Rear Parking Sensors, Privacy Glass, Climate, A/C, Computer, Auto Xenon Headlights, Auto Dim Rear View Mirror With Rain Sensor Wipers. Still Under Manufacture Warranty

    For sale
  • Audi S3 Quattro 3 Door

    £25,990 £25,990

    Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Quattro Hatchback 300 PS S Tronic Automatic registered March 2015 finished in Panther Black Crystal Effect with Full Diamond Quilted Black Leather interior with Rock Grey stitching, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, Heated S Sports Seats with Lumbar Power Adjustment, Chrome Package, Satellite Navigation with Colour Screen, DAB Radio, Bluetooth, Automatic Dynamic Headlight Range Adjustment, LED Rear Lights, Park Distance Control with Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Start/Stop System with Regenerative Braking, Powerfold Door Mirrors, 18 Inch Alloys with Red Brake Callipers, Cruise Control, Drive Select, Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Paddleshift, Dynamic Steering, ECO Function, Privacy Glass, Space Saver Spare Wheel. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Year: 2015
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £25,990 £25,990

    Start/Stop, Satellite Navigation, Powerfold Door Mirrors, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Media, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Heated Seats, Bang & Olufsen, 4x4 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Quattro Hatchback 300 PS S Tronic Automatic registered March 2015 finished in Panther Black Crystal Effect with Full Diamond Quilted Black Leather interior with Rock Grey stitching, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, Heated S Sports Seats with Lumbar Power Adjustment, Chrome Package, Satellite Navigation with Colour Screen, DAB Radio, Bluetooth, Automatic Dynamic Headlight Range Adjustment, LED Rear Lights, Park Distance Control with Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Start/Stop System with Regenerative Braking, Powerfold Door Mirrors, 18 Inch Alloys with Red Brake Callipers, Cruise Control, Drive Select, Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Paddleshift, Dynamic Steering, ECO Function, Privacy Glass, Space Saver Spare Wheel. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 12500 mi
    • Engine size: 1984
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £31,941 £31,941

    Variant name:S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic ,Variant: S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic Alloy Wheels,Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Bluetooth Prepared,CD Player,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Windows,Engine Immobiliser,Four Wheel Drive,Heated Mirrors,Leather Upholstery,LED Headlights,Onboard Computer,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control,Xenon Headlights

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 8278 mi
    For sale
  • AUDI S3 2.0 TFSI Sportback S Tronic Quattro 5dr Petrol Auto 2011 47000 Green

    £16,995 £16,995

    A VERY UNIQUE CAR FINISHED IN AUDI EXCLUSIVE JAVA GREEN PAINT, FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY AND JUST 2 FORMER KEEPERS.;;Upgrades/Spec Includes: Audi Exclusive Paintwork Finished in Java Green, Black Heated Leather S Line Sports Seats Including Electric Lumbar Support, Navigation Plus, Bluetooth Handsfree, 6 CD Changer, LED Daytime Running lights, Bi Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Electric Glass Panoramic Sunroof, Leather Centre Armrest, S Line Aluminium Electric Folding Door Mirrors, Auto Dimming Mirrors, Cruise Control, Multi Function S Line Leather Steering Wheel, Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Lights/Wipers, AUX Connection, Individual Climate Control, 18" S Line Wheels Finished In Gloss Black.;;;

    • Mileage: 47000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.984
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £16,995 £16,995

    Bluetooth, Climate Control, Full Leather, Colour SatNav, Heated Seats, Xenon Headlamps, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Bose, CD Player, Radio, Multiple Airbags, Remote Central Locking, Alarm, Front Fog Lamps, Adjustable Steering Column, Alloy wheels, 4x4

    • Mileage: 32000 mi
    • Engine size: 1984
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £28,990 £28,990

    Start/Stop, Satellite Navigation, Powerfold Door Mirrors, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Xenon Headlamps, Heated Seats, Lumbar Adjustment, Bang & Olufsen, Bluetooth Media, DAB Radio, 4x4, Full main dealer service history Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Sportback S Tronic Quattro 300PS S Tronic Automatic registered September 2015 finished in Sepang Blue with Full Black Leather, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, S3 Embossed Black Leather Heated Sports Seats with Electric Lumbar Support, Powerfood Door Mirrors, Rear Parking Sensors with Park Distance Control, 18 Inch Alloys, 60/40 Split Rear Seatbacks, Drive Select, Xenon Headlamps, Cruise Control, Colour Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth Media, DAB Radio, Start/Stop with Regenerative Braking, Black Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Grey Stitching, Spare Tyre, Full Audi Service History on 30/09/16 at 5,386. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 7000 mi
    • Engine size: 1984
    For sale
  • Audi S3 Quattro Sportback

    £28,990 £28,990

    Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Sportback S Tronic Quattro 300PS S Tronic Automatic registered September 2015 finished in Sepang Blue with Full Black Leather, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, S3 Embossed Black Leather Heated Sports Seats with Electric Lumbar Support, Powerfood Door Mirrors, Rear Parking Sensors with Park Distance Control, 18 Inch Alloys, 60/40 Split Rear Seatbacks, Drive Select, Xenon Headlamps, Cruise Control, Colour Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth Media, DAB Radio, Start/Stop with Regenerative Braking, Black Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Grey Stitching, Spare Tyre, Full Audi Service History on 30/09/16 at 5,386. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Year: 2015
    For sale
  • Audi S3 Quattro Coupe

    £23,990 £23,990

    Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Hatchback Quattro 300PS 6 Speed Manual registered January 2015 finished in Mythos Black Metallic with Black Leather interior with Rock Grey stitching, Piano Black Interior Trim, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, S3 Embossed Black Leather Heated Sports Seats with Electric Lumbar Support and Quilted Sections, Rear Parking Sensors with Park Distance Control, 18 Inch Alloys with Red Callipers, 60/40 Split Rear Seatbacks, Drive Select, Xenon Headlamps, Privacy Glass, Cruise Control, Colour Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth Media, DAB Radio, Start/Stop with Regenerative Braking, Black Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Grey Stitching, Spare Tyre, Full Audi Service History on 25/06/16 at 9,974. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Year: 2015
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £25,441 £25,441

    Variant name:S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic ,Variant: S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,Cruise Control,Electric Front Seats,ESP,Satellite Navigation

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 27527 mi
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £19,995 £19,995

    Variant: 2.0 T FSI quattro 300 PS Audi S3 2.0 T FSI quattro 300 PS finished in brilliant black metallic with black leather interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Trip Computer, Power-Assisted Steering, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Radio/CD/MP3, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Eight Speakers, Front Fog Lights, Heated Washer Jets, Load Anchorage Points, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, Xenon Headlights Exterior Lighting, Sport Chassis, Roof Spoiler, Front Armrest, Front Electric Windows, Front/Rear Head Restraints, Front Seats Sports, Seats Split Rear, Heated Rear Screen, Steering Wheel Leather, Three Seats - Front & Rear Seat - isofix Anchorage Point, Cup Holder, Textile Floor Mats, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Electronic Stability Programme, Driver Air Bag Knee, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Alarm, Remote Central Door Locking, Immobiliser, 18In Alloy Wheels and Space Saver Spare Wheel.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 38320 mi
    For sale
  • Audi S3 Sportback |

    £43,850 £43,850

    Specification MAKE Audi MODEL S3 Sportback COLOUR Mythos Black with Black Supersports Seating YEAR 2016/66 MILEAGE 1000 DESCRIPTION We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this very highly specified example of the Audi S3 Sportback. Presented in Mythos Black with Black Supersports Seating. Supplied with the balance of its Audi 5 Year/90,000 miles warranty. Great saving on list price, as this car would have cost £49,357.00 including the comprehensive MTM Upgrade. OPTIONAL EXTRAS Supersports Seating in Black FIne Nappa Leather, Extended Interior Upholstery Package, Matrix LED Exterior Lighting Package, Audi Magnetic Ride, Model Designation Removal from Rear, Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Split Folding Rear Seat, Rear Side Airbags, Reversible Boot Mat, Door Mirrors - Auto Dimming, Adjusting and Folding, Audi Pre Sense Basic, Audi Park Assist, Bang & Olufsen H Fi System, 19" V Spoke Design Matt Titanium Wheels, Rear View Camera, Driver Assist Package, Audi Advanced Key, Audi Hill Hold Assist, Technology Package Advanced. MTM Cantronic 380 HP Power Upgrade to include MTM Down pipe with Catalytic Converter and Air Filter. TRANSMISSION S Tronic ENGINE CAPACITY 1984 EMISSIONS (CO 2 ) 152

    • Mileage: 43850 mi
    For sale
  • AUDI S3 S3 TFSI QUATTRO 2010

    £16,995 £16,995

    Just arrived into stock a super rare high specification Audi S3 finished in without a doubt the best colour combination of Sprint Blue with exclusive two tone Silk and Nappa leather. The car has only had 2 owners who from day 1 have absolutely cherished the car and has had it serviced at an Audi main dealer all its life. This particular Audi S3 has a fantastic specification, this consists of; Sprint Blue exclusive colour, two tone silk and nappa exclusive leather, panoramic glass sunroof, Audi satellite navigation plus, cruise control, exterior black styling pack, privacy glass, heated front + rear seats, bose sound surround system, phone prep + bluetooth, Audi parking plus, black roof rails, electric heated door mirrors, interior light pack + much more. All our cars are supplied with a full and clear HPI certificate. We can arrange superb finance packages at very competitive rates. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions.

    • Mileage: 31500 mi
    • Engine size: 1.984
    For sale
  • Audi S3 Sportback TFSI Quattro Black Edition

    POA POA

    JUST IN - Audi S3 2.0L TFSI Quattro S Line Black Edition Sportback 6 Speed Manual registered December 2012 finished in Vegas Yellow with Black Half Leather Interior. Finance available on request - subject to status. Ask about our Company Directors Packages. Fully Valeted; 12 Months MOT; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome. See our Youtube channel or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    • Year: 2010
    For sale
  • Audi S3

    £12,850 £12,850

    2009/59 Audi S3 2.0 S-Tronic TFSI Quattro 3 door + Bose + Sat Nav + F/S/H Regrettably selling my fantastic Audi S3 Quattro. I searched for ages when buying this car to find the best condition, best spec car I could without star ship mileage, so this has the quick changing S-Tronic DSG gearbox, black heated leather with Sat Nav and the upgraded Bose sound system. A fantastic colour combination with the Ice Silver metallic paint. The interior is in great condition, having never been smoked in or transported pets. The heated leather seats provide brilliant support and a spot on driving position with a height and reach adjustable steering wheel. In car entertainment is provided by the Audi Navigation Plus system, Multiplayer CD and Bose speaker system. Fantastic sound quality. This combines Bluetooth integration for your phone, an Aux-in connectivity and 2 SD card slots. I have 2 x 32gb sd cards which is more than enough music, but there is a 6 cd multichanger in the glovebox too. The sat-nav is running a 2015 disc with full postcode look up on. The car comes with:- 2 operational keys MOT until Sept 2017 Goodyear Eagle F1 Assymetric 2 tyres all round on genuine Audi 18 inch S3 alloys Space saver spare wheel Comprehensive service history, car serviced at:- 8249 15910 28339 38524 45114 48593 (cam belt and water pump replaced) 51585 (by dealer I purchased from) 58730 62676 Always premium oil, genuine Audi parts and Premium fuel used. I've loved owning this car and always look after it, making sure to avoid car park dents and dings, touching up the inevitable stone chips etc.

    • Year: 2009
    • Mileage: 68000 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    Drew Buckley
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