Buy A Used Manual Audi S3 Saloon For Three Times Less Than A New Auto

Buy A Used Manual Audi S3 Saloon For Three Times Less Than A New Auto

The Audi S3 has changed significantly for the car’s mid-life facelift, gaining suspension changes, steering tweaks and a ‘Torque Splitter’. As we found on the car’s UK launch, the latter addition makes the S3 much more engaging than it’s ever been. The trouble is, you’ll need to spend £47,000 for one, and that’s before you’ve added options.

Once you do, the price is likely to be over £50,000, especially if you go for the slightly more expensive saloon. If you have a lot less to spend on an S3, though, we do have a solution to add a little more involvement – the used, manual-equipped S3 saloon seen here. 

Used Audi S3 - rear

Used Audi S3 – rear

It’s something of a rarity – the saloon was only added to the range in 2014, and just three years after it went on sale, Audi ditched the manual gearboxoption for all versions of the S3. And when the stick was offered, few people were tempted, as reflected in the cars we’ve seen for sale. There are just 16 manual S3 saloons listed for sale on Autotrader, compared to 109 ‘S Tronic’ dual-clutch S3s registered in the time the stick-shifting cars were available.

It is, as much as I’d rather not admit, 10 years ago that I last drove a manual S3, but if my foggy memory serves, the six-speed ‘box shifted smoothly with a short, accurate throw. There are better-shifting manuals out there, but it’s good enough to make me want to shirk the auto, were I in the market for a used S3.

Used Audi S3 - side

Used Audi S3 – side

The manual dispatches the 0-62mph sprint in 5.3 seconds, 0.4sec slower than the quicker-shifting, launch control-equipped automatic. The saloon is also 0.1sec slower than the hatch, as it’s carrying around an extra 45kg. But hey – a four-door body is more rigid than a five-door hatch shell, a detail you can bore all your mates with. And it arguably looks cooler.

In terms of power, you’re not losing out on a whole lot compared to the new car with its 329bhp output. The previous-gen ‘8V’ S3 musters a still very impressive 296bhp which comes from an EA888 inline-four turbo engine, just as it does in the current car.

Used Audi S3 - cabin

Used Audi S3 – cabin

The 8V is a more subtly styled car, and the cabin, though filled with now-dated tech, is arguably a bit nicer than the new 8Y S3’s interior. But make sure the infotainment screen retracts as it should – we’ve seen a few owners grumble about it getting stuck.

You can get leggy S3 manual saloons for as little as £13,000, but we’ve plucked out one that’s a little less used, with 73,189 miles on the clock. It’s one of the later cars, registered in 2017, and has had two previous owners. It comes in at £16,989, or about a third of the cost of a new, automatic S3 with a few options added.


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