Should it stay or should it go (Audi A3)


Very nice. So, another month in since the WP/Thermostat and all seems well enough. Car is paid off and sitting at just shy of 113k. While i’m enjoying it again, I’ve also been thinking about what’s next.

I kind of told myself I swore off the German cars, but after test driving a couple fords (Focus RS, Fiesta ST,) a couple Subaru’s (WRX, STI,) I noticed that there was a 2018 Golf Sportwagen in 4motion 6MT local to me. It’s a really rare combo, and from my search I only found about 80 examples nationwide.

So… not only did I really like the interior, MUCH more than the other options i’ve driven, but the price really can’t be beat. On a car with a sticker of 25,5, they immediately got down to 19,5 with no negotiation. While it’s no sports car, and is certainly a compromise in area’s, it’s extremely interesting and was fun enough to drive in stock mode… not to mention the 6 year 72k bumper to bumper warranty. It’s fairly obvious VW is working hard to get back on the consumers good side and it’s showing in their pricing and warranties right now.

Seriously considering putting a few grand down on one and keeping the A3 to sell private party at my leisure. With a tune and some more appealing Audi rims, this could be my poor mans Avant w/MT. I also suspect resale might hold up well on a rare combo like this.

Any opinions from the peanut gallery on this? Soccer mom comments welcome.


I feel like itd be almost impossible to go back from German.

Sounds like a good deal to me. Wagons are great. My only worry would be if the 1.8T wouldnt be short on power. Obviously with a tune it would be more comparable but do you want to put a tune on a brand new car with a nice warranty? Id be hesitant to.



It didn’t have ‘GTI’ power, but it was more than capable. To be expected with a car that’s carrying around a Haldex AWD system and a fat booty… but the power and handling shortcomings are more than made up for by the utilitarianism of the car, and most importantly… the price point. It definitely got out of its way though…

I’m having a hard time leaving the German brands myself, it seems. The interior was incredibly impressive… even in base trim with the heated cloth seats. Seriously impressed. Night and day compared to Subaru, Ford, and the like.


Gets in some non-German cars and realizes just how much of a difference there is…


Yeah, i know, haha. I’ll be the first to admit i’m struggling with this! Maybe I was trying to convince myself I could do it?

The best thing for anyone to do is just get behind the wheel of as many cars as you can. The STI is cool, and fun to drive sure… but it has the fit and finish of a 5th graders arts and craft project. It doesn’t feel worth the additional $10-12k despite everything you get. Even worse on the WRX. I actually was super impressed by the Ford Fiesta as a whole, but the thought of buying a Ford still freaks me the heck out… and a used Fiesta example is still creeping upwards of $15k with low miles in my market area. Not worth it for a FWD clown car IMO.


Oh I know. I daily drove that GTO for 8 years, and as far as GM vehicles go that one was way above average in interior quality and fit/finish. Traded it on my CC in Ohio and on the ride home I kept thinking, “Man, a car this quiet and smooth is going to be really nice on all those runs back and forth to Ellicottville to ski”. You definitely get spoiled.


@Jeller has a '17 sportwagen on coilovers and wheels and it looks pretty solid. I think he is going to get a tune for it to wake it up a little bit and then it seems like it will be a really appealing daily driver.



@Jeller , did you go 4 motion? DSG or MT?

Curious as to your overall impressions with it and if you have any ‘gripes’ or ran into any issues.


Well this entire thread sounds all too familiar to me and my A4 last November… Coming from a B7 A4 Avant 6MT that was starting to need more and more repairs, 140K on the odometer and 12 Buffalo winters were really taking it’s toll on the car/my patience with putting more money into it every couple of months. It was not without it’s issues, but I will miss her:

I picked up a 2017 Alltrack (4 motion) and of course 6MT (They are not always easy to find now days).
Overall the car is a really tremendous value with the large discounts most dealers are willing to give on these, especially at the end of the season. I have a base “S” trim level and don’t have any complaints at all over the features, in fact its really well appointed given its a base car and with the Apple Carplay there is no need to purchase a Nav equipped model.
I do miss some of the features my A4 had like auto wipers and auto climate control, but they are not deal breakers. I really did miss the auto dimming mirror, but added the optional VW one to my alltrack with the homelink buttons built right into it. I put in some coilovers from a Golf R and also put some Golf R 19" pretoria wheels.

Stock stomper height:

Finally sitting a little lower…

I then addressed the stereo by adding the VW Helix sub/sound processor to the spare tire well. Sounds freaking fantastic and only $500 to transform your base stereo that all installs like a factory set up.

I have not tuned the car yet, but I will soon. I have been trying to hold off as long as I can with the tune, but will probaby go APR or Unitronic. The car is not fast, with a tune it’s about as fast as a stock 2.0 GTi, so having a 6 speed, decent suspension and better tires make it more fun to drive. But overall a really great value for the price point and a great combo of wagon/6mt that really cant be replicated.


Very similar indeed. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the look with the Golf R rims. Do you get any rear sag with the added wagon weight on the Golf R springs?

This seals it for me. While I will not be going Alltrak, i’m not a fan of the unnecessary body cladding anyways, and the Sportwagen is not only identical mechanically, but a couple grand less than the Alltrak.

I must say though, it looks seriously handsome with those Golf R rims and a proper drop. That’s it… im sold!



If I sign on this car this week, i’ll be reaching out soon for more info on that Helix setup. Without researching yet on my end, is that a factory option? Plug and play? So tidy!


Also, while I still love my A3… the plan is to keep it and sell it private party in the next couple of months…

DP/Stage 2? Nevermind, terrible idea.


solid pdf



The golf R wheels fit the car very well, I am really happy with them. And for 19" wheels they only weigh 21lbs, so that’s a bonus. Bought them from a guy in Ontario, only about 600 miles on them for $1500 with tires.

I do not have any rear sag with the coilovers, actually in those pics I posted I have about 350lbs in the rear hatch of work stuff. With those items out it sits with a little forward rake. I have the coils up pretty high in the rear actually. Running ST Coilovers (KW’s cheap line).

I went with the alltrack cause I wanted the V-Tex leatherette seats, I have 2 little kids, so cloth was not my first choice. The Helix sound box is OEM and you can get it from a dealer/ECS/Etc… uses all OEM plus and ties right into the OEM headunit. Still allows you to keep the full sized spare tire also. Here is the link to my install thread on vortex



Thank you for this. Some late morning research (after my post) actually brought me to VWVortex and then your page on the Helix install. Super tidy, i love it.

Re: springs, I did some reading there as well. I’ll probably buy myself a year in stock mode while doing some more digging, but this ED thread was helpful.

By then there should be some more options out as well. One weird thing was people reporting noise, etc with even a modest drop. Did you trim down your bump stops?

Another thing, yours came w/full size spare or did you keep an OEM wheel tucked in there when you bought the R rims? Good deal on the R rims, too! I’ll keep an eye out locally.


Honestly, I see sooo many guys trying to get springs to sit the way they want and trying combination after combination and still not getting it exactly right. My a4 was this way on eibach springs, so this time around I bought coilovers, so I could get it right. I paid around $700 for my coils after a $150 rebate deal from tirerack, couldn’t go wrong at that kind of pricing. It rides really nice too btw, does not make a single noise. You are welcome to come test drive it anytime…
I’d call this a pretty decent drop LOL and alignment was still able to barely reach spec.

Spare tire is a full sized spare that came with the car. FYI the Golf R Pretoria wheels only came on US cars for a couple years, but continued to come on Canadian cars for longer so you may find a set there easier. But there are still plenty around.


very nice. Would you mind linking me what you bought coilover wise? It will help me im sure. No warranty issues on suspension components or what?

As far as wheel choices, anything handsome in the Audi or higher end VW world while being OEM will be fine for me. I plan to burn the stock tires off before I go making any purchases though.


Group buy or a once a year rebate will get you another $100 -$150 off kinda deal typically.


@jeller , so they are MK7 GTI, eh? Interesting. And as you mentioned, no issues even with dat added booty?

I went ahead and took delivery last night. Got them down to 19,5 w/VW crossbars and a few other add ons. Sticker was 25,5. It’s a compromise car but so far i’m super happy with it. There’s currently just about ~80 GSW 4motion MT cars for sale across the entire country. A rare bird, indeed.

I’ll get some side by side pics with the old A3 in the next couple days.


Congrats man, really a great car/value for the money. I can’t think of much else that compares in the price range. What color did you get?

Be careful if you do order coilovers, an Alltrack and GSW 4 motion are not the same.

Alltrack - 55 mm struts, aluminium knuckles w 85 mm bearings, 312 mm rotors.
GSW 4mo - 50 mm struts, cast iron knuckles w 80 mm bearings, 288 mm rotors.