Well I picked up my new S3 BE a few days ago and am gradually finding my way around the car.
I've had a string of Audis before (A4s + A6 Quattro) so it's a familiar feeling stepping in 1 again but I was worried that the A3 was a watered down model. I've swapped it from a W209 CLK but I also have a Discovery 3 so the S3 is a very different experience for me.
Things I like so far;
Performance - I'm treating it gently for the first 1,000m but am already enjoying the effortless thrust at almost any speed.
Engine - Some reviews suggest the S3 has a 'rough' engine. Mine must be faulty then because, for a 4 cyl, I think it's silky smooth. Not quite Beemer 6 cyl territory but certainly not at all rough. I haven't ventured into the higher revs yet so that may change.
(Most) Build quality - my previous Audis were always as solid when I sold them as when I bought them so I knew the score. However, there's also some of evidence of cost cutting which is a little disappointing.
Paint Finish - far better than the CLK and the Discovery
- Luggage tie downs in boot - my A6's were a thing of beauty, hinged, damped, chrome items. The S3 has cheap looking pressed steel items.
- Carpet - really thin and quite cheap feeling
- Lack of Map Reading lights - on a £30k car??!
- Door handles - just feel unsubstantial and flimsy
Seats - fit like a glove and supremely comfortable
Bluetooth - really works well although I would've like a pair of call/end buttons somewhere on the MFSW rather than the press of the scroll wheel
Things I'm not liking (so far);
Some build quality/cost cutting - see above
Easy entry seats - I cannot get the hang of getting them to return to original position. Am I alone? Is there a knack as, with 2 kids, it's a pain in the rectum.
Audio - both the frustrating lack of (true) iPod integration and the sound from the Bose. Both my A4 and A6 had Bose and they sounded superb. The S3's is clear enough but just sounds a little, well feeble. Needs a lot more depth at low volume I think.
Ride - ouch! Most of the time I think it's a good compromise but occasionally you can hit a pothole and it feels like you've hit a brick in the road. Speed humps have to be taken at walking pace also. Does the ride improve after a breaking in period or does long term ownership eventually compress your vertebrae?
Consumption - haven't got it over 26mpg yet and, considering I haven't really flexed my right foot yet, I hope it improves.
Having said all of the above which may sound like a whinge, I love it and driving it just makes me giggle it's so much fun.
1st mod carried out today - swapped the front interior light for the map reading/ambient console. Took me less than 10 mins.