Another New S3 Test Drive
It was my turn today!
It's too late at night for me to be arsed to write a full review here, but suffice to say I pretty much endorse what's already been said by other test pilots.
Highlights for me? Number 1 has to be ride quality. I can hardly believe how well the car handles given the compliance of the ride. This is some achievement, and light years better than the old S3 I drove for 6.5 years. Incredibly, the ride is also a big improvement over the 2005 A3 3.2 S-Line I have just disposed of. I took a friend with me on the test drive who couldn't understand why I was thinking of "downgrading" to a 4-cylinder manual car from a 6-cylinder DSG. He slagged off the car before we set off to the (rather bemused) salesman, but at the end of the drive (which involved a damned good beasting on country lanes) he was utterly converted, and convinced that the engine and gearbox were much better suited to the car than the 6-cylinder and DSG box. Certainly, to me the car feels so much more wieldy and "pointy" than the 3.2. I now finally understand why Audi chose not to put the 3.2 in it and where the development costs have gone, namely into the engine (great noise by the way) and suspension; money well spent, I reckon.
The other main highlight was the seats. This was a major issue for me given the problems I had with the S-Line seats. I found the standard S3 seats (with electric lumbar support) to be spot-on, to the point where I reckon the Recaros would be totally superfluous. I would have preferred a pull-out thigh support at the front of the seats like the S3 Recaros of old, but I could quite happily live with them (and the £1600 saving).
So, is the car overpriced? Yes. Will I buy one despite this? Overall, I'm very impressed with the car, so probably yes, on the basis that the high price will ensure relative exclusivity, and that a properly-specced car will have a similar retained value to that of my old S3.
As I'm too lazy to write anything else in this excuse for a review, if anyone wants to ask anything else about the car please feel free to ask!