I picked up my brand new RS3 last Tuesday 11th Sept from Leeds Audi, which will replace my much loved Golf R. Hats off to Paul at Leeds Audi ... fantastic customer service and they bent over backwards to clinch a deal.
A few early pics here :-
First impressions and a comparison with my old Golf R (I come from a Golf GTi, R32 and R background for the last 6 six years)
Firstly the engine : the biggest pulling factor for me and I'm certainly not disappointed. Anyone missing the sound of the R32's V6 in their Mk 6 Golf, but wanting more power than that old 3.2 unit, will not be disapponted with the RS3's 2.5TFSI. Lots of low down grunt and a fantastic tingly warble from about 3500rp upwards ... loving it !!
7-speed S-tronic - Another pulling factor me was this 7-speed box .. I love VW's DSG and, and as I do a fair bit of motorway driving, the 7th gear on this S-tronic is great for a quieter, relaxed cruise with excellent mpg. When an overtake blast is required, just drop a couple gears on the paddles and whoosh .... In manual mode the S-tronic does not auto change up at the red line (not tested by me yet as running in still) and neither does it kickdown.
So those are the best bits and where the RS3 excels IMHO compared to the R.
Now the rest :-
Handling / Cornering / Ride - The RS3 has a similar feel to the R on high speed bends, lots of grip and traction. On tighter corners though I have to say I prefer the Golf R so far. The RS3 doe'snt feel as "chuckable" as the R. Perhaps I hav'nt really got to grips with the RS3 yet but when negotiating tight roundabouts near where I live the RS3 does not "flow" from left-right-left as well as the R. Probably due to the additional up front weight.
The ride in the RS3 feels firm and taut and very similar to my R (which had 19"s and standard spec suspension). Over sharper irregularities the RS3 feels to cushion the blow more than the R, as if there was more rubber thickness (although there is'nt any - it is the same 235/35/19 profile on the fronts ;D). The tyres on the RS3 are Contisport 5p's.
Running Costs - The RS3 is looking remarkably similar to the R here
- Insurance is the same (only £280 for me and the wife with Privilege).
- Tax is £255 a year.
- MPG is looking to be similar (due to 7th gear on motoway cruise) but I'm expecting slightly lower long term.
- Finance monthy payments are actually the same as the R despite £7k additional on finance).
- No servicing pack unfortunatley but I have taken out a 4th year Audi warranty on the RS3 (for £245 extra).
- Also the RS3 comes with 3 years Audi breakdown cover as standard.
All in all well impressed so far, and I can't wait for the running in period to end.