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Another New S3 Test Drive

Spook Nov 24, 2006

  1. Spook

    Spook Member

    It was my turn today!

    It's too late at night for me to be ***** 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!

  2. vagman

    vagman Member

    A lot of press reviews have slagged of ride quality, as have a number of test pilots, so it was interesting to read that you felt it was a vast improvement over the mkI.

    I have had the pleasure of owning 4 TTs over the past few years, but to be honest the ride quality was rubbish. I imagine the mkI S3 must have been similar to the TT in this respect.

    Reading the various reviews had put me off a wee bit as I didn't want to go back to a car with a crashy ride.

    I was going to have a look at the S3 at my local dealer tomorrow, more out of noseyness than anything else, however, given your positive remarks I will be arranging a test drive.

    I really fancy one in sprint blue :hubbahubba:
  3. Spook

    Spook Member

    Crashy is definitely not a word I would use to describe the ride on the new S3. It's firm, yes, but in my view an excellent compromise with the handling on offer.

    Be sure to let me know how you get on with the test drive:)
  4. stevec

    stevec Member

    Sprint Blue is my colour of choice too. The demo i drove was that colour and its fantastic. Also got a suitable S3 nnn plate today too! :)

    As for the ride quality it is far better than my current 5 year old S3, the ride is just as firm, but not as crashy. Its road holding is fantastic, I jumped back into my S3 after 4 hours of welly in the new S3 and cannot manage half of the sppeds or angle of attack into bends / corners that the new S3 can muster.

    The seats on the other hand (%£^£@&&^^@!!!!), it seems that some on the forum love them, but I and another 6 footer who both drove the Bristol Audi demonstrator hate them. The old S3 recaro's are superb, why are they not as standard on the new car? Beggars belief if you ask me...

    Anyway thats not the worst bit...

    Ordering the bucket seats only give a tilt forward mechanism, you have to use the seat slider on the front to pull them forward (The sales lady confirmed this to me today after I saw the german S3 BMW 130i video review and asked for confirmation)...

    And that is not the worst bit either....

    This is!

    If you want the bucket seats you can expect delivery in JUNE!!!!! Arrrgh! ******.

    Anyway i have asked them to go to plan B, and we will see next week if customer services and quattto Gmbh can be exclusive and give me an alternative choice....

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