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Clarkson reviews S3 in Sunday Times...

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Irish, May 13, 2007.

  1. Irish
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    Irish Member

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    [May 13, 2007]
    #1
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  3. jamiekip
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    jamiekip Guest

    [May 13, 2007]
    What does he know anyway!!!
    ;)
    Funny, the S3 seems to get very mixed reviews, some love it, some hate it, a lot say "get an R32 because it has nice v6 under the bonnet" well it's never rocked my boat that engine, thirstier, higher tax band, blah, blah!
    I'd love to see them test them both tgether on the next series!
    #2
  4. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [May 13, 2007]
    R32? Close but no cigar! The only thing where it beats the S3 is sound and price!

    Pedro
    #3
  5. smee
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    smee Member

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    [May 13, 2007]
    They did test them together for the TG magazine. The S3 was miles better on paper and about 1.5 seconds (from memory) quicker around the track, but they did say at the end to buy an R32. From what I have seen of the show, and I am a big fan, I dont think they rate Audis at all. The only good review I saw was for the S4! But as said above who cares what one person says, I love my car and am happy with it. OK mine is not an S3, but I need the extra doors.
    #4
  6. normski
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    normski Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    The R32 is in my opinion a gorgeous car, only marred by the fact that it is a golf, it is very thirsty, the nose heavy handling and a wicked flat spot at about 80 ish when trying to suddenly overtake etc. All things I could live with if the S3 didn't exist.

    Then you have the S3, better handling acknowledged by every review that tests them side by side, better perfromance, better economy (marginal), lower tax band, better standard spec, better quality interior, better residuals, easier to tune if you want, need I go on.

    But the one thing that really riles me, is when these pillocks harp on about the R32 being a couple of grand less. Try sticking leather in it and some of the other options that are standard in the S3...and suddenly it costs more...
    #5
  7. C_Audiboy
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    C_Audiboy Vroom Vroom

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    [May 14, 2007]
    What a knob Clarkson is sometimes. 17 PARAGRAPHS down before he even starts to talk about the car. WTF? This is a car review is it?
    #6
  8. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Yeah it is a weird article. I'm usually a fan of Clarkson but there's so little information on the car, I wonder if he actually drove it at all.
    #7
  9. rich1068
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    rich1068 Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    He does it every week. I usually start reading his reviews about 3/4 in because the rest is just filler.
    #8
  10. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Clarkson has never rated Audi, only car he ever raved about was the RS4.

    I will have the S3 over the R32 anytime, superb motor.
    #9
  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Have you read it ?
    To say he doesn't rate Audi is nonsense.
    He says he considers them to be one of the best builders of cars,for one thing.
    That's about as big a compliment as you can get !
    He may not rate certain aspects of driving Audi cars,but to say he doesn't rate them in general is nonsense.
    From what I've read over the years,he mentions the same sort of 'problems' with Audi as many others do.

    1/ Audi think sports suspension needs to be rock hard.
    2/ Their general driving feedback is numb (steering etc.)

    He's hardly alone in thinking this.
    Only this weekend I read a test comparing a sport Jag and a sport A8.
    Usual story with the A8,zero feedback and no involvement.

    The only Audi that has bucked the rock hard suspension/zero feedback is the RS4,which he loves.
    #10
  12. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    I think Clarkson is very entertaining and generally enjoy his comments but usually due to the 'tongue in cheek' element.

    He's not the greatest driver in the world but he is priveliged enough to drive some of the finest cars available and aslo entitled to his opinion, on this occasion I believe he is wrong.

    S3 for me.
    #11
  13. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    I agree with Smee, Clarkson/TopGear had never rated Audi's generally until they tested the RS4.
    Clarkson must have been talking to Andrew Frankel who's headlines in the Times upon launch of the S3 read "How can a car this good looking be so dumb".
    Just one example of where the views of prominent journalists can potentially have negative effects on the sales of a particular model.

    I find the steering and suspension setup on the S3 perfect and the power unit superb, but that's me
    #12
  14. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    It is possible that he made up his own mind you know,rather than just,as you seem to be suggesting,giving it to peer pressure or 'following the herd'.
    #13
  15. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Strange how the people on here who bought the S3 seem to think he's wrong. Wonder what the view wold be on ukmkiv's.net...

    The r32 is only a golf but then again so is the a3...
    #14
  16. DIABLO636
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    DIABLO636 Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    he changes his mind week by week anyway......
    would be interested to hear the road test done by fifth gear - they took it around a track but have given it a proper review....
    #15
  17. Freddiedog
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    Freddiedog New Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    It is possible that he made up his own mind you know,rather than just,as you seem to be suggesting,giving it to peer pressure or 'following the herd'.[/quote]
    I love your posts Bowfer, you're like the Simon Cowell of Audi Sport:laugh:
    #16
  18. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    With regard to TG/Clarkson "never rating" Audis - Bowfer's comments are valid. They have complained about the overly hard suspension, lack of steering feel and poor front/rear balance due to the engine being mounted so far forward. These are all valid points, not frivolous rants. Clarkson has also raved about some Audis, notably the diesel A8 he drove from London to Edinburgh and back.

    As for the S3 points he made, the one about the engine is also quite valid. A good unit it may be but many people will baulk at spending around £30k for a var with a four cylinder engine, especially when there are alternatives like the R32 with a V6. Yes I know there are many reasons to prefer the four, such as economy, emissions and so forth but you can't really argue with someone who thinks a £30k performance car should have a couple more cylinders at least. That said he comment about the V8 was a tad daft as it's total overkill for such a car, even if it would fit.
    #17
  19. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Thats probably because the people that bought one did that for a reason ie it is good, I too the same as Normski was deciding between a R32 and S3 and there is no competition at all the S3 wins hands down hence why I bought one.

    Clarkson is hypocritical most of the time, he spends all the time on Top Gear testing cars 90% of us would never be able to afford and then bases car reviews like the S3 stating to save money?

    Honestly forgetting I have one, I have not driven a better new car for the money hence the purchase.
    #18
  20. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    And it seems that Audi are listening to him. The new A4 will have the engine moved rearwards and the front wheels forwards, compared to the current car. This is supposed to give a more even front/rear weight distribution, a la 3-Series.
    #19
  21. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Clarkson has stated umpteen times that they deliberately go for supercars on the TV programme because 99% of people will never be able to drive one.
    Any Tom,**** or Harry can get a test drive of an S3,so there's little point in testing one on telly.

    That doesn't mean he's detached from reality or he doesn't drive normal cars though.
    He evidently thinks £27K (minimum) is too much for an S3.
    I happen to agree with him.

    So what,they'll still sell.
    #20
  22. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Thats true bowfer and thats why i love the programme, makes me gawp like a kid at the cars I'll never be able to afford unless my 6 numbers come up!

    But again there is lesser hot hatches that have been on Top Gear they have tested so don't see why not it won't be on sometime.

    I've read some of peoples comments on the review at the bottom and there is a interesting one about the first S3 costing 27k in 1999 and he didn't think that was too much, just seems he gets the huff with certain manufacturers now and again!

    With inflation and cost of living etc I suppose it can be argued that Audi have done well keeping the cost the same for the second generation model which has more technology and standard options etc.
    #21
  23. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Again my argument stands repeat the same thread over on a VW forum and not an audi one and I am sure they will say the opposite.

    They will say they drove both and decided the R32 was better because of this that or other!

    Your opinion is obviously going to be biased, the same as mine is going to be regarding the car I drive. After all I put my money where my mouth is and bought the car I wanted.

    J.
    #22
  24. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]

    My opinion isn't biased, thats what i'm trying to put across, I dont work for Audi and don't need to give them good press. I bought it because I thought it was the best. I can quite easily accept other cars are better, but like I said not for the price etc
    #23
  25. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Of course your opinion is biased! you own the bloody car.

    Like I said, and keep saying, post the same thread on a VW forum and it would go the other way. I think the only person on this forum who isn't biased towards audi's is Bowfer because he hates his.
    #24
  26. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Well thats a bit of a sweeping comment, why do I have to be biased just because i own a particular car.

    I can quite easily accept there are better cars than mine, if I coudn't would that not be biased?
    #25
  27. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    It's not a sweeping comment at all.

    Ok lets put it a different way. How do you judge your opinion to be unbiased given that you drive the current S3 and it replaced the previous iteration of S3?
    #26
  28. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Because like I said I looked elsewhere but found nothing so got the new one, if the R32 had of been better I would be driving one of them.

    For the money you tell me what you can get that provides the performance, looks and quality both inside and out. All other maufacturers for the money to me did not deliver in these areas.

    I can't think of anything unless you spend more money and thats exactly why i went for the new S3, it was a natural progression from the old one which also provided the performance, looks and quality for the money.
    #27
  29. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Yeah,but you're evidently willing to put up with a very focused car.
    You want,or are certainly willing,to put up with a three door.
    If you were to be less 'demanding',there's a plethora of choices for the money.
    That would be my trouble if I had that sort of money.
    I'd be going "ooh,what about this,what about one of those".
    I certainly couldn't put up with 3 doors though,no way.
    Even before I was a family man,I couldn't be bothered with 3 doors.
    I've owned several,but I can't be arsed with the hassle for passengers.

    You also want to have,or want people to know you have,a fast car.
    That doesn't bother me either.
    I don't want a snail,but I don't want performance above all else either.

    I want 4 doors,comfort and half-decent performance.
    Can you see I'd have a problem spending £27K-£30K !!
    #28
  30. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Yes bowfer I should have been more specific in my post!

    I wanted ideally a 3 door but did not totally discount a 5 door but wanted something quick ideally with more power than the old S3 so I suppose I limited myself to a hot hatch.
    #29
  31. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    [May 14, 2007]
    I do actually like Clarkson not sure i share all his views, but did he drive the S3 ? I don't think so !! Not from that report, they are all comments taken from elsewhere. IMO. Of course the S3 has it faults, what car doesn't, personally I think its a blast for the money. Keeps me smiling.

    It will be interesting to see if it pops up in the next Top Gear series

    Mark
    #30
  32. Irish
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    Irish Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Couple of replies to Clarkson's review from the ST website! The two guys who wrote these posts sound like right planks.

    "In Silver the R32 looks pretty much like every other Golf on the road, mines rebadged 2.0 TDI and 99% of people i meet believe its a normal diesel golf. So its a real Q car, zero hassle from the police and a greatly reduced chance of it being carjacked / nicked.

    No, no thief will cop what an R32 looks like cause you have a TDI badge on it. Debadging is one thing but a TDI badge on an R32?? The guy deserves to have the car taken back off him by VW!!!


    "Track performance bears zero relationship to real world driving. In the real world you want instant torques very low down the rev range and the V6 delivers this in spades!! To get the best out of cars like the S3 (and my former STi PPP) u need to drive them full bore and at those speeds on a public road your risking jail.... "

    I also dunno why this guy is claiming the S3 has a CTR type torque, he clearly hasn't driven one.



    " The S3 will never be special and in my opinion you'd be better off with a Golf GTI and enough money to spend 3 weeks in the Caribbean. "

    Says a guy who raves on about the R32?? Fair enough, you don't like the S3 but it's no less special than an R32!!
    #31
  33. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    stands to reason if we've spent @£30K on a car we are going to think it was a good buy - this is the point that Married blonde is trying to make, if we are happy with our car of choice who care's what Clarkson thinks ?!?
    Majority of reviews you will read will actually state the GTI is a better car than the R32 so should the report not have stated buy a GTI instead ?

    We are all lead by the press either conciously or subconciously I know I read and digest far too much about cars but having said that regardless of reviews I still chose the S3 because its right for me, ticks all my boxes if you like, for me its the better car for someone on MKivs it would be no competition - they would take the VW.

    As I said before I enjoy Clarksons articles and TV work, doesn't mean I agree with him if I'm honest I'd like to own both - at the same time :)
    #32
  34. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Well I think you all purchased the wrong car. Every one knows the BMW Z4 coupe sport is the perfect car that trumps all others including the luke warm s3...

    Takes a lot less driving effort as well as you don;t have to indicate, you own the roads so need to look when changing lanes. You can also make enough money to run it by doing the odd blow dry

    ;)
    #33
  35. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Here are the rules on here,as I see them.

    1/ If the press have a pop at an Audi,they're wrong.
    2/ If the press praise Audi,they're right.
    3/ If the press praise the opposition,it's because they're biased and/or on a massive 'bung' from the manufacturer concerned.
    4/ If the press all agree about a bad aspect of an Audi car (like poor steering) it's because they haven't driven it and are copying someone elses comments,because they couldn't possibly all notice the same fault.

    Have I missed anything ?

    ;-)
    #34
  36. Irish
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    Irish Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    So that's how you make a few quid ! ;-)
    #35
  37. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Not your typical BM driver then ?!? :)

    The Z4 coupe didn't make my list purely because I needed a back seat but have to say in the looks department it beats my S3, can't comment on the drive as I havent tried one :)
    #36
  38. TDI-line
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    TDI-line Uber Post Whore

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Oh no, what do i buy now, R32 or S3, help!
    #37
  39. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [May 14, 2007]
    I don't care what other people say.. For the type of car that I was looking the S3 was the best one available. Period! If it it worth £30k or not it only concerns me or my bank manager, it's my problem.

    Being factual, the S3 is better than the R32, might not be by a big margin, but overall is a better car, better weight distribution, acceleration, fuel consumption, better resale value. I'm sure the R32 has more steering feel and is a good drive but in the end the S3 is a better overall car.

    The £30k for 4cylinder excuse is a nonsense! See all the Evos, Subarus, Lotus... they all cost more than £30k... do the owners care? no!

    Each one to his own, but no doubt the S3 is a better 3door hot hatch than the Golf R32. Hey Golf is great but the S3 is just better a little bit... so do you think if I had a R32 I would care? no I wouln'd what matters in the end is to be happy with your choice as you are the one who is going to enjoy the motor...

    Pedro
    #38
  40. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Couldn't agree more, S3 great motor and value for money.:icon_thumright:
    #39
  41. a3norwich
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    a3norwich Not anymore - Back 2 BMW (shh)

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    [May 14, 2007]
    Doesn't it simply come down to what *YOU* think of the car? And if *YOU* like the car, a car, ANY car! It's your money (probably) after all. Who gives a stuff what someone else might think?

    Do you really need validation from the brillo-pad headed one? After all, JC's actual track record with cars is not particularly brilliant. You could argue that many of the cars JC has owned (or been given) are flawed in more than one way. So he either got it wrong (gasp, God forbid) or they were freebies in which case his self appointed expertise was bought and it's all irrelvant anyway!

    We all buy a particular car, house, product because *WE* like it; not because of what someone else might think.
    #40

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