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Feedback from those with S3s now

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Itguy, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Member

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    Put the grand old total of 25 miles on my S3 today - I'm now up to 128 miles in two weeks! (had a week in France) All miles so far in the dry / day light.

    Tried the LED headlights (not a big wow, but they are much brighter) and launch control.

    LC did impress me! It certainly "felt" like there was a massive shove forward. I've tried LC in Golf GTI (which just squealed) and wasn't impressed. Felt much more aggressive than say coming out of a junction and hitting the beans.

    Loving the sounds too - has anyone experienced the S-Tronic short shift second and make one hell of a bang as it goes in to third under 3/4 throttle? Done it a few times and slightly addictive!

    Think I have been a little harsh on my S3. Some more driving and getting to know its character and maybe I might just get that "pang" to go out and thrash it........
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  2. veeeight
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    veeeight Active Member

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    LC certainly is impressive. Shoots off the line like a stabbed rat.

    I did mine for the first time at night, it made for more drama!

    Oh, and anytime I feel the car is bland, I head to my nearest tunnel, wind the windows down, drop it into second, then foot down !

    sa-weeeeet !!!!
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  3. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Member

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    Well after 7 months of ownership I've got to agree with some of the opinions. I'm pretty underwhelmed by it to be honest. Don't get me wrong it's a great car, but, there's just no excitement. I've had a lot of cars over the years and some a lot cheaper that I've just yearned to get in and drive for sake of it. Not so with the S3, it's very capable which is perfect for some people, but for me it's my 'toy' (family duties are taken care of with an X5) so I want something really fun. I thought a full Milltek and tuning box might solve it but it's not made any difference to the excitement factor. Think I'll be looking elsewhere soon unfortunately.
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  4. Longy
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    Longy Member

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    I know going from a Pajero to an S3 there is a huge difference, so for me personally, each time we've taken the demo car out (S3 SB in manual, SB with s-tronic, and the S3 sedan), it's been a blast.

    What is this "excitement" level people keep referring too that they are missing? Given that around town most streets are either 50km or 60km/hr and then there are some at 80km/hr, and then 110km/hr max on freeways, so I doubt most would come close to using the full potential of the S3 on the roads (legally) and unless you do track days regularly, then I can understand.
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  5. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll try and nail it as best as I can from my perspective.

    The car is fast; tick. It's got oodles of grip; again tick, but where this car and it's predecessor leave me a touch cold is when you start to push the cars limits on a B-road. You point and shoot and 95% of the time it does an exceptional job, but it's clearly the car doing the hard work. If you push a little harder the transition from reasonable composure to understeer is hard to read. My view was that there is so much grip which is then veneered by electronic intervention that I was struggling to truly read what was going on underneath me at times, and as a result I found it hard to develop my driving skills as very often the transition from grip to no grip was inconsistent depending on road surface or tyre condition, and therefore slightly unnerving and unrewarding. If I'd had more feedback through the steering it would help, but as that doesn't give much away either it left me with a slightly numb and unreadable driving experience at the limits.

    When I went to the Ring in 2010 it was epic on the damp stuff, but I never really felt I could read the chassis well enough to push the car as hard as I'd like. Some of that is down to my driving skills, but some of it is down to the fact that despite turning off electrical aids as far as they would allow, the car is still intervening too much with its safety nets rather than letting nature take it's course and allowing me to build an understanding of its limits.

    I've now been driving Haldex/Quattro cars for 8 years, and when I go on a track day in something exotic I find my driving skills have been eroded slightly as I've been nannied for so long by all wheel drive etc! As much as I don't fancy a Beemer at this point in time I think they give up more to you as a driver, and allow the keen/interested driver to develop to the cars potential. Audi's cars tend to show you a glimpse, let you go fast in the majority of circumstances, but make it much more difficult to read and therefore learn in the car. You can't play in the same way as say a Beemer either as when you push the limits the systems can often just cut the boost/ apply traction where required to try and bring back control rather than letting the driver touch and feel and experiment with the limits.

    I need a good Audi Experience day to try and get the most from them and then maybe I'll learn a bit more about how to extract more from them, but I doubt I'll ever to be able to read much back from the front wheels.
  6. Trickydicky2
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    Trickydicky2 Member

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    It's interesting to read the comments of those who tested then bought and s3 only to now feel disappointed

    I sort of understand the criticisms of the car, but I'm also perplexed, as these characteristics are fairly obvious from a test drive, are generally well documented in reviews, and in some cases are quite common criticisms of Audi's in general

    Having bought a Cooper S 10+ years ago as a dalliance with a fun, driver's car, the S3 is not a patch in terms of handling feel. However that car was a bit plasticy, not quick enough, too cramped and ultimately, with a bit of perspective on it, too much of a pastiche

    After driving the s3 for 5 weeks now it's everything I expected from my test drives. I can't think of another car I could have bought for less than $60k Australian that can get to 100kmh in 5 seconds, handle like it was glued to the road, snarl like a (well-groomed) Alsatian when asked to, have such a beautifully designed cabin and up to date tech toys, and have such reasonable fuel economy. It's never going to be taken to a track and will rarely if ever get pushed near its limits. For me it's therefore more like a beautifully made appliance than a mechanical soul mate in a life of driving passion and that suits me fine

    I don't disagree with others who want more, just confused how these folks ended up buying an s3 at all
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  7. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I didn't buy it, I went and bought something else (which comes with it's own personal set of challenges which I'm starting to try and address), but the hard part comes where you've been a lifelong VAG customer as I have 20+ years and you love the design and the brand. You live in hope that each platform evolution will bring fixes, but the biggest elephant in the room never seems to get addressed.

    It's still an incredibly good car, and for what it aims to deliver it does it pretty much flawlessly. The thing is when a new car comes out as a prospective customer you can get suckered in to the new model hysteria (I had some folk telling me it was the best Audi they'd ever driven), and the risk is these words can be misleading if over propagated all over the forum. People read the hype and start to believe it. Problem is, once the spirited test drive is over (at which point you're still familiarising or acclimatising from another car), and you live with it day to day the ownership experience can be quite different.

    One thing I would say to less than fully satisfied owners in this space is to consider looking to the handling mods. Adjustable rear ARBs, uprated spring damper set ups, anti lift kits can all help to focus the car a bit. People obsess about the power but it becomes unusable in anything other than a straight-ish line when everything else doesn't stand up. With carefully chosen mods you can improve it, but it will never drive like a Megane RS.

    I've got no beef with the S3, I just think it's become quite pricey in 8V spec given the outright driving capability and has strayed into dangerously capable territory.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
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  8. VeeDubDan
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    VeeDubDan Member

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    I must admit to also being confused by all the "disappointment" from those who expected an on the limit sports car. The S3 isn't an on the limit sports car, you shouldn't be disappointed.

    For me at least it's ideal for family duties, practical, comfortable, subtle, not too big to be a pain but big enough, excellent interior and definitely fast enough to have some fun. The S3 ticks so many boxes that no other car can ultimately match. A great all rounder, and to be this it can't be overly biased on one area. That's why I bought one and I'm not disappointed.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
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  9. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    "I've got no beef with the S3, I just think it's become quite pricey in 8V spec given the outright driving capability and has strayed into dangerously capable territory"

    Those final comments from Warren nail it for me perfectly.

    I test drove a new S3 before purchase and it was - and still probably is - the ideal compromise car. There was probably a little VAG brand loyalty too ( my sixth Audi on the bounce, three VWs prior to those). I've never been let down by one as yet. But a month in, as opposed to a day long test drive, there is still just that little bit missing.

    It's still a great car. I just don't have that connection yet. Which with all my previous ones I managed to get fairly quickly. I want to - and I will - give it time for all the other boxes that it ticks.
  10. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks New Member

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    I don't see it. Power oversteer is nearly impossible as Audi's AWD systems are set up to equalize axle speeds, avoid slip/traction loss, and provide optimal traction on mixed surfaces. The latest trickery like the sport diff on my S4 and the advanced XDS/EDS on the S3 allow torque vectoring to quell the natural understeer inherent in an AWD setup that delivers power in a fairly balanced way. Audi's are set up for grip and for stability, not power oversteer. In practice this is an advantage on the road in most conditions, and on the track usually allows for faster lap times. If you come from RWD however, it will take a bit of adaptation to learn what lines to take and how the car will react to certain inputs.

    To me the 40/60 setup feels very much like my old S3 sport back with Haldex 4 and EDS, which makes sense, given that the system was shifting power in a similar manner when on throttle or in cornering with lots of dynamic weight shift. I've not driven an upgraded XDS/EDS equipped car, but given that the technology is doing the job of the sports diff, I can imagine that the cars feel nearly identical on the road.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  11. veeeight
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    veeeight Active Member

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  12. veeeight
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    veeeight Active Member

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    It really, really doesn't. Marketing would have you believe it does, but it doesn't.
  13. Peeb
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    Peeb Member

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    Are there any manual S3 owners who feel disappointed with the involvement of their car? I just wonder is the S-Tronic taking driving further into the Playstation relm. At least with a manual you can get involved at the heel toe thing which is always satisfying when you get it right. It's quite easy in the Mk 6 R - unless you're wearing RM Williams in which case your foot misses the throttle and you feel like a tit.
  14. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Member

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    Think you have nailed it in terms of the 8V S3 as a " package". Perfect all rounder - but not focused at anything particular.

    135i M is a very good example to compare against from an ownership prospective - great engine, good (dry) handling, great noise (even if partially fake), more connection to the road, cheap(ish) servicing.

    But then you can note its comparative issues (in Pulps opinion) - fugly styling, poor gear box, no LC, quality of cabin plastics, quality of paint, expensive to finance on PCP, behind on some technology aspects (MMI, drive assistance programs, LED headlights).

    So in my opinion having the S3 I'm compromising on noise and handling and probably that "zing" having those strong attributes brings to a car. But then letting the head rule the heart on the quality of the cabin, paint, plastics, gearbox, technology, ownership costs including finance and then for me it was a simple choice of what day to day I want to live with.

    So in summary, I'd love the 135i maybe for 2/10 of the time when the right road and weather is available - but be cursing the rest of the package the 8/10 of the time I actually use it for more mundane tasks.

    Hope that makes sense.....
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  15. DescendDescend
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    DescendDescend Member

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    Not got mine yet so maybe shouldnt post here but reading this thread had got me slightly concerned so I thought I would rationalise my thoughts.

    My track days with performance rear, front and four wheel drive cars (mostly Cosworths and RS's) are long gone. In my experience the 'on the limit' driving that you can do on a track is a significantly beyond what you and the car can safely do on the public road anyway.

    I hope the S3 will meet the following needs:

    1) Prevent me getting stuck when it snows on the hills locally (SE London).
    2) Provide overtaking performance on those slightly twisty A and B roads where the car at the front seems to travel at one speed (40mph) even if the limit is 60mph and it is safe to travel at that limit.
    3) Cruise for hours in the 80-120mph range if I fancy the Autobahn.
    4) Provide a classy cabin environment.
    5) When the wife drives around town with her two position right foot I don't have to worry about the consumption too much (set efficiency mode) or the clutch (Stronic).

    Incidentally, reading the manual, ESC has three levels: On, Sport and 'almost disabled'. Is there much difference between the last two?
  16. Veneeringman
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    Veneeringman Bazinga

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    My view was that there is so much grip which is then veneered by electronic intervention that I was struggling to truly read what was going on underneath me at times, and as a result I found it hard to develop my driving skills as very often the transition from grip to no grip was inconsistent depending on road surface or tyre condition, and therefore slightly unnerving and unrewarding.


    Thanks for the plug Warren. :thumbsup:
  17. veeeight
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    veeeight Active Member

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    Yes

    On (default)

    Sport - switches off ASR/TC, and delays intervention of ESP. Very tail happy in the wet, wheel spin possible powering out of corners, can get the car into severe angles, but ultimately, ESP will save you going into the ditch. Perfect enthusiastic road use (when you want to play without endangering anyone else).

    Off - switches off ASR/TC, and ESP off too (ABS still remains on). The car is all yours. Only your talent can save you finding the ditch.

    (although I did read somewhere, that even in "Off" - a hard application of brakes enough to bring in ABS and a spin will cancel this mode, as it figures, you're really in trouble, and will re-ESP you. I am planning to try this out, but waiting for snow or wet day with enough run off to experiment)
  18. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    Makes perfect sense. I would also factor in residual values. My previous vehicles have always had sufficient value left in them - over and above the PCP - to provide a reasonable deposit for the next one. I wouldn't want to lose that safety blanket so to speak. So in some respects the head will always rule the heart - especially mid forties with a family.

    I would be just be happy to sacrifice an extra 10% of the civility of the S3 for a bit more feel. It would still be the complete package 8/10 of the time.
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  19. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There's a small part of me that feels the marketeers and car shows have tried to sell us that since the advent of the Mk1 Golf GTi the hot hatch is all thinks to all men. It's an amazing piece of kit that you can thrash on a country road, pick up a load of shopping, then take the family on a day out in the midst of winter. Try that in an MX-5 / S2000 / SLK AMG / Z4-M etc.... They are most things to most men, but I think the over-bearing issue is still the excess weight, over active electronics and slightly high centre of gravity. That aside they're a miracle of engineering considering the bulk and luxury they cart about. Spend a week in an Astra VX-R and you'll soon start finding love for the S3!

    Problem is, as much as I'd love something a bit racier I don't want a taxi in tow carrying my luggage to the Loire Valley (e.g. so count this out)....

    [​IMG]
  20. danilotto
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    danilotto Member

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    I am still asking myself how it is possible to consider "sporty" a car (the S3) that is based on the same platform of the 1.6 TDI model lol.

    Just a quick, very complete and good looking every day car :)

    Oh, and pretty understated for who, like me, does not like to drive around screaming: "it's an hot hatchback".
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  21. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    From the opposite view, my first S-tronic and I wish I'd stuck with a manual. There will always be debate (loads of other threads) about which is best. But for me the S-tronic robs you of that little bit of extra driver involvement. But thats only my view. I was prepared to sacrifice this a) for the amount of town driving I am now forced to endure and b) it was something I'd never had, the idea of making the car seem more of a change from my previous 8Ps.

    Unfortunately I don't find it as smooth in stop start traffic as I would like (or in my opinion as it should be). So thats taken away the shine from the car quite a lot. If you're used to a manual you probably haven't made a mistake in sticking with one. But each to their own
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  22. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is the right answer. The BMW M3 has a carbon roof, strengthened floor, flared arches etc. There are fundamental differences of the shell to the the base model. When they did a CSL model they went even further. Audi only just seem to be getting their heads around this sort of obsessiveness, and to my mind it should be being woven into the fabric of RS models. I was expecting the Ultra concept to deliver this in, but turns out it may just be a range of lightweight eco models.

    I was really pleased to find my battery in the S5 under the spare wheel located in the centre of the back axle. Shows they're trying to balance the weight of the car and lower the centre of gravity, but it's a very basic starting point of turning these cars into something that feels more balanced. It's still a long way from Utopia, but as Tesco's say, every little helps. With 1675kgs to hoof about it's never going to feel 'alive'.
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  23. rambu
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    rambu New Member

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    I had the same feeling like you when I had my Golf R. It became too boring after a while. I tracked the car a few times. The first time, it was very exciting because it's my first time tracking. The second time I track the car with Stage 2 mods, I didn't feel any excitement. And then my friend said I bought the wrong car and I need something faster.
  24. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks New Member

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    It does. I think, as usual, the RWD 1er will offer a tick more involvement, but will suffer from traction issues and typically be slower on anything but a very tight circuit. With AWD, there isn't much you can do to increase involvement other than to bias the drive system heavily in favor of RWD, at which point you lose grip and stability on mixed surfaces. None of these cars are sports cars, so I think the minor differences between them aren't worth worrying about.
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  25. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The one thing I would say having transitioned to a car that is 60R / 40F as standard is there is immediately less noticeable understeer. I went for the sports diff which also allows side to side adjustment based on speed /turn angle etc., and it's amazingly competent in long fast corners that tighten up. That said the steering still lacks enough feel, and there isn't a night and day difference in feel to a Haldex model.
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  26. CraigI
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    CraigI Member

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    I don't think it needs to be faster (certainly regarding more power), I've had far more fun than I do in the S3 in a car with 40% less power, quite a bit lighter too though.

    I agree on the s-tronic comment, don't think it helps at all, just dilutes the experience, regardless of it being faster and regardless of what I've said on here previously. Some cars are suited to s-tronic/auto boxes. Hot hatches aren't those cars!
    However I feel that had I gone for a manual S3 then my interest might not have lasted much longer.

    I expect that if I do replace the S3 then it will be a manual, 3 door (don't need 5 as the wife has a Q5) with less power and much more poise.
    I have a short list (two cars), will see in the next two weeks if I can do a deal (dependant on not losing too much on the S3).
  27. kanecullen89
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    kanecullen89 Member

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    Name the cars then :p
  28. BigJK
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    BigJK New Member

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    I've been looking to replace my current car with either an S3 or an M135i and have been thinking long and hard between the two and have spent hours watching video clips and reading reviews and browsing the forums.

    I was surprised at some of your comments regarding the BMW. I've only driven the auto in both cars but I assume you're referring to the manual gearboxes when you say the BMW is poor compared to the Audi as I found the ZF auto in the BMW better than the twin clutch 'box in the Audi. The BMW also does have launch control ( at least in auto guise, not sure about the manual).
    I specced both cars up as I'd want them and there was only a few hundred pounds between them, I got a much better deal on PCP on the BMW than the Audi.
    I agree about the styling and I did feel the Audi had the slightly better quality interior. The pro nav system on the BMW was as good as the MMI on the Audi too.
    I haven't ordered yet but that engine and gearbox combo on the BMW coupled with the significantly better PCP deal and service pack will likely be too tempting.
  29. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks New Member

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    I agree in part. As mentioned earlier, I have an S4 with sport diff. Compared to my old S3 8p, it is a tick better dynamically, but the sport diff seems to add more of a "rear steer" effect rather than any real tail-out action. I was curious if the new S3 and Golf R would be similar since they have the revised f/r e-diffs that do the same thing, more or less. E-diffs that use brake force are not inherently worse than a mech.-type diff; at the high end, even McLaren is using them now.
  30. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    I have to be honest and I did, fleetingly consider a M135i. There were a lot of decisions that swayed me to remain with Audi. The only thing I would say, depending on how you purchase your vehicles, is consider residual value too. BMWs seem to be very heavily discounted right now.

    But I have to say that, with access to a 520d and 530d (not mine I hasten to add), I find the BMW auto much smoother around town in stop start traffic. That's part of the reason I'm so disappointed with mine. However when up and running I find the S-tronic ultimately better. The problem for me is the auto box was part specified for stop start traffic. So it really depends why you want an auto box.

    As much as I would like to pick holes in the Beemer - to justify my S3 - this is one area that I couldn't.
  31. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    I agree. the S3 has ample power and IMO doesn't need any more. Its the way the S3 effortlessly puts the power down that makes you think it isn't as swift as it actually is. A quick glance at the speedo when making progress reminds you of just how quick it can be. Whatever the opinions on drivability I certainly don't think lack of power is an issue.

    I would be interested though in how much you would lose should you decide to change. I guess it would depend on what discount you got coupled with the relative rarity of 8V S3s right now and the waiting list. Hope whatever you decide it works out.
  32. steeve
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    steeve Member

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    What an interesting bunch of comments and I can see what you are all getting at.

    I have yet to get my S3 but have had many performance cars in the past. If you want (or can afford) just the one car then the S3 seems to be a good compromise. It's quick from A to B (wherever they are?) provides a quality well finished car with a superb interior is different enough to be pleasing to own and provide good space for carrying five and picking up the shopping. It's Haldex system provides for a safe reasonably quick drive but excitement is not on the list.

    How ever if I was wealthy enough to be buying more than one vehicle and was looking for something that provides huge excitement and capable of loads of fun on trackdays (bearing in mind driving reward doesn't necessarily equate to high speed) then I wouldn't be looking at the S3 to provide that. Audi have never been the make to provide a car with loads of feed back and a seat of the pants experience. It's not what they do.

    So if you want that kind of experience look elsewhere perhaps, even at things like an MX5, modded MX 5's are stupendous around the Ring, as are Clio's, there's all sorts of adrenalin producing motors out there.

    But for me, it's one car so it needs to be a 'do it all' and the S3 (or Golf R) is ideal.
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  33. auroan
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    auroan Active Member

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    You seem a bit confused mate. The front diff on an S3 is fully mechanical and can never have "slip" artificially added to it. Your confusing the haldex XWD system fitted to some Volvos and saabs with the Gen V system fitted to the S3

    Haldex | awd cars, 4x4 vehicles, 4wd trucks, 4motion, quattro, xDrive, SH-AWD, Haldex, Torsen, wiki - How it works
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  34. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Member

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    I had a 135i M for an extended test drive (2 days) last October. I also have the current F30 3 Series 320d (ZF 8 speed auto) as a daily driver so am bang up to date with BMW quality / technology on that front.

    For the two days I had the 135i M automatic it was a typical damp weekend. Fast roundabouts it squirmed and I actually found under hard cornering it shifted its weight quite awkwardly (not sure if that's the best description but that's how it felt). It did not have launch control (also many Youtube videos of S3 vs 135i M show the Audi pulling ahead where the BMW tested has no launch control). This might have changed however since I drove one.

    The gearbox is better in my opinion in the Audi. Long term test drive (as also confirmed in my 320d) is it's slower to react to situations where you need to get the best gear for maximum acceleration, you can feel it change gear under normal load sometimes and shifts are slower. I don't think I have seen any literature or marketing that notes the ZF 8 speed box can shift quicker than DSG. Drive them back to back and it's very noticeable.

    In respect of technology - the 135i M I had on test had full nav package but it didn't do 4G and I again personally felt it's not as intuitive to use. Audi technology again in my opinion seems to be much more a head on the A3 with LED headlights, touch MMI, the driver aids, safety braking aid etc. The BMW dash is just a sea of grey cheap plastic. My 320d (which is essentially a similar dash if not a bit better than the 1 series) scuffs so easy, the leather is crap - it isn't A3 quality. The paint quality is awful too - that's well known with BMW, chips and scratches way too easily. Makes a big difference all this stuff 12 months in. That's the way I look at it. I am very certain my S3 interior after 3 years will still look fairly new - I know from experience that won't be the case with a BMW.

    So at the end of the test drive was offered 135i M at £4k discount. However, even with the 3.9% APR finance the GFV of £14.5k made it more expensive per month than the S3. I only drive 5000 miles a year so servicing costs were slightly irrelevant for me. Add in they can get me one built in 7 weeks it sort of felt they were trying to sell me something that actually they struggle to sell (it got to the point of the dealership being way too pushy - daily voice mails at one point).

    4-5 month build times for an S3 does tell you something I think......
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  35. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks New Member

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    Not at all. The key word was "theoretically." I was simply pointing out that there is nothing stopping engineers from creating a Haldex setup with a fixed rear-biased torque split. Configuring the existing open front diff to allow a fixed degree of slip would be one potential way to do so.

    XWD is nothing more than a Haldex 4 with a proprietary LSD on the rear axle. Better vectoring results are produced with the advanced EDS e-diffs on current cars.
  36. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    Have to disagree slightly regarding the auto - but that's only from my perspective as why to I wanted an auto (ease of use around town as opposed to actually driving on the open road. If that hadn't been a consideration I would have stuck with a manual). However everything else is absolutely bang on and pretty much sums up why I discounted the Beemer too.

    Digressing slightly, I think there is a marked step down in interior quality from the 5 series to the 3 and 1 Series. In the showroom they look fine but I've seen a number 12-24 months on that just don't seem to have stood the test of time. Wearing and wrinkling of leather excepted, all my previous Audi's have looked pretty pristine interior wise two or three years later at resale. And if your financing monthly you still want a car that looks good when the newness fades. After all you're still paying for it.

    BMWs always rely on the image as the drivers car and the journo's weapon of choice. But come a wet or icy winter I know which daily driver I'd rather be in.
  37. BigJK
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    BigJK New Member

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    I can't speak for the other BMW models (or Audi for that matter) but my understanding is that there are different versions of the 8 speed auto with correspondingly quicker shifts on the Sport auto although will bow to the superior knowledge of others if I'm wrong. The M135i does now have launch control which earlier builds didn't.
    I don't use 4g so that's relatively irrelevant at the moment until coverage improves and cost comes down. The BMW does allow 2 phones connected via Bluetooth at the same time (with the enhanced Bluetooth option) which I like as I carry personal and business mobiles.
    I'll take your word on the differences in the technology packages as I didn't really get to try either. I do know there are more technology options on the Audi but they come at a price and not all are totally necessary in my opinion.
    On the PCP with the same deposit, mileage and length of payment the Audi was working out £80 per month more expensive and that was with a higher GFV than the BMW. I didn't like the way the Audi salesman pushed their gap insurance and their valeting service within the cost. There's only two Audi showrooms here in Northern Ireland owned by the same company and tales of after sales service don't inspire me with confidence.
    I know the Audi is a longer delivery but is this not down to limiting production of the S3 whereas BMW sell what they can of what is simply another model on the production line?
  38. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Member

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    Agree - it's totally how you people see things from their point of view. We all come to a purchase with a different agenda, wants and needs. Hence gearbox we can argue about that one until the cows come home! Living day to day with DSG I just prefer it.

    My 320d is looking rough after 12 months and I really do look after my cars so it has been a shock how poor it's held up. I had the first gen 1 Series and that was much better quality in terms of paint and plastics, but that was purchased 2005 so yes, things have moved on and inevitably BMW will try and cut costs generation to generation.

    Interesting thought though - the 1 Series in its current form will be the last I understand to be rear wheel drive and with 6 cylinder engines where BMW are moving over to their version of MQB (2 series tourer and MINI currently using). Be interesting to see how BMW keep the dynamic part of the car strong with that in mind.....
  39. 6audi6
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    6audi6 Member

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    Taking the alleged RWD 'driver' selling point out of the equation and going to FWD might, just might, force BMW to actually design a 1 series you'd want to see sat on your drive!
    Pulp84 likes this.
  40. Pulp84
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    Pulp84 Member

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    Nope - I understand BMW factories are not at capacity where as VAG simply can not make them quick enough due to demand. I have a friend who works for a large dealer group (they have many brands as well as BMW) and he told me the targets are high because capacity is too large currently. BMW apparently upped their capacity in 2011 on the back of an expected recovery in Europe which (as yet) has not materialised - unlike the UK who are buying cars left right and centre. I'm guessing VAG have kept capacity the same as pre-recession levels and hence why builds take so long. Only time will tell who played their cards right.

    My 320d has the "sports" gearbox exactly the same as 135i M and that's what I was referring to in earlier posts. Good to know they have now caught up with launch control.

    I can't remember exactly the figures, but when I did my research the S3 had expected better residuals after 3 years compared to the 1 Series which has always been bit of a depreciation monster. The 135i M I was told by the dealer at the time that it was their attempt at a "sub brand" under the M cars like the Audi S range. They are meant to be fairly limited allocation dealer to dealer but could have been sales talk, who knows.

    From your post it seems you have done your research, driven it and (nearly) made your choice. Good luck with it.

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