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New S3 test drive impressions

Itguy Oct 25, 2013

  1. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone

    Im starting to look around for a new car, coming down to either a new S3 sportback or Specced Golf GTI 5dr performance pack.

    Managed to have a really decent drive of the new S3 SB manual from Truro Audi on Tuesday.

    Nice spec of car, Misano red, tech pack, speaker upgrade (not b&o), interior light package, comfort pack with front and rear parking sensors.

    Our first impressions are that the car just feels so well planted. It must be the 4wd and as we (wife and I) have never owned a 4wd car before (except a 911 turbo I had for 3 months) it was a very interesting experience. The way it put power down was incredible. No drama at all, just woompf and go.

    It is extremely quiet inside and rides so well over the rough Cornish roads.

    Engine power was was good, it clearly has quite a big turbo to generate the power as it does take a moment to spool up and really get going but then the power above 4k rpm upwards is excellent. Reminded me of the 911 turbo in its ability to do "just one more" when overtaking.

    Steering was a little disappointing even after playing with all of the electronic settings, just felt a bit dead compared to the mk7 GTI and our current mk5 gti and Mini Cooper d clubman.

    At no point did it feel edgy or dare it say it exciting though although it's probably just because it's so competent at what it's doing. When I drove the mk7 gti it steered better and seemed to dart around a bit more, a bit more agile maybe?

    Anyway, as we had it for 2 hours we did some mpg tests too. Drive out (40 miles) was maximum attack and saw 25mpg and on the way back it was normal driving taking it easy. This saw 41.5mpg!! Couldn't believe it, very impressive.

    There is no doubt we'd ideally want an s-tronic one because of my stop/start commute (I'd want the radar cruise too) so would just hope that wouldn't kill the mpg too much.

    So - how have others found their test drives in the s3 so far? Anyone managed to test an s-tronic yet?

    From the reading I've done I can also see that people are securing 6% or 7% discount. Is this generally available from all dealers or is there just one that everyone goes to?!

    MBK, PilotAudi and Lmg like this.
  2. Dylock

    Dylock Active Member

    Hi mate,

    I am the proud owner of one. It's not far off 3k now so I've had a good chance to get used to it.

    In regards to the steering I agree totally, I would not say its bad just a little feel is missing. I'm used to this now so it's all good.

    Mine is the stronic and a mate has a manual, from what we have both experienced the lag is a little worse on the manual. Especially in 2nd for done reason.

    Fuel consumption is pretty much as you say but can get it into single figures if you try. Generally as you say 25 quick drive 40 on motorway.

    Overall I love this car :)
    Danners78, paullowther and Lmg like this.
  3. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Excellent, that's good news then. I had wondered if the stronic box destroyed the mpg like it does/did on the mk5 golf gti even though the official figures say it's meant to be better.

    Im just starting to firm up a spec but am hoping to drive the stronic version tomorrow in Derby if they ring me back.

    Then it's just on with the haggling.
  4. Allroad2013

    Allroad2013 New Member

    Internet brokers seem to be offering about 8% discount across the A3 range. So probably worth arming yourself with a couple of their quotes before talking to dealer.
  5. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Good idea.

    Got a test drive sorted for tomorrow in the stronic sportback with adaptive cruise control so hoping it will blow us both away.

    Im trying to to not listen to the engine noise on the m135i YouTube videos though.... God that's some engine.

    Anyone on here looked at (and dismissed) the m135i??
  6. Johnnyb

    Johnnyb Well-Known Member

    Yes, the m135 has got a face only a mother could love...

    The only other car i was tempted with was the Mercedes A45 AMG, but the look is a bit too much in your face, the interior looks cheap compared to the S3, and the ride is apparently extremely hard, i pretty much drive for a living so i need a comfortable car...

    I think the new RS3 will be the next one for me in a few years...
  7. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Yep, the a45 seems to be epically capable but starts at c.£37k so would be too much for me with my measly £35k budget all in!

    looking forward to tomorrow, let's hope the stronic doesn't disappoint !
  8. driver_tim

    driver_tim Active Member Team Daytona Audi A3

    Driving position is also inferior in the BMW in my view; specifically the offset pedals.
  9. NotquiteWelsh

    NotquiteWelsh Active Member Audi S3

    I have driven both BMW and S3; the BMW engine really sounds good, it's smooth and quiet around town and the steering is very precise. BUT IMO it looks aweful, the cabin seems smaller than the audi, the wife says the seats are **** and when loud pedal is used the back squerms about. So even though the audis steering needs to be better it got my vote. I have got used to the steering driving an 8P S3 for the last 3 years, although I also drive the wife's Jag as well.
  10. PilotAudi

    PilotAudi New Member

    Great summary Will. Personally having had both S Tronic and Tiptronic in previous Audis for the S3 order we are going with Manual as I believe the autos are better suited for larger motorway luggers than sportier cars which IMHO benefit from greater driver participation and engagement the Manual gives.

    I am greatly impressed with the balance between economy and performance although I think achieving 40mpg on a regular basis might be difficult ;-)..

    We have achieved the discount you mention but not easy. What really bugs me is the discount is on the whole deal. If you buy an A3 you can get 10/12% off extras so why only 6-7% off the same extras (i.e Pan roof) on an S3 ??? Also many extras really should be standard on this car.

    In comparison with the Merc A45 and BMW 135i.. there is no competition both are a pile of ****e in my eyes for different reasons... The Merc is soooo fugly and expensive and I could not live with one. The BMW is a BMW and I don't own any flash dayglo lycra which appears obligatory if you own one. Also I hate the local dealership!

    So S3 it is and looking forward to March 2014.. FS in Feb.. very high spec A3 SB Black Edition 2.0Tdi 170 Quattro... Anyone interested PM me..
  11. arad85

    arad85 Well-Known Member Team V6 Audi S5 Black Edition

    It is. The first car I tried to sit in was a BMW 1 series. seat full back and down, steering wheel full up and forward and I could neither get my legs behind the wheel comfortably nor sit without cranking my head to one side (I'm 6'8").

    Still, that put one less car on the shortlist....
  12. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    Well after having drives in both a M135i Auto and the S3 SB STronic yesterday I think we're heading down the S3 route, as detailed in the other thread.

    The M135i is a special car, no doubt about it - they will be sought after as used buys for certain and it gave me a huge grin factor.

    BUT... then my head took over and started to really think about it. The S3 is just so much better in all ways except steering feel, engine noise and driver involvement.

    For 10/10th driving i'd take the BMW every time for enjoyment factor. The back end of it seems to be just directly connected 100% to your right foot at all times when driving. Truly electric. If I needed to actually get somewhere quickly however, it would be the S3 as at no point in the test drive did the tires chirp once - it just got on with it with clinical efficiency.

    For 99% of my driving which isn't at 10/10ths the S3 is FAR nicer place to sit, seems bigger, is quieter and more refined. The fact that you can get adaptive cruise on the S3 and not on the M135i is another key bonus to the S3 for me.

    Couple that with cheaper insurance and overall running costs (245/35/18s rears on the bmw + massive brakes = expensive) and the S3 is getting our vote.
    PilotAudi and Lmg like this.
  13. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member

    I did think about the golf gti but the s3 is way better. I like the merc a45 but when specced its massively expensive - way over £45K - also sadly no manual option and cramped cabin
  14. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member

    why do you want all the gizmos on it, don't you like driving - ive gone a manual and no gizmo junk - stop/start ill turn off as its ruddy dangerous - test drove an s3 in wet, foot slipped and caught it before stalling but demented sop/start cut in whilst I was across 2 lanes - what retard thought this crud invention was a good idea - anyway I will just turn it off
  15. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    I want most of the gizmos on it for different reasons. Tech pack for the nicer navigation and i hate having things stuck on my windscreen plus when driving in europe having integrated satnav is much better in the long swiss tunnels and in the centre of paris etc. adaptive cruise because it sounds good for queuing traffic which i do a lot, S Tronic box because I really didnt like the overly light feel of the clutch or gearshift on the manual and really love the rev matching on the downshifts on the stronic (better than any heal and toe effort of mine!)
  16. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

    And you haven't even mentioned how damn ugly the BMW 135 is, it's horrific.
    IMO (and in anyones with even a modicum of taste).
    the_lecht_rocks likes this.
  17. Itguy

    Itguy Well-Known Member

    How true you are - it really isn't a looker is it!

    I don't even find the blue brake calipers nice either. It didn't help that the demo one we saw was parked right next to a stunning metallic white E92 M3 with carbon roof etc...
    PilotAudi likes this.

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