Jul 26, 2014
Didn't see this on the forum already:
Gives the S3 a good review.
I think new STI owners want to hope they never come up against a S-tronic car otherwise it will get even more embarrassing.. ha.
The STI has still retained some of it's fun factor by the sounds of it, but Subaru are still stuck back in 2000 and just haven't moved the game on at all. Slow, **** interiors, high running costs, same old engine etc etc.
Back in the 90/00's you could put up with some of these minus points as they were one of the fastest cars on the road (bar supercars). Nowadays they will struggle to get past a stock Mk7 GTI..
Ja, Ja, already posted here !
That's very interesting, thanks for posting it.
I used to own a Prodrive STI (obviously not the new model) and I thought the testers comments were quite accurate.
I have to say, if I was in the market for a car right now the S3 saloon would be front of the list, with the sportback running to second place!
Whilst I love my 8P RS3 it is a little too hard for every day and I would expect an 8V S3 to be similar in terms of point-to-point capability on the road.
Third on the list would be the Golf R:
Interesting that early reviews seemed to rate the R universally better, but as time goes on the S3 seems to be getting better reviews all over the place.
I'm genuinely gutted about all the bad reviews for the new scooby, if it had the brilliant reviews the golf r / s3 have had then I would buy one today being a Subaru fan :-(
It's unreal to think today a German saloon with a 2.0t engine is faster, lighter, better equipped and cheaper in the long run than a Subaru Wrx sti..... The one thing jap cars had over its rivals was speed and lightness , but it's gone.
i have owned three scoobies and one evox before I made the switch to euro turbo charged cars. Owned a 335i n54 engine and currently drive a jcw mini. It is unreal how quick these cars spool and even more astonishing how they are able to produce such a broad flat torue curve esp the jcw. The japs are stuck in the past. gone are the days when they are the only ones that knew how to get 300hp out a 2.0l. Even at that, they do it by running large laggy turbos. For me, as long as I can afford a euro performance car, I will buy it over a jap anyday esp now that they small cars are more affordable.
Is it me or is the impreza front end a copy of the S3 with some of the grill sizes stretched/lights positioning etc? drag the bottom of the top grill to the bottom and its more or less the same!?
IMO there's nothing "wrong" with the Japanese cars but when your comparing like for like, the S3 is just a better all round package it seems from the review!
If I was getting an impreza though, it'd have to be one of the older, 22B or prodrive sti's
I would suggest that in pure handling/steering/suspension terms, the Scooby still has it over the Golf R / S3 ?
I had an Impreza Turbo before I bought my first Audi back around 2000. It was a great car dynamically, but my S3 was a light year ahead in terms of build quality and being a nice place to be.
A friend at work has a recent WRX and struggles to get 24mpg out of it on a decent run. I get 32 from my RS3 under those circumstances. The Germans have invested significant money and engineering in making their engines efficient - delivering both power and economy in the process. Add in potentially 18k miles between services and German cars are a much more realistic proposition than a Scoobie or Evo.
All of this beckons the question; which is more fun? I've had several scooby's and they were always amazing fun, you could forgive the crapness of the interior because they were ridiculous amounts of fun all of the time. If you could have a scooby chassis and engine with S3 build quality it'd be a winner.
I couldn't agree more, there's a lot to be said for fun factor.... I loved my stage 1 focus st because of how it made you feel driving it, same for my Mini Cooper s aswell that was fun to drive, the only reason I bought an m3 was to drive sideways out of corners.
I still might book a test drive in the scooby but it will always be in your head the cost is nearly as much as new s3 or golf r and you are getting less?
Still maintain the most fun I've ever had in a car was in an Impreza P1. Absolutely ridiculous, wasted my mate in his £100k Ferrari 550 Maranello which he was gutted about. I've very quickly fallen out of love with the S3, It's just too efficient.
I bet the p1 would still waste the new Wrx sti ! Pearl mica blue ,what a colour too.
I wonder how many other people feel the same as geefunk with their s3, are you in search for a new motor now then mate?
What would the s3 need to make it more fun? More power?
Better steering and feel, and revised suspension.
I was hoping the drive select and magnetic ride would give sufficient options / different feel to make a difference to steering and suspension. Maybe not.
The more and more I drive my S3 the more I agree with the various road tests about the steering.
Since I got it I have left everything in dynamic apart from the gearbox and although it's lifeless, I have actually liked the added resistance / weight. I put it in auto the other day and it was so light I actually thought it was broken. Hateful.
Why is everyone so against the S3 / Audi steering? I like how responsive & easy it is to use (from my brief experience with it).
Maybe I'm just not old enough (and experienced in terms of car ownership) to really know what's good in terms of steering???
I can see what people mean by 'feel', but I find it's far easier to live with in everyday driving and slightly easier than the Golf. When I want to have some fun I can when I want. That's kind of the point of an Audi I feel.
It's not just exclusive to the Audi. It's to do with the MQB platform. The loss in comparative weight has really lightened the steering quite a bit and I experienced the same thing in a Seat Leon.
Mind you, it's amazing to see how far ahead the Audi is in almost every area.
See, that's my thinking too! It's not supposed to be a chore and I personally enjoy it.
Where's the fun in life if we all thought the same though?
In all fairness I think a P1 would still waste pretty much anything on the road, epic car and I will own another one and keep it as a toy.
Yes, the S3 is going up for sale next month sometime....
Mine's got more power, about 360bhp worth but it's still dull as dishwater to drive.
Would love to know how many people get out of their S3, look back, and really yearn to get back in it and just go for a drive?!
The problem in the audi's seems to be that they feel too clinical, my second car was a Vauxhall omega, slushy autobox and it was recirculating ball steering, it was massively unpowered compared to my mates then Octavia VRS which was the 2.0T and I used to keep up round the corners because you could actually tell what was going off!
It's not an 8V,but I kind of have that feeling for mine.
Not that I'm biased of course !
This applies to the 8P as well as the current version and a lot can laid at the door of the overdamped steering as well as the heavy bias towards understeer.
The suspension and 4WD can be tweaked to remove a lot of the problems at some cost but the steering I'm afraid we're all stuck with.
Someone said its like a Playstation and I think that's not an unfair description.
I'd already substantially changed the suspension at Stg2+ or 360bhp and again now so it feels nothing like it once did but I'm not sure how much is available for the 8V yet.
I had an 8L S3 after my Imprezza Turbo. With the Imprezza, it was amazing 20% of the time and a bit of a tin box the rest of the time. The S3 was probably the other way around - lovely in most cases but lacking the final, ultimate driving enjoyment if the Imprezza. I spent a lot of money modifying my S3. Eventually it had 270bhp, water-injection cooling, braided hoses, fast road pads, thicker anti-roll bars, and adjustable coil-overs. With all that (which came to about £5k) the car was transformed and just as much fun to drive as my Imprezza had been.
My current car is a completely stock RS3, and (once you get rid of the awful Continental tyres) is an excellent car for a spirited drive or a long distance cruise. You just have to remember to use the sport settings for both ESP and engine to get the most fun out of it.
But the problem with the RS3 is that it's dynamic potential is so high that it's almost impossible to fully enjoy it on the UK roads. You need to be lucky and find a good stretch of road with some interesting bends and no traffic and that's hard to arrange these days. Many years ago I had a Nissan 200SX - 200bhp, RWD, limit slip diff and no traction control. This car was the most fun I have ever had, but it wasn't an all-year round proposition like an Imprezza or quattro car is and it was no where near as fast in real terms.
I guess the bottom line is: for maximum enjoyment go with low weight, RWD and moderate power. For ultimate point-to-point go with lots of power and AWD. Maybe I should give in to the inevitable and buy something like a Caterham or even an MX-5...
But it think the reason is my S3 is not my daily driver. It is strictly a weekend car and for the odd day in the week I want to have a blast on my commute to work. Therefore when I drive it, it is an event and I do have fun in it. The reason for this is my daily driver is an utterly terrible F30 BMW 320d Sport auto. Hateful car - BMW products are dog sh*te in my opinion and therefore the S3 is a welcome change and an event to drive as it's so much more powerful.
If I used it everyday - I could see myself getting bored with it BUT that has happened with every car I've owned that I have used as a daily driver.
Because journalists are indoctrinated by default into thinking the Golf will be the best.
I guess it's a bit like Millikan's oil drop experiment...
Ahhh, a Richard Feynman expose!
Not that the Golf doesn't drive brilliantly, but I've seen journalists talk about how different the engine is in a Golf compared to a Leon for example, when they're testing the same engines and the same platform.
However, as much affection as I have for Scoobies and that whole Colin McRae rallying era they exploited, it's amazing how far behind they seem to be now.
I do. I can honestly say I enjoy my s3 as much now as when I first got it. Maybe even more. And it IS my daily driver. Maybe its because I am very slowly modifying it, having just recently chosen my exhaust system for when it goes to stage 2+, so there is a continual interest in it. When I reach stage 2+ power then I will add on some more handling bits, which I am all looking forward to. Its like a journey tbh, if that doesn't sound pathetic.
From my experience the Subaru would still be a more rewarding and exciting drive by far., have you ever spent time in one?
To me it's all about it being an event no matter what sort of driving you're doing. I want to sit in something that is still an event even if I'm sat in a traffic jam. The problem with the S3 is it's just no different to an S Line diesel until you can get your foot down. It is a pretty nice place to sit but it's bloody boring. I personally don't look back when I get out and think wow what a motor.
I've had way more fun in way less powered cars that were way less expensive. Think I'm gonna buy another renaultsport clio soon as that is the most fun you could have for the money.
I think you're right. I would say my wife's Mini Cooper is more fun and at lower speeds than my S3. But at my age I want something a bit more refined and comfortable but still quick. I always have my bike if I want a huge buzz.
Yes. It's raw and unrefined in many ways which is where the enjoyment comes from but I want it to be a pleasure every day and it's not. It simply becomes a pain. The V40 I test drove alongside the A3 a few weeks back was along similar lines but I just wouldn't want that every day.
If you want to get enjoyment from an A3 then don't fight it. Take wider lines into corners, get the front in and straighten your arms and drive like Stirling Moss. The A3 lets you get away with murder and the enjoyment doesn't come to you, you have to go to it.
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