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1,000 Mile In, S3 Sportback S-tronic Report

TheFiftheElement Sep 18, 2014

  1. TheFiftheElement

    TheFiftheElement Registered User

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    It seems customary, once you've posted heaps leading up to getting your car, then posting very little after, to report back once you've completed 1,000 miles or so in your new toy. So here are my thoughts on my new S3 Sportback ..

    I have an S3 Sportback, it's Sepang Blue and S-Tronic and I chose the Lunar Silver Interior (brave eh! :)). The options I chose were the Audi Sound System, Mono.pur, comfort pack, parking plus, hill hold assist, dimming folding mirrors, interior light pack and red brake calipers. I got @8% discount on my car, ordered it on the 24th April and picked it up on the 12th July.

    Looks/Exterior/Interior:
    Well I'm happy, I do think the lighter interior sets the cabin off :thumbs up: and I would recommend the Mono.pur as an option. I'm not so sure about the interior light pack. I haven't been in an A3 without it, but I can't say I'm amazed at the cup holder rings and I'm used to puddle lights so that's nothing new for me. You could change the interior lighting colour in my JCW Mini, all you can do in the S3 is make the lights brighter/dimmer :numbness:. I still think Audi's, when they had the all red lighting, were cooler.
    On a negative note, I have a rattle coming from the passenger door :keule: and my seat has just started squeaking when going over speed bumps although I have resolved this (probably temporarily) by raising it up a touch.

    I have the standard S3 alloys, I don't like the alternatives at all. I think 18's are enough too. I'm not 100% on the grey colour tbh, and they get filthy fairly quickly. I do like the red calipers, even though they are way too expensive. The RS4 alloys would have been my number one choice.

    Given the choice again, would I go Sepang/Lunar, some days yes, some days no, I think I may have gone Brilliant Red/Black pack/black. The demo I had for a few day was Misano and I thought it might just be a wee bit in your face.

    I don't like (and never have) the chrome grill. It's too bling. I like the alloy rails I have, and I really like the silver accents on the front and rear bumper, that's why I didn't go for the black pack. I may (if they become available) replace the front grill with a honeycomb (RS style) one at some point.

    There's no doubting the class of the interior (rattle aside). It's a lovely place to be, love the clean design, and the materials are top notch.

    I know this is a divisive topic, but the standard screen is more than adequate, and for me (who didn't even spec SD Nav) anything more is just a bit of frippery. I don't need facebook/twitter/google maps in my car. Half the time I have the screen hidden away.

    The Audi Sound System is also more than adequate. Bassy enough for me and with enough control over bass/tone etc. As per usual you can tell the difference in the sound from iPhone/SD card/radio with the radio sounding brightest. I have an SD card with my tunes on it and have had no problems with selecting artist/tune etc.

    Driving:

    It's my first S-Tronic. Really liking it so far for a dyed in the wool manual man. I can't understand how anyone can say it doesn't give them full control. I stick it in manual and use the paddles a lot. Even in auto mode you can over ride with the paddles. I can understand the argument for not being as interactive or feelsome but it's pretty good, I don't feel I missing out on gear changing are importantly, I'm not bored. You cannot get bored of the burps/farts :eyebrows:

    It's too quiet :eek: even in dynamic mode, maybe my history of scoobies, porsches with the sports exhaust, and my girlfriends 4.8 v8 have spoiled me, but I'd like it to sound louder. It does have a nice noise for a 4 pot just not loud enough. I'd like there to be more of a differential between flaps open and closed, so efficiency is quiet and relaxing, and dynamic is 'hey look at me' lol :D

    Hill hold is a nice addition, saves me sitting with my foot on the brakes in town. Again I don't understand the moans about it being a pain when parking. Turn it off before you park then. Jeeso. Is it so hard to think, I'm about to park, and press one button?

    There are too many driving modes. I use two. 1. Efficiency and auto, 2. Dynamic and manual. I don't have mag ride just standard suspension. I don't find much difference with all the modes in between. I have used the gearbox in sports mode about twice. Why would I want to go everywhere with my revs up @ 5K? Even on a country blast, it's unlikely I'll get above 4th, and even on straights, if there's traffic, I'll be in sitting in 3rd, revs screaming :confused: .. for track use, yes, for town or fast country, for me, no.

    It's quick, no doubt. Doesn't always feel it though, hides the speed well. It is good fun, much more so than my 8P S3 (remapped). Not as much fun as my JCW was, or my RS60 spyder. It is more of an all rounder than those 2 were though. It does put a smile on your face, when you stick it in dynamic, over to manual, flick the left paddle twice, foot down, brrr, click, whoomph, repeat. I'd give it 7/10.

    Overall mpg is sitting about 25. Which isn't bad considering my 80/20 town/country driving. Even my 330D only managed low 30's average. I don't seem to be the most economic of drivers no matter how hard I try. The best I have managed, on a gentle motorway run @ 70, over 60 miles, was 35 mpg. I'm not convinced this will get any better.

    Overall:

    That's me about 3-4 months in with the car. Apart from the rattle, I still look forward to driving it and do smile when I see it on the driveway. I was between the S3 and a 330XDrive and made the correct choice.

    I've not started planning my next one yet, which is unusual for me, so that's a good sign. I think the upcoming RS3 would address the noise/sound issue, and will come with 19's and the honeycomb grill. Probably out of my price range though, and I think sitting in the same interior for 5 yrs+ would get boring.

    Current thoughts, C63 AMG, Ford Mustang (V8 RHD) or possibly E92 M3.

    Apologies for the length prose :D
     
    RAPS3, scotty76, CCWS3 and 9 others like this.
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  3. Bristle Hound

    Bristle Hound Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting thoughts ...

    Thanks for taking the time buddy :thumbs up:
     
    TheFiftheElement likes this.
  4. Foxtrot_Oscar

    Foxtrot_Oscar Guest

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    Always good to hear feedback from people who are actually living with the car. Thanks.
     
    TheFiftheElement likes this.
  5. A3_Rider

    A3_Rider Registered User

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    Good review, shows the S3 caters for different types of people. I agree that the whole technology in you car thing is just pointless, but then my wants are different to others.
     
  6. TheFiftheElement

    TheFiftheElement Registered User

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    I understand some folk need/want Sat Nav, on screen texts, and high connectivity with as high a definition screen as you can get, for work purposes, or because it's floats their boat.

    For me, I just like decent sounds, and to concentrate on the road ahead. All the tech is wasted on me.

    One thing I forgot to mention was I think the S3 is good value in the range. If you choose a smaller engine car, by the time you've added enough options to make it more errrrm desirable ;) you're almost into S3 territory cash wise. Add in the high GMFV (if you're looking at PCP) and the S3 looks pretty good value.
     
  7. Fiddie

    Fiddie Registered User

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    Maybe, you can upgrade that sound fitting a sport exhaust. Something like Remus, or much better... an Akrapovic (wich I heard it is in development at the momento) :)
     
    CCWS3 and TheFiftheElement like this.
  8. snakehips

    snakehips Registered User

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    Have you got the dreaded window rattle, or does it sound like something else?
     
  9. Pulp84

    Pulp84 Registered User

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    Good write up.....excellent observations too. Will add that once you get some further miles on it and it's properly warmed up it does get louder.

    Quick question - do you find your standard MMI screen quite dim even on full brightness at night? Mine seems to be not brilliantly lit. Not sure if it's the to the colour of the icons on the media setting (yellow) - but always seems weak in brightness, interested to see if you think the same?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  10. Si_S3

    Si_S3 Registered User

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    Great write up - makes good reading. Reminds me of all the good things about this car I should be enjoying, but for the dreaded metallic rustle which mine suffers
     
  11. mls

    mls Registered User

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    Puddle light?
     
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  13. monopole

    monopole Guest

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    Spec dependant, you need the interior light option for puddle lights I believe.
     
  14. TheFiftheElement

    TheFiftheElement Registered User

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    snakehips, now you mention it, it may well be the dreaded window rattle .. I was on my own in the car this morning and put the passenger window down a small amount to see whether the rattle stopped and hmmm, not sure .. will need to wait until I have a passenger and get them to press a few things (window, speakers) to see if we can diagnose where it's coming from ..

    Pulp84, I can't say I've noticed the MMI being particularly dim at night. Mind you I do have my rheostat for my dials pretty low so prefer a dimmer cabin. It's something I will check on the next time it's dark and I'm out and about. I do agree with you about the colours though, why do they always go for browns/oranges .. my JCW was the same.

    Fiddie, a sports exhaust could be on the cards at some point, only if though there are two distinct modes, nice and quiet in efficiency and loud when 'on it' .. I think the PSE system in the Porsche I had, had this nailed, just the right level/sound quality .. I miss that straight 6 howl ..
     
  15. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    Hi - the brightness of this (and the instruments) are dependent (in addition to the manual knob) on an ambient light sensor, so if its an unlit country road at night, it will be dimmer than say a city centre street that has street lights.

    To avoid glare when driving at night on a very dark road, with the screen raised.
     
    Pulp84 likes this.
  16. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl VCDS Map User

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    I could bore you to death on this topic, but in short, two factors, the first is the human eye response to different colours/wavelength, the second the the "corporate" brand values of each manufacturer. So BMW traditionally Orange, Audi traditionally Red, VW traditionally Blue etc.

    The eye is best at distinguishing contrast and detail in low light at the orange/red end of the scale, and worst at the blue end.

    JCW got orange (605nm wavelength) from BMW.
     
    Pulp84 likes this.
  17. Pulp84

    Pulp84 Registered User

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    That makes total sense. Thank you. Yes, it is brighter in some instances and I do drive mainly rural roads.
     
  18. snakehips

    snakehips Registered User

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    And of course the screen dims to 'night mode' when you turn your lights on.
     
    veeeight likes this.
  19. steeve

    steeve Registered User

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    Thanks for writing your report, it was very interesting. I've just about hit the 1000 mile mark in mine although its taken me since the first week of July. I'll have to post my thoughts.

    Thanks again.
     
    TheFiftheElement likes this.
  20. CaesarBob

    CaesarBob Registered User

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    Good write up.

    Just surprised me how long it took to reach 1,000miles. When mine arrives i expect to hit 1,000 within the first fortnight!

    Joys of company cars! :racer:
     
  21. TheFiftheElement

    TheFiftheElement Registered User

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    Thanks folks, yep I don't use my car that much .. that's why I torture myself sometimes and think, why am I paying £350 a month on PCP for a car that sits on a driveway a lot (I walk or cycle to work if I can) ..

    I chose PCP, because I wanted to keep my deposit small, and it's more important to me to have a wedge in the bank, and pay what I can comfortably afford monthly, than have it all sit in a lump of metal outside. I do understand the financial arguments, I'm an economist.

    The other alternative is to have something cheaper, older and more interesting on the drive, but I look around and think, I work hard so why not have a new car. Life's too short ..

    The S3 is my compromise for a nice car, not too expensive to effectively rent on PCP, insure (@£200 a year), fuel, tax and service. If I'm honest I should have kept my RS60 spyder, but the need for more than 2 seats raised it's head more than I wanted it to. I had an old Pajero at the time too, but it kept non starting so forced my hand a bit. What's the point in having a winter car if the ****** thing won't start as soon as it gets cold?

    Always interested to hear other people's opinion of their 8V A3/S3's ..
     
  22. The Engineer

    The Engineer Registered User

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    My opinion is pictures are needed, otherwise your full review is null & void...

    :lick:
     
    Ben Daniel Grant likes this.
  23. the_lecht_rocks

    the_lecht_rocks Registered User

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    What was your porsche with a straight 6 ?
     
  24. RAPS3

    RAPS3 Registered User

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    I think he meant flat 6
     
  25. TheFiftheElement

    TheFiftheElement Registered User

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    Sorry numpty moment, flat 6 of course :confused: .. I had an RS60 spider, GT silver with the full red leather interior .. Smart **** lol ..
     
  26. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Registered User

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    Fifth element, Good review. I ordered mine in October and had a long long wait till March 1st. Car is great despite the fact that a 4*4 prat drove into the back of it on say 2, no thanks to the useless sytnerdrive it took a month to repair, after 5 minutes driving the sound deadening in one if the wheel arches came away, had a sticking wing mirror replaced and sunroof rattle sorted that has reoccurrence. I've done 4000 miles. Best mpg I've done is an approx 200 mile round trip to longleat and driving like a nun at 60-70 I did an impressive 41.2mpg. Average though is near 30mpg due to shortish 20 mile commute along the m4 corridor and lots of short trips. Not taken it on many long trips. Interior is great. Went for loads of options. Stronic is great and do the account and B&o and tech pack. Love the standard leather heated seats and the pano roof is good. Visibility isn't great as the windows are quite high up making parking etc not as easy as it should be. Having said that visibility is way better than the appaling visibility in the new merc a class. Another issue I've had recently is odd. Noticed one tyre was really flat. Checked it and was 6lb. Pumped up ok but will get it checked as I'm sure it's damaged. Unless it's a puncture I can't say I'm impressed with the continental. Shocking if they last 4000 miles of mostly leisurely driving
     
  27. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Registered User

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    Lol don't you just love predictive text. Grrr
     

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