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Audi S3 PFL vs Mercedes A35 AMG

Chris4410 Apr 11, 2019

  1. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Hey all,

    Many of you know I recently changed my S3 and a few folks asked for my thoughts on the new car.

    Well I have had the car for 3 weeks now and passed the running in period a few days ago, so I have no had enough time to form an opinion and comparison to the S3.

    So here goes, of course this is just my opinion having owned the S3 for 3 years and have now moved onto the A35 AMG which incidentally is my first Mercedes.

    Looks:
    I appreciate this is very subjective, personally I love the look of the A35 and have never had so many positive comments on a car before from all manner of people. For me the S3 was always a little to subtle, too much like a standard A3 Sline and this became worse in the FL models when they replaced the S3 detailing for standard S detailing.

    So for me personally its A35 AMG 1 - Audi S3 0

    Interior:
    The technology in the A35 is outstanding, it does make the interior in the S3 seem quite dated.
    What I would say it that the S3 interior just has the edge on quality, the B&O system is also slightly better than the Burmeister system, I also preferred the super sport seats in my S3.

    So for me, its 1 all.

    Driving:
    The A35 is stupidly quick, I know its only a few bhp more than the S3 but it just feels more rapid and it handles like it is glued to the road. The brakes are also fantastic, the gearbox in the S3 was slightly smoother in traffic and at slower speeds at all other speeds both cars are about even.

    Because of the handling and braking I would also have to give this round to the A35.

    Reliability will hopefully be as good as the S3, however its too early to determine this.

    In summary do I miss the S3, yes it was a great car. However I am very happy with the A35 AMG and I fully expect driving it for the next 3 years.

    I will leave you with some pics.

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    Cheers,
    Chris.
     
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  3. Chris.D

    Chris.D Registered User

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    Glad to hear you’re happy with your choice Chris!!
    Do you mind expanding on this a little, what’s so impressive about it?

    Cheers,

    Chris
     
    Chris4410 likes this.
  4. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Sure,

    The virtual dash is completely customisable to your preferences, what dials you want, what colours you want. It will provide information on the tyres pressures for each wheel and even the tyre temperatures.

    The Mercedes ME app allows you to track the car, it will even alert you if the car is being jacked up or it is crashed into. Everything is voice activated and it actually works, for example tell it to open the panoramic roof and it will, tell it you are cold it turns the heating up, tell it to turn the heated seats on and it will, plus many, many other things.

    It parks itself, the head up display is great. I am honestly still going through the manual which is 500 pages.
     
    Leevr and Chris.D like this.
  5. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    Audi S3 PFL should have been in your title mate as the FL car is superior in every way to it barring the new yins for obvious reasons,main thing is your happy and content with your chosen car
    Like you l can't see past my current car barr the stupidly priced road tax
    To be honest l don't think I'll get another car that ticks the boxes as much as my current car does for obvious reasons, price and sound and options, so I'll probably buy it off Audi because in my opinion new and the forth coming cars are becoming more like phones rather than cars
     
    Kayobong, MikeParkin, Tzsteve and 8 others like this.
  6. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    I'm not saying it isn't, but what makes the FL far superior to the PFL? One of the things that annoyed me the most was Audi taking all the S3 specific badging out of the FL models and replacing with the basic "S" you get with every Sline Audi.
     
    Paul finch likes this.
  7. Adam14

    Adam14 Registered User

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    Great write up, glad to hear you're enjoying the car! Personally not a huge fan of hatchbacks, but I can definitely see the appeal and can see why you like the styling, does look good!

    Great pictures too

    Have to agree on the S3 exterior styling (FL) was always a bug bear for me, the fact the front (bar the badge) looked identical to an A3 s line, only difference was the 4 exhausts. This is the same for the S5/A5 too.
    Feel these should definitely look different and more aggressive/sporty

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    Chris4410 likes this.
  8. mojo555

    mojo555 Registered User

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    love it mate! I may go take a look at one this weekend although I have a feeling it will be to much per month.
    just out of interest how does the engine/exhaust sound?
     
    Chris4410 likes this.
  9. Paul finch

    Paul finch Registered User

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    Enjoy your new car mate,it looks the nuts! The FL isn't superior to the PFL,it's an evolution of an earlier car.Would swap my my19 S3 for an A35 any day.
     
    Chris4410 likes this.
  10. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    I had to take it easy for the first 1000 miles, so I have only been getting the most out of it for a couple of days now. The exhaust sounds mad in sport+ mode, crackles and pops like mad. Can't understand how Audi weren't able to maintain this on the current S3 if Mercedes have been able to on the A35.
     
    mojo555 likes this.
  11. Mark_86

    Mark_86 Registered User

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    Looks awesome! Love the colour aswell!

    I think the tech in the FL S3 moved the game on vs the PFL S3... VC, ACC etc but that Merc looks on another level. Is the mood lighting distracting?
     
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  13. SPIKE_S3

    SPIKE_S3 Vorsprung durch Technik

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    The A35 looks great. Seen you around the Titanic Quarter last week, and there was no doubting it was you......yellow car standing out for the right reasons! Enjoy :icon thumright:
     
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  14. Chris S 1245

    Chris S 1245 Registered User

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    Very nice car mate hope your enjoying it. But for me it’s not my cup of tea after hearing the exhaust videos on YouTube sounds a bit quiet for my liking. But the new A45 that’s coming out on test videos does sound very good ! .
     
  15. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    I haven’t found it to be, it can all be individually controlled anyway. So you can have as much or as little on as you want, all sections can be independently dimmed as well and changed to 1 of or a mixture of 64 colours.
     
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  16. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    I don’t what videos you were watching, but in sport+ mode the A35 is much louder than my PFL S3 was.
     
  17. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Yeah, it’s kind of hard to miss.
     
  18. JimmyMcGee

    JimmyMcGee Registered User

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    Isn't that why we have the RS3 with it's flared wheel arches and sportier grill, side skirts, etc.? I'm happy that Audi have this 3 tier system where most people just can't afford an RS model but can still have a sporty enough car through the S range. I am loving that yellow and black look on the Merc. Very Kill Bill :D
     
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  19. Adam14

    Adam14 Registered User

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    S3 isn't exactly a "cheap" car. Just my personal opinion that the styling should be different between an A3, S3 and RS3.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
    Chris4410 likes this.
  20. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Totally agree, as AMG goes the A35 isn’t an expensive car yet Mercedes have not scrimped on the details which I really like.

    It may be a minor thing to some people but it always annoyed me when someone did comment on the S3 a lot of the time it was “nice A3 mate”
     
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  21. TYb

    TYb Registered User

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    Really like the A35 especially in yellow, saw one in the flesh and it does definitely look more special than my S3, others will obviously prefer the subtle look though.

    If I were to go new/pcp route the A35 would definitely be on my list whilst I’m not sure a new Audi would as just don’t like the designs of the new A1 and Q3.

    Do you mind me asking what kind of deal you got on it?
     
  22. oli356

    oli356 Registered User

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    Lighting inside looks cool. The steering wheel just has wayyyy too much on imo.
     
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  23. msdmjb

    msdmjb Registered User

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    Have to bite but what a load of tosh.......people have different cars for different reasons, I and others I know could have any Audi RS but have an S3 because it has a manual gearbox. Stage1 S3 in the right hands is not an easy car to shake off on the road where power doesn't necessarily help.

    Whilst not my bag the Merc does seem to have moved the game on and will be interesting where it pushes Audi from middle aged albeit classy interior to capture the more up to date interior vibe.
     
  24. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    You need spend a lot of money to make the S3 look that bit different from a sline mate
    Besides it's never going happen that we woll get different styling on various models every manufacture is the same
     
  25. wab172uk

    wab172uk Now in an X3 M40i

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    For me, that's far too much going on there. Steering wheel has far to many buttons, and I just don't get all that `Blue` glow. Reminds me of when people fit the Blue Neon lights to the underside of cars. It just looks tacky. In my humble opinion.

    Think the interior is certainly aimed at the younger audience, which for me is a no go. I actually really like the exterior look of the A35 Saloon, and if it had a more traditional dashboard, it may have been something to consider.

    As for people saying the S3 look too much like a normal A3. Apart from the spoiler and aero veins on the front, it just look like a normal TDI. Plus can't you get the Aero pack on any A-class to look like the A35? So they'll all look much the same as each other anyway.

    It'll also be interesting to hear your view regarding the screens when the sun is at the wrong angle. As I'm sure they'll be points when you won't see what's on the screens from the suns glare. That could be dangerous. And also land you a speeding ticket.

    It's great we have choice, and I do think the new A35 is a very good car, with the Saloon version ticking lots of boxes (externally) but for me it's a `no`. Mercedes have gone down the `youth` route with this car, which is a shame as most youth can't afford (even with PCP) a car of this price range. I also wonder how the interior will age over time. in 5 years, it may look tacky and cheap. Well, tackier than it already looks.

    Not knocking your choice mate, just personal opinion / preference. Hope you enjoy many happy miles in it.
     
    Oreo5000 likes this.
  26. S3GCN

    S3GCN Registered User

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    It is good to hear/read that you are pleased with the A35. I am following in your footsteps tomorrow, picking up one which looks like it will be a similar spec to yours, premium plus etc. although I have gone for Mountain Grey so a bit more stealth.

    front.jpg
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    I am going to be sad to see the S3 go after three and half years, although that said it has probably been the most problematic of all of the cars I've owned, with haldex issues twice, coolant leak, and a couple of other bits. Still a lovely car though and I think the S3 looks great in white.

    I have had three white cars on the bounce though I thought I would have a change with the new one.

    So tomorrow will be an exciting day with a little sadness!
     
  27. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    No worries we are entitled to an opinion and I can see how the styling may not be for everyone, just in the same way I think the styling of the S3 is way too understated for a £40k + "sports" car and with their FL models they have diluted the S3 even further with just having the standard "S" logo everywhere.

    I am really interested to see what Audi do with the new S3, to get me back as a customer they are going to have to up their game considerably.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  28. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Congratulations on the new car, I hope you are happy with it.

    Mountain grey is a great colour, to be honest if I had been ordering one I may have went for that colour. However I didn't have the patience to wait or an order and when the dealership told me they already had a yellow on route with the spec I wanted I grabbed it.
     
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  29. mve7

    mve7 Registered User

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    Strange you say that the merc feels more rapid. Because the audi is faster not that much of a difference but it is.
    Personally I'm not a big fan of the merc but glad te hear you enjoy it.

     
  30. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    And of course everything on the internet is true and factual.

    I have driven both cars, so I am just giving you my opinion based on that.
     
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  31. Evil Derboy

    Evil Derboy Registered User

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    FL S3 is the better looking car from the outside in my opinion but the inteior on the A class is now best in class in every respect. It's as good as the old one was bad (and it really was ****).
     
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  32. jassyo06

    jassyo06 T-Cut King !

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    You don't like your S3 that much though?
     
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  34. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    I always thought the S3 particularly on saloon form was a good looking car and a quality package all round. My issue was/is that it wasn't different enough over a standard Sline A3 which depending upon spec could have 10-15k less.

    In the Fl this had gotten worse, we had lost the S3 specific steering wheel and all the S3 detailing inside had been replaced with the standard S branding.

    While some changes on the FL were in no doubt an improvement I was unhappy with Audi's approach to the S3 models, salesmen in Audi had even commented it was something that had put off other potential buyers of the S3 as most people buying this type of car are interested in details like this.
     
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  35. TYb

    TYb Registered User

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    Yeh I know what you mean, you need a trained eye to spot an S3.
     
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  36. mve7

    mve7 Registered User

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    so what is the difference between the a35 and the normal a class? outside the ugly wing and the cheap looking exhaust?
     
    Chris S 1245 likes this.
  37. JDHOWELLS

    JDHOWELLS Registered User

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    bitch :D
     
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  38. mve7

    mve7 Registered User

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    haha why? because I say my opinion?
     
  39. Oreo5000

    Oreo5000 Registered User

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    I guess the solution for anyone who loves the exterior of their S3 but prefers the interior of the A35 is to just strap 2 giant iPad Pro's to their dash and get down to Halfords for some blue neon.

    All jokes aside @Chris4410 really glad you're pleased with the new ride! To be honest it's the only car I've considered switching to.
     
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  40. Damo S

    Damo S Registered User

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    a touch more power, a chunk more torque, similar weight, and (I assume) no boost limiting in lower gears probably makes it feel a bit faster especially in the lower gears. Nice looking car too.
     
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  41. JDHOWELLS

    JDHOWELLS Registered User

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    I was being sarcastic :)
     
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  42. S32B

    S32B Registered User

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    Good review mate, glad you like the new car it looks great :) 1,000 mile in 3 weeks! I'm on 5,000 in almost 18 months lol But saying that, I recall getting the S3 on the Thursday and going away to the lakes on the Friday, told the Mrs it was for a nice weekend away with her....but the main reason was to test the car out lol :D I think sporty cars such as the S3, AMG A35 etc make you want to go out and drive just for the fun of it.

    I like that mate :) Think that's the colour I'd go for. I do like the yellow, but heading to my late 40's I think I'm a bit old for yellow :)

    That's what I like about the S3, just looks like a normal car until you boot it :)
     
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  43. Chris4410

    Chris4410 Registered User

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    Whatever mate, I have been a member of this forum for sometime and a few owners were interested to hear my thoughts on the A35 when I switched.

    This was my sole reason for putting the post up, I don't expect much love for a Mercedes on an Audi forum.

    My opinion is just that "mine" having owned and driven both cars.

    I think it speaks volumes about the type of person you are that you have to come up with your cheap comments.

    There is nothing cheap looking or feeling about the A35 and its just as well put together as the S3.

    I guess I am just open minded enough to entertain the fact that there may be a better car out there than the one I currently own.
     
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