Audi S3 PFL vs Mercedes A35 AMG

wab172uk

Now in an X3 M40i And a Yaris GR-Four
I’m a big fan of the a35, I think with aero kit it’s got massive road presence and I’d happily overlook some of the cheaper plastics in the cabin for the way it looks. I however joined the a35 Facebook group a few months ago and it completely turned me away from the a35/cla35 as it seems to be a daily occurrence asking what each different warning light is, the fix, removing batteries for 10 mins etc. Seems like some amazing tech on them but after 6 years of never touching a dealership (touch wood) and after owning and Alfa prior, I’m not willing to risk a merc and fearing what will be the next bodge to get me by for a few more weeks until another dealership visit

That doesn't sound good. An A35 AMG was on my list of possible replacements. Might have just slipped down the list a few places. No car is ever faultless, and you always get the "Built on a Friday afternoon" car, but if lots of people are having the same issue, then that's a worry.

My Golf GTI was in and out of the dealership over a period on 11 months. I'd never want that experience again. Luckily the dealership was round the corner from where I live. If this happened after I bought an A35, it's a 30 min trip each way. Then time off work etc. Recurring or constant problems certainly can put you off a brand. I'd be reluctant to buy another VW for a while. And certainly not with the dealership round the corner.
 

cuke2u

Registered User
I’m a big fan of the a35, I think with aero kit it’s got massive road presence and I’d happily overlook some of the cheaper plastics in the cabin for the way it looks. I however joined the a35 Facebook group a few months ago and it completely turned me away from the a35/cla35 as it seems to be a daily occurrence asking what each different warning light is, the fix, removing batteries for 10 mins etc. Seems like some amazing tech on them but after 6 years of never touching a dealership (touch wood) and after owning and Alfa prior, I’m not willing to risk a merc and fearing what will be the next bodge to get me by for a few more weeks until another dealership visit
Most of the cheaper plastics are hidden though and I would say the rest is easily at a A3 level. I've got a A250 CLA on order and been around a few of A series forums and I've found the build issues are no more than ones reported in any Audi forums. I can tell you that only two years ago Audi released a TSB on the metal B&O labels that were coming unstuck from the front speakers of the A4 and had a risk of causing injury. Their solution was to remove them and fit cheap nasty stickers.
In this process some owners cars were being returned damaged with scratches on the door trims.

Thing is any forum will always be biased towards any issues. Whatever the price of a A35 you are still getting the same interior as any other A Class, you are paying for the engineering of the mechanicals...
 

AlS3BE

Registered User
Most of the cheaper plastics are hidden though and I would say the rest is easily at a A3 level. I've got a A250 CLA on order and been around a few of A series forums and I've found the build issues are no more than ones reported in any Audi forums. I can tell you that only two years ago Audi released a TSB on the metal B&O labels that were coming unstuck from the front speakers of the A4 and had a risk of causing injury. Their solution was to remove them and fit cheap nasty stickers.
In this process some owners cars were being returned damaged with scratches on the door trims.

Thing is any forum will always be biased towards any issues. Whatever the price of a A35 you are still getting the same interior as any other A Class, you are paying for the engineering of the mechanicals...

Is the cla not at least a better model to the a class maybe closer to the c class?
Was in the merc showroom a few weeks ago and starting to get confused with the line up as there’s an a class hatch and saloon then there’s the cla.
In the old line up the cla was the a class saloon and the shooting brake was the estate version.
 

Ron240

Breaking the stereotype
I've got a A250 CLA on order
There's one too many "A" in that sentence. :D
I know what you meant though. :)
The brand new CLA is a beautiful looking car and I would love to own one. The exterior is very classy looking and the interior is high tech....although the latter does divide opinion.
My first choice would be the CLA 35 in Sun Yellow, but second would certainly be the 250 like yours. :)
 

Chris4410

Registered User
That doesn't sound good. An A35 AMG was on my list of possible replacements. Might have just slipped down the list a few places. No car is ever faultless, and you always get the "Built on a Friday afternoon" car, but if lots of people are having the same issue, then that's a worry.

My Golf GTI was in and out of the dealership over a period on 11 months. I'd never want that experience again. Luckily the dealership was round the corner from where I live. If this happened after I bought an A35, it's a 30 min trip each way. Then time off work etc. Recurring or constant problems certainly can put you off a brand. I'd be reluctant to buy another VW for a while. And certainly not with the dealership round the corner.

I understand and agree that any car can have some issues, the issues I was experiencing were above and beyond normal.

The way the dealership in particular deal with any issues is also a huge factor, in this case they dealt with things terribly.

If they had accepted the issues were there and wanted to work with me to resolve them, that would have been perfectly acceptable to me. However as they continued to state this was a "characteristic" of the car as it was an AMG and I should expect the suspension to be stiffer and the car to rattle and creak more that a "normal" car I knew there was little point in hoping they could fix any problems.
 

winrya

Registered User
Most of the cheaper plastics are hidden though and I would say the rest is easily at a A3 level. I've got a A250 CLA on order and been around a few of A series forums and I've found the build issues are no more than ones reported in any Audi forums. I can tell you that only two years ago Audi released a TSB on the metal B&O labels that were coming unstuck from the front speakers of the A4 and had a risk of causing injury. Their solution was to remove them and fit cheap nasty stickers.
In this process some owners cars were being returned damaged with scratches on the door trims.

Thing is any forum will always be biased towards any issues. Whatever the price of a A35 you are still getting the same interior as any other A Class, you are paying for the engineering of the mechanicals...

Most of my issues were door card quality, the feel/noise when closing, the plastic leather as opposed to nappa which has a massive difference in feeling of quality. Centre console shiny plastics weren’t great. But as I said, tech compensates for that and all manufacturers (especially audi) are cheapening materials with newer cars so expect the a3 to go backwards when released
 

Flying Scotsman

Registered User
Personally, I think some young owners ( first new car ) of supposed "luxury" brands, bitch too much about dealers, perceived issues, and rant and rave on social media looking for sympathy from like minds. If you have a mechanical issue with a new car, take it to the dealer and go for a test drive with hopefully the shop foreman to show/demonstrate the issue. Your best friend in dealing with issues is the dealer, not Audi. Do not get angry with dealer personnel, as this will get you nowhere. If you live in a large city choose your dealer carefully, the large corporation ones are generally ones to avoid. The family run ones are normally the best. I have 4 Audi dealers in my area. I bought my S3 from a dealer I have dealt with for years. Family run and they are dealers for Audi,VW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Mercedes, and no I did not get the best deal from them, but if I have an issue it is dealt with.
Yes, there are lemon cars and if you have one and the issues can not be resolved in a timely manner return it, but again be polite and courteous in all conversations etc.
Lastly for god's sake take the car for a long test drive, 4 hours minimum by yourself. Some very young drivers may not be able to do this due to insurance requirements. This test drive will enable you to really evaluate the car and it's quirks, as all cars have them.
 

deMarcus94

New Member
I just saw this post and am in a very tough choice; S3 vs A35. You who have had both, from outside which car sounds better in your opinion? I have heard many say that the a35 even has the OPF sounds louder than S3.
 

Chris4410

Registered User
@deMarcus94

I had a lot of problems with my A35 and I ended up successfully rejecting it and returned it to Mercedes-AMG for a full refund.

having said that, if the car hadn’t suffered from the fault I would still have it today. It was a really fun car to drive and IMO with the aero kit looked a million times better than the S3. The S3 I owned didn’t have an opf filter as it was pre 2017, the A35 didn’t sound great at first, but after it was run in and had about 3k miles on it, it really sounded well.

I also really liked the AMG start up feature that give you some pops and crackles on start up.
 

dnzbdr

Registered User
@Chris4410

Could you be more specific where these sounds were coming from? Maybe we, thinking of switching to A or CLA, can pay attention during the test drives.

I was on the edge of buying an A-class with lots of tech options in it, or a CLA with less tech but a stunning look.
 
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Chris4410

Registered User
You mean the sound associated with the issues I experienced?
 

Ron240

Breaking the stereotype
I was on the edge of buying an A-class with lots of tech options in it, or a CLA with less tech but a stunning look as you say..
CLA has exactly the same tech as an A with as you say a stunning look. :)
Or did you mean if you choose the CLA you will opt for a lower trim spec?
I have a CLA in top trim spec Premium Plus and it is certainly not lacking in the tech dept.
 
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Chris4410

Registered User
@Chris4410

Could you be more specific where these sounds were coming from? Maybe we, thinking of switching to A or CLA, can pay attention during the test drives.

I was on the edge of buying an A-class with lots of tech options in it, or a CLA with less tech but a stunning look.

If it was anything like mine, trust me you would notice them.

It was a very loud creaking sound from around the door frames and where the side skirts attached to the main body of the car. You could replicate the noise even when not driving by simply pressing on the doors or side skirts with your hand.
 

dnzbdr

Registered User
CLA has exactly the same tech as an A with as you say a stunning look. :)
Or did you mean if you choose the CLA you will opt for a lower trim spec?
I have a CLA in top trim spec Premium Plus and it is certainly not lacking in the tech dept.
A with top trim vs. CLA with mid trim.
I know the interior and tech options are almost the same. I don't know if the multi-beam led numbers are the same for both, or some saying that some of the materials inside is better in CLA (eg. steering wheel middle part with Merc amblem is softer)
Is there any platform where you share your experience or follow the others?

If it was anything like mine, trust me you would notice them.

It was a very loud creaking sound from around the door frames and where the side skirts attached to the main body of the car. You could replicate the noise even when not driving by simply pressing on the doors or side skirts with your hand.
Then I probably will notice with a test drive around town, thank you.
Wish you a nicer experience with your new beast anyways.
 

deMarcus94

New Member
@deMarcus94

I had a lot of problems with my A35 and I ended up successfully rejecting it and returned it to Mercedes-AMG for a full refund.

having said that, if the car hadn’t suffered from the fault I would still have it today. It was a really fun car to drive and IMO with the aero kit looked a million times better than the S3. The S3 I owned didn’t have an opf filter as it was pre 2017, the A35 didn’t sound great at first, but after it was run in and had about 3k miles on it, it really sounded well.

I also really liked the AMG start up feature that give you some pops and crackles on start up.

From outside, can you compare the exhaust sound of your S3 and Golf GTI with your A35? How it sounds comprared to them the A35? Louder, quietier?
 

Chris4410

Registered User
The GTI sounds the best, but as it’s the TCR it’s fitted with a unique exhaust. It has a very nice deep tone, and it pops and crackles even when sitting stationary.

The AMG didn’t sound that great when stationary, it wouldn’t pop and crackle. However it would when being driven, but it had a far less deep tone compared to the TCR.

The S3 had a very nice deep tone, but far more subtle pops and crackles.
 

Chris4410

Registered User
They are in that order in my previous post.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
The GTI sounds the best, but as it’s the TCR it’s fitted with a unique exhaust. It has a very nice deep tone, and it pops and crackles even when sitting stationary.

The AMG didn’t sound that great when stationary, it wouldn’t pop and crackle. However it would when being driven, but it had a far less deep tone compared to the TCR.

The S3 had a very nice deep tone, but far more subtle pops and crackles.

That'll be the S3 pre face lift and not to be confused with the face lifted S3 of which sounds far better than the pre face lifted S3
 

Chris4410

Registered User
That'll be the S3 pre face lift and not to be confused with the face lifted S3 of which sounds far better than the pre face lifted S3

I would disagree, my friend drives a FL S3 and even he agrees that my TCR sounds better.
 
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