Yeah, talk about consistency...like a broken record.
As it's a bank holiday today thought I'd take the S3 out for a long drive down to Bournemouth. Included lots of fast driving across the Salisbury Plain. Gave me some time to re-evaluate things considering I have been vocal about some of the S3's shortcomings.
So the enjoyable / good bits:-
1) You simply would not believe how quickly I covered ground across the Salisbury plain today. Point to point this car is mega. This I confirm was much fun
2) 36 mpg and I was not being gentle with the throttle.
3) Super relaxing. When I had to slow things down due to heavy traffic it was smooth and quiet. It is a nice place to be for a few hours.
4) The noise. I do love the noises this car makes. It made me smile quite a few times today.
The bits that take the edge off a perfect drive:-
1) Not sure if many people know it, but near Stonehenge on the road to Salisbury (A360) is a very long stretch that has a number of crests. At a *spirited* speed I had to back off as the crests bounced the car way too much. Mrs Pulp even made a comment - "should it do that?".
2) Variable steering - I still can't find a setting I like. 120 miles today tried all the settings. Hate Multi-storey car parks especially as to me the amount of steering input does not correlate with where the nose is going meaning nervously checking wing mirrors seeing where edges of wheels are against curbs etc.
3) Slow speed ride. Bournemouth's terrible roads really unsettled the ride comfort today. Not enjoyable.
The thing about it that's surprised me is the understeer, it's worse than my (very old and by now dead, I'm sure) Golf (also haldex and a much heavier engine too). Changing the tyres to Eagle F1's has helped but it's still not what I would've expected.
I do wish I'd spec'd mag ride but it wasn't until the rolling, sweeping (and a bit undulating) roads around Glencoe that I realised I had the optional go-go-gadget springs fitted to each corner! And not in a good way Not something a normal test drive (or to be fair, normal driving) will uncover.
However, saying all that, there's no other car right now I'd have instead and I love it. I'm not interested in modifying mine or anything like that and the RS3 is tempting but I'm also not a serial car changer, so I doubt that I will get one in the next 4 years... The thing to remember about this thread (and others) is we're being hyper-critical (well I am anyway!). The car is seriously nice inside and goes like stink!
I live locally to that road, and to be fair, those rises unsettle most cars. I used to hate that in my Jag, and don't find it a good road in my Q5 or my S3. I used to avoid it in my old Citroën BX16gti as it was 50/50 if you were going to get to Salisbury in one piece!
I've kerbed wheels in multistorey carparks in my last 3 cars - but not my S3 - I think the issue is with multistorey carparks not Audis steering. I hate the things and won't go near them anymore.
Just want to say.....
I was a subscriber to this forum a month before I collected my S3. During that month, I seriously doubted my purchase descision. I read on here, so many threads about the poor suspension, crashy ride, notchy manual gearbox, rattling wastegate rod, Poor quality paint, etc, etc....
Well, Im glad I didnt dwell on these threads. Ive had the car 2 weeks now And think its a cracking all rounder.
I find the ride quality, road holding and steering perfectly fine for the type of regular, day to day driving that I do. The gearbox is as good as any manual box Ive owned, the paint work finish is excellent considering modern water based paints and the car is quick, refined and very well built.
The only that I have experienced that has been raised on the forums is the waste gate rattle. However, this is a very small noise ŵhich is hardly a dealbreaker. Yes, I will be delighted if Audi bring out a fix, but if not, its no biggie to me.
In summary, for those of you who havent yet collected your new cars and have been reading this thread, please ignore the majority of comments until you get your car and can form your oŵn opinion! I find the car much, much better than many of the voices on here would have you believe!
All these handling issues are they with the normal suspension or is this with mag ride too as the car I drove had mag ride and seemed fine
.......I'd probably be equally happy with a 1.8T or 184 diesel engine but with quattro these were in S3 money so I went S3 and specced it up a bit.........
I pretty much agree with that. I've covered 15K in mine now. Steering doesn't change with time. The car generally losens up a bit though.I've done 1000 miles now in my S3 SB. I really LOVE it all. All except for that damm electric steering, yes I agree with V8 lol.
I find it too light and unpredictable (changes in resistence/response) with zero feedback. If I could spend £3k tomorrow to get better steering I would, as the rest of the car is awesome.
The quality of the interior is top notch. I love the mmi, everything seems to be in exactly the right place.
The suspension could be a bit firmer but then you might lose the excellent way I think it soaks up bad roads and potholes (compared to my previous BMW E46).
The ability to cover ground quickly and in supreme comfort in this car makes it perfect for my uses. I've had 4 sets of golf clubs and 5 people in too at times. Plus the dog sometimes, bikes etc. Great car.
Question for longer term owners : does the variable steering become more predictable eventually after time?
Question for tyre changers : do new tyres help with steering response ?
Great thread btw
Two points (for now)
The top speed of the car is advertised as 155mph, which in certain places, is legal. A car that can achieve this speed, but not cope at that speed, is not a good thing.
Other owners (including myself) have had the car pitch unpredictably, and upset the attitude of the car, at speeds well within the UK national speed limit. To say that you would not achieve this in the UK within the national speed limits is a falsehood.