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[Audi A3/S3] S3 - Can they Handle it ?!


flatland
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Hi folks,

I am thinking of buying an S3 and was curious as to what you think of the handling / feedback / steering ?

Is there any difference between the early 210 bhp cars or the Facelift / 225bhp models ?

Is the steering feedback vague or does it give you a pretty good feel of what is going on ?

I've had Elises & Integrale's so good steering feel is quite high on my priority list, i know it's probaly not quite in the same league as these but is it pretty good IYHO ?

Would really appreciate your feedback (no pun intended !).

Thanks & Regards

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For me feedback was quite vague to start with. I've had mine for 15 months now, coming from a Pug 306 GTI-6. The GTI-6 gave me more feedback and I can remember when I first got it thinking I don't really know whats going on at the wheels, yet the car makes you trust it and straight away you can tell its sooo much better! Now though (maybe because I'm used to it) it doesn't seem as vague as it used to and I find the feedback enough.

Take one for a test drive to see, must warn you though you'll want one straight away!

Also the quattro is just great in the wet, especially from the lights! ECLIPSe.gifnotworthy.gif

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[ QUOTE ]

Is the steering feedback vague or does it give you a pretty good feel of what is going on ?

[/ QUOTE ]

In short, it's crap. I've had 2 S3's and loved both of them but they are hardly a cutting edge driving experience.

Steering was always an AUDI weal point (has got better on recent models.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved both of my S3's, but the steering was awful.

When I bought my second one, I had traded an Accord Type R in for it and (I am not making this up) I got a couple of km's down the road and pulled over as I thought mt tyres were flat, when I found out they were fine I went back to the dealer convinced that the steering was broke.

People who tell you that the steering is decent simply need to drive more cars.

But like I said, steering (and brakes) apart, I loved my S3's, brilliant interior, very reliable, nippy, economical and look good with alu mirrors and 18"s.

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Agreed with Lodders there Audi steering is vague and comes with very little feedback, but it can be improved on with some suspension changes, but still it wouldn't be fantastic IMO. Having said that although the feedback isn't there it doesn't mean you can't drive the car, and once you become accustomed to it then you'll find the car is very capable.

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Ahh, sounds like we have the same taste in motors sir. I too had one of the last Integrales and I miss it EVERY DAY. It was the most amazing drivers car, and for that you just put up with the fact that it's Italian and bits fall off/ electrics go spazzo now and again. I tried to get as close as I could with the S3 as on paper it's the same car - 4wd, 200+bhp, yellow etc. but no, it's just not the same. The rubbery feel of the steering in the S3, while you'll get used to it, really won't butter your muffin in the same way. Caterham Supersport, Mini Cooper S and currently an F355 have also graced my garage and to be honest I wish the S3 would turn back into an Integrale..

BUT I have to say go buy an S3 if like me you need to get about in a reliable and quick daily motor; the build quality is fab, the interior must have been designed around the awesome BOSE stereo and it's comfy as you need for a daily smoker. The dealers are terrible, but aren't they for any car??

Just make sure there's garage space/ cash leftover for you to treat yourself to a real, focussed drivers car...

MK

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Hi,

Must be brutally honest here, but after driving an Evo 8 I realise what I'm missing. I love my S3 to bits, and won't be selling anytime soon, but:

Steering feel in the S3 is non-existent;I am always left wondering what he heck is going on at all four corners, which is pretty unnerving and confidence crushing in the wet. Having said that though, the steering is perfectly weighted, which somehow makes the car feel more planted.

Understeer, understeer, understeer...

Everybody raves about quattro this, quattro that, but really it's just a limp AWD system poached from VW; the Evo has possibly the greatest 4wd system I have ever tried; you really feel it working for you, which is pretty amazing once you get the car going. Audi should quit raping the quattro image and resurrect the original setup on the next S3.

On a more positive note:

No other car has seats which treat you so well, both on the long road (most important) and on those fast blats down your favourite road. Worth buying the car just for the seats and driving position alone.

Build quality? Satisfying 'clunk' when you close any door on the car. Very reassuring.

Good looker. An Evo 8 is a pig, but you can easily live (and pull crumpet) with the S3.

Economy. Very decent considering the performance potential.

If I were you, I'd go for the test drive and buy the car. I was shaking after I took mine for its test, and I knew I had to have it. You will not be making a mistake, but as some others have said, make sure you can afford that real performance car one day.

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