While the allroad is in for service at Sunset Audi, they’ve been kind enough to hook me up with a loaner car. This Audi A3 S-Line is a fun little car!
- The new multi-link rear suspension on the Golf V platform is outstanding! This is probably the biggest appreciable difference between this car and my old GTi 337. Where the 337 would skip around in the rear, the new suspension follows the front and the car really digs in. Once settled in a corner, it’s on rails. Very impressive.
- The all new 2.0t is very strong. I wouldn’t notice any boost onset except for the occassional hunting of the DSG (S-tronic in Audi speak) gearbox.
- That DSG ‘box has 6 gears! The bottom 4 are obviously for making around town blasts a snap. This car is very pleasant to drive 40-80mph.
- The S-Line suspension is very nice. Firm but not jarring, and well balanced.
- The tires and brakes are not a good match for the S-Line suspension. It’s very easy to overdrive the brakes especially. I felt a slightly mushy pedal after only 10 minutes of spirited use. And the tires are all season Pirelli’s. Better pads, 18″ rims, and serious summer sport tires would really sharpen up this package.
- The DSG gearbox is more novelty than advancement. If you’re wide open and driving with clear acceleration or deceleration intentions, it does fine. But for mixed in-town driving, it’s a little jerky, especially coming to and from a stop. I’d opt for the manual (which is sadly not even an option if you upgrade to the 3.2 VR6).
- It’s a good thing this is a brand new car because there is cheap plastic everywhere. I’d be curious to see how that holds up over time.
My overall feeling is that this is a nice little car whith a lot of fun built in. But for $30k+, I think it’s about 4k overpriced. A Golf GTi is suddenly a serious bargain considering it will be better appointed and share all the other characteristics of this little car for under $30k.
Nonetheless, a big thank you to Sunset Audi in Beaverton for taking very good care of me while the allroad is being looked over.