London is a very congested city, among the most congested cities in the world. So, naturally, driving in London can be extremely stressful and very difficult. Much like driving in New York City, driving in London can be almost dangerously difficult. Having never driven in London, I don’t know exactly how bad the drivers are but if it’s anything like NYC, they’re pretty rough. Except, for one week, the worst driver in all of London was Jeremy Clarkson in an Audi RS3 Sedan.
In his recent review, Clarkson claims that the Audi RS3 is a good car but one that actually made him a worse driver. Why you might ask? Well, because of some of its tricky flaws.
As a car, Clarkson actually seems to like the RS3. Its 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine makes 400 hp and makes the little RS3 very, very quick. It’s also the same engine from the Audi TT RS, a car that he likes quite a bit. However, he wishes its exhaust wasn’t so obnoxiously loud on start-up. Still, it’s hard to hate on that sort of power and performance from such a small sedan. More impressive, though, is how well the Audi RS3 handles. There have always been fast Audis but they’ve often lacked proper dynamics. Clarkson feels the RS3 is not one of those cars.
“Of course for many years there have been Audis that could travel quickly in a straight line, but in the recent past we’ve started to see Audis that can go round corners quickly as well. This is another. With sensors and algorithms on hand to decide which of the four wheels gets the power, the RS 3 is a car that just flies down a country lane. It’s a joy.” he said.
Now onto its problems and how it made him the worst driver in London for a week. For starters, the price. While that doesn’t actually make Clarkson any worse, it’s hard to swallow a £45,250 (it’s $54,900 in US) for such a small sedan. Even if it is very well-equipped and features premium build quality. He also dislikes the navigation system, which is actually surprising. Audi’s new MMI system with Virtual Cockpit (standard on the RS3) is a breeze to use and makes looking at the nav screen far easier while driving. Though, Clarkson feels otherwise and says it’s fiddly to use and overly complicated, which can make it distracting.
The main problem he has with it, though, is the brakes. The carbon ceramics fitted to the RS3 as standard squeaked quite a bit for him, to the point of being unbearable. To mitigate the aggravating brake noise, Clarkson had to develop a new driving style. First, he tried coasting to a stop and only using the brakes when necessary. But that didn’t work due to crazy London Prius drivers. So he ended up just being one of those people who wait until the last second and then slam on the brakes. Thus making him the worst driver in London. Though, that may have been a specific issue with that car.
Still, though, the Audi RS3 Sedan is a very good performance car and one that impressed Clarkson, both in terms of speed and handling.