Can the Audi S3 Sportback Take Down the Mercedes-AMG A35?

Prior to this new generation of Audi S3 Sportback, the king of the premium hot-hatch segment was the Mercedes-AMG A35. It’s still a fantastic overall little hatchback; one that’s great looking, fun to drive and packed with great tech and a stylish interior. However, the same can be said for the new S3. So can the new Audi take the AMG down?


Unfortunately, we won’t be able to find out for awhile here in the U.S. market, as the S3 isn’t on sale here just yet. Even when it does go on sale, we only get the sedan versions of each of these cars. So to find out which hatchback is best, we have to rely on European publications, such as Auto Express.

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In their latest comparison test, AE puts these two premium hot-hatches together to see if the newcomer can beat the old-dog.


Both the Audi S3 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG A35 are well-matched on paper, with both cars using 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinders that make just over 300 horsepower. Both cars also use seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes and Haldex-based all-wheel drive systems. They both also hit 62 mph in a similar time; 4.7 seconds for the AMG and 4.8 seconds for the Audi. So the winner will only emerge after driving the two back-to-back.


The new S3 is a good car, with sharpish steering, good body control and a nice interior. However, the AMG A35 has sweeter steering, a better ride/handling balance and is even more practical. While the S3 is the more tech-focused car on the inside, the AMG A35’s tech is just as good but in a more stylish package.


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So, unfortunately for Audi, while the Audi S3 Sportback is a great all-around premium hatchback, if you want something a bit more fun, a bit more engaging, it’s the AMG A35 that you want.


[Source: Auto Express]
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.