In this small, front-wheel drive-based all-wheel drive sedan segment, Audi has been playing longer than its competitors. As most of its small cars have been based on Volkswagens, Audi has been making small sports cars with front-wheel drive-based drivetrains forever. However, now some of its competitors have gotten involved, such as the all-new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and the BMW M235i Gran Coupe. Both of which are far newer than the current Audi S3.
So that puts the Audi at a bit of a disadvantage in this new video from Throttle House. Despite being from the longest tenured maker of these sorts of cars, the Audi S3 is seriously aging. So can it keep up with its two newest competitors?
To be honest, in many ways it can. The new BMW M235i Gran Coupe is, too be nice about it, not a great car. It’s objectively good at many things; such as going quickly in a straight line, having a well-made interior and, ya know, driving around. However, it’s extremely dull to drive, is pretty rough to look at and boring on the inside. So, in many ways, the old-dog Audi S3 is actually the more enjoyable car to drive and own.
The biggest obstacle for the aging S3 is the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The smallest AMG is actually a bit of a riot, thanks to its punchy engine (all three cars have the same engine configuration; 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinders) and exciting cabin. In reality, it’s the AMG CLA 35 that’s the best car of the three. It’s the fastest, most interesting, best looking and sports the most exciting cabin.
However, there’s a simplicity and an honestyl to the Audi S3 that both Throttle House hosts appreciate a lot and they also think it has the best steering of the bunch. So despite it being quite a bit older than both cars, at worst it places second and that’s seriously impressive. Even better news for Audi is that an all-new S3 is on the way and could be primed to take both of these cars down.