‘SUBTLY, SERIOUSLY SPORTY’
Added 16th December, 2016
By Jonathan Crouch
Wouldn't life be dull if we always just bought what we needed rather than what we wanted? There we'd be, living this Tesco Value range existence, clad head to toe in Primark and driving would be functional, grey and joyless. Fortunately, indulgence is a part of human nature, a facet shamelessly capitalised upon by cars like this one, the automotive equivalent perhaps, of one of those hugely expensive Breitling watches that are waterproof to 100 fathoms and which can withstand a shot from a sniper's bullet. Will you ever need that kind of functionality? Of course not, but it makes you smile to know it's there in reserve just in case you ever fall in the bath or get called to give a speech from an open car in Dallas, Texas.
In the same way, no one actually needs an S3 - but then no one actually needs a hot hatch either - so if you can afford to get yourself a shopping rocket, why not buy one that makes you feel the way this car does? It's certainly the sort of sports hatch that might well appeal if you owned all the loudest and fastest GTIs in the Nineties and Noughties and now just want something that can do it all without drawing attention to itself. True, critics might point out that this Audi could be more engaging - that it could grab you a little more by the scruff of the neck - but pointing that out probably says more about the tester than the S3. To be frank, it never has been that sort of ride.
Where the car scores is in its massive capability and its beautifully engineered feel-good factor. The joy of ownership here doesn't necessarily come from clipping apexes at the limit of grip, although the S3 will indulge you in that way if you want. Instead, it comes from owning something jewel-like and exclusive, a very, very quick car that doesn't overly-immerse you in the business of going. well. very, very quickly. The thinking person's superhatch? You're looking at it right here.