Audi S3 v BMW M135i v Mercedes A45 AMG

Audi S3 v BMW M135i v Mercedes A45 AMG

This is what we want to read; a comparison between the three hottest hatches currently on offer from the triumvirate of German masters. Thankfully, George Kacher has put his keyboard to work on behalf of Automobile magazine:

George Kacher on the S3: The Audi goes around bends like a slot-car racer with a second pin between the rear wheels. Neutrality is the name of its game. So is it boring? Wrong term. The S3 rewards its driver with a different potpourri of talents. The roadholding is so tenacious that the Continental Sportcontact tires (225/40 R18 all round) might have harbored hidden Velcro strap fragments. The steering, overly light and a little mute, nonetheless turns honing the line into a surprisingly entertaining pastime.

George Kacher on the M135i: There is more roll and pitch and dive than we expected from a 1-series model wearing the M badge. On the other hand, grip is astounding in the dry, traction is only an issue when you ask for it by switching off ESP, and the stability through very quick uneven corners is supported by the nicely compliant spring and damper setting. So, full marks for ride quality, panache and refinement, but only 3.5 stars out of five for absolute sportiness and driver involvement.

George Kacher on the A45 AMG: The engine delivers notable extra urge with real authority, the steering fuses input and feedback to a wonderfully three-dimensional level of control, four-wheel drive distributes torque with the eerie professionalism of a poker ace dealing his rounds, and the brakes bite with vigor and determination until, at the foot of the pass, smoke signals beg for mercy. The A45 AMG is as chuckable as it is sure-footed. It can corner on three wheels, decelerate at a ridiculous yaw angle, put the power down even earlier than the Audi. What it cannot do is ride well, period. Not even on smooth blacktop.

Based on what we’ve been reading, the S3 will only find buyers in Australia due to being cheaper than the other two (and only marginally), the A45 AMG will be the one everybody wants and some of the gloss of the M135i seems to have faded in the presence of serious competition.

Although, it is worth remembering the margins being discussed in reviews such as this are often so minor as to conclude that all three cars will reward their owners well beyond the initial novelty period. It’s just that they’ll do it slightly differently. We think it’s fantastic to see so much choice in the premium hot hatch segment. A shame it’s taken so long.

Follow the source link below to read the full review.

[Source: Automobile | Thanks to Richard for the tip]