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Russ' 2018 RS3 Driving Impressions

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Russ' 2018 RS3 Driving Impressions

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Old 11-17-2017, 04:20 AM
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Default Russ' 2018 RS3 Driving Impressions

2018 Ara Blue Driving Quick First Impressions:

First, like those of you receiving your cars lately, I too have the Audi Sport Puddle Lights and I love them. Thanks Audi for the very nice touch to our cars!

I was pleasantly surprised when I jumped into my car, started it up and the RS3 remembered the last mode setting(s) it was on. Awesome (mostly because I thought some of you said this was not true) so I'm enjoying the fact the it is set the way I left it when I turned the engine off.

I really, really like the B&O sound system. The MMI software was 0060 so I do have the Sub-woofer control which definitely helps the overall sound as well. It is sharp and clean and has a fair amount of flexibility to the audio spacious and can be played quite loud without any distortion which is always a MUST for me personally.

The MMI version was 1110 and it has TONS of settings (had to remember that round **** can be pushed LEFT as well as RIGHT to see additional settings / options and I really like the fold in mirrors when locking car, as well as the tilt down passenger mirror in reverse, etc. Since I was involved in R&D computer / software research several years ago and was in on the beginning of speech recognition it was really nice to see that the RS3 included Speech training for its various commands and seems to work exceptionally well (at least to the small extent I have used it so far).

I'm enjoying the differences between the 3 driving modes especially the individual option. Until I break it in, I'm keeping everything in Auto (Normal) except for Exhaust and Steering (Dynamic) just until I can acclimate to the RS3 more and so I can better appreciate the difference when I do move to Dynamic on all settings except for transmission which can then be easily transitioned via the shift lever being pulled back twice to make the car fully Dynamic. Full Comfort mode was exceptionally nice for driving on the interstate and I didn't find it to be a problem except perhaps when going through the very twisty roads in and around Chattanooga, TN when I changed it to Auto mode and it definitely made the overall responsiveness sharper. I only used Dynamic very, very sparingly to this point but I can already see and feel the excitement within me building to the day when I can "unleash the beast" that lurks within this car. Which leads me to my next point. I'm now not sure which is going to be the hardest wait, ordering the car and waiting for it to be built and delivered or the break-in period (which now seems like it will be an eternity before it gets here). LOL

I found the steering wheel was very comfortable and liked its overall size and tactile feel (good grip) which made the experience and long drive even more enjoyable.

The RS3 also has very good vision from inside car and didn't find any potential issues or concerns here at all. I really liked the blind spot warning although it may be a little too sensitive but that's personal taste. I'm glad to see that I can adjust the brightness of the warning light via the MMI which I will probably increase since my RS3 is in the process of being tinted (20% all windows except windshield which will be 70%) and partially Xpel'd. I will post more pictures after its done. I'm supposed to pick it up Friday late afternoon. I can't wait to see it.

The RS3 was definitely more comfortable overall as were seats on the 4 hour drive than my 911 Turbo (but I would sincerely hope so since it was lowered and an 2004). I really like the front extensions on the front seats which definitely gave additional support to my legs during the drive and helped reduce fatigue.

What I am exceptionally pleased with are the brakes (especially the 14.6" on the fronts) which are definitely on par with the Porsche which is saying a lot in my book as the Porsche had 4X the required stopping power than was necessary. The only "downside" -- when I get in my truck (daily driver) and almost die every time it won't stop in the "right amount of distance". I may install a deployable anchor in the truck to drop so I will stop as quickly as the RS3!!

I really, really LOVE the exhaust sound (did you really think I would say something different?) but as others have previously stated it can be a bit muted at times which is both good and bad. Again, this will be according to your personal and very individual tastes. The cabin is very quiet which I like after the noisy 911 (it made me also realize my wife's Mazda is also noisy and I used to think it was fairly quiet before the RS3) so good job Audi in keeping the cabin quiet which aids when using hands free calling. However, I wish the overall sound was a little louder but I'm sure as the exhaust breaks in, my increasing use of Dynamic, etc. will also make the experience better overall.

I will NEVER, NEVER ever tire of hearing the rev matching downshifts in Dynamic and DSG is very responsive even in non-dynamic modes. I had no issues whatsoever in passing folks on my trip even while trying to keep the RS3 within its break-in parameters. I was following a young woman who was quite quick and hit a 100 easily and well inside of the 4,000 RPMs which put a HUGE smile on my face. MUST...MAINTAIN...CONTROL.... was a common thought when driving it and trying to vary the speed / load during the break-in. Hmm, this is going to be harder than I thought.

I could definitely feel the "lag" / lack of quickness when starting out in normal / comfort mode but its something I will get use to like everything else and it is EASILY overcome by utilizing the tools this car provides us. But the staggered wheel setup does seem to help quite a bit in reducing oversteer and I enjoyed the curvy roads with heavy traffic and utilized my car's advantages to their fullness in "eliminating" those persistent left lane drivers who never exit the left lane!

I was surprised that my overall MPG was 26.5+ during my trip and I was NOT babying it at all. I stayed with the break-in parameters but I varied between 65 - 85 most of the time and I already told you the top speed I hit so I found the mileage to be quite impressive, at least to me. I was also pleasantly surprised that it started saying my range was going to 350+ miles which is close to the calculated range based on MPG.

My wife and I both love the Virtual Cockpit. I wanted it initially for its flexibility to provide you, the driver, with varying types and amount of data. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The more I learn about it the more I like it.

Also I will mention that I really like the look of the RS Design package. I really like the red accents, the additional 2 USB ports, the RS mats, and 12v outlet in the trunk. I will post pictures soon.

The only "strangeness" I have found to this point are the charge posts for the battery(located in trunk) in the engine bay. While they are easy to locate and use, my batter tender doesn't always show it is charging (via the blinking green light) even though it really is charging properly. I usually have to readjust the leads a little and then the light will work correctly. Just a small time item I know, but I had to put something in my review that wasn't an outstanding.

At this point I'm anxious to drive the RS3 at night to see what the lights (how bright they are, how wide of a field do they produce, etc.) but that will come soon. Anyway, an outstanding experience both in terms of delivery and in driving it for an extended amount of time over varying road conditions. I enjoyed even more than I did during my two test drives. I think the person who sold his so quickly is definitely missing out on an awesome ride but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Mine is .... if you get an opportunity to test drive one, definitely give it a try and I don't think you will be disappointed IF you give it an adequate evaluation.

Last edited by russbert; 11-17-2017 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:54 AM
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Congrat's and great review!
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:58 PM
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Nice review Russ... sweet ride, congrats.
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:12 AM
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Russ - thanks for the awesome review! Keep them coming, I will live vicariously through your posts until my car arrives! (next week????)
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by russbert View Post
2018 Ara Blue Driving Quick First Impressions:

At this point I'm anxious to drive the RS3 at night to see what the lights (how bright they are, how wide of a field do they produce, etc.) but that will come soon. Anyway, an outstanding experience both in terms of delivery and in driving it for an extended amount of time over varying road conditions.
Well I drove the car home from getting it partly Xpel'd and windows tinted and it looks fantastic! I was a little concerned that the 20% tint might be too much after dark but we both found it perfectly acceptable but I am glad the windshield is only 70% which made the overall experience excellent in my view. My wife was also concerned that the darker tint would "muddy" the overview contrast between the doors but she has since changed her mind and now wants the same thing for her new car whenever she gets it. LOL

The driving lights are very bright, clear and provide a very nice wide view of the road which helps these older eyes. When on high beam (hey, where's the clicking noise .. weird having it silent) they are truly exceptional just like the other German cars I've owned. Truly an awesome ride, and for those of you still waiting for your rides, it will be TOTALLY worth it!!

Guys at Knoxville Detail putting the finishing touches on my RS3
Not a great picture (sorry for my partial silhouette) but I think she looks great!!

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Old 11-18-2017, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by besttom View Post
Russ - thanks for the awesome review! Keep them coming, I will live vicariously through your posts until my car arrives! (next week????)
Thanks everyone for the kind words; it's appreciated. "Unleash the Beast" is definitely my new mantra as I anxiously await the day I can really explore this car's full potential. Again, I can already tell it will be worth the wait.
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:45 PM
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"my batter tender doesn't always show it is charging (via the blinking green light) even though it really is charging properly"

On my battery tenders, this mode is only entered after the bulk charge (solid red) is complete. Then blinking green, then solid green. I have not used it on my RS3 though.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nesbit View Post
"my batter tender doesn't always show it is charging (via the blinking green light) even though it really is charging properly"

On my battery tenders, this mode is only entered after the bulk charge (solid red) is complete. Then blinking green, then solid green. I have not used it on my RS3 though.
Yes, that's how mine works as well (normally). However I can usually guess fairly closely when the blinking green light should appear and it doesn't on the RS3 a lot of the time until I adjust the leads on the battery "terminals" up front in the engine bay.

I'm using the battery tender primarily due to watching the detailers always keeping the doors open over the course of two days while they work and wanted to make sure that the battery was at a full charge. Not a major issue but thought it was worth passing along so others can let me know if that happens to them as well.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:35 AM
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Hello Russ,



Thanks
so much for both of your reviews.

Especially the 1st longer version ...........

Also, the 2nd one as I have wanted to know what guys thought about the light output.
From what you said they must do an excellent job both in the lower beam as well as high beam output.
I'm in my 70's and my buddy also is in his 70's so we like Bright Headlights !!!

Your RS-3 is Awesome looking in the pictures.
I hope when you have the time you will share some more pictures of it with us.
As well as the inside ........

The RS-3 sure seems like a Super Fun Machine from your Write-Up.

Terry from Franklin, TN.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tigerhonaker View Post
Hello Russ,

Your RS-3 is Awesome looking in the pictures.
I hope when you have the time you will share some more pictures of it with us.
As well as the inside ........

Terry from Franklin, TN.
Terry, I will definitely post some interior shots within the next couple of days (it has been extremely overcast and dull weather wise here lately) as the sun is supposed to come out soon. I bought the clearmount phone holder and it was super easy to install and looks and works great! The folks at Huntsville Audi liked it so much that they were going to look into getting some for themselves personally and for some of their customers. And as long as it's hooked up via the charger cable the car will remind you if you are leaving it in the car (which is easy for me to do since I used to always carry it in my shirt pocket). LOL
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