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Russ' 2018 RS3 Driving Impressions

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Old 01-12-2018, 11:30 AM
  #121
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Originally Posted by mshonhall View Post
......
So, our only complaints are:
  1. The cupholders still suck. Like, really bad suck.
  2. Still can't stand that there's no HomeLink buttons. On a $65k car? Really?
  3. And, still miss having power seats with memory function. Again, on a $65k car?
However, in the end, all of these are ALL extremely minor complaints. Especially, when compared to the plus side of that 5 cylinder engine. No one should EVER underestimate THAT!!
Yes, I agree ALL of these are very minor issues but are annoying to varying degrees depending on your perspective. Yes the cup holders aren't the greatest but using the Audi cups helps to some degree although the cost is too high (glad I was able to negotiate them into my deal). Since I drive the car 99.9999% of the time, the manual seats don't really annoy me either (see other threads for more on this set of topics).


Originally Posted by mshonhall View Post
......Concerns:

We HAVE noticed that the transmission will hesitate sometimes. I've begun to notice that the traction control light blinks during this hesitation, too. However, we're nowhere near having the tires slip when this happens. So, it may be a trip to the dealer to have that checked out. I understand that it might cut the engine power to help maintain traction. But, this is not the hesitation we're seeing. It literally sputters at times, and won't dig in again until I've let off the gas and then pressed again. Then, she goes like a banshee again! So, like I said, a trip to the dealer might be forthcoming.
Can you elaborate? I have noticed that if I'm in a high gear (6 or 7th especially) and I go WOT, then I notice some hesitation which I attribute to the dual clutch going "HOLY CRAP, YOU WANT ME TO DOWNSHIFT ALL THE WAY TO THIRD ... NOW!" I have NEVER seen the traction light blink and obviously never felt any tire slippage (or I would have mentioned it before). It takes a split second or so (hard to tell exactly) and then it is FULL ON POWER & TORQUE! Even in DULL Mode. I've not noticed the cut in engine power per se but hopefully others will comment as well with their perspectives.

Originally Posted by mshonhall View Post
.....I also read somewhere where someone was complaining that the paddle shifters caused hesitation. I find just the opposite. When I use the paddles, I feel like the shifts are even MORE immediate than they already are in "S" mode. Literally just ticks and it's shifted again. Unbelievable.

Anyway... I'm loving reading your observations, Russ! I've joined our local Audi Club, and that's been fun, car-geeking with like minded peeps. Not unlike I do, here, with you and everyone else.
So far I only consider the Porsche's PDK dual clutch system to be superior (which they obviously think as well since they DON'T share that piece of technology like they do with other things). Now I have NEVER driven any dual clutch BMW's so I love to hear any comments / comparisons from others who have driven them personally.

Thanks again for your comments as I really enjoyed reading them and prodded me to add a few of my own.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:40 PM
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I just caught back up with this thread and I appreciate the updates. XPEL seems to be the consensus for a superior product for protecting our pricey cars. And regarding the PDK, it is phenomenal and, I think, really the only thing I would miss about having the RS3 over something like a Macan GTS. I did a 90 minute session in a Macan GTS at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta in 2017 and I was completely blown away by how capable that little sport-ute is at being flung around a track and acting like a real sports car. And a big reason for that is the nearly telepathic performance of the PDK.

If I'm honest, the Macan GTS is pretty neck and neck with the RS3 rright now in my mind and come 2019 when I actually go to start doing some serious testing it could go either way. The RS3 is faster, lighter, gets better mpg and will likely have a lower cost of ownership but the Macan GTS has the PDK, much better cargo space and is certainly no slouch in the performance department either.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:52 PM
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Awesome, thanks! That's really helpful, trying to figure out the contact areas along the side of the car for an estimate. Interesting coverage lines, I would have thought that it would run higher up the rear fender & maybe capture part of the trailing edge of the rear door.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Gaither View Post
I just caught back up with this thread and I appreciate the updates. XPEL seems to be the consensus for a superior product for protecting our pricey cars. And regarding the PDK, it is phenomenal and, I think, really the only thing I would miss about having the RS3 over something like a Macan GTS. I did a 90 minute session in a Macan GTS at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta in 2017 and I was completely blown away by how capable that little sport-ute is at being flung around a track and acting like a real sports car. And a big reason for that is the nearly telepathic performance of the PDK.

If I'm honest, the Macan GTS is pretty neck and neck with the RS3 rright now in my mind and come 2019 when I actually go to start doing some serious testing it could go either way. The RS3 is faster, lighter, gets better mpg and will likely have a lower cost of ownership but the Macan GTS has the PDK, much better cargo space and is certainly no slouch in the performance department either.
interesting perspective; I found the RS3 massively lighter and more nimble than the Macan, although the Macan is a very impressive SUV. Although I only had a short exposure on a tight autocross course, I found the F-Pace to be a bit more entertaining and immature than the Macan - both pluses imo. I'd expect the Porsche have a less deprecation than the RS3 or Jag.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tjacoby View Post
interesting perspective; I found the RS3 massively lighter and more nimble than the Macan, although the Macan is a very impressive SUV. Although I only had a short exposure on a tight autocross course, I found the F-Pace to be a bit more entertaining and immature than the Macan - both pluses imo. I'd expect the Porsche have a less deprecation than the RS3 or Jag.
I haven't driven an RS3 yet (I'm purposely keeping myself from test drives this year because I have been known to make rushed / bad car decisions before in the past and if I behave we'll have the house paid off by mid year) but I am sure that it is a more nimble ride than a Macan just because of the weight difference. What the Macan in GTS trim does well (besides the awesome PDK) is impeccable body control in Sport + mode that doesn't have a hint of lean or wobble. I would call it a Porsche trait at this point but it is downright surgical with how it handles any kind of transition whether that is a series of curves or a series of throttle and brake inputs. It is just unflappable in a way that I had not experienced before and while some might find that boring I found it to be impressive and a bit jaw-dropping.

Having been around the same track with an instructor in a new 911 Carrera S I can tell you that the 911 accelerates, brakes and turns harder but even then the Macan GTS is not that far behind and has the ability to carry 4 people (or 2 people and a whole lot of stuff).

At this point I still like the idea of the RS3 better, at least in my mind, because of the great price to performance ratio and the potentially better gas mileage. Sorry for the slight derailment!
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:33 PM
  #126
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As far as XPEL goes I have an opinion since I have had 7 of my family and business cars wrapped with XPEL and XPEL only. I go to the "HQ" in San Antonio where they do the training also- LOTS of training.
Cars done: BMW 435 Coupe and BMW 435 GranCoupe Both the same: Front hood, fenders, full bumper covers, carbon fiber mirrors, rocker panels full and front carbon fiber splitter (Makes the 4 series look bad *** IMO)
1 ea. BMW M235, 1 ea. BMW M2 (The wife's) and 2 ea. BLACK (Very important) Golf Rs (Daily drivers).
I do NOT work for them in any way shape of form- I am in the food business.

Positives:
1> Adds to re-sale- at the time of the sale- ask the buyer- you want the film on or off- and if off you car looks BRAND NEW. Most will want it left on of course.
2> A Godsend for Black Cars- NO swirl or surface scratch marks on your black PAINT> We had our Golf Rs (both black) COMPLETELY wrapped- it wasnt cheap FYI but
cleaning black has never been easier and DUSTING it when needed means you are dusting PLASTIC- I dont care what anybody says- a california or microfiber duster Dusting a black car WILL EVENTUALLY put SOME kind of surface scratch to the black- not terrible but not optimal either.
3> It actually DOES "self heal" in the heat or the sun- especially any minute surface scratches (that don t happen often on the film itself)
4> It really is transparent!
5> Meaning if you have a cool metallic paint- it will still be metallic
6> The film does NOT bunch up in tight spaces creases of your car. Modern cars have slits and gils everywhere for airflow aerodynamics. Xpel will NOT "gather" in tight spots- wonderful.
7> A real big one to me- if you only do HALF your car it WONT LOOK DIFFERENT than the other half that you didnt do! THAT is a big deal
8> It REALLY WORKS AS ADVERTISED- a great thing in today's world.

Negatives:
1> While it stops MOST rocks- it wont do all- there is a point when something is big enough- but it blocks a lot of stuff
2> If you get in a wreck even minor, you have to put XPEL (or any film you choose) back on...or not. But it could add to a repair
3> By no means a deal breaker here but sometimes a small rock may get semi lodged in the plastic and leaves a "goobie" A little mini
ball of plastic- again that means the film worked! But sometimes they can be noticeable. Ill make that trade- cuz without it- you have a paint chip.
And in some cases it WILL "self heal"
4> It ain't cheap.

My Humble opinions:
1> ALWAYS do a full panel- dont do half the hood or just patches around wheel wells- the edges will show- especially over time.
Doing a full hood and fender etc...
2> PROBABLY WOULDN'T do a low front splitter- the film takes a beating down there and can look bad- I have it on my front splitter of my 435 Gran Coupe- its kind of pulled up from hitting the road
3> DO the bottom rocker panels and the rear bumper if your not doing the entire car
Do the hood front facia, fenders and mirrors first if on a budget.
4> Unless your REALLY good working with things- leave this to the experts that do it everyday...

Getting an amazing ride like an RS3? It should be standard as the steering wheel IMO

Last edited by LOVEMYGOLFR; 01-15-2018 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Gaither View Post
I haven't driven an RS3 yet (I'm purposely keeping myself from test drives this year because I have been known to make rushed / bad car decisions before in the past and if I behave we'll have the house paid off by mid year) but I am sure that it is a more nimble ride than a Macan just because of the weight difference. What the Macan in GTS trim does well (besides the awesome PDK) is impeccable body control in Sport + mode that doesn't have a hint of lean or wobble. I would call it a Porsche trait at this point but it is downright surgical with how it handles any kind of transition whether that is a series of curves or a series of throttle and brake inputs. It is just unflappable in a way that I had not experienced before and while some might find that boring I found it to be impressive and a bit jaw-dropping.

Having been around the same track with an instructor in a new 911 Carrera S I can tell you that the 911 accelerates, brakes and turns harder but even then the Macan GTS is not that far behind and has the ability to carry 4 people (or 2 people and a whole lot of stuff).

At this point I still like the idea of the RS3 better, at least in my mind, because of the great price to performance ratio and the potentially better gas mileage. Sorry for the slight derailment!
I was also very impressed with the Macan's 'maturity' as I thought of it. It was very composed and capable for such a heavy SUV. I can fully respect it, and still want to take my RS3 home. The F-Pace was less composed and more raucous.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:43 AM
  #128
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Originally Posted by Matthew Gaither View Post
I just caught back up with this thread and I appreciate the updates. XPEL seems to be the consensus for a superior product for protecting our pricey cars. And regarding the PDK, it is phenomenal and, I think, really the only thing I would miss about having the RS3 over something like a Macan GTS. I did a 90 minute session in a Macan GTS at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta in 2017 and I was completely blown away by how capable that little sport-ute is at being flung around a track and acting like a real sports car. And a big reason for that is the nearly telepathic performance of the PDK.

If I'm honest, the Macan GTS is pretty neck and neck with the RS3 rright now in my mind and come 2019 when I actually go to start doing some serious testing it could go either way. The RS3 is faster, lighter, gets better mpg and will likely have a lower cost of ownership but the Macan GTS has the PDK, much better cargo space and is certainly no slouch in the performance department either.
Just to add my 2 cents, I sold my 2012 911CS and bought the RS3. There is no doubt in my mind that the PDK is a far superior transmission. The shifts are much faster and the paddles just feel better. I also debated the Macan as an alternative to the RS3, although I was looking at the Macan S with all season tires rather than the turbo or GTS. I had several Macans as loaners while I owned the 911 and I was impressed. It had little body roll and could hold its own with most cars. The downside is, as you say, the cost of ownership. In my area, the 48 month service on a 911 starts at $3K, oil changes are $600. I know it can be cheaper at an indie shop but it isn't the much cheaper. There are maintenance plans available but they are much more expensive than the $869 for the RS3 plan. I would seriously consider the Macan down the line, particularly a CPO car. Porsche has a great CPO program extending warranty for 6 years from the original in service date of the car.

The RS3 is a great little car and I have no regrets at all. I still love Porsche and, truth be told, if money was no object I would be driving a new 911. These are tough first world decisions. Good luck.

Last edited by michael818; 01-13-2018 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:12 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by LOVEMYGOLFR View Post
As far as XPEL goes I have an opinion since I have had 7 of my family and business cars wrapped with XPEL and XPEL only. I go to the "HQ" in San Antonio where they do the training also- LOTS of training.
Cars done: BMW 435 Coupe and BMW 435 GranCoupe Both the same: Front hood, fenders, full bumper covers, carbon fiber mirrors, rocker panels full and front carbon fiber splitter (Makes the 4 series look bad *** IMO)
1 ea. BMW M235, 1 ea. BMW M2 (The wife's) and 2 ea. BLACK (Very important) Golf Rs (Daily drivers).
I do NOT work for them in any way shape of form- I am in the food business.

Positives:
1> Adds to re-sale- at the time of the sale- ask the buyer- you want the film on or off- and if off you car looks BRAND NEW. Most will want it left on of course.
2> A Godsend for Black Cars- NO swirl or surface scratch marks on your black PAINT> We had our Golf Rs (both black) COMPLETELY wrapped- it wasnt cheap FYI but
cleaning black has never been easier and DUSTING it when needed means you are dusting PLASTIC- I dont care what anybody says- a california duster susting a black car WILL EVENTUALLY
put SOME kind of surface scratch to the black- not terrible but not optimal either.
3> It really is transparent!
4> Meaning if you have a cool metallic paint- it will still be metallic
5> It REALLY WORKS AS ADVERTISED- a great thing in today's world.

Negatives:
1> While it stops MOST rocks- it wont do all- there is a point when something is big enough- but it blocks a lot of stuff
2> If you get in a wreck even minor, you have to put XPEL (or any film you choose) back on...or not. But it could add to a repair
3> By no means a deal breaker here but sometimes a small rock may get semi lodged in the plastic and leaves a "goobie" A little mini
ball of plastic- again that means the film worked! But sometimes they can be noticeable. Ill make that trade- cuz without it- you have a paint chip.
4> It ain't cheap.

My Humble opinions:
1> ALWAYS do a full panel- dont do half the hood or just patches around wheel wells- the edges will show- especially over time.
Doing a full hood and fender etc...
2> PROBABLY WOULDN'T do a low front splitter- the film takes a beating down there and can look bad- I have it on my front splitter of my 435 Gran Coupe- its kind of pulled up from hitting the road
3> DO the bottom rocker panels and the rear bumper if your not doing the entire car
Do the hood front facia, fenders and mirrors first if on a budget.

Getting an amazing ride like an RS3? It should be standard as the steering wheel IMO
I completely agree with all of your comments but where were you when I needed you re: full panel; not half the hood? JK

You definitely need to work at it more this way, especially after you wax the front hood and it will still show some over enough time although it wasn't too bad.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by michael818 View Post
Just to add my 2 cents, I sold my 2012 911CS and bought the RS3. There is no doubt in my mind that the PDK is a far superior transmission. The shifts are much faster and the paddles just feel better. I also debated the Macan as an alternative to the RS3, although I was looking at the Macan S with all season tires rather than the turbo or GTS. I had several Macans as loaners while I owned the 911 and I was impressed. It had little body roll and could hold its own with most cars. The downside is, as you say, the cost of ownership. In my area, the 48 month service on a 911 starts at $3K, oil changes are $600. I know it can be cheaper at an indie shop but it isn't the much cheaper. There are maintenance plans available but they are much more expensive than the $869 for the RS3 plan. I would seriously consider the Macan down the line, particularly a CPO car. Porsche has a great CPO program extending warranty for 6 years from the original in service date of the car.

The RS3 is a great little car and I have no regrets at all. I still love Porsche and, truth be told, if money was no object I would be driving a new 911. These are tough first world decisions. Good luck.
+1 to all of the Macan comments above! I don't particularly like SUVs of any sort, but I gave very serious thought to a Macan S or GTS as it is an extremely awesome vehicle and I had one as a loaner a few times when my 911 was in for normal service. However, I chose the RS3 over it for the very same reasons you mentioned above. $17-$20K more, very high cost of maintenance, etc. BUT I will ALWAYS love Porsches and I feel privileged to have owned a few, and will remain a HUGE fan of them. Even without all of the latest tech, my 04 Turbo still out drove the RS3, especially in the curves. But I still remain extremely happy with my purchase for reasons I have mentioned previously.

Appreciate the discussion as always.
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