Almost 1.5 years ago, Audi presented a new S3. It had more power than the previous S3: 300 PS, and Quattro. This is it’s sister model, the 300 PS Golf R. No longer a 6-cylinder engine, but like the Audi a 2.0 4-cyl. 300 PS used to be a lot, but perhaps those days are gone. A new 911 Carrera deliveres 350 PS, less than this A 45 does. Question is: does that make it better than the other 2? Let’s start in the Audi S3, the oldest model of the 3. Partially, this is the best car, for it offers the nicest interior and most comfort. That doesn’t make it dull, especially in ‘Dynamic’ setting, which influences steering, engine, gearbox and suspension. In ‘Dynamic’, this car is incredibly fast. No matter how hard I push the limits, there’s always grip. Very clever. It is quite safe, you can’t oversteer it like the others. But compared to the previous S3 it’s way better in every aspect. During the introduction of this A 45 AMG I said… “It’s hard to define this car, judging it takes a lot of time” Today I have the same feeling: very hard to assess. It’s by far the most brutal car of the 3. The suspension is very firm, and not adjustable. Its lack of comfort makes it unsuitable for longer distances. This is the haviest of the 3 cars, but it feels like the lightest. However, engine and suspension make it very uncivilized, so it doesn’t feel like a smooth driving machine. In this wheater, and on winter tires, there’s a lot of understeer. So it doesn’t give much confidence. Surprisingly, in this wheater it isn’t faster than Golf and S3. The powertrains of Golf and S3 are the same, but there are small differences in driving. I think DSG-gearbox is way better than the Mercedes-DCT. This DSG does always exactly what you want, when you want it. As I said, there are differences between VW and Audi. In the Audi, the steering is the biggest drawback. For the first time, the Golf-steering is very sensitive. In corners, this car is more fun than the more serious Audi. It’s even possible to slide it round corners with a little oversteer. It has the same tires as the Mercedes, but doesn’t understeer It’s more comfortable than the Mercedes, but surprisingly sporty. The A 45 AMG needs a track or very smooth road to be the fastest, but in this wheather, it simply isn’t. This new Golf R is way more fun than its predecessors, the best since the first Golf R32. There’s a big gap between this car and the Golf GTI, like it should be. Looking at the prices, i noticed something interesting. The Golf is yours from 50000 euro’s, this example 59000. It’s pretty well equipped as standard. A standard Audi S3 is 51000 euro, about the same as the Golf, but with some desirable options, it’s 68700 euro, a huge difference. It gets worse with the Mercedes: base-price 59200, this example 78000 That’s quite a lot for a hot hatch. Some options on this car: alcantara steering wheel, 1100 euro. These seats, 2100 euro… and the AMG Performance exhaust of 700 euro. It’s the most spectacular of the 3, but not worth the price gap. In terms of value-for-money, the Golf is unbeatable. It’s the cheapest, but it can keep up with the others.