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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately, I have to get rid of my WRX. Easily the best car I've owned so far, and I wish I had the money to keep it and buy something with an auto trans.

New Ride - 2016 Audi S3


WRX after last wash


That being said, I just wanted to see some opinions on here of what you would have replaced your WRX with, if you had to. I looked at a few different vehicles, I'm only listing the ones that were relevant and I'd actually buy. I almost got dragged to boring SUV world until this S3 showed up.

Mercedes GLA45 AMG - Was really nice, almost pulled the trigger on one but the dealer was not willing to make the last $800 stretch for the deal. This was my top choice mainly due to the interior. The alcantara seats are amazing and pretty much perfect for any type of driving. The shifts were crisp but it seemed confused if you weren't driving aggressively. Shifting at awkward times and jerky shifts.

BMW 328i - I couldn't really find the point of this. It seems to be on par with the performance of the WRX. It has a pretty awkward step into the car no matter how the seat was positioned (even worse than the WRX), and pretty terrible blind spots while driving. Sitting in it kind of reminds me of the camaro, how it feels like you're in a tank.

Kia Stinger (2.0 not 3.3 GT) - Pretty much the same as the BMW aside from seating. The seating position was pretty good, and it felt great to drive since it was new. The floor mounted pedal felt off to me, couldn't get used to it the entire drive. Other thing was, it felt like a boat. I know it's bigger than all of the cars I drove, but reviews always say it doesn't feel like it. I can't agree with the reviews, but maybe the GT is different. I just couldn't find a GT that I could afford.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They make the WRX with a CVT........
I would never buy a "sports car" with a CVT. In the case of the WRX its slower, MPG is almost equal to an STI, and the shift logic of the CVT would drive me insane. I'd pick almost anything over a CVT WRX
 

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But isn't the S3 a sports car?
And if you like the WRX, what is the difference between a CVT version of it and an auto trans of a different make? (CVT WRX same quickness as MT and you liked 'it.')
Still no MT in either one.......

I am missing something in the need I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
S3 is a dual clutch. The driving experience without using the paddles is much more pleasant and smoother than any CVT I've driven (at least in the S3 I didn't even feel the shifts, GLA45 AMG wasn't smooth at all), but when pushing the car or using the paddles it's also much better.

I took the figures below from a post I found, these are Car and Driver numbers. Worth noting they seem to always be on the low side of 0-60 numbers (meaning their number is lower than other tests), and the WRX consistently performs worse year over year for some reason.

2015 w/CVT
Zero to 60 mph: 5.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.4 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 29.4 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 6.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.3 sec @ 99 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 150 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 156 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g

2015 x/6-speed
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 13.1 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 25.3 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.3 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 12.1 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 7.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 102 mph
Top speed (gov ltd, mfr's claim): 144 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 160 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g
 

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S3 is a dual clutch. The driving experience without using the paddles is much more pleasant and smoother than any CVT I've driven (at least in the S3 I didn't even feel the shifts, GLA45 AMG wasn't smooth at all), but when pushing the car or using the paddles it's also much better.

I took the figures below from a post I found, these are Car and Driver numbers. Worth noting they seem to always be on the low side of 0-60 numbers (meaning their number is lower than other tests), and the WRX consistently performs worse year over year for some reason.

2015 w/CVT
Zero to 60 mph: 5.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.4 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 29.4 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 6.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.3 sec @ 99 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 150 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 156 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g

2015 x/6-speed
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 13.1 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 25.3 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.3 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 12.1 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 7.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 102 mph
Top speed (gov ltd, mfr's claim): 144 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 160 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.95 g
There is no dual clutch on the planet smoother than a cvt. They are not designed to shift smoothly they are designed to shift as fast as possible, the complete opposite of smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There is no dual clutch on the planet smoother than a cvt. They are not designed to shift smoothly they are designed to shift as fast as possible, the complete opposite of smooth.
In an all numbers based world, of course no shifting is smoother than something that has to shift. In real world application a DCT is tuned for both smooth seamless shifts and shifting as fast as possible. When driving for economy, since that next gear is ready to be engaged, when tuned properly you won't feel it select the next gear.
 

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I’ve driven several of them including vw/Audi as well as bmw. Nothing about the shift I would consider smooth. Perhaps smoother than my truck and it’s 68rfe auto, but I had much softer shifts in my wrx with the 5 speed.

Maybe my expectations are far different, but I would not call it smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’ve driven several of them including vw/Audi as well as bmw. Nothing about the shift I would consider smooth.

Maybe my expectations are far different, but I would not call it smooth.
I couldn't find any BMW in my price range that had DCT. They all had 8 speed auto. To each their own I guess. The shifts weren't noticeable to me when I was driving at a normal pace, but when driving spiritedly the shifts kicked hard and quick. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

I've only ridden in a CVT WRX not driven one. I don't expect it to be any different than the Crosstrek CVT though. Tuned differently or not a CVT in passenger vehicles typically has the same end goal and performance isn't the goal. I'll give one a shot though, assuming the awful Subaru dealer near me lets me.
 

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I Drink & I Know Things
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Definitely nothing ‘smoother’ than a CVT. I think the ‘shift’ logic is quite good actually.
As for those 0-60 times. They’re mostly BS. The WRX and STI times vary wildly it seems. The last two tests I’ve seen don’t even have the STI in 4.x times, but mid 5s. Just saying...don’t put too much stock in that.

I’ve gone to a G37 coupe after a WRX back to a WRX. And FWIW...I’m also interested in the GLA45. Id probably go Golf R over S3 just for the hatch and $ saved. Interesting thread.

Edit:
Also, with the CVT, there is a rather obvious difference between 0-60 & 5-60 acceleration. It can really mess w/ you in daily driving if you’re used to moderate/heavy traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And FWIW...I’m also interested in the GLA45. Id probably go Golf R over S3 just for the hatch and $ saved. Interesting thread.
Even though the Golf R and S3 are essentially the same, I didn't walk away with the same feeling after driving it. Plus insurance was more expensive for the Golf R than the S3 for me?? no idea how or why. I also looked at a Chevy SS and that was cheaper than both.. with a V8.. must be all the driver assistance tech it comes standard with

Edit: Also.. after taking an extended drive, the S3 is definitely not as smooth as it seemed initially. It keeps changing its mind between sport and comfort shift logic
 

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Well that’s disappointing to hear considering that transmission is often praised.
I’m one of those crazy people that modded their CVT WRX. The trans overall is not horrible & can still be fun. The only downside is the low end torque. Modded or not. The TQ converter needs upgrading to fix that.
If you’re OK with two doors, the AWD BMW M240 xDrive is supposed to be awesome & how about the Guilia Ti AWD? If you’re willing to risk Alfa quirks.
 

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Even though the Golf R and S3 are essentially the same, I didn't walk away with the same feeling after driving it. Plus insurance was more expensive for the Golf R than the S3 for me?? no idea how or why. I also looked at a Chevy SS and that was cheaper than both.. with a V8.. must be all the driver assistance tech it comes standard with

Edit: Also.. after taking an extended drive, the S3 is definitely not as smooth as it seemed initially. It keeps changing its mind between sport and comfort shift logic
That’s where it’s most noticeable, cursing and daily driving. Rolling out from a light in slower traffic is super jumpy too. It’s really noticeable if you have been driving a manual for a long time. The clutch engagement is grabby.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Happy Thanksgiving :beerchug:

If you’re OK with two doors, the AWD BMW M240 xDrive is supposed to be awesome & how about the Guilia Ti AWD? If you’re willing to risk Alfa quirks.
I'm ok with 2 doors, my insurance is not lol Hadn't considered a Guilia but they look to be slightly out of my range. Audi hit a pretty niche market with the S3, hard to find something comparable that quick, that size.

That’s where it’s most noticeable, cursing and daily driving. Rolling out from a light in slower traffic is super jumpy too. It’s really noticeable if you have been driving a manual for a long time. The clutch engagement is grabby.
It feels great jumping onto the highway, or the power delivery basically at any speed. It just seems to be hunting for a gear cruising between 25-40 mph. Only drove it for about 15 miles so we'll see how it feels today.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah I'm sure I'll get a hang of the throttle mapping for cruising after a few weeks. I can smooth it out in manual mode but I don't think I'll always want to drive it in manual mode. Also think that would be terrible for fuel economy since it keeps the revs higher even at idle.
 

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Yeah I'm sure I'll get a hang of the throttle mapping for cruising after a few weeks. I can smooth it out in manual mode but I don't think I'll always want to drive it in manual mode. Also think that would be terrible for fuel economy since it keeps the revs higher even at idle.
For MY 2018, the S4 and S5 went to a torque converter 8 speed automatic. In the couple of test drives that I took in these cars, the 8A was both quick when needed and pretty smooth in normal driving. I think the new twin turbo 6 delivers a bit more torque and horsepower than the old supercharged 6. We also looked at the 2018 XF-S Shooting Brake AWD. We would have taken one home 3 weeks back if we could have gotten a little closer on the deal (too little for our trade and too much for a car that will be hard to sell / trade in 3 years).
 
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