Audi S3 vs Golf 7 R vs BMW M235i: The 300 HP Comparison

With numbers that look very close on paper, these three German vehicles represent a modern day pinnacle of compact car performance. However, they are as different as night and day.
Audi S3 vs Golf 7 R vs BMW M235i 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Starting with the engines, BMW's 3-liter straight-six is something special. If you can afford to service and ensure such a big mill, the BMW rewards you with impressive response times and zero turbo lag. As a party trick, the Bavarians let you rev their mill all the way to the red line while standing still.

The new Golf 7 R and Audi S3 share a 300 PS 2.0-liter turbo. While that number is 26 Ps short of the BMW, standard all-wheel drive compensates to some degree. There's also a subtle difference in the sound of the Golf R and the S3, which has a better exhaust with butterfly valves.

xDrive will be offered on the M235i this fall, but only with the automatic. There's also a not-so-subtle difference between 4Motion/quattro and xDrive. Not only is the BMW the only one with a rear-biased system, but the VW Group cars send power to the back only when needed.

This just the most obvious result of two different engineering and design philosophies. Audi and Volkswagen have tried to make most powerful version of cheap family cars. BMW meanwhile tried to make the cheapest version of a good sportscar. While the Golf R and S3 share the MQB platform, Audi chose to make its car with more aluminum for the front end: suspension, hood and wings.

With a base price of €38,325 in Germany, the Golf R is the cheapest car of the comparison. At €39,200, the Audi S3 (as a 3-door) finds middle ground, while the M235i is, at €43,750, the most expensive without actually becoming a forbidden fruit.

Video by Blackygangsta

Video thumbnail
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories