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The S3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Cadillac CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The S3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S3. But it costs extra on the CT4 V-Series.
Both the S3 and the CT4 V-Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CT4 V-Series has not been tested, yet.
The S3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CT4 V-Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).
The Audi S3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the CT4 V-Series’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.
As tested in Motor Trend the Audi S3 is faster than the Cadillac CT4 V-Series:
Zero to 60 MPH
On the EPA test cycle the S3 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CT4 V-Series AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S3 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CT4 V-Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The S3 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the S3’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CT4 V-Series:
The S3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CT4 V-Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the CT4 V-Series don’t have a run-flat feature, either.
The S3 handles at .92 G’s, while the CT4 V-Series AWD pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the S3’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the CT4 V-Series’ (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The S3’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the CT4 V-Series AWD’s (36.1 feet vs. 38 feet).
The S3 is 11.4 inches shorter than the CT4 V-Series, making the S3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The S3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CT4 V-Series uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The S3’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The CT4 V-Series’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the S3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CT4 V-Series can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S3 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The S3 Premium Plus’ optional Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CT4 V-Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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