The sedan market is very crowded and often at times hard to compete in. Luxgen learned that the hard way with the well-received S5 sedan, unfortunately sales of the S5 sedan turned out to be a dud. However, Luxgen didn’t want to give up the lucrative sedan market, so they took a step further and created a compact sedan, the all new S3. With the S3 sedan, Luxgen looks to reinvigorate the dull and crowded compact sedan market with the Toyota Vios and Honda City being the most popular compacts on sale, it wants a slice of the pie too. Does the S3 have what it takes to compete with the established nameplates?
Luxgen’s best feature is the “Active Eagle View 360.” Cameras are mounted on the front, rear, and side mirrors give the S3 dded assurance when navigating through traffic and even parallel parking. Activating the turn signals for either direction the camera for that side mirror then allows you to see what is behind you and will make and audible noise if you drift into a line of another car, thus helping eliminating the blind spot hazard. The backup camera helps you park when reversing, the screen displays lines that help guide you, along with audible sounds warning you of how close you are to another car or object. The backup camera (when not reversing) and front cameras can still be viewed by pressing button next to the infotainment system.
Is the S3 sedan’s driving dynamics better than other compact sedans? After taking it for a spin around town the car offers brisk acceleration with no lag from the little turbos. The 1.6L turbo is quick to to send power to front wheels albeit with lots of engine noise that protrudes into the cabin. All the engine noise and hard accelerating aside once in cruising speed, the NVH padding gives it a smooth ride. The S3 is able to keep up with traffic on the highway even driving at 75 mph in gusty winds. Try driving a Toyota Vios past a semi and not having it fly into the air. One thing I did not notice when coming to a stop at a light is a person telling me he heard my S3 test car decelerating loudly. I guess this car wants you to know its coming and that maybe a good thing when pedestrians are around. The suspension is tight, which gives it somewhat of a rougher ride, but that adds to the sportiness that the S3 is trying to invoke.
The steering is nimble and the turning radius is tight, so quick maneuvering is a breeze.
4 of 5
The starting price of the Luxgen S3 sedan is $589,000NT, which equates to $18,400 USD. At this price a buyer gets a lot of car for the money with lots of standard features included, plus it is safe and roomy for a family. While the S5 sedan may have came out at the wrong time, the S3 looks like a potential hit. The compact sedans arena maybe crowded, but many of the compacts on the market aren’t great and cheaply made. Consumers buy them because they are affordable and good on gas, but Luxgen has stepped up and given its S3 another reason to rethink the compact sedan as something more than being dull, cheap and unsafe.