The Audi S3 may be one of the smartest and most practical vehicles on the market that has genuine performance credentials. With smart looks, a sleek interior design and extreme performance, the Audi S3 has more than a few things going for it on paper.
The question remaining, however, is what, if any sacrifices will buyers be making when opting for the sporty S3 over the standard A3 range? Typically as a vehicle becomes sportier, it loses a number of its comfortable and practical elements, so let’s find out whether or not the S3 remains one of the best options for those looking for a comfortable, practical and sporty compact vehicle.
Starting Price: $69,900
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Audi S3 (2.0 TFSI QUATTRO) Specifications
|Variant||2.0 TFSI QUATTRO|
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||7 SP AUTO S-TRONIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5450 / 2000|
|Fuel tank size||55.0|
|Fuel usage specs||7.4 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Audi S3 car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Audi S3 range kicks off from $69,900 for the S3 Sportback, with prices rising to $72,400 for the S3 Sedan. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Audi S3 Have?
The Audi S3 comes riding on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels, and receives an adaptive suspension system, Matrix LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, Nappa leather upholstery with heated front seats and stainless steel pedals, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, ambient lighting, hands-free boot lift, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, semi-autonomous parking assistance, as well as a 10.1-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB+ radio, satellite navigation, wireless smartphone charging and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
19-inch alloy wheels
Matrix LED headlights
Nappa leather upholstery
Heated front seats
12.3-inch digital driver’s display
Semi autonomous parking assistant
Adaptive cruise control
Reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors
10.1-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
Wireless smartphone charging
Hands-free boot lift
Keyless entry & start
Stainless steel pedals
Audi S3 Colours
|Denim Blue Metallic||Cosmos Black Metallic|
|Night Black Solid||Mountain Grey Metallic|
|Iridium Silver Metallic||Digital White Metallic|
|Polar White Solid|
Audi S3 Colours
The latest range of Audi S3’s can be optioned with a choice of colours, including Daytona Grey, Glacier White, Tango Red, Python Yellow, Navarra Blue, Turbo Blue, Ibis White and Mythos Black.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
Designed primarily with speed and performance in mind, the Audi S3 offers a firmer ride quality than the regular Audi A3 range. Thanks to its clever adaptive suspension system, though, the S3 strikes a healthy balance between agile, sporty driving dynamics while remaining comfortable on a daily drive.
The main event here is the engine powering the Audi S3, which comes in the form of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit that produces 228kW and 400Nm of torque, which is paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Translated to English, this means that the S3 has a huge amount of power under the bonnet, and transfers power to the road with a fast, slick transmission that adds to the sporty design. The end result is Audi’s claim that the S3 can sprint to 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
In the real world, this is more than enough power to satisfy absolutely everyone sitting behind the wheel, and asserts the S3 as a genuine performance vehicle for those looking for a neat, compact package.
In a performance context, the S3 is sharp, agile and more than capable of keeping up with established sports cars out on the market. The suspension package holds the body flat through corners, while the steering offers the driver a tonne of feedback, while the Quattro all-wheel drive system keeps the car planted at all times. All up, the performance package is near flawless in the S3, making performance driving accessible while remaining perfectly suited to daily driving.
In terms of the S3 as a daily commuter, few buyers will be left disappointed. While the S3 is undeniably firmer than the standard S3, the adaptive suspension package helps to iron out bumps while you’re cruising around town, and overall, the ride quality is perfectly suited to the city streets.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
While the S3 is one of the smaller cars in Audi’s range, there is a surprising amount of space and practicality on offer for those in both the front and rear of the cabin. The driver and front passenger are treated to a wonderfully-appointed cabin, as is typical of an Audi creation. The cockpit features a sleek, modern and uncrowded design that positions a digital screen in front of the driver and a large infotainment display for the front passenger.
Interior space and comfort in the front of the cabin are exceptional, with a set of comfortable sport seats appointed in Nappa leather, a good view out of the front windscreen and a heap of adjustment in the driving position. There’s no issues when it comes to space and practicality for those in the front, with more than enough head and shoulder room for even the tallest of drivers, accompanied by some storage options in the door bins either side, a set of cup holders that doubles as storage on the central tunnel, and a large folding armrest for phones and loose items.
Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a comfortable bench seat that receives the same leather treatment, with a surprising amount of room for a vehicle of this size. The S3 is capable of comfortably accommodating adult rear passengers, making it a perfect option for those looking for a sporty car that can double down on family duties when needed. The rear seats feature a set of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for families, while the boot is rated at 370L, which is 10L down from the standard Audi A3, but remains suitable for a family’s-worth of school bags and a supermarket run.
All up, then, while the S3 might be designed with speed primarily in mind, Audi has retained the majority of the practical, family-friendly touches that have made the regular Audi A3 a hit for couples and growing families alike.
Is it Safe?
ANCAP is yet to give the Audi S3 a specific ANCAP safety rating, although we do know that the standard A3 lineup has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 89% for adult occupant protection, 81% for child occupant protection, 68% for vulnerable road user protection and 73% for active safety assist technologies.
The S3 lineup comes packaged with a number of active safety features, including autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts, a reversing camera with front and rear mounted parking sensors, safe exit warnings, semi-autonomous parking and lane-keep assistance.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
As a sporty variant, the S3 returns fuel economy figures that are slightly higher than the standard Audi A3, however, they remain perfectly acceptable when you consider just how much power is on offer in the S3.
Officially, the S3 Sportback is rated at 7.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the Sedan variant returns a fuel economy rating of 7.3L per 100km.
Our Verdict: Is the Audi S3 Worth it?
If you’re looking for a luxurious compact sports car that retains a number of family-friendly and practical elements, the S3 is absolutely worth a spot on your shortlist. The S3 strikes a refined balance between an outright sports car and a comfortable commuter, and comes feature-packed in a handsome, futuristic and premium package filled with elements that make the S3 feel like a special vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Three-year, unlimited KM warranty
Turbocharged four-cylinder paired with seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
Quattro all-wheel drive platform
370L boot space
7.4L per 100km fuel economy for Sportback; 7.3L/100km for sedan
Wonderful engine and transmission combination
Adaptive suspension offers a blend of sporty and refined driving
Interior cabin quality and features
Firmer suspension on rough surfaces than regular A3
No official ANCAP safety rating
Limited warranty coverage
OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10
Audi S3 Competition
|Mercedes A45 AMG|
|Volkswagen Golf R|
|Skoda Octavia RS|