2015 Audi S3 Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Audi S3 Sedan Review

2015 Audi S3 Sedan
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Audi S3 Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The 2015 Audi S3 brings high performance to the popular A3 lineup. It may not be a perfect road-trip vehicle, but if you're looking for an engaging compact luxury sedan, the S3 is excellent.

  • Pros

    Powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine; upscale interior; nimble handling; standard all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Cramped trunk; limited legroom in the backseat.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Audi S3 is an all-new model.

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Audi S3 Sedan

Average Consumer Rating (See all 6 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Cla 45 amg vs s3

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Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I have actual electronic track times for my S3. 0 to 60 = 4.4 and 1/4 mile@ 12.9. Is this S3 a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 NO, but for the money its a great value. When we launch we all don't all do it exactly the same way. If anything I took it easy when I tested my S3 for the first time, as it only had 100 miles on it. The one thing I didn't notice which some have mentioned is a bit of turbo lag. None Here. The Mercedes CLA 45 AMG is a great car but its going to cost you 20Gs more to better the S3 times by only 0.3 0 to 60 and 0.3 in the 1/4. Top end on both cars is governed at 155mph. I would like to see them on the track.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Awesome car... with one minor flaw

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Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I bought a '15 Sepang Blue Premium Plus S3 end of June 2015. Seeing as this was my personal 'to and from the office' car, I didn't go crazy with options, opting for just a handful: performance package (primarily for the shocks and sweet looking wheels), the driver comfort package (Homelink being the big one there) and the Driver Assistance package (camera/back-up sensors etc.) First off... the car's a hoot to drive. Setting the exhaust to dynamic makes the most of the engine, and makes it sound considerably sportier. The engine is responsive and the engine doesn't lack for power. I do suspect that my car is an underachiever in terms of horses - I'm not getting close to sub-5 second sprints to 60. This could also be because my engine only has 3K on it. The car handles extremely well - feels as well planted as anything I've ever owned - including my e92 335i coupe. The largest disappointment for me is the gearbox. I find that there's .5 seconds of lag between input and response - this isn't turbo lag per se, this is the gearbox being slow in response to the input. This happens across the rev range. (even in launch control mode) Audi really needs to look at the software and possibly tweak it. I know that other aftermarket parts suppliers have also noticed this and addressed it through add-ons. I also think that Audi should give this thing more than 6 forward speeds. I think that a 7 or 8 speed DSG would further help with performance and also improve highway mileage. Interior-wise, the cabin is stylish. I like the two tone seats in mine. I went for the black/grey leather combination - I find the black/red a little too garish for my taste. On the whole, I like the interior - although, a little more storage space would be welcome. The plastics on certain areas feel a little cheap. Back seat leg space is sufficient for my kids - think adults could be a little cramped over long distances. As a whole, I'm very happy with my car - and look forward to driving it. I just hope that they can address the minor items I've called out above (in particular, the transmission lag)



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Best of all worlds

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Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I picked up this car on 5/30/15. So far, I am amazed literally every time I drive it. Full disclosure: this is my fifth Audi in 30 years, so I am definitely a fan. The S3 is an incredible amalgam of power, speed, comfort, features and appearance. It includes Homelink (garage door opener), manual sport seats (Recaro quality), nav system, and a "jukebox" (hard drive) that will hold up to 3,000 songs. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is great, so I rip my .mp3s at their highest resolution. The sales staff even made an after-delivery tutorial session where we set up the car's parameters. Switchable magnetic suspension, multiple drive and shift modes. Shocks Corvette and Mustang drivers! 4wd!!!



13 of 13 people found this review helpful

How ended up with the audi s3

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Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I did not set out to buy an Audi & I don't care about having a "prestige brand"...in fact I'd prefer not to have it. However we needed AWD, fast (300ish hp), high quality, cargo space, fun, cool looking, DSG type auto transmission car. Audi is the only one building that and it's the S3. Considered S4 but MPG too low; Golf R has too little cargo room but nice car. S3 combines amazing refinement, quiet ride, taut but comfortable euro sedan ride, throaty exhaust when punched, great looks, good MPG, driver assistance that can be shut off, & much more. The 2015 S3 is dual personality and you decide which one you want: rip roaring sports car or a easy driving luxurious touring sedan. Amazing.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Audi's "baby s" is a sweet little gem!

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Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I recently traded in my '14 Audi A6 Prestige (which was a great car) for a '15 S3 Prestige. There is certainly no doubt the S3 is a heck of a lot more fun to drive! Power delivery is excellent...although there is a small bit of turbo lag (esp. in regular "D" mode). I think a 7-sp DSG (like in the S4) would've been better. Grip is outstanding and the car handles like it's on rails. Braking is outstanding as well. I didn't get the 19" wheel and performance package because I live in Chicago where the road quality can be hell. Some of the cons for me are the lack of storage spaces (for sunglasses, etc), no memory seat settings, no built-in garage door opener, and no heated steering wheel.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Pocket rocket

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Audi S3

I really love this car! Gorgeous looking inside and out. Probably my biggest impulse buy of all time. I wanted a Golf R but didn't want to wait much longer. Got the Sepang Blue and everyone falls in love with the color. It has all the options included, makes me nervous to see it practically drive itself. Of course the downsides. I really wish it had a manual trans. My drive gets boring real quick with the DSG. I'll change as soon as one comes available. $50k car in 2015 with no Homelink, memory seats, data USB, boggles me. Interior storage also sucks. Glove box is a joke! All the items fall out when you open it. This message is for Audi but I DO encourage anyone to buy it. Its awesome!!



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Full Expert Review: 2015 Audi S3

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Audi S3 is an all-new model.

Introduction

If you're looking for performance and luxury at a relatively affordable price, Audi might just have the car for you with its all-new 2015 S3. As the S4 is to the A4, the S3 is the higher-performance version of Audi's equally new A3. Basically, Audi has taken its A3 compact luxury sedan and, in the words of Nigel Tufnel, turned everything up to 11.

"Louder" starts under the hood, where you'll find a heavily modified version of the A3's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Here, it generates a stout 292 horsepower, an increase of 72 hp over the A3. That power is applied to all four wheels through a standard six-speed automated manual transmission, which, according to Audi, is good enough to fire you off to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

You also get the requisite suspension tuning tweaks to increase handling precision, bigger brakes and various exterior styling mods that give the S3 a more aggressive look than the A3. Pleasingly intact is the S3's interior, which is stately and high class without being overdone. The S3 comes well stocked with features, too, as even the "base" Premium Plus trim level comes with items like xenon headlights, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker sound system.

While the S3 offers a more thrilling driving experience, it does suffer from some of the A3's same pitfalls. The backseat is cramped for adults and the trunk is quite diminutive, too, offering just 10 cubic feet of cargo space. That sport-tuned suspension will be a drawback if you drive on a lot of poorly maintained city streets, as the ride quality gets pretty harsh in those situations.

Realistically, though, just about everything you compare the S3 to is going to be cramped and rather stiff-riding. That's certainly true of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. It boasts more power, but the S3 is less expensive and wins out in terms of personality and interior quality. We do recommend the two-door 2015 BMW M235i, whose handling abilities are unmatched in this grouping. Or, if you want to get similar performance at a lower price, you could check out the 2015 Subaru WRX STI or the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R hatchback (which is mechanically related to the S3). Overall, though, the 2015 Audi S3 deservedly turns it up to "11" in our book.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Audi S3 is a higher-performance version of the A3 compact luxury sedan. It's offered in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige

Standard features for the Premium Plus include 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, keyless ignition and entry, selectable driving settings (known as Audi drive select), automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), driver memory settings, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather and simulated suede upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, iPod interface, HD radio and satellite radio.

The Prestige adds full LED headlights, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding exterior mirrors, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, blind spot monitoring, an MMI controller mounted on the center console, Audi Connect smartphone integration and a navigation system. All these items are available as stand-alone options for the Premium Plus as well.

Available only with the Prestige is an Advanced Technology package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, frontal collision warning and crash mitigation. Other options (for both the Premium Plus and Prestige) include 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, rear seat side airbags and all-season 18-inch tires (no charge).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Audi S3 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 292 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and a six-speed automated manual transmission (called S tronic) are standard.

Audi says the S3 will go from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds using the car's integrated launch control system. EPA-estimated fuel economy checks in at 26 mpg combined (23 city/31 highway).

Safety

The 2015 Audi S3 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.

Optional safety equipment includes rear seat side airbags, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist and frontal collision warning/mitigation.

The S3 has yet to be crash tested, but the similar A3 sedan on which it's based received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest score of "Good" in the small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" score in the side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (seats and head restraints) tests. In government crash testing, the A3 sedan received five out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

Up front, the S3's sport seats are supportive for aggressive driving, yet pretty comfortable on longer drives. Being related to Audi's smallest sedan, though, the S3 isn't all that roomy. Headroom up front is adequate, but rear legroom is pretty tight for adults. (The S3 certainly has more headroom in the back than the CLA45 AMG, however.) The S3's trunk is also quite small. Its 10 cubic feet is certainly fine for daily errands and such, but it becomes more problematic if you're thinking about packing up for a long road trip. The rear seat does fold down in a 60/40 split, at least.

There's nothing to fault with the S3's overall design, though. Though some may prefer flashier cabins adorned in swaths of wood or metal, the ultramodern S3 is beautiful in its simplicity. Yet when you look deeper, beyond its broader, minimalist look, you begin to appreciate its top-notch materials and intricate details, like its ornate, jet-engine-inspired air vents, finely crafted switchgear and the fluid action of the MMI display as it rises from and lowers back into the dash.

Every S3 includes that screen, but its display size depends on whether you opt for navigation. So, too, does the rotary controller. Without nav, it's just a knob. With it, there is a pad on top that allows you to write letters with your finger when entering a destination. It's cool and it works. Regardless of MMI version, however, controls for the stereo and other audio systems may take some time to get used to (especially if you're used to a car with traditional dash-mounted stereo buttons), but they eventually become second nature.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Audi S3's turbocharged engine provides smooth and quick acceleration. Since this isn't one of Audi's more hard-core RS models, it's not going to pin you to the back of your seat with outrageous power, but there's a clear difference between the S3 and its less powerful A3 sibling. The automated transmission is also on point with its timely and quick shifts.

We've only driven an S3 fitted with the adaptive suspension so far. With it, the S3 feels agile and light on its feet. There is quite a bit of steering feedback, which should be welcome news for driving enthusiasts. That adaptive suspension can be switched between Comfort, Auto and Dynamic modes, the latter providing increased steering response and additional stiffness in the dampers. Dynamic mode makes for more precise handling and allows less body roll in the corners, though the price paid for this additional athleticism is a notably stiffer ride. The optional 19-inch wheels make things particularly rough, but if you're interested in the sportiest driving experience, this may be a sacrifice you're willing to make.

SPONSORED CONTENT
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Audi S3 Sedan in VA is:

$70.42 per month*
*Disclaimer

Talk About The 2015 S3

2015 Audi S3 Discussions See all Started By

pchao2
pchao2
01-25-2016
I recently test drove two 2015 MY Audi S3 with a Build Date in December 2014 (new car) and February 2015 (used car); both cars seem to exhibit throttle response problem. When the gas pedal initially ...


eddie_yvp
eddie_yvp
09-15-2014
To research local dealer inventory and pricing, reviews, features, and specifications, please visit Edmunds 2015 Audi S3 page....


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
11-07-2013
2015 Audi S3 Sedan First Drive...



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