2019 Audi S3

What’s new

  • The Audi S3 carries over into 2019 without significant changes
  • Part of the first Audi S3 generation introduced in the United States in 2015

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Upscale interior that looks and feels expensive
  • Precise handling that makes it a joy to drive on twisty roads
  • Standard all-wheel drive for enhanced traction
  • Trunk won't fit much more than a couple of small suitcases
  • Adults will feel cramped in the back seat
  • No manual transmission option
MSRP Range
$44,500 - $49,800

Save as much as $2,571
Select your model:


Which S3 does Edmunds recommend?

The Premium Plus base trim might draw you in, but there's not a world of difference between the S3's two trim levels. If you opt for Premium Plus, you'll probably also want the Technology package for its useful Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and premium audio system. At that point, it just makes sense to get the Prestige trim since it comes standard with the Technology package plus a handful of other exclusive features such as adaptive cruise control and a HomeLink garage door opener. Whichever you choose, we suggest adding the S Sport package for its adaptive suspension dampers, which expand the S3's comfort and performance handling capabilities.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Audi's S series models are a happy middle ground between the mainstream A models, such as the A4 and A7, and the more berserk, high-performance RS editions. The 2019 Audi S3, for example, gives drivers an extra serving of handling, performance and technology compared to the A models, without the higher price and everyday comfort compromises that mark the RS cars.

Like the A3, the S3 is a gateway into the Audi brand, an "entry-level" model, if such a thing can be said of a car that starts around $45,000. Its smaller shape and footprint come from its close relationship to the Volkswagen Golf, and that's not a bad thing. The Golf remains one of our favorite hatchbacks, and the S3 cranks up the VW formula with ruder performance and a trunk. The S3's compact profile makes it an ideal choice for buyers who want a premium brand and premium performance but don't need the larger, longer S4 sedan.

So what does the S3 give you that the A3 doesn't? To start, the S3 comes standard with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which is optional on the A3. There's also significantly more power (more than 100 additional horsepower), more high-performance options such as larger brakes and adaptive suspension dampers, and enhanced technology and infotainment features.

Today's landscape of "entry-level" luxury performance is hotter than ever, though. And in light of new and updated entries such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the BMW 2 Series, the S3 already looks a bit creaky; it hasn't had a notable upgrade since its debut in 2015. But if you're seeking a small sport sedan that straddles the line between orderly and outrageous, the S3 still fits the bill.

Audi S3 models

The 2019 Audi S3 is offered in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige. They are pretty similarly equipped, but the Prestige offers more standard technology features. All S3s have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That power is put to the ground through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

Standard features for the Premium Plus include 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, keyless ignition and entry, front and rear parking sensors, selectable driving settings (known as Audi Drive Select), LED headlights, automatic wipers, heated side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, power front sport seats, leather upholstery, LED interior lighting, and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks.

For the Premium Plus, you also get a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Audi's MMI electronics interface (with a console-mounted controller and a power-retractable display), Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, two USB ports, and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.

Optional for this trim is the Technology package, which includes an expanded digital instrument cluster (Virtual Cockpit), an upgraded MMI system (with an improved display and a touch-sensitive controller), Audi Connect online services (with 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi), native voice controls, a navigation system, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

The Prestige adds the contents of the Technology package as standard plus power-folding exterior mirrors (with driver-side auto-dimming), adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning and intervention.

Optional on both the Premium Plus and the Prestige are a Black Optic package (19-inch wheels with special exterior trim), an S Sport package (red brake calipers with adaptive suspension dampers) and an S Sport Seat package (manually adjustable front sport seats with premium leather upholstery). Stand-alone options include rear-seat side airbags and 18-inch wheels with all-season tires.

Driving

What happens when you combine a fantastic engine with a sensational chassis? You get the incredibly capable S3. The turbo-four is smooth and eager to rev, with a wallop of midrange torque. Handling is stunning, and the steering is near-perfect. Low-speed drivability could be improved.

Acceleration

The turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder feels stronger than 292 horsepower. It can be reluctant leaving the line. But once it builds revs, it sprints forward, hitting 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and quick-shifting.

Braking

Braking abilities are excellent; the pedal is always firm. It's a bit touchy at low speeds, but in most situations the brakes feel powerful and confidence-inspiring. In our panic-braking test, the S3 needed 107 feet to stop from 60 mph. That's a typical result for a car with performance-rated tires.

Steering

The steering is incredibly sharp and quick without being darty. More importantly, it gives good feedback to the driver, meaning the electric assist steering doesn't completely isolate the road or the grip level of the tires from the driver.

Handling

This car is glued to the road, thanks to the sticky tires but also the stiff suspension that keeps body roll nearly nonexistent. Aim this car at a corner, and it goes exactly where you point it.

Drivability

Drivability is marred slightly by touchy brakes in stop-and-go traffic and some delay from the engine and transmission when leaving a stoplight. But it has great passing power, feels light and small, and is generally an easy car to drive.

Comfort

The S3 doesn't coddle you like a luxury sedan. The seats don't have an abundance of cushioning. The ride is firm and not as supple as that of most BMWs, but the suspension is adjustable, and it never gets truly objectionable. Interior noise is kept to acceptable levels.

Seat comfort

The front seats have firm cushions, but they are wide and roomy, with less lateral support than most sport seats. The door armrests have soft cushioning. The rear seats provide enough support, but the seatback is quite upright.

Ride comfort

If you like a floaty ride, this isn't your car. Even the suspension's Comfort mode can feel stiff over rough roads. But some sport sedans are even less comfortable.

Noise & vibration

There's some tire hum on most surfaces, but wind noise is well-controlled. You can hear the engine just slightly at highway speeds. The turbo-four makes exciting noises during acceleration.

Climate control

The standard dual-zone climate control uses a simple three-knob system for controls.

Interior

The interior is much like the A3's but with sportier, S3-specific touches throughout. Most controls work well, although the boost gauge is gimmicky. The trunk is small for the segment.

Ease of use

Despite the A3's minimalist interior design, the controls are where you expect them and are easy to use, though we always turn the MMI knob the wrong direction. We love the infinitely swiveling circular dash vents. The optional finger-writing recognition is cool.

Getting in/getting out

The front doors are relatively long and open wide. The roof isn't too low, and you only have to stoop a bit. On the downside, the doorsills are wide, and you can catch your foot on them when getting out. The rear doors are small.

Roominess

There's decent but not abundant front headroom, partly because the seat height is higher than you'd expect. Door-side elbow room is excellent. The center console infringes on the driver's right knee space. Rear headroom will be tight for most adults.

Visibility

The windshield roof pillars are very narrow, though the side pillars obstruct lane changes. The rear roof pillars are also thick, and the rear window is short. Our test car had the rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Quality

The interior materials are high-quality, and they look good, too. The steering wheel is beautiful and thick-rimmed, while the knobs and buttons have heft. We did notice a squeak from the plastic center console if we rubbed our knee against it.

Utility

It should be no surprise that trunk volume in a compact car is limited. But the rear seat folds down, and the available cubbies and cupholders are welcome.

Small-item storage

The door pockets are a decent size, but the front bin is a tiny sliver. The center armrest bin is just large enough to be useful. The cupholders have a good anti-tip design.

Cargo space

The 10-cubic-foot trunk is small, but the opening is wide. The rear seats fold down, and the pass-through is large.

Technology

The cool retractable center screen is intuitive, and it commands the MMI system. Bluetooth is standard, and the S3 is available with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot system.

Audi S3 years
2019
Audi S3 for Sale

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2019 Audi S3.

Trending topics in reviews


    Features & Specs

    2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM
    MSRP$44,500
    MPG 22 city / 29 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission7-speed automated manual
    Horsepower288 hp @ 5400 rpm
    See all for sale
    2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 4dr Sedan AWD
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM
    MSRP$49,800
    MPG 22 city / 29 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission7-speed automated manual
    Horsepower288 hp @ 5400 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2019 Audi S3 features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite S3 safety features:

    Audi Adaptive Cruise
    Maintains a set distance between you and the car ahead of you. Automatically accelerates and brakes as needed, with the ability to stop.
    Audi Virtual Cockpit
    Lets you keep your attention on the road by providing route guidance in the instrument panel right in front of you.
    Rear Cross-Traffic Assist
    Warns you if a vehicle may hit you as you're backing out of a spot. Perfect for small urban parking lots.
    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%

    Audi S3 vs. the competition

    2019 Audi S3

    2019 Audi S3

    2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

    2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

    Audi S3 vs. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

    The A 220 is the newest entry-level Mercedes. And in one fell swoop it has become the benchmark car in this class with its excellent blend of comfort and performance, classy interior design and impressive infotainment system. The catch? For now, the A-Class is only available with a relatively tame 188-horsepower engine, albeit one with rich, turbo-boosted low-end torque. This engine makes the A 220 a closer competitor to the S3's more sedate counterpart, the A3. But given Mercedes' strategy of introducing high-performance versions after a model's initial launch, we'd expect to see a zestier AMG version sometime in 2019.

    Compare Audi S3 & Mercedes-Benz A-Class features

    Audi S3 vs. Volkswagen Golf R

    If you're considering the S3, you probably know you want a trunk. But if you're not opposed to a hatchback, the Golf R packs a similar punch in performance as the S3, but with the additional cargo utility and passenger room of a hatch. The Golf R and the S3 are closely related cousins, so you're getting similar specs from each. Both share a 288-horsepower four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive comes standard on both, and both return nearly the same fuel economy. If you prefer a manual transmission, you can still get one in the Golf R.

    Compare Audi S3 & Volkswagen Golf R features

    Audi S3 vs. BMW 2 Series

    If you can get by with two doors, the 2 Series offers impressive handling and ride quality, and it manages the dual trick of delivering strong engine power with excellent fuel economy. Far from entry-level, the 2 Series comes with the same kind of high-quality interior as you'll find in the S3; you'll just need to squeeze in a little tighter to enjoy it if you're riding in the back seat. And once you're back there, you won't enjoy the same kind of room that the S3 offers, something to consider if you often have passengers.

    Compare Audi S3 & BMW 2 Series features

    More about the 2019 Audi S3

    2019 Audi S3 Overview

    The 2019 Audi S3 is offered in the following submodels: S3 Sedan. Available styles include 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and 2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).

    What do people think of the 2019 Audi S3?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Audi S3 and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2019 S3.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Audi S3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 S3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2019 Audi S3?
    2019 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

    The 2019 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $49,290. The average price paid for a new 2019 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $2,571 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $2,571 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $46,719.

    The average savings for the 2019 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is 5.2% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 5 2019 Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2019 Audi S3s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Audi S3 for sale near. There are currently 8 new 2019 S3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $46,090 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2019 Audi S3. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,663 on a used or CPO 2019 S3 available from a dealership near you.

    Can't find a new 2019 Audi S3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Audi S3 for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,322.

    Find a new Audi for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,359.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2019 Audi S3?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Audi lease specials