2018 Audi S3 Review
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
- Small trunk won't fit much more than a couple small suitcases
- Adults will feel cramped in the back seat
- No manual transmission option
Used S3 for SaleSee all for sale
Which S3 does Edmunds recommend?
There's not much of a difference between the S3's two available trim levels. You could go with the Premium Plus trim level, but if you want the Technology package to get the useful Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and premium audio system, you might as well just step up to the Prestige in our opinion. You get Technology package as standard as well as a few things you can't get on the Premium Plus, such as adaptive cruise control and a HomeLink garage door opener. Either way, get the S Sport package for its adaptive suspension dampers, which expand the S3's comfort and performance handling capabilities.
Edmunds' Expert Review
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, the steering near-perfect. Low-speed drivability could be improved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Overall||8.1 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro w/Prod. End 6/18 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
The title is due to its small size and excellent performance. In fact, this car accelerates better than most of the highly vaunted muscle cars of the 1960s, while providing outstanding mileage and comfort. Contrary to what the Edmunds review states, my car has a seven speed DCT. I ended up getting the Prestige trim level, since my dealer did not have a Premium Plus car. I am very pleased with the performance of my car, but I wish that it had fewer electronic doodads. The Virtual Cockpit offers nothing useful to make it superior to the analog display that my A3 had, and it can be confusing at times. I do like the magnetic ride option, which gives a smoother, quieter ride than a standard suspension. My wife and I have become very fond of the Audi 3 series cars, due to their compact size and excellent maneuverability.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the S3 models:
- 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.