Audi S3 Review
Luxury goes well with performance, and this is the pairing that drives the Audi S3. This small sport sedan is a performance variant of Audi's already capable A3 model.
The S3 shares its upscale sheet metal with the A3. A tall, six-cornered grille dominates the front fascia, and deep character lines grace the car's bulging hood. The S3's cabin is just as refined as its exterior, with top-notch materials and stylish design. A muscular engine and sharp handling combine to deliver driving thrills.
Audi's S3 stumbles when it comes to utility, however; its cramped rear seat and small trunk may give some buyers pause. But if these deficiencies aren't an issue, you'll be happy with all the premium performance that the S3 has to offer.
Current Audi S3
Audi's S3 is a compact high-performance luxury sedan, and it's sold in Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Base models are equipped with 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, dual-zone climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with heating, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity and a 10-speaker stereo. The list of optional equipment includes navigation and a Bang & Olufsen stereo.
The S3 is motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Its power is sent through a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all models come with all-wheel drive.
In reviews of the S3, we've noted that the sedan is a bit smaller than some of its rivals. This translates into tight accommodations in the second row, and the car's 10-cubic-foot trunk won't fit much more than a couple of small pieces of luggage. Our editors were impressed with the S3's cabin, and it offers a sophisticated design and lots of deluxe materials. Our editors also praised the S3's keen handling, noting that the car is a pleasure to experience on winding roads. Finally, we called out the car's standard all-wheel drive, noting that it gives the S3 the traction it needs to confidently take you through frigid weather.
Used Audi S3 Models
Audi introduced the S3 for the 2015 model year, and the sedan is still in its first generation.
In 2016, the S3 made a rearview camera and front rear parking sensors standard equipment. The Prestige trim added standard equipment such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure intervention and forward collision mitigation. An optional Black Optic Performance package debuted, and it bundled features such as an adaptive suspension and black exterior trim.
For 2017, the S3 added forward collision mitigation as standard equipment, and the sedan received a minor cosmetic refresh. The car's infotainment system was upgraded, and rear cross-traffic alert and a USB port became available.
Read the most recent 2018 Audi S3 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Audi S3 page.
For more on past Audi S3 models, view our Audi S3 history page.