The S-badged models within the Audi range have flown under the radar. The latest S3 isn’t an exception. However, this does not mean that it lacks the strength or muscle we have come to expect from this hot catch – it is just the S3’s understated looks coupled with its grown-up feel are a total contrast to few of its overly sporting rivals.

Keen drivers might be disappointed that the S3’s approach faintly dull the thrills behind the wheels. Nonetheless, as refined and as rapid A to B transport, with a huge dose of practicality thanks to its range of body styles, this model takes some beating.

The S3 is still a high quality and potent alternative to the countless other catches available in the market. Even though it is not the last word in handling and performance, with styling that is not exciting enough for some preferences and tastes, there is no doubt that the S3 remains a force to be reckoned with.

Performance engines and drive

Audi’s S3 delivers strong performance and amazing quarto grip. Fast Audis have for a long time put their focus on effortless speed compared to driver interaction. There is no difference with the S3. It brings with it an unflappable driving experience. Its stiffer and lower suspension is tailored to sharpen up its handling. Although this feature can mean your car crushes over imperfections and bumps on the road, it is worth choosing the softer damper setting. This model’s brings with it a sports exhaust that makes sure the noise is more throaty compared to a standard A3.

In addition to the sports exhaust, Audi fit the S3 with a speaker inside the bulkhead in order to pump artificial engine noise right into the cabin. The results are more than perfect. Its tone is bass-y as the car’s revs rise. The S3 has some pops and fizzles from its exhaust anytime you spec the S tronic box.

Engines

A 2.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged TFSI engine powers the latest S3. This engine delivers an impressive 296bhp and 380Nm of torque across a variety of rev range (1,800-5,500rpm).

Technological advancements in the S3 consists the use of a stronger and new internal components. It also boasts a new lightweight alloy cylinder head. According to Audi, this car’s engine spec is 5 kilograms lighter compared to the initial version. The car maker also says the engine is more powerful.

The S3 revs to a maximum of 6, 800rpm. When pressed, its hatchback can cover 0-62mph in 4.8 secs. You can fit an optional six speed S tronic gearbox. This way, with the standard six-speed manual, a sprint can take 5.2 seconds.

All the body styles can reach a limited top speed of 155mph. However, Saloons are one tenth slower from 0-62mph. the Cabriolet that is strictly available with the S tronic box normally takes 5.3 seconds.

Audi S3 Performance Specs

296

HORSE POWER

380

NM

4.8

0 - 100

250

TOP SPEED

Interior and design

The S3 delivers a completely premium feel and surely has the toys to match. It takes pride in its incredible hot hatch options for those not looking to attract much attention. The styling tweaks over the lesser A3 are somewhat subtle. However, Audi fans easily identify this. They comprise of quad exhausts, silver wing mirrors and a slightly more aggressive bodywork compared to the A3 S line. It also has a couple of S badges that are dotted around the exterior and interior. Another thing that sets the S3 apart are the LED daytime running lights and Xenon headlamps. There is no doubt that this car looks impressively purposeful and poised on its usual 18-inch alloy wheels.

The S3 is built on the striking VW Group’s latest modular MQB platform, which means that it shares vital engineering elements with models such as the SEAT Leon, Passat, Volkswagen Golf, and Audi’s TT.

What is for sure is that the interior stands out as one of the selling points of the S3. It perfectly combines liberal utilization of high quality plastics with a premium and cohesive design that is incredibly backed up by an impassable build quality together with a highly tactile switchgear.

Nappa leather wingback sports seats and a flat bottomed steering wheel that has multifunction controls also characterize the S3’s interior. This car’s instrument dials bring with them white pointers and white pointers. Users also enjoy a set of racing car-style lightweight alloy pedals, which constantly reminds you of S3’s potential.

Boot space

The S3’s three-door boot capacity is three hundred and twenty five liters while the seats are up and 1060 liters while folded down. This is relatively less compared to a VW Golf. Nonetheless, with this ride, you enjoy an easy getting of luggage in and out due to its shape and low loading lip.

Passenger space

The cabin can gladly accept adults sitting at the back and a spacious boot. The S3’s driving position is undoubtedly excellent with good visibility and plenty of adjustment. Although the three-door S3 is not cramped at the back, the four-door S3 Saloon is much more spacious for the rear seat passengers. It offers better access.

Safety and reliability

With the might of VW Group, the S3 definitely benefits immensely from cutting edge safety equipment and robust engineering. The sure thing is that compared to a standard A3, the Audi S3 can inevitably work its way through brakes and tyres much more quickly. This is no reason to assume that this car can be any less reliable. This is because the electronics, Quattro powertrain, and engines have been tested thoroughly across many different models in the Group. This car also feels perfectly and firmly screwed together. It does not have flimsy materials or trim to generate any annoying rattles or squeaks.

Infotainment, stereo and Sat-nav

The S3 has Audi’s MMI Navigation that includes MMI touch. This feature enables one to ‘write’ characters on the car’s top surface of its control wheel using a finger. The great feature comes in handy in entering phone numbers and postcodes.

To hook your car to the internet, just enable Audi connect. A seven-inch flat screen shall display customized services from mapping, to contacts and social media. The car also has voice recognition that enables you to relay text messages while on the move without necessarily having to touch their smartphone.

Value for money

For sure, this car is competitively priced in its class. Nonetheless, this does not mean that it is affordable, but you will surely value for your money – from its fantastic interior to a grippy Quattro system and adaptive dampers, you can deny that this car is well-equipped. You also enjoy heated leather-upholstered electrically adjustable sport seats, nineteen-inch alloy wheels, DAB digital radio (with 8 speakers), and sports suspension among other incredible features and accessories.

The appeal of Audi seems to be much more that price points and practicalities for those that shop for this premium brand. As a group, Audi carries a cachet that perfectly captures all expectations with blended levels of performance and quality that are exemplified throughout the lineup.

What I like about the S3

  • Performance & Luxury in one package
  • Perfect size & dimensions
  • Highly responsive S-tronic
  • Bang & Olufsen sound system

Room for improvement

  • Sport exhaust could have sounded better
  • Introduce legal & reasonable mods
  • Option to disable artificial engine noise

Audi S3 pictures


Here are some of the photos I shot when I first got my S3! all the photos were taken by Sony A7s.