|Trim||Engine||Drive Type||Trans.||0-60||1/4 Mile||Mpg EPA C/H/Observed||Source|
2017 Audi S3
|Prestige Sedan||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||4.6 sec||13.3 sec @ 104 mph||21/28/24 mpg||Car and Driver|
2016 Audi S3
|Premium Plus Sedan||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||4.4 sec||13.0 sec @ 105.3 mph||23/31/24.4 mpg||Motor Trend|
2015 Audi S3
|2.0T Premium Plus Sedan||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||4.4 sec||12.9 sec @ 108 mph||23/31/23 mpg||Car and Driver|
|2.0T Prestige Sedan||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||4.7 sec||13.4 sec @ 102.4 mph||23/31/---- mpg||Motor Trend|
2009 Audi S3
|2.0T MTM Sportback Wagon||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||5.3 sec||14.0 sec @ 98 mph||----/----/20 mpg||Car and Driver|
|2.0T MTM Sportback Wagon||2.0L Turbo I-4||AWD||6A||5.4 sec||14.1 sec @ 97.7 mph||----/----/---- mpg||Motor Trend|
About Audi S3
The “S” in S3 is supposed to stand for Sport, and Audi wasn’t really kidding around when they came out with this 2015 sports sedan late this year. This is the buff version of the A3, and it’s fast. That’s not actually surprising, since the S3 does have a different engine after all.
You only have two trims to choose from. You have the basic Premium Plus which starts at $41,110, and then there’s the Prestige at $47,000.
Let’s get right on it:
- This is a front-engine car with a 4-wheel drive. It has 4-doors (just in case you somehow don’t know what sedan means) and designed for 5 people. In Europe, however, the 3 and 5 door hatchback versions are available.
- Engine type: 2L, turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, port and direct fuel injection
- 292 HP at 6200 rpm; 280 lb-ft of torque at 1900 rpm
- The transmission in the US is a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode. The Europeans get a manual option too.
- 0 to 60 mph: 4.4 sec
- 0 to 100 mph: 10.8 sec
- 0 to 130 mph: 19.7 sec
- Street start, 5-60 mph: 5.6 sec
- Standing quarter-mile: 12.9 sec @ 108 mph
- Top speed: 155 mph
- Braking, 70-0 mph: 160 ft
- Fuel economy is 23 city / 31 highway according to Audi, but the EPA says it’s more like 19 / 27 mpg.
First of all, when you drive the S3 you may at first think that the engine sounds good. That’s when you remember that there’s some sound enhancement going on. There’s actually a speaker that adds to the natural noise on the engine. Put it in “Comfort” mode, and the sound goes away.
The transmission shifts are also very smooth indeed. It’s for this reason why you don’t need much time getting to 60 mph. And it doesn’t just do well in the straights. The electronic steering is spot on, although some may still have some qualms regarding the Audi penchant for understeer. Some may also comment on the rather anemic feedback; steering is sharp, but somewhat lacking in excitement.
The grip is fine, as the tires stick to the road instead of sliding. The ride quality is quite comfy as well. Over corrugated roads it may actually be better to switch to the dynamic mode.
One quick tip: get the Performance Package. It’s just about $1900, and you get quite a big bang for your buck. Your 18-inch wheels are upgraded to 19 inches, and you get ContisportContact tires too. The four corners of your car get magneto-rheological dampers too. Just drive in the more aggressive modes and you get a sweeter ride and handling.
Styling and Comfort
Styling has always been about personal preference, and that goes for the S3. Some may bemoan the rather unexciting look, but others may appreciate its understated design. It’s like Clark Kent who’s flying in the skies. But that’s actually an Audi trait. Subtlety is part of its design philosophy.
Inside, those who revel in in luxury may be disappointed in the rather Spartan cabin. Sure you have a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, and Bluetooth connectivity along with power windows, locks, and mirrors and cruise control. With the Prestige you get navigation and a much better sound system setup with 14 speakers. You even get a parking system with a rear view camera.
The Multi-Media Interface pops up and down on command. It serves as the interface for the phone and audio systems of the S3. If you’re willing to pay the subscription fee, you can also get Audi connect
Passengers in the back seat may not be all that happy, however. It’s not really cramped, but then again the space may not be adequate for adults for long. But the S3 is not exactly a hauler, is it? It’s an exciting alternative to staid family vehicles.
Safety and Security
The S3 has earned top marks for security, but that’s to be expected especially with the new safety tech. You have airbags for the front, knees, sides, and the head. There’s even a passenger occupant detection system for the airbags.
The usual safety assistance tools are here as well. You’ve got the anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-pressure distribution and brake assist, electronic stability control, with secondary collision brake assist and traction control.
You also have a system that monitors your tire pressure, and your alarm system comes with an immobilizer. At the back, you also have the LATCH (Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children.
The A3 is a nice family car for a couple with 2.3 kids. But the S3 may serve the same function as well. It’s just that when the kids are away, daddy (or mommy) can get a little wild and play a little on the tarmac. This is a true sports sedan, no question about it.
For more information about Audi S3, visit the official Audi website.
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