The Audi S3 is not a convertible, unlike the A3 on which it is based. Although this sharp-handling sedan is based on Audi's entry-level model, it exudes the same sense of quality and luxury as the company's larger vehicles. The S3's 288-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides blistering acceleration, and its plethora of tech options (both standard and optional) make it competitive with more current competition.
We'd choose for the Premium Plus variant, which has a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen radio, a wireless smartphone charging pad, automatic high-beam headlights, front and rear parking sensors, and eight-way power-adjustable front seats with power lumbar support for both seats.
We'd also recommend the Navigation option, which adds Audi's attractive Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display, in-dash navigation, and a touch pad for the infotainment system controller .
A 2.0-liter turbo four develops 288 horsepower under the hood. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard; a manual transmission is not available. The S3 has excellent driving dynamics because to its precise (though light) steering, all-wheel drive, and sport-tuned suspension.
The automatic transmission makes swift shifts, and the S3 reached 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, 0.9 second faster than the normal A3. If that wasn't fast enough for you, the even faster RS3 model ran from zero to 60 mph in a blazing 3.5 seconds. According to the EPA, the S3 will get 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg overall. We haven't had the opportunity to put the S3 through its paces on our 200-mile highway fuel efficiency test route, but we will when we do.
The cabin, like many of today's Audis, is well-built and has a nice feel to it. Passengers will appreciate the comfy and supportive seats, which are available in quilted diamond-patterned nappa leather, but the interior, particularly the rear seat, is cramped. A panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and ambient interior lighting are standard on all S3 variants.
When you turn on the ignition, the optional 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display shows everything from vehicle speed to navigation features, and a second infotainment display rises from its concealed location in the dashboard.
Despite the fact that the infotainment system isn't the most up-to-date from Audi (the brand's latest cars have a two-screen design), it still includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an optional on-board Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system is available as an add-on to the digital gauge display.