Audi S3 Review
Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm
The all new Audi S3 has been on our hit list for a while. We managed a few hours behind the wheel during the summer in Germany, and it was an afternoon blast of fun, but what about a real test drive, an every day drive? Read on for our new Audi S3 Review.
7 days and nights of typical British weather, we had a little sun but we had lots of rain, but that just makes it all the more real right? We got our hands on the 6 speed Manual S3, and at around £30,000 you could class it their entry level, assuming you can stay away from the temptation of the extras list. Let’s see how the new S3 stacks up.
Audi S3 Interior
Similar to the A3 but with a few splashes of extra sport along the way, simple things like the flared air vents with click on and off are a real treat. The clean and quite brilliant climate control is still here which we fell in love with on the standard A3, the simplicity just putting it above everything else on the market. The pop up display is pretty neat, though again no touch available, which to begin with makes the whole navigation a little cumbersome, with even the buttons on the steering wheel a little tricky to access without double jointed thumbs!
Also, the seating, the S3 front seats didn’t really work for us. Not only was the colourway a little ‘out there’ the all manual and lack of control around the lumber meant for an uncomfortable seat over a 2 hour drive, and they just didn’t seem to grip as well as previous incarnations. Serious consideration is needed for options and packages, unless you want a ghastly colour match and an interior more 1990’s boy racer rather than that of a more discerning taste.
Audi S3 Driving
For me this is where the S3 really comes into its own, on the road. Bags of fun and incredibly quick makes this a real little premium pocket rocket. If you go for a manual, it may bit a little less refined, but you know you are in control of the power and where you want to put it. Yes the Drive modes are available, but they seem to make little difference to the actual puchiness of the S3, but will come in handy in the auto box options.
Although we did make a shift to Economy mode for a little MPG test, the statistics are not quite near advertised, but we did manage a quite healthy figure of around 36mpg on a 150 mile run south around mainly A track roads and dual carriageways which isn’t bad considering you can hit 60mph in 5.2 seconds (4.8 in the S-Tronic). On those B roads, the car positions itself wherever you want to put it, responsive at all times and a great blend of train track like handling but a little bit of give in the wet if you want, all thanks to that quattro GmbH drive. The problem with that stiff, low suspension is the ride when just pottering around town. What we would have liked to see in the Drive modes is a softer ride and adjustable suspension for such runs, with speed bumps and rough roads giving some particularly harsh feedback to the driver. Perfect when you are driving near the edge, not so on the weekend run to the Garden Centre.
Audi A3 Exterior
The latest A3 is by far the most beautiful of the three marks (plus one major mid mark update) that we have seen grace our roads, although we don’t think anyone would argue that it is very much evolution, not revolution, with only subtle changes and no major ‘WOWs’. And of course with that S badge is just becomes that bit more slick. From the 18 inch alloys to more aggressive front, there is something of an understated class about this car. You can tell by looking it is going to be quick, you just don’t know quite how quick.
Audi S3 Review Verdict
Although when it comes to the A3 I am usually something of a Sportback man, the S3 had me by the heart strings all week. The interior is as good as any, only missing a little in UI, and the drive is quick enough to embarrass all but the quickest of sports cars, and if it was a little softer on the ride when round town, I would probably have one on my drive. If you are looking for a hot hatch, the S3 may be higher end, but you do get what you pay for.
Audi S3 Review Model:
Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro. £36,680; 0-60mph 5.2 secs; Top Speed Limited to 155mph; Economy 40.9 mpg; CO2 162g/km, Engine 1996cc Petrol; Power 300PS; Weight from 1415kg; Gearbox 6-speed manual.