Audi S3 review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Introduction

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Audi S3 2020 front right tracking
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  • Audi S3 2020 front right tracking
  • Audi S3 2020 rear cornering
  • Audi S3 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Audi S3 2020 rear seats
  • Audi S3 2020 infotainment
  • Audi S3 2020 right front cornering
  • Audi S3 2020 right panning
  • Audi S3 2020 headlights detail
  • Audi S3 2020 rear detail static
  • Audi S3 2020 right panning
  • Audi S3 2020 instrument panel
  • Audi S3 2020 boot open
RRP £26,640What Car? Target Price from£25,033
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Introduction

What Car? says...

As motoring journalist cliches go, the “all-the-car-you’d-ever-need” line is certainly up there with the most hackneyed. But in the case of the Audi S3, we think it might be justified. 

You see, the Audi A3, upon which the S3 is based, is currently our favourite premium-badged family cars, while its A3 Saloon sister (upon which, of course, the S3 Saloon is based) is an excellent compact executive car. Both versions are comfortable, enjoyable to drive, have space for all the family, are well equipped, and hold onto their values strongly in their respective classes. The only thing missing is a bit of excitement. 

That’s where the S3 comes in. Under its bonnet sits a mildly tweaked version of the turbocharged, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine found in the outgoing version. With 306bhp and 295lb ft of torque, the S3 is capable of delivering a serious turn of speed, with the run from 0-62mph taking just 4.8sec. A few years ago that would have been considered supercar performance. 

The S3 also benefits from a particularly clever Quattro four-wheel drive system, which can apportion drive front and rear in a more sophisticated way than systems found in previous generations of the S3. If that sounds complicated, essentially, the S3 operates as a front-wheel drive car at a cruise, but once the car’s brain detects slip or need for extra traction (when accelerating aggressively or driving on a loose surface, say), it can send 100% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. Clever stuff.

Of course, none of this performance comes cheaply, and the S3 is right in the firing line of other premium hot hatches such as the BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35, both of which also run 2.0-litre turbocharged engines, automatic gearboxes and four-wheel drive. Don’t forget, however, that the Honda Civic Type R gets along very well indeed with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. The S3 Saloon, meanwhile, goes toe to toe with BMW M235i Gran Coupé and Mercedes-AMG A35 saloon.

Over the next few pages you’ll find out how much fun the S3 is to drive, what it’s like inside, and if it really is all the car you ever need. And, remember, whichever hot hatch takes your fancy, don’t forget to try our New Car Buying service to find out how much you could save on the brochure price.

At a glance

Number of trims1 see more
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions34.9 - 49.6
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max)£396.06 / £3,309.65
Company car tax at 40% (min/max)£792.12 / £6,619.30

How much is it?

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