Audi is an upmarket German marque that produces a wide range of vehicles in many
different body types and sizes. The ‘3’ is the smallest in dimensions and the Audi S3 is the
sportier version of the A3.
It’s aimed at those who are looking for more prestige than they would get from a
Volkswagen Golf, though the Audi does share quite a few out of sight – and some not-quite
out of sight – parts of its slightly more mundane brother.
The exterior of has been updated for the 2022 season to help keep it in potential buyers’
The front grille is huge in height and width and the high-set Audi four-rings sit in a series of
horizontal lines. There’s a somewhat sedate ‘S3’ fitted to the top-right of the grille.
Though it’s a sedan the relatively tall tail makes it look like a hatchback. That shape also
gives it good luggage carrying capacity.
The deeply inset lower sections of the doors sweep up nicely and blend well with the
shapes of the upper sections of the rear wheel guards.
The Nappa leather S Sport seats support well but aren’t overly aggressive in their shape –
after all this is an Audi S, not the sportier RS.
The rear seats are well sized and shaped but as often the way in this class there will be a
need to compromise in legroom between the driver and the person sitting behind them.
Three adults can be carried in the back but will find it a bit on the squeezy side. You may
need to go for a larger model in the Audi sedan range if you’re going to be carrying tall
teens and adults back there.
There are air vents in the rear, as well as power outlets for the various devices of those
seated back there.
Infotainment in the 2022 Audi S3 has a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that’s sharp, easy to
read and responsive to your commands. It has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio
and native navigation.
There are two USB-C outlets below the air-conditioning controls and a wireless charging
The radio provides excellent sound, but as is often the way DAB+ can be irritating if you
lose the signal a long way out of town, when driving in hilly areas or between culverts.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine now has more power and torque – 228kW
and 400Nm – in this latest edition of the Audi S3.
Previously, it had been detuned slightly to suit what Audi thought were hot weather
settings for Australian imports. Now we get the full grunt from the power unit.
It requires high-octane petrol which is often ridiculously overpriced in Australia compared
to standard fuel. Okay, so if you’re spending upwards of seventy thousand dollars fuel cost
is hardly a concern, but it’s still a rip-off.
Transmission is to all four wheels by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Standard items to assist in avoiding a crash include: automatic emergency braking that
senses pedestrian and cyclists, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic
alert, safe exit warning, and a reversing camera.
There are front, front-side and curtain airbags should you still manage to have a crash.
Audi S3 has a zero to 100km/h time of just 4.8 seconds and it really does set you back in
the seat when you give it a punch off the line.
As we have said before zero to a hundred is something you really don’t do in normal
driving. A zero to 60km/h time would make more sense as that’s the sort of thing you do in
The steering wheel is not a full flat-bottomed unit. I prefer it this way as I don’t like the
wiggly feel you get if when the wheel is returning to centre after being on full lock.
The S3 has a flexible engine that, like all turbocharged units, has a wide spread of power
and torque across virtually the range of revs used in normal driving.
The dual-clutch automatic transmission is fast acting and quickly senses the way the driver
likes to power along and adapts to give you what you want.
Driving modes in the Audi S3 are Normal, Sport, Comfort, Individual and Auto. The Sport
setting certainly makes a marked difference to the way the sporty Audi feels. If you’re
feeling lazy just put it into Auto and it does shift quickly according to what the car feels you
want to do.
The Virtual Cockpit Plus is a 12.3-inch unit, the screen is sharp and easy to read at the
quickest glance. You can have various settings, but we preferred to use analogue-style
gauges for driving.
Handling is impressive in that it stays neutral at speeds far higher than are likely to be
used when cruising. It has gentle understeer if you want to push it very hard, then scrubs
off speed to save an inexperienced driver from getting into trouble.
Fuel consumption during our test week ranged from seven to nine litres per hundred
kilometres in country running on level roads. This increased to 11 to 14 litres per hundred
around town. These figures are pretty good for a high-performance vehicle and show the
clever technology built into not only the engine, but also the transmission.
This sporty Audi S3 is certainly the type of car to make you want to get up early of a
Sunday morning to take it for a fang on your favourite driving roads.
AT A GLANCE
S3 2.0 TFSI turbo-petrol Sportback five-door hatch: $70,800
S3 2.0 TFSI turbo-petrol four-door sedan: $72,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Audi S3 2.0 TFSI turbo-petrol four-door sedan)
Capacity: 1.984 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 228 kW @ 5450 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 2000 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 166 g/km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed S-Tronic automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4504 mm
Wheelbase: 2627 mm
Width: 1816 mm
Height: 1418 mm
Turning Circle: 11.1 metres
Kerb Mass: 1505 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres