2020 Audi S3 Sportback Review

5/5

Overview

The 306bhp Audi S3 is the fastest model in the A3 line-up and is Audi’s attempt to make a usable, stylish, family hatchback with something of a split personality. It comes with the 2.0 TFSI Quattro 306bhp engine mated to a highly regarded 7-speed automatic gearbox. The S3 is a more discreet type of hot hatch with features such as the quad exhaust making it look only slightly sportier than a normal A3 and it is also based on the same platform as the VW Golf and Seat Leon. As well as the practical Sportback, it is also available in scintillating cabriolet or salubrious saloon format. 

Pros
  • Extensive list of standard equipment
  • Practical interior with lots of storage space
  • Typical Audi pedigree and reliability
  • Grippy handling
  • Cosseting interior
Cons
  • Optional extras are expensive

Exterior

It is very much a case of evolution rather than revolution when it comes to the exterior styling of the S3. It has a higher shoulder line than the previous model while the large honeycomb radiator grille, blade effect LED headlights, air vents and slimmer tail lights giving the car a more sporty athletic look as well as more road presence than before. It is also somewhat shorter and wider than its predecessor which contributes towards giving it a more masculine, aggressive appearance. Unlike the previous A3 however, the Sportback is only available as a five door while Edition One cars come in a striking Python Yellow colour scheme with black detailing. 

Interior

The interior follows a similar design theme to the latest Q3 SUV with a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system replacing the previous A3’s rotary dial controller. Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit fully digital drivers display also comes as standard. In terms of space it compares favorably to its rivals with plenty of head and leg room for occupants who are well cosseted by the comfortable upholstery. There are also plenty of storage spaces, cubby-holes and cup holders while the 40/20/40 split folding rear seats provide easy accessibility for bulky items, ideal for trips to Scandi-furniture stores. The boot itself fares well when compared to rivals with 380 litres of space or 1200 litres with the rear seats folded flat, while there is a wide opening and a low load lip for easy access. 

Performance

The 2.0 TFSI Quattro engine is smooth, responsive and brisk with 308 bhp and a 0 – 100 kmph time 4.7 seconds. The seven-speed automatic gearbox has a direct shift and a clear biting point, making it intuitive to drive.

Reliability

All cars come with a three-year warranty (two-year unlimited mileage and up to 90,000 kms in the third) and – so far- have an excellent reliability record.  

Running Costs

The 221 kW (300 hp) two-litre TFSI has combined fuel consumption figures of 7.0-6.8 l/100 km, as well as combined CO? emissions of 158-155 g/km. It was also priced favourably compared to previous versions of the S3

Handling

The new S3 feels incredibly secure and planted on the road with Audi’s Progressive Steering coming as standard meaning that the speed of the steering increases the more you turn the wheel. The steering is extremely precise and accurate, making it easy to position the car exactly where you want it, while the car itself feels compliant to the drivers needs. 

Safety

The 2020 Audi A3/S3 was awarded a five-star NCAP safety rating and it’s not hard to see why with an extensive list of all the latest safety equipment and features as standard. 

Summary

Exterior
80%
Interior
90%
Performance
80%
Reliability
90%
Running Costs
90%
Handling
90%
Safety
100%

The 306bhp Audi S3 is the fastest model in the A3 line-up and is Audi’s attempt to make a usable, stylish, family hatchback with something of a split personality. It comes with the 2.0 TFSI Quattro 306bhp engine mated to a highly regarded 7-speed automatic gearbox. The S3 is a more discreet type of hot hatch with features such as the quad exhaust making it look only slightly sportier than a normal A3 and it is also based on the same platform as the VW Golf and Seat Leon. As well as the practical Sportback, it is also available in scintillating cabriolet or salubrious saloon format.