Audi S3 Sedan

Editors' Review

The 2022 Audi S3 is a subcompact sedan with outsize performance and the personality to match. Engineers shoehorned a giant-slaying drivetrain into a premium four-door that's basically the same size as a Nissan Versa. If you're looking for speed and finesse in a highly maneuverable package that's also surprisingly affordable, you really can't do better than the S3.

Like countless other Volkswagen Group products, a 2.0-liter turbo-four motivates this sedan. But to deliver performance worthy of an Audi S model, this engine has been thoroughly massaged to crank out a robust 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, figures that are basically in lockstep with the S3's closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG CLA35. If you're counting, the S3 has 105 more hp and 74 additional lb-ft of twist than a regular A3. Managing all that fury is a standard, seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that shifts with immediacy, yet it's never clunky or rough. This is one of the best twin-clutch gearboxes I've ever experienced.  

Unleash the S3's full fury and it can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, the engine hitting like a roundhouse kick to the face past about 3,500 rpm. Ensuring this Audi never loses its footing is standard Quattro all-wheel drive. Given the S3's performance, you might expect it to be thirsty, but it's not. This car stickers at 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. In mixed use, I'm getting about 26.1 mpg, which is damn impressive for an all-wheel-drive luxury car with more than 300 hp.

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The Good ~ Tastefully aggressive styling ~ Silky-smooth powertrain ~ Excellent in-cabin tech ~ Sprightly acceleration

The Bad ~ Some low-rent interior plastics ~ Tight backseat

The Bottom Line The S3 is a delightful performance sedan that just happens to be small.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 8
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9

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