2018 Audi S3 Sedan an A3 That Wears Sneakers To Work
The Audi S3 is Audi’s method of combining a utilitarian sedan build with high-performance dynamics. The 2.0 TFSI 4-cylinder engines is a beast combined with Audi’s efficacious Quattro system for power distribution. It isn’t an all-out beast like the RS3, but rather a much tamer car. As such, it more suited to the streets than the RS.
Although underpinned by VW Group’s MQB platform as well as sharing engine similarities with the Volkswagen Golf R, the S3 Sedan outperforms its competition in various aspects. MSRP for the 2018 Audi S3 starts just under $33,000, which is a great value considering all the performance and features on offer.
- Excellent 5-star NHTSA rating
- Precise handling
- Robust 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine
- Standard all-wheel-drive delivers enhanced traction
- The upscale, lavish interior
- No manual transmission optional available
- Small trunk
- Low rear legroom
- The car now gets an ‘S’ sports package amongst other tweaks in feature availability.
The S3 comes in two trims, namely Premium Plus and Prestige. The base trim comes standard with 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a panoramic sunroof, driver-seat memory settings, and leather upholstery.
Other noteworthy standard features supported by the Premium Plus trim includes a 10-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, Audi Drive Select, Audi’s MMI electronics interface, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, and power front sports seats.
The optional Technology package equips the S3 with a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, a navigation system, an expanded digital instrument cluster, an upgraded MMI system, Audi Connect online services, and native voice controls.
The top-of-the-line Prestige trim comes standard with the Technology package. Additionally, it comes standard with adaptive cruise control, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, lane departure warning and intervention, LED interior lighting, and additional doublet USB ports.
Optional packages available for the Audi S3 are the Black Optic Dynamic offering 19-inch wheels and special exterior trim, S Sport offering red brake calipers with adaptive suspension dampers, and S Sports Seat offering manually adjustable front seats with premium upholstery. 18-inch wheels with all-season tires and rear-seat side airbags are available as standalone optional upgrades.
Engine and Transmission
The 2018 S3 Sedan packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It is capable of producing 292 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The power generated is distributed via the Quattro AWD.
2018 Audi S3 Sedan tops the performance chart in its segment with a 0 to 60 MPH acceleration time of merely 4.7 seconds. The S Tronic technology makes up for a smooth transmission across the entire speed spectrum. The 2.0-liter TFSI engine produces a mighty roar mirroring its ability.
Much of the S3’s interior bears a close resembles that of the Audi A3, with a similar total seating as well. Four people can fit in the car very snugly, and squeezing in another one should be discovered. The clean dashboard design pairs perfectly with high-quality material construction. The headroom and legroom are spacious and accommodating in the front as well as in the back.
You get a sporty looking flat-bottom multifunction sports steering wheel, covered in perforated leather that makes the insides of the sports sedan even better. In addition to the airy seating, there is more than enough trunk volume to tag along with some decent volume of luggage.
Ride & Handling
The S3 Sedan benefits from the revised S-specific sports suspension, although the stiffer springs and dampers make the ride less comfortable than the car it’s based on, the A3. Grip remains exceptional due to the Haldex-based AWD system capable of diverting entire torque to the rear wheels if the need arises.
In order to minimize understeer, the car gets brake-based torque vectoring. This results in a very sharpened handling characteristic. The bigger 13.4-inch ventilated disc brakes make up for additional stopping power. Although the steering is unsympathetic, it is highly precise.
Safety Equipment and Features
The 2018 iteration of the Audi S3 Sedan tops the NHTSA charts with an overall “5-star” rating. The sports sedan comes with a multitude of safety and driver assistance features.
2018 Audi S3 Sedan has a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist in addition to the mandatory ABS with EBD and multiple airbags.
Speed cannot be the only criteria to keep in mind when choosing your next car. If it is though, and you don’t mind shelling out a few extra grand, the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and BMW M240i are both great alternatives. Otherwise, if you can live with a little less power and excitement in favor of comfort and features, then Audi S3 is a clear choice