2019 Audi S3 Review

May 22, 2023
David Sunnyside

A sleek, sporty hatchback with a small trunk, the Audi S3 is the brand’s gateway model—an “entry-level” luxury car that offers premium performance without the size of an SUV. Based on the Volkswagen Golf, this little Audi cranks up the VW formula with ruder power and a bit more space. The S3’s base price of $45,595 doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles, but the Premium Plus option adds a better-tuned MMI infotainment system with an improved controller knob between the seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, Google integration and wireless phone charging. For the money, we’d also opt for the Premium Plus Technology package, which nets a useful Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system that might just blow your doors off at full blast.

Standard quattro all-wheel drive helps cement the S3 to the road, giving it a confidence-inspiring ability to approach its limits. There’s a slight lack of drama, though—the exhaust pops but doesn’t crackle like in some rivals.

Around-town driving, rush-hour stop-and-go and highway cruising are quite pleasant thanks to the smooth transmission and engine. The cramped rear seat and trunk are a major drawback, however, especially when competing vehicles offer more space and versatility.

As is expected with an Audi, safety is top-notch, with a coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard equipment includes dual front airbags, a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking and stability control. The Premium Plus and Prestige trims get blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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