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Audi S3 2015 review

2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet is an absolutely gorgeous looking car inside and out.
EXPERT RATING
7
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet.

Roofless driving time is upon us as the hot summer sun slides into autumn and eventually winter which means you don't get fried in a drop-top car.

Audi has a few roofless alternatives in its A3 cabriolet lineup that hold a lot of appeal starting with front wheel drive 1.4 and 1.8-litre turbo petrol models, a 2.0-litre front drive turbo diesel and the cars we drove - the 1.8 and 2.0-litre, A3 and S3 cabriolets. Both have quattro all wheel drive and turbocharged petrol engines.

We particularly like the lower price and performance of the 132kW A3 cabrio that goes for $55,200. But the hero of the range is the S3 sports model that sells from a $70,500 starting point. That price escalates rapidly if you tick driver assist and sports packages that combined will add about $7000 to the bottom line. Most buyers will probably want the extra stuff these packages offer - adaptive cruise control, lane assist, pre-sense, high beam assist along with magnetic ride control and mega audio system you get with the performance package.

That's what we drove - the 'works burger' and it went down nicely thank you very much.

  • 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2015 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet
  • 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet 2014 Audi S3 Cabriolet

Under the bonnet

Plenty of power comes from the 2.0-litre turbo engine fitted with a larger turbo this time around that helps generate 210kW/380Nm. 

The quad exhaust tips emit a bang on full throttle up changes just to let you know you have a performance car in your hands

It's enough to push the S3 cab' from 0-100kmh in 5.5 seconds but the real story is how it responds to throttle on the move. It is in a word, strong. The engine is crammed with technology including variable valve timing and direct injection and runs sweetly and smoothly accompanied by a stirring blatt from the exhaust when you flick it into sport mode. 

The quad exhaust tips emit a bang on full throttle up changes just to let you know you have a performance car in your hands.

Drive to all four wheels is via a slick shifting dual clutch six speeder with paddle shift. It's a case of bang, bang, bang as you upchange through the gears. Gratifying in the extreme.

Fuel economy is a strong point if you can resist utilising all the engine has to offer. Expect 7.1-litres/100km - of premium with normal (light) use. Wick it up and that jumps to 11 in a blink.

Driving

With adaptive magnetic ride control modulating the body, the S3 has impeccable manners combined with a sharp, sporty drive feel. It means you can hussle through tight turns quickly, pounce on the brakes with total confidence and drive out of any situation with maximum grip. Not much to criticise here apart from possibly a tad too much weight. The ride in normal mode is super comfy.

Few cars will stay with the S3 in a straight line, fewer around the bends. And you get to take the top down just to add more pleasure to the drive. That process takes a mere 18 seconds up or down and can be done at speeds up to 50kmh.

Kit

The S3 has plenty of goodies without going the extra kilometre on the option packages. But that B&O audio is superb and the quilted leather seats super chic as well as being striking to look at.

Xenon headlights are included along with some driver assist stuff, satnav - all the usual accoutrements you'd expect from a top of the range Audi.

Forget about taking anyone in the back seats except for small children - there's precious little leg room in there, none if the front passengers are 183cm or taller. Same for the boot - small and not perfectly formed particularly with the roof off.

Verdict

Absolutely gorgeous looking car inside and out. Three roof colour choices! The S-Line body kit adds more drama, lower stance, sexy good looks. Performance is not an issue and the dynamics are impressive. Look at me, look at me!

Pricing Guides

$41,625
Based on 42 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$29,913
Highest Price
$49,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 TFSI Quattro 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $33,990 – 49,990 2015 Audi S3 2015 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
Sportback 2.0 TFSI Quattro 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $29,913 – 44,880 2015 Audi S3 2015 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI Quattro 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $33,990 – 49,990 2015 Audi S3 2015 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$42,900

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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