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Audi S3 2016 review: snapshot

EXPERT RATING
7.3
Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the 2016 Audi S3 with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the 2016 Audi S3 with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Audi's S3 has occasionally come under fire for being a posh Golf GTI, with proponents of the latter sniffing at the former's higher price tag and all-wheel drive. Audi has responded over the past few years by putting daylight between the two with a funkier, high tech interior and a bit more fun on the driving side.

Audi's S3 comes in three flavours - hatch, sedan and convertible (which we haven't driven yet) and all three sell quite well, thanks very much. The S3 is very popular here in Australia, going up against the rear-wheel drive 1 and 2 Series cars from BMW and holding their own - Australian buyers are fans of the top of every range and we're hungry for the fast stuff. And we seem to really like Audis, with the company looking to complete the twelfth year in a row of growth.

The S3 fits in between the A3 2.0 TFSI quattro and the bonkers RS3, giving buyers a nice halfway house both in terms of pricing and performance, as well as the coveted Audi Sport badge on the boot. The new one changes almost nothing in that respect, sticking with the formula that has served it so well.

Verdict

The new S3 is much the same as the old, just with a lot of detail, running changes to make it quicker and more fun. The latter is a feeling rather than anything Audi told us (some manufacturers like to keep this stuff close to their chest) but it felt good on the challenging roads Audi chose for the launch. It was always a blast, with its more straight-laced quattro chassis a little bit different to the lairier BMW counterpart, and that's the way many Audi buyers like it.

It's quick, fun and getting better every time the engineers have a crack at it. I just wouldn't mind a few more standard features for the money and a bit more kick in the tail.

Will the S3 earn your hot hatch investment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Pricing Guides

$54,990
Based on 34 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$49,990
Highest Price
$64,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 TFSI S TRONIC 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,990 – 64,990 2017 AUDI S3 2017 2.0 TFSI S TRONIC Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI S TRONIC QUATTRO 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $52,030 – 59,840 2017 AUDI S3 2017 2.0 TFSI S TRONIC QUATTRO Pricing and Specs
S/BACK 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO BLK ED 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $50,050 – 57,530 2017 AUDI S3 2017 S/BACK 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO BLK ED Pricing and Specs
Sportback 2.0 TFSI Quattro 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $56,100 – 64,460 2017 AUDI S3 2017 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.3
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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Pricing Guide

$44,000

Lowest price, based on 31 car listings in the last 6 months

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