- Well-appointed cabin
- Agile handling
- Small trunk
- Firm ride with 19-inch wheels
- Artificial-feeling steering
Audi S3 Expert Review
The 2018 Audi S3 gets a new S Sport package option. Two USB ports and heated front seats are now standard across the A3 and S3 lineup.
The 2018 Audi S3 is one of two performance variants of the A3, slotting below the more powerful RS 3. As with most performance-oriented Audis, all-wheel drive comes standard.
S3 Premium Plus:?The base Premium Plus trim comes standard with full LED headlights, leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a 7.0-inch screen, Bluetooth, keyless entry and start, a rearview camera, two USB ports, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof.
S3 Prestige:?The S3 Prestige adds a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, and navigation.
Options include 19-inch alloy wheels, S sport seats, and the S Sport package, which adds magnetic dampers and red brake calipers.
The 2018 Audi S3 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy ratings are 22/28 mpg city/highway.
The 2018 Audi S3 received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2018 A3, the car on which the S3 is based, received a Good score on all crashworthiness tests except for the passenger side front overlap test where it hasn't been tested and the headlights test where it received an Average rating (Good is the highest possible score).
In the IIHS' front crash prevention test, the A3 received a Superior rating after it avoided a 12-mph and a 25-mph collision (Superior is the highest rating on the front crash prevention test).? Standard active driver assistance features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist is standard only on the range-topping Prestige trim.
The 2018 S3 has a 10.0-cubic-foot trunk that can be expanded via the standard split-folding rear seats.
In a 2015 review of our long-term S3, we concluded that the car offers smooth acceleration thanks to its powerful turbo engine and smooth transmission. We also noted in a 2015 First Test that the S3's interior is simple but modern looking. Material quality is excellent and everything inside the cabin feels and looks expensive. Handling was agile but the S3's steering feels artificial and with the optional 19-inch alloy wheels, the ride does get firm.