2017 Audi S3 Review

2017 Audi S3 photo
  1. Original MSRP$42,900 - $48,400
  2. Fuel Economy (MPG)21/28 City/Hwy
  3. Body StylesSedan

2017 Audi S3 Review

Overview
  • Overview
  • Specs
  • Safety
2017 Audi S3 photo
  1. Original MSRP$42,900 - $48,400
  2. Fuel Economy (MPG)21/28 City/Hwy
  3. Body StylesSedan
CARFAX RatingsOverall Rating
Exterior
Interior
Performance
Technology
Value

Overview

By Matt Keegan (Last Updated 12/6/2017)

Compact luxury cars are rightly perceived as the logical gateway to most premium brands. Based on the Audi A3, the 2017 Audi S3 takes Audi’s small-car platform and transforms it into a performance sedan worthy of much praise.

Offering space for five, the all-wheel-drive Audi S3 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Two trims are offered: Premium Plus and Prestige.

The 2017 Audi S3 benefits from minor cosmetic changes. The previously optional forward collision mitigation system is now standard, and the infotainment system has been updated. New features for the current model year include a USB port and rear cross-traffic alert.

Exterior

We expect most shoppers would deem the Audi S3 a handsome sedan. It is a tidy package, one that successfully brings Audi’s stylish design language to a small frame. Although the S3 shares its sheet metal with the Audi A3, it is the special touches that give this performance sedan its unique character.

The front fascia features a more pronounced chin than the A3 and offers a unique grille and decisive chiseling. The LED light signature is unique, offering a warning to the vehicle in front that an above-the-ordinary sedan on its heels.

Crisp lines flow across the hood and along the sides, pushing back to the raised rear deck. All models are outfitted with 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels in a variety of five-spoke designs, and heated power-folding side mirrors are available. Sporty skirts offer flair and distinction. The rear fascia is marked by a trunk-lip spoiler, flared combination lamps and quad-exhaust outlets.

Interior

If the 2017 Audi S3 has a weak point, it’s the lack of spaciousness found in the cabin. The back seat is tiny, with a dearth of reasonable room for adult passengers.

That aside, everything else about the cabin is top notch. The front seats are unusually attractive and offer excellent support, and they are just the type of seats you want when taking long trips or navigating twisty roads. Audi delivers interiors that are clean, orderly and dressed in high-end materials, and the S3 features gorgeous leather seats with contrast stitching and embossing.

The sedan’s cockpit features a configurable LCD screen offering the expected driver readouts and Google maps. Oversized circular vents bedeck an otherwise spartan dashboard. A natty flat-bottomed steering wheel and metal pedals advance this sedan’s sporty yet fashionable disposition.

The S3’s cargo space measures just 10 cubic feet, but the split-folding rear bench seat works to enhance cargo capacity. Thoughtfully, Audi added a center pass-through for those times the back seat is needed but long items (such as a set of skis) must be stored within.

Standard equipment includes full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, heated front seats, leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Prestige grade supplements ambient LED lighting.

Performance

Weighing in at just under 3,500 pounds, the relatively lightweight S3 is no slouch. The sedan’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and this spirited power plant offers immediate throttle response.

Four drive modes are offered: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. These are controlled via the MMI interface or a switch located near the bottom of the center stack. Switch to Dynamic mode and the engine perks up, delivering bubbly noises that are sent into the cabin. It’s definitely a pleasing sound for those who value a close connection to the engine, even if the tune is mechanically enhanced.

The S3 inspires confidence thanks to its excellent all-wheel-drive system and magnetic fluid dampers. Add in the standard summer performance tires, and this sedan handles curved roads with precision. The steering has a pleasantly substantial feel while remaining light to the touch.

The fact that the S3 doesn’t offer a manual gearbox in the U.S. market is a demerit for ardent enthusiasts. At the same time, the dual-clutch automatic transmission is more than sufficient, especially when the paddle shifters are engaged. The turbo eagerly pulls the engine through the lower gears with a high output of power present at top speeds.

Technology

In recent years, Audi has improved its technologies, replacing the previous cables to connect a smartphone with a USB port. The MMI interface takes some getting used to, with a dial and switches controlling same.

The color display emerges from the dashboard once the ignition is activated. The screen features a black background with orange and white lettering. It is easy to read and does an excellent job in adjusting to lighting conditions. The maps are highly detailed, clear and understandable.

Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included. The standard 10-speaker audio package offers high-quality sound and clarity and may be upgraded to a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen system. All models come with HD radio, satellite radio, an SD card slot and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

Safety

The 2017 Audi S3 earned a perfect five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This sedan is equipped with a rearview camera, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking and front and rear parking sensors as standard equipment. Package and trim upgrades bring in lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert. Rear-seat side airbags are optional.

Cost-Effectiveness

The 2017 Audi S3 Premium Plus starts at $42,900, plus $950 for destination. The S3 Prestige is priced from $48,400.

Our test S3 (a Prestige model with no upgrades) carried a suggested price of $49,350 after destination. This model builds on the Premium Plus, adding navigation, heated power-folding mirrors, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic assist.

Opting for the Prestige package brings in many of the amenities that round out any luxury car. The additional safety features are handy for the individual who regularly drives long distances. Various option packages, including S Sport seats ($1,450) and black optic dynamic wheels ($2,000) can push your final price above $55,000.

The S3 has a price advantage relative to the other German models it is likely to be cross-shopped against, while offering strong feature content and pleasing performance. As such, it represents good value.

Overall

If a roomy rear seat is important to you, then the S3 will disappoint. This performance sedan is ideal for two, with the back seat best utilized for extra storage space or for young children.

The S3’s most favorable attribute is the way it handles on twisty roads, with its all-wheel-drive system enhancing this sedan’s impressive driving dynamics. The 2017 Audi S3 is a solid bet for shoppers seeking a small luxury sport sedan offering thrilling performance and a reasonable price.

Specs & Features

exterior

  • Available colors

  • Tango Red Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Vegas Yellow
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Nano Gray Metallic
  • Ara Blue Crystal Effect
  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect
  • Navarra Blue Pearl Effect
  • Brilliant Black
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Available exterior features

  • Rear Bumper Color: Body-color
  • Mirror Color: Aluminum/Body-color
  • Rear Spoiler: Lip
  • Exhaust Tip Color: Chrome
  • Rear Spoiler Color: Body-color
  • Exhaust: Quad Tip
  • Grille Color: Aluminum
  • Window Trim: Aluminum
  • Front Bumper Color: Body-color
  • Door Handle Color: Body-color
  • Dimensions

  • Front Track Width: 61.1 Inches
  • Height: 54.8 Inches
  • Length: 175.9 Inches
  • Rear Track Width: 60.1 Inches
  • Wheelbase: 103.6 Inches
  • Width: 77.2 Inches
  • Curb Weight: 3462 Pounds
  • Body style

  • Sedan
  • Wheel and tire type

  • Wheel Diameter: 18.0 X 8.0 Inches
  • Tire Type: 225/40r18

interior

  • Comfort/convenience features

  • Rear Vents: Second Row
  • Armrests: Rear Center Folding With Storage And Pass-thru
  • Air Filtration
  • Floor Mats: Front/Rear
  • Power Locks: Auto-locking
  • Shift Knob Trim: Alloy/Leather
  • Front Air Conditioning: Automatic Climate Control
  • Door Trim: Leatherette
  • Steering Wheel Trim: Leather
  • Interior Accents: Aluminum
  • Door Sill Trim: Aluminum
  • Front Air Conditioning Zones: Dual
  • Floor Material: Carpet
  • Floor Mat Material: Carpet
  • Entertainment

  • Radio Data System
  • Auxiliary Audio Input: Bluetooth/USB/IPod/iPhone/Jack
  • In-Dash CD: MP3 Playback/Single Disc
  • Watts: 180
  • Total Speakers: 9
  • Satellite Radio: SiriusXM
  • Antenna Type: Diversity/Mast
  • Speed Sensitive Volume Control
  • Radio: AM/FM/HD Radio
  • Subwoofer: 1
  • Infotainment: Android Auto Ready/Apple CarPlay Ready
  • Seats

  • Upholstery: Leather
  • 60-40 Split Rear Seat
  • Passenger Seat: Heated
  • Sport Bucket Front Seats
  • Split-Folding Rear Seat
  • 4-way Power Lumbar-Way Power Passenger Seat Adjustments
  • Driver Seat: Heated
  • 4-way Power Lumbar-Way Power Driver Seat Adjustments
  • Dimensions

  • Passenger Volume: 86 Cubic Feet
  • Max Seating: 5
  • Front Shoulder Room: 54.8 Inches
  • Rear Legroom: 35.1 Inches
  • Front Legroom: 41.2 Inches
  • Front Headroom: 36.5 Inches
  • Rear Headroom: 36.1 Inches
  • Standard Seating: 5
  • Seating Rows: 2
  • Cargo Volume: 10 Cubic Feet
  • Rear Shoulder Room: 53 Inches
  • Telematics systems

  • Wireless Data Link: Bluetooth

mechanical

  • Drivetrain

  • 4WD Type: Full Time
  • Axle Ratio: 3.44
  • Center Differential: Mechanical
  • Drive Mode Selector
  • Suspension

  • Rear Suspension Type: Multi-link
  • Front Suspension Type: Lower Control Arms
  • Rear Suspension Classification: Independent
  • Front Stabilizer Bar
  • Front Shock Type: Monotube
  • Rear Spring Type: Coil
  • Tuned Suspension: Sport
  • Rear Stabilizer Bar
  • Front Suspension Classification: Independent
  • Rear Shock Type: Monotube
  • Front Spring Type: Coil
  • Front Struts: MacPherson
  • Engine

  • Engine Type: 4 Cylinders
  • Displacement(liters): 2.0
  • Horsepower: 292
  • Torque: 280
  • Transmission

  • Transmission Type: 6-speed Double Clutch
  • Type: A
  • Gears: 6
  • Performance Specifications

  • Acceleration (0-60MPH): 4.7
  • Aerodynamic Drag: 0.31
  • Turning Circle: 36.1
  • Fuel Economy

  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • City (MPG): 21
  • Highway (MPG): 28
  • Combined (MPG): 24

warranties

  • Warranty information

  • New Car Basic Warranty: 48 Months/50,000 Miles
  • Powertrain: Drivetrain/Powertrain: 48 Months/50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion Perforation: Rust: 144 Months

Safety

NHTSA Ratings

  1. Overall Rating

  2. Frontal Crash

  3. Side Crash

  4. Rollover

Safety Features

  1. Child Safety Door Locks
  2. Electronic Stability Control: Standard
  3. Energy Absorbing Steering Column
  4. Rearview Monitor: in Dash
  5. Side Impact Airbags: Standard
  6. Child Seat Anchors: LATCH System
  7. Crumple Zones: Front/rear
  8. Camera System: Rearview
  9. Pre-collision Warning System: Audible Warning/visual Warning
  10. Impact Absorbing Bumpers
  11. Body Side Reinforcements: Side Impact Door Beams
  12. Anti-lock Brakes Four Wheel: Standard
  13. Parking Sensors: Front/rear
  14. Front Driver Airbags: Standard
  15. Impact Sensor: Post-collision Safety System
  16. Daytime Running Lights: Standard
  17. Rollover Stability Control: Not Available
  18. Autonomous Braking
  19. Front Passenger Airbags: Standard
  20. Anti-lock Brakes Two Wheel: Not Available
  21. Automatic Hazard Warning Lights
  22. Emergency Interior Trunk Release
  23. Brake Assist: Standard
  24. Side Curtain Airbags: Standard

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