2016 Audi S3 Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - July 8, 2015

The souped-up version of Audi's entry-level A3 sedan, the S3 delivers serious performance within the context of a small luxury car. It's an ideal companion for responsible grown-ups who can't deny their wild side.

What's New for 2016

For its second year on the market, the S3 gets new option packages to enhance performance.

Choosing Your Audi S3

The S3 carries a modified version of Audi's 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With 292 horsepower at its disposal, S3 can haul from zero to 60 mph in a 4.7 seconds, about as fast as it gets in this price class. Every S3 receives all-wheel drive, a six-speed automated manual transmission, and selectable driving modes. A sport-tuned suspension and performance-spec brakes come along for the ride.

You can have your S3 in Audi's mid-level Premium Plus or top Prestige trim:

Premium Plus

Comes with leather and faux suede upholstery, heated front sport seats with driver memory, Bluetooth, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition, a sunroof, and a 10-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. Exteriors receive automatic xenon headlamps, automatic wipers, LED running lights and taillamps, and 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires.

Prestige

Carries a bundle of additional standard equipment, including navigation, full LED headlamps, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, blind spot monitoring, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. (These items are also available on the Premium Plus in a mix of individual options and smaller packages.) Exclusive to the Prestige is the Advanced Technology package, which gets you adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and a collision mitigation system.

The available 19" Performance package ($1,500) furnishes unique 19-inch wheels and an adaptive suspension known as Magnetic Ride. The $2,000 Black Optic Performance package has all that, plus gloss black exterior trim. Upgraded sport seats in Nappa leather are available for $1,450.

CarsDirect Tip

There's no difference in performance between the Premium Plus and costlier Prestige. Whether to upgrade depends mainly on how much technology you need. Note that the standard summer performance tires can be swapped out for all-season tires at no charge.

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