The 2017 Audi S3 has undergone a slight facelift and now boasts a standard forward collision mitigation system. Additionally, the option to include rear cross-traffic alert, a USB port, and an improved infotainment system is available. Although part of the A3 lineup, the S3 exudes a high-performance atmosphere. While smaller in size than the typical four-door sedan, the S3 is a noteworthy option for those seeking a luxurious and exciting compact vehicle. We recommend considering the S3 when exploring your options.
So, here's the deal. The 2017 Audi S3 comes in two flavors: Premium Plus and Prestige. The Premium Plus has all kinds of cool stuff, like 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, LED lights, heated seats, and a banging sound system. It even has a rearview camera and parking sensors, so you won't have to worry about backing up into anything. The Prestige takes things up a notch with power-folding mirrors, a crazy good sound system from Bang & Olufsen, and all sorts of fancy tech like adaptive cruise control and lane departure intervention. Plus, you get the Technology package, which includes a Virtual Cockpit, blind-spot monitoring, and a navigation system. It's like driving a spaceship, but way cooler.
The Premium Plus models offer the Technology package and Bang & Olufsen sound system as optional features. The Dynamic package (19-inch wheels and Magnetic Ride adaptive suspension dampers), Black Optic performance package (including adaptive dampers with different 19-inch wheels and black exterior trim), S Sport seat package (featuring manually adjustable sport seats and premium leather upholstery), rear-seat side airbags and 18-inch all-season tires are also available as options on both the Premium Plus and Prestige models.
For an enhanced driving experience, we recommend selecting the well-equipped Premium Plus trim level and adding the Technology package to benefit from the useful Virtual Cockpit. The S Sport seats are also a great addition, providing weight savings and a stylish appearance. We advise against opting for the Dynamic package if you prefer a smoother ride, as larger wheels often sacrifice ride quality.
The 2017 Audi S3 boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 292 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque. Standard features include all-wheel drive and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, known as S tronic.
During track testing, the 2016 S3 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a mere 4.6 seconds using the car's integrated launch-control system. This acceleration rate is impressive for a car in this price range and is a tenth of a second quicker than the costlier CLA45 AMG. However, the Benz outperforms the S3 beyond this point.
The 2017 Audi S3, despite being an entry-level luxury sedan, showcases a refined and attractive cabin design aesthetic similar to its more expensive stablemates. It exudes elegance with high-quality materials, sophisticated buttons and switches, and cleverly designed air vents. The S3's cabin is both stylish and comfortable, offering an excellent balance of support and comfort for the front seats, making it ideal for long trips and spirited drives. However, it is important to note that this is a compact sedan, and while the front seat occupants have ample space, full-grown adults may find the rear legroom limited. The rear headroom is snug, but it is better than that of the CLA45 AMG. The S3's trunk, with a capacity of 10 cubic feet, is suitable for daily driving but may not accommodate bulky items. The rear seatbacks fold down in a 60/40 split, which enhances the car's versatility.
The optional navigation system features a larger central display screen and a revised, touch-sensitive control knob. The touchpad allows you to enter commands by simply scribbling them with your finger, and though it may seem peculiar, it works surprisingly well in practice. The system includes Audi's Virtual Cockpit, an expandable, configurable instrument cluster that boasts clear map data display. While some of the other controls may be less intuitive, especially for those accustomed to traditional dash-mounted buttons, the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for 2017 makes smartphone integration easier. The EPA-estimated fuel economy of the S3 is 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway), which is a satisfying result given the car's swiftness.