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Audi A3 SPORTBACK 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic

Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
*images for illustrative purposes only.
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic
Audi A3 35 TFSI Sport 5dr S Tronic

Key Info Compare

  • FuelPetrol
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • MPG55.40
  • 0-62mph8.2 secs
  • Top Speed137 mph
  • C02117 g/km
  • BHP150
  • Torque184 lbs/f
  • P11D24%

Review

The latest Audi S3 offers 310PS, 10PS more than before. This, when coupled with the quattro all-wheel drive chassis, results in a performance car that could have been designed for the iffy British climate. It's not cheap but it's nevertheless capable of nearly 45mpg. Amazing.

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The latest Audi S3 offers a small but significant package of improvements that include extra power, classy interior tweaks and a more involving 4WD system. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Background

There's something very right about the Audi S3. Always has been, always will be. When the first version was launched back in 1999, it didn't get much in the way of attention. That's because it was unveiled at virtually the same time as the mechanically identical Audi TT 225. Well, I say identical. The engines were the same but Audi tweaked the S3's down to 210PS, so it wouldn't prove quicker than the glamorous TT. I got to drive the two cars back to back and was convinced the S3 was the quicker cross-country vehicle merely by dint of the fact that you could see out of it so much better. Audi eventually upped the power of the 1.8T engine up to the full monty 225PS in 2002. That car was replaced by a second generation S3 in 2006. This was powered by the 2.0TFSI engine, offering a lot more scope for big power. With 265PS as standard, it was one of the quickest point-to-point cars sensible money would buy. It was also offered as a five-door Sportback and with the option of the DSG twin-clutch gearbox. While 265PS would have certainly punted you into the premier league of hot hatches in 2006, these days you need a bit more. When the original version of this car was launched in 2012, that meant an increase to 300PS, a figure Audi has now upped to the 310PS output featured by this revised version.

Driving Experience

Of course, the S3 needs to respect its place in the hierarchy. There is, after all, an RS3 model that's even quicker, but ask yourself whether you really need a vehicle that'll get to 62mph quicker than the 4.6 seconds the S3 will detain you for. Customers can choose between a standard six-speed manual or an optional seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox. That auto transmission is new, a replacement for the previous six-speed S tronic. Its added ratio allows Audi to fit a lower first gear - which accounts as much as the increased power for the 0.3s improvement in the 0-62mph sprint time. Changes to the software controlling the Haldex multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system now allow it to send up to 100% of drive to the front or rear wheels, depending on the traction available. Audi claims to have programmed the system to provide a greater percentage of drive to the rear wheels during spirited driving. The idea is that this will provide the S3 with more neutral on-the-limit handling traits, with less of a tendency towards understeer and a more tail-happy character than previous model. As before, Audi drive select is standard. It allows you to tweak the characteristics of the electronic accelerator, the boost of the progressive steering and the shift points of the optional S tronic gearbox. The user determines with the push of a button whether these systems operate in comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or individual mode. In individual mode, drivers can compose their own preferred profile within certain limits.

Design and Build

As before, there's a choice of four S3 bodystyles - 3-door hatch, 5-door Sportback, 2-door cabriolet and 4-door saloon - but whichever you go for, this sporting variant doesn't tread a lot of new ground from an exterior design perspective. Subtle styling changes made to this revised model include revised bumpers, redesigned headlamps with optional matrix LED operation, a wider grille and more heavily structured LED tail-lamps. Otherwise, things are much as before. When viewed from the side, the aluminium-look mirror casings and the pronounced side sills still catch the eye. A platinum grey diffuser houses the exhaust system's four oval tailpipes, which feature chrome tips. A large roof spoiler is said to generate downforce onto the rear axle. It certainly does look good. The interior is typically jewel-like, with beautiful detailing but a pared-back feel. The 'Virtual Cockpit' instrument display used in the TT and other pricier Audis is now available in this car as an option. This displays the most important driving-relevant information in high resolution on a 12.3-inch diagonal TFT screen. The driver can switch between two views by pressing the "View" button on the multifunction steering wheel. In addition, the menu structure that works the centre dash MMI infotainment screen has been redesigned and is now more intuitive. Otherwise, everything is pretty much as before, with classy materials and strong build quality. The hatch most will want with three or five doors has a 365-litre boot - and there's still the option of saloon or Cabriolet bodystyles if you want them.

Market and Model

Prices haven't changed much, so they still start at around £33,000, with the £2,500 option of S tronic auto transmission. Inside the cabin, the sophisticated and now MMI infotainment system in the S3 is well worth taking the time to master. The key option with this improved model is the clever 'Virtual Cockpit' system replacing the conventional instrument dials with an eye-catching 12.3-inch TFT display. But of course, there's much else to select from. As for infotainment, well Audi reckons that this improved S3 sets fresh standards here. An 'MMI radio plus' set-up with an electrically extending 7-inch diagonal monitor is standard, along with 'MMI navigation'. Go further and specify the 'MMI navigation plus with MMI touch in conjunction with the Audi connect' package (what a mouthful!) and you can have many online functions in your S3 at high speed via the super-fast LTE standard. They include, for example, navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View traffic information in real time, as well as practical information on parking, destinations, news or the weather. There's also a free 'Audi MMI connect' app that enables other services, such as online media streaming and transfer of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI. Mobile phones with iOS and Android operating systems can now be connected with the car via the standard Audi smartphone interface. The assistance systems in the S3 come directly from the full-size class. Adaptive cruise control can, when combined with the 'Audi pre sense front' safety system, bring the car to a stop autonomously from speeds below 19mph. Further safety technology includes Audi side assist (to prevent dangerous blind spot overtakes), Audi active lane assist (to stop dozy drivers from drifting out of their lanes on the highway) and camera-based traffic sign recognition (that pictures speed signs as you pass and displays them on the dash). Plus there's a park assist system to help steer you into the tightest space.

Cost of Ownership

The Audi S3 is never going to be a notably cheap car to run. You don't buy a 310PS all-wheel drive petrol-powered sporting car that wears a ritzy badge if counting the pennies is your prime motivation, but the S3 shouldn't be a ruinously expensive ownership experience either. The previous version of this model was always a low depreciator, used buyers attracted to the smart image and surprisingly modest fuel thirst. The latest S3 does better in terms of efficiency. Combined fuel economy stands at 44.1mpg. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 148g/km. That's a useful improvement, especially when considering the 10PS power boost.

Summary

The Audi S3's formula of a compact hatch that's beautifully finished, effortlessly rapid and backed up by the all-weather security of four-wheel drive is one that really works in this country. It's a lovely piece of product conception and there's really nothing quite like it from any rival manufacturer. Pace, four-wheel drive and that sort of quality? It's just not happening anywhere else other than at your Audi dealer and that's what makes the S3 quite such a desirable item. This latest version might feature a heck of a lot of new engineering and we take our hat off to its improvement in efficiency, but in reality not a whole lot has changed. The car is quicker and more economical, and the technology is even more impressive, but the buyer proposition remains much the same. When you've hit on a winning formula, you mess with it at your peril.

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Driver Convenience
Cruise control
Rear parking sensors
Audi drive select
Audi smartphone interface
Automatic start/stop system
Colour driver's information system display
Electro - mechanical power assisted steering
Mobile telephone preparation - bluetooth interface
SD card based MMI navigation
Service interval indicator
Speed limit display
Voice control system
Voice recognition for navigation system
Entertainment
8 speakers
2 USB interfaces and Aux-In jack
Audi music interface
CD player
DAB Digital radio
MMI radio plus with 7" colour MMI screen and MMI controller
Online entertainment
Exterior Features
Solid paint
Aluminium window trim
Auto dimming interior rear view mirror
Body colour bumpers
Body colour door mirrors
Body colour roof spoiler with aerodynamic inserts in high gloss black
Chrome exhaust tailpipes
Electric front windows
Electric rear windows
Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED side indicators
Heated windscreen washer jets
Light and rain sensors
Matt black radiator grille
Rear wiper
Sport specific side air inlet grille and diffuser insert
Xenon headlights with LED Daytime running light
Interior Features
Twin leather upholstery with front sport seats
3 adjustable rear headrests
3 spoke leather multifunction sports steering wheel with paddle shift gear change controls
60/40 split folding rear seat
Adjustable front centre armrest
Aluminium door sill trims
Dual zone electronic climate control
Front and rear interior lights with delay
Front/rear floor mats
Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
Isofix child seat preparation for front passenger/outer rear seats inc passenger airbag deactivation including top tether
Lashing point in luggage compartment
Manual height adjustable front seats
Rock grey headlining
Storage compartments in doors side trims, centre console and under front drivers seat
Tool kit
Wheels
17" 5 Arm design alloy wheels
Tyre repair kit
Packs
Interior light pack - A3 Hatchback/Sportback/Cabriolet
Non smoking pack - A3
Storage and luggage pack - A3/RS3
Safety
3 point seatbelts on all seats
ABS/EBD
Active bonnet
Active front headrests
Airbags - front driver/passenger, front & rear side, curtain, drivers knee
ASR
EDL
Electromechanical parking brake
ESC - Electronic Stability Control + traction control
Front passenger airbag deactivation
Hill hold assist
Manual rear child locks
Multi-Collision braking
Seatbelt warning
Tyre pressure warning
Warning triangle and first aid kit
Security
Anti theft alarm
Anti-theft wheel bolts
Remote control central locking
Thatcham category 1 alarm + immobiliser
Technical
Dynamic suspension
Trim
Aluminium air vent surrounds
Aluminium mistral silver inlay
Aluminium trim elements
Emissions - ICE
CO2 (g/km) 118
Standard Euro Emissions EURO 6
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb 146
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max 148
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min 146
Engine and Drive Train
Camshaft DOHC
Catalytic Convertor Yes
CC 1498
Cylinder Layout IN-LINE
Cylinders 4
Engine Code 8VFBZG
Engine Layout FRONT TRANSVERSE
Fuel Delivery TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
Gears 7 SPEED
Number of Valves 16
Transmission SEMI-AUTO
Fuel Consumption - ICE
EC Combined (mpg) 55.4
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies Yes
EC Extra Urban (mpg) 64.2
EC Urban (mpg) 44.1
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb 6.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max 6.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min 6.4
WLTP - MPG - Comb 44.1
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max 43.5
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min 44.1
General
Alternative Fuel Qualifying No
Badge Engine CC 1.5
Badge Power 150
Coin Description TFSI
Coin Series Sport
Generation Mark 3
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07 24E
Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years 12
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years 3
NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09 5
Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern? No
Special Edition No
Special Order No
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage 60000
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years 3
Vehicle Homologation Class M1
Performance
0 to 62 mph (secs) 8.2
Engine Power - BHP 150
Engine Power - KW 110
Engine Power - RPM 5000
Engine Torque - LBS.FT 184
Engine Torque - MKG 25.5
Engine Torque - NM 250
Engine Torque - RPM 1500
Top Speed 137
Test Cycles
Emissions Test Cycle Second Act
Tyres
Alloys? Yes
Space Saver? No
Tyre Size Front 225/45 R17
Tyre Size Rear 225/45 R17
Tyre Size Spare TYRE REPAIR KIT
Wheel Style 5 ARM DESIGN
Wheel Type 17" ALLOY
Vehicle Dimensions
Height 1426
Length 4313
Wheelbase 2637
Width 1785
Width (including mirrors) 1966
Weight and Capacities
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres) 50
Gross Vehicle Weight 1855
Luggage Capacity (Seats Down) 1220
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up) 380
Max. Loading Weight 585
Max. Roof Load 75
Max. Towing Weight - Braked 1700
Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked 670
Minimum Kerbweight 1270
No. of Seats 5
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb 10.9

Deals

Term Annual Mileage Monthly Payment Maintenance
No finance lease deals found. Please call us to discuss your requirements.
48 months 10,000 miles p/a £315.91 p/m £24.68 p/m
* Prices shown based on 6 month initial payment.
+VAT
Lease Type
Contract Length
Initial Rental
Annual Mileage
Include Maintenance

An excess mileage charge will apply if you exceed the contracted mileage. The exact charge will be confirmed on the official quotation prior to your acceptance to proceed

Selected Options
Optional Extras
Exterior Features
Audi exclusive paint £2,400.00
Auto dimming and folding door mirrors £275.00
Electric folding towbar £850.00
Electric panoramic glass sunroof with sunblind and auto-closure function £1,300.00
Metallic paint £575.00
Privacy glass - dark tinted rear and rear side windows from B-pillar backwards £375.00
Interior Features
Alcantara/Leather upholstery with front sports seats £1,000.00
Milano leather upholstery with front sports seats £1,200.00
Packs
Comfort and sound pack - A3 £995.00
Driver Assistance pack - A3/RS3 Auto £1,540.00
Driver assistance pack when bought with comfort and sound pack - A3/S3 Auto £2,235.00
Paintwork
Audi Exclusive - Custom £2,400.00
Metallic - Cosmos blue £575.00
Metallic - Floret silver £575.00
Metallic - Glacier white £575.00
Metallic - Monsoon grey £575.00
Metallic - Mythos black £575.00
Metallic - Nano grey £575.00
Metallic - Tango red £575.00
Solid - Brilliant black FOC
Solid - Ibis white FOC
Trim
Alcantara/leather - Black + front sports seats £1,000.00
Alcantara/leather - Rock grey with black stitching + front sports seats £1,000.00
Milano leather - Black + front sports seats £1,200.00
Milano leather - Chestnut brown with black stitching + front sport seats £1,200.00
Milano leather - Rock grey with black stitching + front sports seats £1,200.00
Twin leather - Black + sport seats FOC
Twin leather - Chestnut Brown with black stitching + front sport seats FOC
Twin leather - Rock grey with black stitching + front sport seats FOC
Wheels
17" 5 twin spoke alloy wheels £250.00
* option prices shown are estimated