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2022 Audi S3 Sedan

The new S3 draws a perfect line between the standard A3 and the hooligan-like RS3, with the right amount of comfort and some sportiness

As part of the newly launched third-gen A3, the S3 is what Audi offers to be the perfect entry-level performance luxury sedan for an asking price of $44,900. The new S3 is in an all-new attire on the inside and outside, along with a slightly tuned engine that produces 18 horses and 15 pound-feet of torque more than its predecessor.

Overview

In the modern era of booming SUVs, budget performance sedans are game for some time now, and the new Audi S3 is no different. The third-generation A3 brought significant changes to the whole line-up by adding extra flair to its overall appearance and harnessing more power from the same old 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot. The new S3 is for you if you don’t want the simpler A3 with a mix of performance and luxury, or the RS3 that’s more of a maniac on the road. While almost everything got replaced and got better, few of them remained from the outgoing generation. The chassis is the same as the earlier generation, which is the MQB. The engine stays the same, too - a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four - and is even mated to the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the legendary Quattro system. Well, Audi has tuned the engine a bit, and it now produces 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The dashboard inside the cabin now looks more modern with the standard 10.1-inch touchscreen display. Now that you are dazzled by the S3, its competition is with the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and the BMW M235i. which are quite impressive cars on their own. So, is the 2022 Audi S3 a car with all of the bells and whistles of a modern compact luxury sedan? We cannot wait to share everything.

Trims and Features

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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The 2022 Audi S3 is available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. All three models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine which comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. We have listed down the important features which come with the trims for your reference:

Premium
Price: $44,900

  • Summer performance tires fitted to the 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights, DRLs, and taillights
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • 10.25-inch driver information display
  • 10.1-inch touchscreen display
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats
  • Heated front seats

Standard driver assistance features available with the Premium would be

  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high beams
  • Frontal collision mitigation

Convenience package

  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Auto-dimming mirrors
  • Driver seat memory functions
  • Keyless entry
2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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Premium Plus
Price: $47,700

  • Features from the Convenience package
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control

Technology package

  • Upgraded 12.3-inch driver information display
  • 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio experience
  • Navigation system

Prestige
Price: $51,500

  • Matrix LED headlights
  • Heads-up display

S Sport package

  • Available for the Premium Plus and Prestige
  • Red-colored brake calipers
  • Adaptive dampers with a sportier suspension tuning

Exterior: Similar to the A3, but more aggressive

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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Compared to the outgoing S3, the new generation S3 is full of character, at least on the exterior design which screams for attention. No doubt, the exterior design of the outgoing S3 needed a revamp, and here we are with the new third-generation model. Like the new A3, the S3 now has a sharper and more aggressive front fascia which includes a new set of LED headlamps. The honeycomb mesh grille is a bit broader compared to the A3 but the fake brake-cooling vents are real disappointments, especially when an “S’’ model represents sportiness. The 18-inch alloy wheels come fitted as standard along with a set of summer performance tires. You will also get a panoramic sunroof as standard along with heated and powered exterior mirrors. The rear part of the S3 now comes with new LED taillights which have a cool start-up animation. The quad exhaust pipes and the fake rear diffuser design are carried on from the outgoing generation. That said, Matrix LED headlights are found standard only with the Prestige trim. The S Sport package is available for the Premium Plus and the Prestige and will add red-colored brake calipers to enhance the sportiness.

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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The new S3 shares its platform with other compact performance cars like both the Golf R and Golf GTI. So, the new S3 is very similar to the outgoing generation with an inch or two more on the overall dimensions. The wheelbase is the same as before at 103.6 inches, which is less than both, the M235i and the AMG CLA 35. The curb weight has increased about a hundred pounds from the outgoing model year, making it 3,538 pounds. The length is set at 177.3 inches which is about two inches more than the previous iteration. The new S3 is 71.5 inches wide and 55.7 inches tall. The AMG CLA 35 is a lot bigger car with a total length of 184.8 inches, it seems.

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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2022 Audi S3 Exterior Dimensions
Model 2022 Audi S3
Curb Weight  3,538 lbs.
Length 177.3 in.
Width  71.5 in.
Height 55.7 in.
Ground Clearance  -
Wheelbase  103.6 in.

Interior: More advanced, more relaxing

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Interior
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The dashboard saw the biggest changes inside the new S3. There is a new layout including a new steering wheel, new infotainment display, and a reorganized center console.

Compared to the earlier S3, the new third-gen S3’s interior is more focused and angular which would be bliss to the younger drivers. The circular and dull-looking air vents are replaced by the rectangular-shaped vents. The placement of these vents has been done carefully with two vents on either side of the instrument console and two separate vents for the front passengers. The whole dashboard layout has been changed with a more angular presence and that is complemented with the big 10.1-inch touchscreen display. Unlike the last-gen, the new screen is a touch-sensitive unit and tilted towards the driver for efficient access. Gone is the traditional flat-bottomed steering wheel which is replaced by a round but sporty steering wheel. It is leather-wrapped just like the model it replaces. Also, the 10.25-inch driver information display which Audi calls Virtual Cockpit has been retained but the interface is the same as the new RS3. Audi has also retained physical buttons to control the HVAC system and that is a huge relief if you are planning to use the S3 as your daily driver. The fit and finish of the new S3 are nothing special compared to the older generation. There are blocks of hard plastics on the door panels, dashboard, and even seatbacks. Of course, there are soft-touch plastics but for a $45,000 car, we don’t find it as satisfactory as the M235i.

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Interior
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The standard seats are leather-wrapped. The front bucket seats have the "S" badging on top and are power-adjustable.

The seats are leather-wrapped as standard and they are super comfy. The front bucket seats have the “S” logo down the headrest and are electronically adjustable. The rear seats are comfortable but the S3’s compact form factor makes the seating a bit tight. Nevertheless, as the S3 is a performance sedan, the front has got a lot of space for both the driver and front passenger. At the front, there is 36.8 inches of headroom and about 41 inches of legroom. The rear offers 36.6 inches of headroom and a not-so-good 35 inches of legroom. Taller people will struggle to get inside and sit comfortably in the rear row, but considering what the competition offers, the rear seat of the new S3 is a lot better. The AMG CLA 35, despite being a longer car, has the least rear legroom of only 33.9 inches.

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
- image 1051858

Unfortunately, the new S3 loses all of it when it comes to the overall practicality as it packs a smaller cargo space of just 8.3 cubic feet. It is even down from last gen’s ten cubic feet. However, none of the compact performance sedans provide much in the way of cargo space, but the M235i takes the lead with 15.1 cubic feet. Here are the important interior features of the 2022 Audi S3.

  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather-upholstery
  • Eight-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-level heating
  • 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Driver seat memory functions
2022 Audi S3 Interior Dimensions
Model 2022 Audi S3
Seating Capacity 5
Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 36.8/54.8/41.2
Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches) 36.6/53.0/35.0
Cargo Capacity  8.3 cu.ft.
2022 Audi S3 Sedan Interior
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Similar to the other recently updated Audis, the S3 comes fitted to a 10.1-inch touchscreen display as standard. It is bigger than the outgoing model’s non-touch-capacitive display and runs the latest MMI system. There is wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity as standard. There is a ten-speaker audio system as standard along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. If you want to get access to the beautiful navigation system, then you have to opt for the Technology package, which will even add a bigger 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit for better visuals. The package also contains a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio unit and a traffic sign recognition system.

Performance and Handling: It’s improved with minor tweaks, but fanatics will prefer the RS3

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Drivetrain
- image 1051852
The new S3 uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine from the last generation, but now cranks out 306 horsepower (+18) and 295 pound-feet (+15) of torque.

Surely the performance has increased, but so is the curb weight, and that has resulted in no major bump in the real-world conditions. This four-pot makes use of the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and drives all four wheels via the Quattro system. The engine, even if it holds a lot of power, doesn’t let you feel overwhelmed when you are cruising along. The S3 has a lot going on when you put down throttle but if you want more than what it offers, the new RS3 will be the best for you. Both the M235i and the AMG CLA 35 produce a couple of horses lower than the S3 but the former produces a lot more torque. We prefer the S3 over the competition as it strikes the right balance between performance and refinement. In real-world acceleration, the S3 does a 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and a standing quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds. Both the AMG CLA 35 and the M235i do a 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, so the differences are not much.

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
- image 1051920

As we have mentioned earlier, the new S3 sits in the middle of comfort and sportiness and that is greatly felt when you are driving it yourself. While the M235i and the AMG CLA 35 will make your ride uncomfortable, the S3 drives smoothly with a precise steering feel. The default suspension offers a more balanced ride quality but is not overly comfortable like an SUV which could ruin its handling prowess. The Quattro system works intelligently and understands when to power all four wheels. Taking the S3 around the corners never felt this engaging and if you want a better handling experience, Audi is providing the optional adaptive dampers. It seems that Audi has worked on the new S3 and made it more stable when driving fast compared to the earlier generation models.

2022 Audi S3 Performance Stats
Model 2022 Audi S3
Engine Type 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four
Drive Type AWD
Transmission 7-speed DCT
Power  306 hp @ 5,450 RPM
Torque  295 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
0-60 (mph)  4.3 seconds
Quarter-mile 12.9 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph
Braking Distance (70-0 mph) 151 ft

Fuel Economy

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
- image 1051845

Despite the high power output, the 2.0-liter four-pot is quite a frugal powerplant. According to the EPA, the new S3 will deliver 23 miles per gallon in the city, 32 miles per gallon on the highways, and a combined economy of 27 miles per gallon. Both the S3 and the M235i produce similar mileage figures whereas the AMG CLA 35 dips down a mile or two per gallon. Audi packed a generously sized 14.5-gallon gas tank in the S3 which will provide you somewhere around 390 miles of the total range. If you are cruising along the highways and maintaining a constant speed, then the S3 might deliver more than the 464 miles EPA-rated highway range.

2022 Audi S3 Fuel Economy
Model 2022 Audi S3
MPG (City) 23
MPG (Highway) 32
MPG (Combined) 27
Tank Capacity (Gallons) 14.5
Range (City, Highway, Combined) 333.5/464.0/391.5

How safe is the 2022 Audi S3?

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
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Thinking of buying the new S3? Read the full review by swiping up to know every nitty gritty about this entry level luxury performance sedan.

We don’t know how crash-resistant the new generation S3 or the entire A3 range would be because neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA has tested them. But, its predecessor has scored quite well and we expect that the A3 will perform that same. The new S3 comes loaded with a decent list of advanced driver assistance features like

  • Frontal collision mitigation
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high beams
  • Rear parking sensors

The Premium Plus trim has the most important safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blindspot monitoring, as standard. Other standard safety features include electronic stability control, six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, dusk-sensing headlights, and more.

Should you consider the 2022 Audi S3?

2022 Audi S3 Sedan Exterior
- image 1051902
The EPA-rated mileage figures of the 2022 Audi S3 are 23/32/27 for city/highway/combined.

If you’re looking for a well-balanced car with appropriate performance and a decent level of comfort, the new 2022 S3 is a great choice. The new generation S3 takes over the much-needed changes that many enthusiasts, including ourselves, have wished for. For the starting price of $44,900, we think that the new S3 holds its end of the bargain as it is cheap for a performance compact sedan but also doesn’t kill customers who are wanting the new RS3. But there is no doubt that the slightly higher priced AMG CLA 35 is best suited for a more engaging drive to the nearest mountains but you cannot daily drive it like you can the S3.

FAQ

Is there a new S3 coming out?
The new third-generation S3 is out with a new design inside-out while staying mechanically similar to the outgoing generation.

What is the price of the Audi S3?
The new third-generation Audi S3 starts at $44,900, excluding destination charges.

How fast is the Audi S3?
The new Audi S3 does a 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, a standing quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds, and holds a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

How much does the Audi S3 have?
The new S3 with its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine puts out 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of max torque.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automobile Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
About the author

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