Audi S3 (2013 – 2020) Review

Audi S3 (2013 – 2020) At A Glance


+Powered by smooth 2.0 TFSI engine with 300PS. Quattro four-wheel drive means superb traction. Lighter weight helps economy with an official 40mpg.

-Subtle rather than overtly sporty looks.

Insurance Groups are between 24–46
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

The Audi A3 and A3 Sportback models are among the very best family hatchbacks on the market so it makes sense that a performance variant is available in the form of the S3. It too is offered as both a three-door and a five-door Sportback, and it’s as refined and well put together as the everyday A3 models.

It doesn't look like high-performance hot hatch at a glance however. The only real giveaway is the quad rear exhausts, as even the red 'S' badging is available on lesser S Line models - but that sets it apart from cars like the aggressively styled Vauxhall Astra VXR and leaves room for a more overtly styled RS3 model in coming years. 

The big difference, of course, is in the performance the S3 delivers. Power comes from a 2.0 TFSI petrol engine familiar from the likes of the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI, but with power cranked up to 300PS and torque to 380Nm across a broad rev range. The result is excellent performance – 0-62mph takes 4.8 seconds with a the S Tronic gearbox specified.

It takes a smidge longer to get to 62mph with the standard manual gearbox – 5.2 seconds – but all models, whether three-door or five-door, manual or automatic, are limited to a 155mph top speed. Despite impressive performance the fuel economy is good – S Tronic models manage 40.9mpg on the combined cycle with emissions of 159g/km.

As with all performance Audi models the S3 features quattro all-wheel drive and it works to maintain traction and keep the car planted and stable on twisting roads, whether at high speeds or when accelerating out of slower turns or roundabouts. It offers enjoyable performance and handling but it feels safe and controllable, which is a great blend for a family-sized hot hatchback.

It’s a little firmer than the A3 but that’s an expected compromise when buying a performance car and it’s not at all uncomfortable. It’s as practical as the A3 on which it is based, and so offers a useable everyday package that’s easy to drive on the motorway and around town but that’s enjoyable when you get to your favourite road. 

Real MPG average for a Audi S3 (2013 – 2020)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–39 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Am I okay to install an immobiliser in a car I have on finance, or is that considered a modification?
"I'm awaiting delivery of a new Audi S3 and, following a number of car thefts in my street, I'm looking at buying the Autowatch Ghost immobiliser. Given that this has to be wired into the car, does it matter that the car has been bought on a PCP finance deal? Am I okay to make modifications like this?"
I think (but can't be sure) that installing the OBD Portector system is completely reversible, so shouldn't invalidate any warranty or cause to much trouble: I'd always check with the finance company before doing anything serious though. If they give you the go ahead, it might be worth asking about the Ghost as well because it protects against key cloning too.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
My new car was stolen and recovered with an extra 2000 miles on it - can I ask the insurer to total loss it?
"My three-month old Audi S3 was stolen and recovered three weeks later. It was bought from new and was still in showroom condition with 1800 miles on it. It now has an extra 2000 miles on the clock, is absolutely filthy inside and out - but has minimal bodywork damage and has no doubt been abused for those 2000 miles. The damage doesn't look enough to write it off, but can I insist that it be a total loss due to the fact that the insurance can't return it to its prior condition with the extra miles and no doubt excessive wear on the engine, brakes and suspension? It will also affect the terms of the finance agreement because of the extra miles and now excessive wear and tear."
Yes you can. Ask the insurer to warrant the car from any future mechanical failure that may result from the vehicle being used whilst stolen. Also ask them to cover the loss in value due to mileage and the financial loss you have sustained due to the need to adjust your finance agreement. Your insurer must indemnify you i.e. put you back to the situation you were in prior to the loss occurring. Ask them to connect your vehicle via it's OBD and have them check for how many standing starts it has done, hit the rev limiter etc. You will soon have enough evidence to scare them into deciding to constructively total loss your car. Then ask for a new vehicle replacement.
Answered by Tim Kelly
Will a two-wheel drive on winter tyres car be as competent as a 4WD?
"I am in the process of buying a new car and have narrowed my search down to an Audi S3, Volkswagen Golf R or BMW M140i.The best to drive is the BMW, but given that it is RWD and the other two are 4WD, if I fit winter tyres will it be as competent in occasional snow and ice as the other two. I live in an area where we rarely see snow."
I wouldn't be surprised to see an xDrive 140i if there isn't one already. xDrive 1 Series are much more positive at the front end leaving you in less fear of losing the back end on a public road with a car coming in the opposite direction. Generally cold weather tyres or good all weather tyres like Michelin Cross Climates or Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons are more use in snow and slush than four wheel drive is.
Answered by Honest John
Should I swap my BMW 3-Series 1.8 for an Audi S3?
"I currently own a BMW 3-Series 1.8 F30 M Sport diesel which is great on fuel but I fancy an Audi S3 instead. What should I do?"
An S3 is a very quick 150mph + car and quick on corners if driven properly by tucking it in to the apex and accelerating hard. If you lift off in a corner it understeers strongly. Forget mpg. You'll be looking at about 30mpg.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

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