Class. Elegance. Speed. Style. Over here at Airows, when it comes to rides, those four factors are at the top of the list. After having the opportunity to take the 2015 Audi S3 for a pretty extensive spin, we can confidently say that it's a winner. Here are ten reasons why we can recommended...
1.) The 2.0-liter turbo four is KILLER and this thing can really fly. It has 292 ponies and a 0-60 speed of 4.7 seconds. It's really fun to drive, and is truly night and day compared to the A3. The difference between the two is significant, in both speed, style, and perception. Pony up for the S3 unless you're a sorority girl trying to slide into a post-grad lease.
2.) The handling is tight and controlled and you basically feel like you can out maneuver almost every car you drive past on the road.
3.) There's no manual option for the car in the USA, which will be a bummer for die-hard car enthusiasts who prefer it, but the "Audi S Tronic" is super smooth and responsive.
4.) The LED lights are out of control cool, just like every other modern Audi you've seen on the road. Nobody is even coming close to Audi in the lighting department.
5.) It doesn't look generic and like a run-of-the-mill sedan in person, but it doesn't look like it's trying too hard to be a super dynamic and try-hard sportscar. It gets the balance right---it's sporty, but not "I like to pretend I drag race illegally" sporty, like some other options in the ~$45k range.
6.) The interior is pretty solid but nothing revolutionary. Steering wheel feels tight and excellent. The AC units are about 100 times better than the 2014 model, as weird as that sounds to compliment.
Side Note: Really dislike how the GPS screen pops up in the middle though, as the look of the center console feels really empty and open with its placement. The older models felt so right, this just feels wrong.
7.) You can "draw" numbers and letters on a touch pad when entering things like an address into the navigation GPS. It works really well and makes it much easier to input anything.
Side Note: The menu and screen are suitable, but not fantastic. Not crazy about every Toyota and Lexus on the road, but every other menu and navigation screen fails compared to what they have going on. Audi's isn't the worst, but it isn't the best either.
8.) Although it might not be as roomy as something like an A6 or All Road, it doesn't feel cramped or small. There was headspace even at 6 foot 3 and it never once felt like you were in a "small" car. It felt just right behind the wheel.
9.) There's something about the "S" that just adds a cool factor to the whole thing. It's a little bit meaner and a little more aggressive, but not in a "look at me" kind of way.
10.) The base price of this thing is $41,100, but you can get that tag up to $52,095 if you want all the bells and whistles. Like with almost every car, you should probably get something in the middle of the lowest end and the highest end. All that said, the price is a REALLY good deal. It drives like a ride that should be at least $60k.
Overall, it feels like a really really good deal. If you're the kind of guy that likes a car that can move and are scoping out options in the ~$45k range, you need to test drive this thing and give it a shot. It's not too small, too slow, or too boring. It's (kind of surprisingly) just right. More info on Audi's website...