Audi S3 saloon review – the saloon body only enhances the appeal

Kinder on the eye, the saloon ultimately delivers the same competent driving experience as the hatch.

Evo rating
Price
from £38,000
  • Fast, beautifully built, huge grip
  • Numb steering

evo Verdict

Like its hatchback counterpart, The S3 Saloon offers aggressive performance, great build quality and cutting edge technology all wrapped up in a user friendly, compact package. If you want a fast saloon that looks good and won’t break the bank then look no further. But be warned, the S3 still falls short of delivering a truly entertaining drive.

evo Tip

Both the S3 hatchback and S3 Sportback offer the same performance for less money, so unless you are dead set on a saloon - both are worth a look. The Volkswagen Golf R, which uses the same drivetrain, offers more fun on a twisty road and is a better car overall.

>Read our Volkswagen Golf R review here

evo Comment

'The new S3 Saloon rights many previous Audi wrongs, with crisp steering and a supple ride. It's not perfect though, and despite its similarity under the skin to the Volkswagen Golf R, it somehow falls short of delivering the engaging driving characteristics that make that car great.' Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor

Performance and 0-60 time > As strong as you'd expect for a turbocharged, all-wheel drive car - particularly with the optional S tronic dual-clutch gearbox. Read about the Audi S3's performance here

Engine and gearbox > 296bhp from a two-litre, turbocharged four cylinder. Haldex all-wheel drive normally sends power forwards, but can divert it to the rear. Read about the Audi S3's engine and gearbox here

Ride and handling > Not much steering feel, but it's direct, the ride is better than many fast Audis of the past, and traction is strong. Read about the Audi S3's ride and handling here

MPG and running costs > Claimed economy not too wide of the mark on a cruise, but use that power and the figures will quickly tumble. Read about the Audi S3's mpg and running costs here

Prices, specs and rivals > The VW Golf R doesn't have a boot but similar dynamic makeup somehow delivers greater thrills for similar money. Read about the Audi S3's prices, specs and rivals here

Interior and tech > Tasteful cabin architecture, well-built and thoroughly logical. Plenty of infotainment features to keep you occupied, too. Read about the Audi S3's interior and tech here

Design > Possibly the most attractive A3 bodystyle, enhanced further with S3 details. Still appeals more to the head than the heart. Read about the Audi S3's design here

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