2020 Audi S3

MSRP $43,000

Ranked #2 in Subcompact Sedan

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

2020 Audi S3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: October 6, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


For people who are looking to transition to a sporty sedan but can’t really afford serious performance machines, the new Audi S3 might be the perfect choice as a stepping stone into the performance community. The S3 is a clever compact sedan that brings in the practicality of a regular A3 sedan but in a sporty and powerful avatar. It is packed with a lot of features as well and makes for an interesting buy.

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive acceleration

Intuitive infotainment system

Top-notch build quality

Cons

The second row isn’t roomy

Smallest cargo space in its class

Poor fuel economy

What's New?

The Prestige trim level has been removed 

Premium Plus receives some additional premium features as standard 

A new color called Quantum Gray has been added 


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$43000

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

288 hp @ 5400 rpm

torque

280 ft-lb. @ 1900 rpm

transmission

7 speed automated manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

13.4/12.2 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

103.6 in.

length

175.8 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

54.8 in.

curb weight

3461 lbs.

capacity

cargo volume

10 cu ft.

payload capacity

1102 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/25/29 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

9 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Premium$43,000 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Audi S3 in Ara Blue Crystal Effect color
Ara Blue Crystal Effect

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

9.0

Safety

9.3

Competition

6.0

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.6

Overall Rating


The Audi S3 proves to be a great all-around car as it can do both household duties and weekend fun rides without a fuss. It bridges the gap between a regular A3 and an ultra-competitive RS3 sedan superbly and offers to be a fun, practical, and value for money proposition as far as modern-day Audis are concerned.The 2020 S3 has prices starting from $44,000. It competes with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, the 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, and the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia.


8.2/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

9.0/10
Exterior

9.3/10
Safety

6.0/10
Competition


2020 Audi S3 Features

The 2020 Audi S3 is available in two trim levels- Premium and Premium Plus. While the Premium comes with a host of features that make the S3 a different package altogether when compared to the A3, the Premium Plus as its name suggests brings in additional premium quality features and goods inside for a higher price tag. The Premium is available at $44,000 while the Premium Plus costs around the $47,000 mark. We shall take a look at its features below.

Trims

Premium

Premium Plus

MSRP

$44,000

$47,000

Key Features

S Sport suspension

In addition to or replaces, Premium features with

 

LED headlights and taillights

Bang and Olufsen Sound system with 14 speakers

 

Audi Pre-sense system

Interior storage package

 

‘S’ embossed seats and diamond stitching

Parking System plus

 

Sunroof

Wireless charging

 

Audi progressive steering

Twelve-way power front sport seats, including four-way power lumbar adjustment

 

Three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel with shift paddles (with S3 badging)

MMI® navigation plus with voice control system

 

SiriusXM® Traffic with a four-year subscription

Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go

 

Auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with digital compass

Interior Storage package

 

Aluminum-optic exterior side mirror housings

 

Which trim should you buy?

The Premium trim level might just be the right choice for someone looking for an Audi S3 as it comes with all the bells and whistles that you need in your compact sports sedan and with the ‘S’ line performance upgrades that it gets compared to a regular A3, it surely is worth buying.The Premium Plus, on the other hand, brings in the icing on the cake with the premium audio system as well as some other practical features inside that adds practicality and comfort. Among these two, we would pick the Premium as it is very much sufficient for most use cases.

2020 Audi S3 Engine and Performance

8.2/10

The 2020 Audi S3, just like all the other sedans in the class, gets a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 motor that produces 288 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque, making it one of the most powerful cars in the class. The engine has a sporty and nimble character and doesn’t shy away from accelerating quickly right when you need it to. The engine performs better than most of the rivals and has a very energetic vibe to it that certainly adds to the driving excitement of the S3.

It gets a 7-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission unit that helps in delivering those crisp and quick shifts. The transmission unit as well as the clever Quattro all-wheel-drive system of the Audi S3 makes it the quickest accelerating car in its class.The Audi S3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and can cover a quarter-mile distance within 14.1 seconds. It has a top speed of 155 MPH. Overall, the S3 is a very eager performer.

Models

2020 Audi S3

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

MSRP

$44,000

$37,000

$38,500

$40,700

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

AWD

RWD

Transmission

7-speed automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

288 hp @ 5,400 RPM

221 hp @ 5,800 RPM

228 hp @ 5,000 RPM

280 hp @ 5,200 RPM

Torque

280 lb-ft @ 1,900 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,450 RPM

306 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

5.8

6.1

6.1

6.2

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

14.1

14.5

14.5

14.9

Top Speed (MPH)

155

154 

155

149

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250, as well as the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, do come close to the S3’s performance figures, but the Alfa Romeo Giulia, despite being the second most powerful car of the lot, seems to be the slowest accelerating car comparatively. The Audi S3 is the most expensive car but it is also the best performing one among its competitors, both on paper as well as on the road.

How well does the 2020 Audi S3 handle?

The sports tuned suspension unit, along with the front and rear anti-roll bars as well as the Quattro AWD system do the job of making the S3 handle like a well-engineered sports car on the corners and also add a really good amount of stability on a straight line. It is nimble as quick to turn in, making it quite entertaining to drive in the long run. The steering feel can be a tab bit improved but is nothing much to complain about.

The suspension does feel stiffer compared to the A3, but it isn’t too stiff and hard to live with as you would find in the RS3. The S3 is meant to be the middle child between the A3 and the RS3 and it does its job of being one pretty well. Having the smallest wheelbase also means that the S3 can handle with much more agility and ease in the corners compared to its rivals.

2020 Audi S3 Braking Performance

The 2020 Audi S3 offers you the best in class braking performance as it gets the right kind of brakes considering its weight and performance aspects. The front brake rotors measure 13.4 inches in diameter while the rear ones are 12.2-inch ones in diameter.Being one of the lightest cars in the class surely helps the S3 to brake in a far better and confident manner. The safety aids further add to the braking quotient of the car. The brakes offer the right amount of feel and feedback which is crucial for a car of its caliber. The S3 can decelerate from 60 to 0 MPH in just 107 feet.

Models

2020 Audi S3

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.4

12.6

N/A

13

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.2

11.6

N/A

12.5

Curb Weight (lbs)

3461

3362

3534

3521

60-0 MPH (feet)

107

108

N/A

108

The Audi S3 seems to be the best performing car when it comes to its braking capabilities and the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia perform in a similar fashion as well. They are a tad bit weaker in terms of braking, but these cars are only separated by one foot in the 60 to 0 mph braking tests which barely counts for anything. Anyway, we are happy to report that the Audi is still the best performer.

2020 Audi S3 Fuel Economy

8.0/10

One of the major drawbacks of the 2020 Audi S3 certainly lies in its fuel economy. It delivers a combined fuel economy of 25 MPG which is the lowest in the class and the city and highway economy figures are also the lowest at 22 and 29 MPG respectively.The only good thing, in this case, seems to be the fuel tank capacity which is larger than most rivals in the class. The 14.5 gallons fuel tank capacity helps the S3 offer a combined range of 362.5 miles which isn’t too bad for a sports sedan.

Models

2020 Audi S3

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

MPG (City)

22

25

23

24

MPG (Highway)

29

35

33

33

MPG (Combined)

25

28

27

27

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

14.5

13.5

13.2

15.3

Range (City/Highway/Combined; miles)

319/421/363

338/473/378

304/436/356

367/505/413

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 might offer the best fuel economy in the class, but it’s the Alfa Romeo Giulia with its 15.3 gallons fuel tank capacity that helps deliver a combined fuel economy of 413.1 miles. The Audi is certainly competitive in terms of the overall range offered but can have some improvements in terms of the fuel efficiency numbers. The BMW 2 Series also performs well.

2020 Audi S3 Interior

7.0/10

The 2020 Audi S3, more or less, has the same interior design layout from the Audi A3 apart from some small tweaks here and there that suggest that it is an ‘S’ version. The interior design layout is simple, poised, and has a mix of simplicity and sportiness to it. The cabin is available only in a black tone, which enhances the aesthetic appeal of the interior. The dashboard design is a simple one with a minimalistic and modern touch to it. The two circular HVAC vents as well as the infotainment screen above make it very easy to recognize an S3’s interior. The dashboard has a soft-touch surface and the steering wheel looks sporty with its leather upholstery and controls for multimedia and cruise control.

The front seats have a beautifully stitched leather upholstery with black seat color and red diamond stitching. The seats are comfortable as well as sporty and hug you in place when you go through corners in a very comfortable and reassuring way.The rear seat is a 40-20-40 split-bench seat and provides you with a neat and well-upholstered arrangement as well as aesthetically appealing diamond stitching. The only drawback as far as the interior is concerned seems to be the fact that the second row lacks the legroom and shoulder room needed for three people to travel in comfort and feels cramped.

Models

2020 Audi S3

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

36.5/54.8/41.2

40.2/56.0/40.2

38.2/55.5/41.4

38.6/56.1/42.4

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

36.1/53.0/35.1

35.7/53.2/27.1

35.6/53.1/34.4

37.6/53.6/35.1

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

10

13.1

12

N/A

The Alfa Romeo Giulia seems to offer a perfect blend of interior space whether it be in the front or second row. The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 on the other hand offers the largest cargo capacity in the class. The Audi suffers a bit in terms of the space offered inside. The cargo capacity too is the smallest in the class with just 10 cu-ft. of space available for use. It does feel cramped and lacks the necessary space needed. Some of the standout interior features are as follows:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power adjustable front seats with leather upholstery
  • Front and rear cup holders
  • ‘S’ embossing and diamond stitching on the seats
  • Leather steering wheel with multimedia and cruise controls
  • Sunroof
  • All digital driver’s display

What’s there to keep you entertained?

Audi arguably makes some of the best infotainment systems for their cars and they have managed to stuff in some of the best features that they could for the Audi S3. The Audi infotainment system gets a trackpad-controlled infotainment display unit as well as a good set of Audi sound systems with 10 speakers. Opting for the Premium Plus trim level provides you with a Bang and Olufsen premium surround sound system with 14 speakers.Connectivity features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity come as standard and you could also opt for a wireless charging pad as an optional extra. Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • In-built navigation
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Audi MMI user interface
  • Infotainment display unit with trackpad controller
  • Audi sound system with 10 speakers
  • Optional Bang and Olufsen premium surround sound system with 14 speakers
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless charging pad

2020 Audi S3 Exterior

9.0/10

The 2020 Audi S3 has a very compact and sporty look and you might mistakenly recognize it for a regular A3 unless you notice some of the exterior highlights that let you know that it’s an S3.The S3 gets a slightly aggressive bumper in the front and has blacked-out features all around its exterior. The sharp LED headlamps and tail lamps along with the 18-inch dynamic design wheels add a sporty and aggressive look to its exterior. Its short wheelbase certainly helps it to perform better than most of its rivals while the weight and height also seem to be on the lower side comparatively which helps improve the handling in a much better way.

Models

2020 Audi S3

2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Curb Weight (lbs)

3461

3362

3534

3521

Length (inches)

175.8

184.6

178.5

182.5

Width (inches)

70.7

72.0

70.9

73.7

Height (inches)

54.8

56.7

55.9

56.5

Ground Clearance (inches)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase (inches)

103.6

107.4

105.1

111

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is the closest car that has the dimensions of the S3 and it also seems to be an equally fun car to drive. The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 on the other side with its FWD drivetrain unit seems not so dynamic to drive. The BMW is the heaviest car and is followed very closely by the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The CLA is now the largest car in this category. Some of the standout exterior features are as follows:

  • 18-inch 5-spoke dynamic design wheels 
  • Auto on/off LED projector headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • Aggressive front bumper
  • Sunroof
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Rear lip spoiler

2020 Audi S3 Safety

9.3/10

The 2020 Audi S3 is arguably one of the safest options in the class with an overall safety rating of five stars from the NHTSA and similar ratings from the IIHS and other agencies as well. The cleverly engineered chassis and body along with some really helpful safety features help the Audi S3 offer the best safety quotient in the class.The safety features that come onboard the S3 include Audi Pre Sense, front collision mitigation, low tire pressure warning as well as a backup camera as standard. Some of the standout safety features are as follows:

  • Low tire pressure warning system
  • Audi Pre Sense
  • Front collision mitigation
  • Backup camera
  • ABS and driveline traction control
  • EBD with automatic brake drying

2020 Audi S3 Competition

6.0/10

2020 Audi S3 vs 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is a much cheaper alternative to the Audi S3 and has lots to offer in terms of infotainment, interior, and exterior features as well as cargo space. But when it comes to the ride quality and driving excitement, the Audi S3 seems to be a step ahead as it feels a lot more agile, alive, and planted thanks to the shorter wheelbase and clever suspension, and Quattro systems. Hence, we would pick the Audi over the Mercedes.

2020 Audi S3 vs 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

The Audi S3 and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe are similar in a lot of ways, whether it be the exciting driving experience, the interior capacity, the features that come along as standard, or the safety quotient. The Audi S3 might be a slightly costlier option, but it seems to be a tad bit more agile and confident in its skin and has a lot to offer when it comes to a performance point of view. The BMW is arguably better looking and more proportionate.

2020 Audi S3 vs 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Alfa Romeo Giulia brings in the Italian touch to the class and offers a very distinctive and surreal exterior and interior design which makes it much more appealing from a design point of view. It doesn’t seem to disappoint when it comes to performance too as it brings in the most power and torque in the segment at a cheaper price than the Audi S3. The Audi on the other hand has better infotainment and interior build quality and finish on offer. The Quattro system truly deserves some appreciation as well.

2020 Audi S3 Final Verdict

The new Audi S3 might seem to be the costliest option in the class but it has its own set of pros and cons. It might not be the most spacious of cars in terms of both interior and cargo volume and doesn’t offer the best fuel economy in its class. But as far as its performance and build quality are concerned, it gives the other cars in the class a run for their money. For its designated use case of being a quick car that can serve every other purpose for a family, we certainly appreciate the car and would recommend it to someone planning to buy one.

Similar Cars

2020 Infiniti Q50
2020 Infiniti Q50

MSRP: $36,400

7.1/10
2020 Acura TLX
2020 Acura TLX

MSRP: $33,000

7.3/10
2020 BMW 3 Series
2020 BMW 3 Series

MSRP: $40,750

8.3/10
2020 Jaguar XE
2020 Jaguar XE

MSRP: $39,900

7.0/10