2022 Audi S3 Sedan Road Test

The new 2022 Audi S3 was revealed in 2020 and came to market late last year as a 2022 offering. The sporty model was released alongside the less muscular A3 sedan. The A3, Audi North America’s entry level product, has been a popular model since it debuted. Both the A3 and S3 are built on the VW Group EQB platform which is shared with the Volkswagen Golf variants. 2022 Audi S3 front

Visually the new S3 is striking. The geometric angles that radiate out from the trapezoidal grille are eye-catching and include large from air vents and optional, distinctive front LED headlights. The bulge created by the front air vents carry around to the front fenders and create muscular wheel arches that clearly set the S3 apart for the more sedate A3 model. The visual drama carries around the side of the car, down the lower edge with a dramatic crease and once again, bulging arches accent the rear wheels openings. At the rear, insanely bright LED taillights carry on an Audi tradition with an optional animated sequence to signal the vehicle’s remote locking and unlocking. A visual upgrade are the distinctive Audi Sport 19 inch alloy rims (that came as part of the $1600 Sport Handling package), shroud the optional red brake calipers and drilled out front brake rotors. Overall, it’s quite an attractive exterior visual package.

The 2022 Audi S3 is powered by a 306HP version of the 2.0L inline turbocharged four cylinder engine. The engine also produces 295 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 2,000 RPM. The engine is paired with a 7-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission and a Quattro All-wheel-drive power-train. Audi reports a 0-100 km/hr time of just 4.8 seconds. 2022 Audi S3 interior

Stepping inside the vehicle, it’s clear why Audi is considered the master of cabin design. The first impression is the uncluttered layout. In fact, if you look closer, the design is actually a complex mix of plastics, leather and glass, conveyed in a mix of smooth and textured surfaces. The fact that its as cohesive as it portrays itself is a testimony to intelligent design.

Of note is the centre mounted 10.1 inch TFT LCD touch screen that is the main interface for the vehicle settings and latest Audi MMI infotainment system. Below that are dedicated analog switches for environmental controls and quick access vehicle set up actions such as traction controls or Audi’s Drive Select modes. An optional phone box, with wireless charging, is tucked up under where the dash and centre console meet.

The dash integrates into the centre console where a haptic black plastic disc, controls the audio volume and basic controls. This is a fantastic feature. More controversial is the gear selector. Instead of a typical raised stick one would typically see, the 2022 S3 now uses a metallic toggle switch. It visually blends in with the trim in the cockpit but required a bit of getting used to as it is unconventional.

Seating is outstanding with elegant leather clad seats, devoid of pillow stitching. Wonderfully supportive with unobtrusive side bolsters, the seats provided excellent comfort for a long road trip we took the S3 on. Rear seat room, as one would expect from a compact sedan, was more challenging. Ideal for kids, adults would probably be fine for shorter trips even with the sculpted spaces in the front seat backs and head liner.

The Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel, is an effective driver information centre. Drivers are able to customize the display to provide what information they choose to receive. Some may choose the Navigation map overlay, while others are more concerned with the vehicle monitoring of temperature, speed and fuel economy. Others may choose to focus on the entertainment selection available from their Apple Car Play or Android Auto connected device (wireless or tethered) or the SiriusXM radio service installed on the vehicle. 2022 Audi S3 side

Out on the road, the 2022 Audi S3 is a joy to drive. It was able to cover endless miles of varied roadway without any driver fatigue or irritating feedback. With the Audi Drive Select system in comfort mode, the S3 still provides a firm, sporty ride, with decent throttle response. In Auto mode, the system does sense the drivers need for urgency a bit quicker but overall, “Comfort” was the favoured choice on the road trip. Around town, “Dynamic” mode was exhilarating and quite enjoyable. While there is a launch control system, I never found a private road to try it but it is supposedly key to the 0-100 km/hr times under 5 seconds.

The exhaust note from the turbocharged engine was the perfect blend of throaty and raspy when you agitated the engine, but in regular relaxed highway motoring, the drive-train was thankfully discrete, leaving occupants to enjoy the fantastic Bang and Olufsen audio system onboard.

The one downside of our road tripping use of the S3 was a somewhat small trunk at 235 litres of storage. Fortunately, there were just two of us in the car and the rear seat was pressed into duty.

Fuel economy was a particular highlight as we noted a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.2 L/100kms, slightly better than the 8.8 offered by Audi. Even on the highway at typical traffic flowing speeds, we were yielding 7.6 L/100kms.

Overall, the new 2022 Audi S3 delivers on its promise of sporty upscale motoring. It’s is ultimately a comfortable daily driver with loads of style and ample performance when you choose to take it up a notch.

Our test vehicle was an S3 Technik, which lists for $53,900 plus the optional equipment topped out at $62,860. Further details on package pricing and options can be found at the Audi Canada website.