Audi S3 Sportback Review (2013)
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Audi S3 Sportback Review (2013)

Audi S3 Sportback Review  | Part TwoAudi S3 Sportback Road Test

Audi S3 Sportback Review (2013)

From the moment you squeeze the throttle, this Audi feels something a bit special.

10 October 2013 Sue Baker

Audi has had a tsunami of new models over the past few years, and here is another one: the S3 Sportback. This five-door hot hatch is an appealing blend of sports car performance and five-door hatchback practicality. It is a rapid performer with restrained good looks that don’t shout about how quick it is. So if you see one of these looming in the rear-view mirror, you might not instantly identify it as an S3 rather than a mainstream A3. Look closer, though, and discreet badging plus a few visual tweaks identify it as the performance flagship of Audi’s A3 family.

Group 36 insurance tells you how much of a flyer it is, and although the price sounds expensive for a compact five-door, it packs in a lot of pace for the money. It is equipped not only with a high-performance two-litre turbo engine, but also with Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system to keep it securely planted on the road. It is a hot hatch minus any obvious vices.

The two-litre turbo engine is teamed with either a six-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch auto transmission. Prices are £31,260 for the A3 Sportback manual and £32,740 for the auto.

Performance

From the moment you squeeze the throttle, this Audi feels something a bit special. The two-litre, four-cylinder, direct injection and turbocharged engine packs a powerful punch, with its 296 bhp (300 PS) of power peaking at between 5,500 and 6,200 rpm, and its 280 lb ft of torque on song all the way from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.

The car we tested was the six-speed manual, with a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 5.3 seconds. If you go for the dual-clutch auto transmission model, it squirts off the line even quicker, to reach the benchmark 62 mph pace in 4.9 seconds. Both models have a top speed of 155 mph.

Even so, the combined average fuel economy figure is a pretty reasonable 40.4 mpg for the manual model, and 40.9 for the auto. The engine is a further development of a unit that has collected Engine of the Year awards, and complies with Euro 6 emissions regulations.

Audi S3 Sportback Review  | Part TwoAudi S3 Sportback Road Test

The information contained within this Audi A3 review may have changed since publication on the 10 October 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Audi dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017