Audi S3 Sportback (Interior View) (2013)
Audi S3 Sportback (Interior View) (2013)

Comfort and Refinement

For a car of its kind, this hot hatch Audi is remarkably civilised in the refinement stakes. The engine makes a nice growly sound, but it isn't particularly intrusive and does not resonate much at all in the cabin. General noise levels are pretty similar to other versions of the A3, especially when you are at cruising speed on a motorway. There is not much intrusion from tyre noise, and wind rush over the body is generally pretty subdued.

It's a slightly different story when you work the gears to stoke the car's performance on a back road, when the engine responds to become a bit more vocal. The sports seats are body hugging, -well-shaped for anyone of average size, although maybe a bit snug for a more generously proportioned driver or front passenger.

Safety and Security

The S3 Sportback has all the attributes that earn the Audi A3 a five-star Euro NCAP rating, including seatbelt pre-tensioners and an array of airbags. The braking system incorporates electronic safety aids and the cruise control set-up, if fitted, is adaptive. The car can be specified with Audi's pre-sense system that automatically applies the bakes if a collision is imminent in city traffic. Side assist active lane assist and camera-based traffic sign recognition are also available on the car. An immobiliser and ABI Thatcham approved alarm system is standard kit, so security is well taken care of.

Infotainment

Standard equipment in the S3 Sportback includes a good quality radio-CD player kit, climate control, leather seats, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity, electric windows front and rear, electric mirrors, alarm system, and 18-inch alloy wheels that nicely fill the wheel arches to give the car a meaty look from the side-view. Opting for a six-speed dual-clutch auto transmission bumps the price up by nearly £1,500. If you want satnav, that is almost another £500. Cruise control adds £225, metallic paint is £525 and keyless start-up is £425. Other options include an electric sunroof at £950 and rear parking sensor for £345.

Rivals What We Liked What We Disliked What We Would Like To See Conclusion

Audi's pocket firecracker is a beautifully engineered hot hatchback that combines performance and practicality. It has restrained good looks and a classy cabin. If you want sizzling performance but don't want to shout about it, this car is a pretty good bet, but its prestige German rivals are also worth a close look.


Published : 10/10/13 Author : Sue Baker

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