Tommy reviews the 2022 Audi A3, a vehicle that is a smart compromise between the easy-going A3 and the rip-snorting RS3.
The 2022 Audi S3 competes directly against vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG A35, BMW M235i Gran Coupe and the non-Blackwing Cadillac CT4-V. This car feels like a direct rival for the Mercedes-Benz AMG A35 with its power, performance and pricing. That may (or may not) be a good thing, especially when you look at the pricing.
The Audi S3 is based on the all-new A3, which has shaped up to be a more premium feeling vehicle, over its predecessor. It is a very small car, with a wheelbase of just 103.6-inches, it’s over seven inches less than the small-ish Audi A4. That means there will be compromises in space.
Audi gave the rear passengers a little more legroom, which shows. Unfortunately, they had to take some cargo space to make this happen. The trunk has up to 10 cubic feet of cargo space, the old one had up to 12.3 cu-ft. Despite the sacrifice in cargo room, Audi was unable to add headroom, which is at a premium in the back.
Power and performance
Power comes from a 306 horsepower, 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine that makes 295 lb-ft of torque. That grunt is channeled through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels. Audi’s “quattro” all-wheel drive (AWD) comes standard, and is tuned for a more aggressive bent on performance.
Cladded with sticky Michelin tires on chunky 18-inch wheels, the S3 gets a lowered, aggressively tuned suspension. This combination pays dividends for performance enthusiasts, but Tommy was not pleased with the ride quality. Even in “comfort” mode, it rode too tightly, and he could definitely feel it while perched in the upgraded sport seats.
Tommy was noticeably impressed with the massive 14.1-inch front brakes, which stop the S3 like it hit a brick wall. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the power on takeoff doesn’t really get interesting until you cross the 3,000 RPM threshold. Before that, it lags, but once you’re in the powerband between 3,500 and 5,500 rpm, the S3 wakes up and flies.
0 to 60 mph times are said to be in the low 4-second range, near sea level. Others have recorded times of 4.5 – 4.7 seconds. Regardless of these claims, the S3 is a rocket. On top of that, despite reports to the contrary, Tommy found the steering to be excellent. If you like a heavy feel, this car’s steering is for you.
Be warned — the S3 doesn’t come cheap
Prices start at $44,900 and the one we featured in this video has an MSRP of $55,890. That’s a lot of dough for a car that many feel is a Volkswagen Jetta in nicer cloths (it’s not). Still, it does have an economic side to it. The 2022 Audi S3 gets 27mpg combined; which is excellent.
There’s a lot more you need to learn about this car, and Tommy covers all the bases in his video review below: