Audi S3 Saloon 2.0 TFSI


Photo by Kyran O’Brien

Can Audi really provide a performance car and an everyday family car in one, we drive the S3 saloon to find out writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? The Audi S3 may look like a typical saloon but press the start button and it gushes with power; accompanied with a deep and resonant sound that emerges from four exquisitely tuned exhaust pipes.

Who is it aimed at? It is the  ideal choice for the person who needs the practicality of a saloon and the agility of a hot hatch.

Styling? From the outside you would struggle to distinguish it from the A3 saloon but look closely and the lowered suspension, wide wheel arches and large front bumper are subtle clues to the potent power of this car.

Under the Bonnet? Riding on 19-inch wheels it catapults from zero to 100 in only 4.9 seconds courtesy of the 300 bhp produced from the 2-litre turbocharged 4 cylinder petrol engine, the same incidentally that is found in the new VW Golf R.

What about inside? Inside it is beautifully minimalist and perfectly laid out. The splashes of sportiness are far more overt than the subtle exterior, such as, the shiny pedals and the body hugging sports seats clad in diamond pattern leather.
The S3 also makes quite a good family car, not only offering reasonable space inside but the boot at 390 litres capacity is 50 litres more than the S3 Sportback. This capacity can be increased by folding down the split rear seat backs.


Photo by Kyran O’Brien

On the Road? On the road the grip is phenomenal. A fast-operating multi-plate clutch in the quattro drivetrain distributes forces to the front and rear axles and when it engages it is easy to see why Audi has carved such a niche in the market for all wheel drive cars. The steering, while very accurate and direct, lacks some feedback. But overall this is a stunning car to drive, with endless power that is delivered seamlessly and even in dynamic mode the suspension is at once forgiving and stiff.

And Safety? The S3 has a host of active and passive safety features which along with the Quattro four-wheel drive system should help keep you firmly fixed to the road.

Options? There is also a practical side to this saloon; turn the drive select to Comfort and the S3 is transformed into an everyday cruiser. Other options include Auto, Dynamic or Efficiency modes. In Efficiency mode, climate control, the cruise control, adaptive cruise control, and the adaptive light are all adjusted for optimal fuel consumption.

Economy? Fuel economy is a decent 6.9 litres per 100km or just over 40 miles per gallon and the CO2 emission figure of 159g/km is respectable enough.


Photo by Kyran O’Brien

Verdict? Understated and elegant, the Audi A3 combines incredible power and grip with a refinement that only Audi can deliver. From practicality to performance the Audi S3 has got it all and despite a starting price of €47,670 when you consider the power, it is actually quite a bargain.

Why you’ll buy one? Stunning blend of performance and practicality

Why you won’t? Price, Steering is dull



BMW M235i – priced from €56,810

Mercedes CLA 45 AMG – priced from €64,400

Volkswagen Golf GTI – priced from €34,535



Watch our video review below (Video Filming by Kyran O’Brien)



Audi S3

Engine: 1984cc,  300bhp @5,600 -6,200rpm,  380Nm @1800-550 rpm
Max speed:  250km/h
0-100 kph:  4.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 159 g/km (€570)
Model price range: €50,370 – €52,770
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP :  5 stars
Fuel type:  Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 6.9 l/100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 390 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4469mm
Width: 1796mm
Height: 1392mm
Wheelbase: 2631mm

For more information check out the Audi Ireland website  or the Facebook page

A version of this article, by the author,  appeared previously in the Sunday Independent


Geraldine Herbert

3rd October, 2014




Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

Share This Post On