We don’t get the Audi S3 Sportback in the US, only the sedan. That’s a little bit disappointing, as the Sportback variant brings a bit of practicality to the small performance car, making it a bit more worthwhile for most buyers. Being that the S3 isn’t exactly cheap ($43,000 for the Sedan in the US), the added practicality of the five-door hatchback gives you a bit more bang for you buck. But is it actually any good to drive?
Well, yes it is. The Audi S3 might not be the most thrilling or engaging sports car in its class but it’s damn good and its all-weather capability makes it even more impressive. In this video from Carwow, we take a look at the Audi S3 Sportback and we see what it’s like to drive in soaking wet British weather.
Under the hood is a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims the S3 can launch from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds with a dual-clutch gearbox. In the pouring rain, Carwow was able to record a 4.5 seconds 0-60 time, beating Audi’s claimed time while it terrible conditions. In perfect conditions, it could get hit as low as 4.2 seconds. Considering the BMW M2 clocks 0-60 mph at around 4.2 seconds and costs at least $10,000 more, that’s impressive. Although, for around $10,000 more, you can get an Audi RS3 that can do the same sprint in about 3.7 seconds.
Still, this Audi S3 Sportback is mighty quick, even in lashing rain. It even handles really well, with sharp steering and a ton of Quattro all-wheel drive grip. If you dive into a corner and the front end starts to push, as any Audi inevitably will, Quattro will shunt power to the rear to help rotate it around the corner. It’s proper Audi driving at its finest. Plus, it’s more comfortable than the hardcore RS3, as its adjustable dampers allow it to be downright supple. Throw in a nicely sized back seat and good trunk space and it’s hard to beat the overall combination of the Audi S3 Sportback, even for the RS3.
As a day-to-day hot hatchback, the S3 Sportback might be the best car on the road. While the Volkswagen Golf R might be a bit more fun, a bit more adjustable, the Audi S3 is more luxurious, has better tech and is more comfortable. Same goes for the Ford Focus RS. So if you’re in the market for something sporty but practical, look no further than the Audi S3 Sportback.