2021 Audi S3

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in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$43,000 - $45,600
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2021 Audi S3 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 6, 2020
Anant Vats's image

Anant Vats

Automotive Journalist

Audi S3 with its cosmetic makeover and power-packed performance is set to win hearts. The practicality of a sedan and the raciness of an Audi is sure shot to impress you. It is said to be based on Audi A3 but is only improved for better to be more performance focussed. The 2021 Audi S3 will also be featured in a Sportback body style. Expect this car to be available in early 2021 with a price tag of $43,995 for the Premium and $46,595 for the Premium Plus trim.

Offering you the best of sophistication, flooding you with modern tech and promising you countless worth-it driving experiences, this sporty sedan competes with big badges like BMW 2 Series, Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250 and Infiniti Q50.

See detailed review »

Pros

Audi Quattro All-Wheel-Drive

Responsive Engine and performance

Fine built-quality

Cons

Cramped interior spacing

Less cargo storage

What's New?

The 2021 Audi S3 is the carry over version of the 2020 Audi S3.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 Audi S3 Exterior video

Styles

2021 Audi S3 in Ara Blue Crystal Effect color 2021 Audi S3 in Brilliant Black color 2021 Audi S3 in Daytona Gray Matte Effect color 2021 Audi S3 in Glacier White Metallic color
Ara Blue Crystal Effect

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

9.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Audi S3 Premium

Premium

power
288 hp @ 5400 rpm
fuel
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$43,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl 7AM) Starting at $43,000 MSRP (22/25/29) 288 hp @ 5400 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
7-speed auto-shift manual all wheel drive 5

2021 Audi S3 Premium Plus

Premium Plus

power
288 hp @ 5400 rpm
fuel
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
mpg
25 combined

$45,600


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl 7AM) Starting at $45,600 MSRP (22/25/29) 288 hp @ 5400 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
7 Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

9.0

Overall Rating


The 2021 Audi S3 is a compact and action packed performance version of the standard Audi A3. The S3 comes equipped with an efficient and responsive 2.0L Turbocharged Inline 4 Cylinder engine, that produces 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The S3 is very fun to drive, sports saloon and thanks to its standard Quattro setup, it is very manageable even at high speeds. 

The 2021 Audi S3 has a starting price of $43,995 and is available with a single engine choice. The Audi S3 is a direct competitor to the likes of Mercedes Benz CLA Class, Infiniti Q50 and BMW 2 Series.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Rear View

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2021 Audi S3 Features

The 2021 Audi S3 will be available in two trims. The base trim is the Premium trim with an MSRP of $43,995 and the top-tier trim is the Premium Plus trim with an MSRP of $46,595. The car will be powered by a performance-tuned 2.0L turbo motor mated to 7-speed DCT. The vehicle comes in standard AWD configuration and comes equipped with the renowned Quattro All Wheel Drive tech across the trim range.

Trim

Premium

Premium Plus

MSRP

$43,995

$46,595

Key Features

2.0Linter-cooled turbo inline-4

In addition to or replaces, Premium features with

 

S sport suspension

Band and Olufsen Sound system with 14 speakers

 

LED headlights and taillights

Interior storage package

 

Audi Pre-sense system

Parking System plus

 

Heated and supportive front seats

Wireless charging

 

Panoramic sunroof

 
 

Audi advanced key

 
 

Honeycomb pattern grille and quad exhaust outlets

 

The base trim Premium priced at $43,995 has stylish Audi exterior with that grille, LED headlights and taillights, Audi Pre-sense and Audi Advanced Key. It also has a roomy cabin and futuristic technology for infotainment and safety.

The Premium Plus trim priced at $46,595 has all these features along with other exciting features. Bang and Olufsen Sound system with 14 speakers and a special interior storage package are major highlights.

2021 Audi S3 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Reliability scores are an assurance that you are getting the right car for yourself. Audi S3 has not been given reliability scores but Audi A3 on which the S3 is based has definitely been rated good for its reliability. 

Reliability and Ownership Costs

The Audi S3 has been given a predicted reliability score of 2.5 out of 5 by J.D. power. S3 is based on the Volkswagen group’s reliable MQB platform. So rest assured you can be sure about your vehicle won’t let you down anytime soon. Buying a car is easy but its ownership cost takes a lot. Audi is a huge family of cars with different USPs and price ranges. The S class family offers an affordable range. The 2021 Audi S3 is an amazing sporty sedan with an attractive sticker price.

Talking of ownership, the ownership costs include the following: insurance, maintenance and repairs, taxes and fees, depreciation, financing and last but not the least fuel expenses. So the true cost to own an Audi for 5 years can be calculated if we add up the ownership costs. These are expected to be $60,000 for 5 years. 

Particulars

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$1,056

$1,093

$1,131

$1,171

$1,212

$5,663

Maintenance

$73

$1,139

$1,195

$2,503

$2,189

$7,099

Repairs

$0

$0

$0

$870

$1,339

$2,209

Taxes and fees

$2,827

$414

$346

$291

$244

$4,122

Financing

$1,731

$1,392

$1,031

$645

$233

$5,032

Depreciation

$3,285

$2,895

$2,365

$2,652

$2,316

$13,513

Fuel

$1,711

$1,763

$1,815

$1,870

$1,926

$9,085

True Cost to own

$10,683

$8,696

$7,883

$10,002

$9,459

$46,723

The true cost of ownership for an Audi S3, over a span of 5 years comes out to be about $46,723. Previous gen models had a glitch in their airbag system which has now been rectified. So it is safe to say the 2021 Audi S3 will be a reliable vehicle much like its outgoing model for it has not been issued even a single recall.

Warranty

The warranty on offer for the Audi S3 is satisfactory. Audi promises a basic warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever is earlier. The good news is that you do not have to pay anything extra for Audi 24-hour roadside assistance for four years.

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever is earlier

Power train warranty

4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever is earlier

Complimentary scheduled maintenance

1 year or 10,000 miles, whichever is earlier

Audi Accessories’ limited warranty covers all Audi vehicle accessories. You can even extend your warranty at some nominal costs. Overall considered, the Audi S3 continues the legacy of the company as being one of the most reliable auto manufacturers in the automotive industry. 

Miles per Dollar

Over a span of 5 years of ownership, the Audi S3’s maintenance cost comes to 10.56 miles per $1. Considering the fact that S3 offers around 22-30 miles per gallon of fuel, your fuel economy can average around 9 miles per dollar. Overall, the 2021 Audi S3 will also be a well valued and cost effective car to own.

2021 Audi S3 Buying Advice

We suggest the Premium plus trim out of the two choices. It has cool upgrades from the base model like that B & O sound system and top-notch materials for the interiors. The price margin is justifiable with all the offerings.

Is buying a used Audi S3 a good idea?

The only risks associated with buying a used car is limited or no warranty and high maintenance. So that’s the first thing you check. If that used Audi is well-maintained and well-serviced from time to time, then buying a used Audi S3 is not a bad idea. 

One can get a 2018 Audi S3 for 70% of its original price with nearly 10 plus years of useful life. It will have that durability and practicality that it can be kept maintained well.

2021 Audi S3 Engine and Performance

The 2021 Audi S3 has a very spirited 2.0L Turbocharged Inline 4 cylinder engine and S model adaptive suspension for that track-inspired performance. The Quattro all-wheel-drive ensures better balance and traction control. With Audi drive select you can choose from a number of modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. So you can switch from snug experiences to thrill experiences as and when your mood demands. Ride and handling are smooth and the engine makes no noise. 

What engine is under the hood of 2021 Audi S3?

The 2021 Audi S3 will be powered by a 2.0L inter-cooled turbo Inline-4 engine working in tandem with a 7-speed Auto-shift manual transmission. These are carried forward from the predecessor model. This All-wheel-drive shall churn out a 288 hp power and 280 lb-ft torque. The distribution of torque between the front and rear axles is well managed by Quattro. S3 sports the same 2.0L turbo 4 motor as that of the A3 but it has been performance-tuned to churn high power and torque figures.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Engine Bay

Models

2021 Audi S3 (Expected)

2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

2020 BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

MSRP

$43995

$38400

$38295

$39645

Engine

2.0L intercooled turbo Inline-4

3.0L Twin-turbocharged V-6

2.0L intercooled turbo Inline-4

2.0L intercooled turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

7-speed Auto-shift manual

7-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed Automatic

7-speed Auto-shift manual

Power(hp@RPM)

288hp @ 5400 rpm

300hp @ 6400rpm

248hp @ 5200rpm

221hp @ 5800rpm

Torque(lb-ft@RPM)

280lb-ft @ 1900 rpm

295lb-ft @ 1500rpm

258lb-ft @ 1450rpm

258lb-ft @1800rpm

So the 2021 Audi S3 does a better job than the BMW 2-series and Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250 with practically the same engine. However, Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure with its 3.0L twin-turbo V6 wins the race here with the best output figures.

2021 Audi S3 Acceleration and Braking Performance

The 2021 Audi S3 takes only 4.6 seconds to reach 60 MPH from a standstill and will cover a quarter-mile in an impressive 11.7 seconds. S3 is the fastest car among the competitors’ thanks to its Quattro tech and an efficient 7-Speed transmission. The Audi S3 feels very nimble and light on its feet, in a straight line.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Accelerate 0-60 MPH in just 4.6 secs

Models

2021 Audi S3

Infiniti Q50

BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

0-60 MPH 

4.6 secs

5 secs

5.9 secs

6.2 secs

Quarter-Mile 

11.7 secs

13.8 secs

13.9 secs

14.8 secs

Top-Speed 

155 MPH

NA

155 MPH

130 MPH

60- 0 MPH

107 ft

109 ft

N/A

N/A

Talking of braking, Audi has one of the best performances in the segment. The big brakes stop from 60mph to 0 in 107ft thanks to its large 13.4 inches front brake rotors and the 12.2 inches rear brake rotors.

2021 Audi S3 Fuel Economy

The 2021 Audi S3 has a frugal and efficient engine that can also deliver performance when urged to do so. It is not as parched as other sporty sedans and delivers satisfactory MPG figures of 22 for city, 29 for highway and 25 combined. The 14.5 gallon fuel tank delivers a combined range of 362 miles.

Models

2021 Audi S3 (Expected)

2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

2020 BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

MPG (City)

22

19

21

23

MPG (Highway)

29

27

31

33

MPG (Combined)

25

22

24

27

Fuel Capacity

14.5 gallons

20 gallons

13.7 gallons

13.5 gallons

Range(city/hwy/combined)

319/420/362 miles

380/540/440 miles

287/424/329 miles

310/445/365miles

From the above table data, one can observe that Mercedes offers the best fuel economy figures among the competition providing 33 MPG on the highway. Infiniti Q50 offers the largest fuel tank among the competition with 20 gallons of fuel capacity. S3 sits somewhere in the middle of the fuel economy section

2021 Audi S3 Interior

You get into the 2021 Audi S3 and you will be welcomed by a luxurious and sporty cabin with composure galore and premium leather seats. Front driver seats come with four-way power lumbar adjustment and an eight-way power adjustment. The headroom is a little less in the front because of the body shape but the legroom is good both at the front and back. This compact 4-door sedan can seat 5 passengers but those on the rear seats will not be as happy as the ones on the front. Mercedes and Infiniti offer the roomiest interiors among the competition.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Seats

The ambient lighting and dual-zone automatic climate control set your mood right. It has got a tilt and telescopic steering wheel for that comfortable drive. On top of the dashboard rests the center screen whose user-friendly and all-urban infotainment system is a delight. There is even a panoramic sunroof on offer. 

Models

2021 Audi S3 (Expected)

2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

2020 BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

Seating Capacity

5

5

4

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

36.5/54.8/41.2

40.2/56.7/44.5

40.1/54.4/41.5

40.2/56/40.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

36.1/53/35.1

37.5/56.1/35.1

36.5/53.4/33

35.7/53.2/27.1

The 2021 Audi S3 sports a small trunk with a capacity of 10 cubic feet. BMW 2 Series offers the largest trunk among the competition. We however assure it comes with door pockets, storage bin at the center armrest and other nooks and crannies for your small items.

How is the 2021 Audi S3’s infotainment system?

With an accessible and straightforward interface, the 2021 Audi S3’s infotainment system is gratifying. It bombs you with a plethora of features. The Premium Plus trim also features a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Infotainment System

The standard features include:

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto Integration
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-fi Hotspot
  • Navigation system and voice controls
  • Premium 14-speaker Audio system by Bang & Olufsen 
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Cockpit
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Cockpit
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Steering
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Steering
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Infotainment System
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Infotainment System
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Seats
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Seats
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Rear Seats
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Rear Seats

2021 Audi S3 Exterior

The 2021 Audi S3 is going to be the talk of the town basically for its exterior makeover. You are sure to stare at this beauty without blinking your eyes. There weren’t many changes to the 2020 model because the redesigning was planned for the 2021 Audi S3

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Angle View

This year the spy shots reveal that the honeycomb pattern is larger and so are the wheels and the brakes. Quad round exhausts are one major highlight. There is an add-on decklid spoiler too. The LED headlights have been revamped and the overall finishing touches are just apt for the redesigned version. It was expected to show up in some camouflage design but it surprised us with elegant solid body colors that look classy like the Riviera Blue. 

Models

2021 Audi S3 (Expected)

2020 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

2020 BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

Curb Weight (lb)

3461

3842

3512

3483

Length (inches)

175.8

189.6

174.7

184.6

Width (inches)

70.7

71.8

69.8

72

Height (inches)

54.8

57.2

55.8

56.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

NA

5

NA

NA

Wheelbase (inches)

103.6

112.2

105.9

107.4

Talking in figures, Audi S3 is lightweight and sleek with just 3461lbs and has a wheelbase of 103.6 inches. The body is well-proportioned for better body movements. Infiniti Q50 is the longest and tallest vehicle among the competition which explains why it has roomy interiors and a large trunk.

2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Rear View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Rear View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Side View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Side View
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Wheel
2021 Audi S3 Sedan Wheel

2021 Audi S3 Safety

The 2020 Audi S3 has a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and that is enough assurance that the 2021 model is going to a safe box on wheels. Also, the IIHS has tested A3 and tagged it as a top safety pick. The Audi S3 has always been said to be based on A3 and that gives us another check. Safety features of the car include

  • Automated emergency braking
  • Front and Rear camera
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control

2021 Audi S3 Competition

2021 Audi S3 Vs Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

If we stack the 2021 Audi S3 against Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure, we'll see that latter offers more output and performance with its 3.0L V6 engine at a lesser price. On the other hand, Audi is not a bad performer either and has that luxury and advanced tech flavor for justifying the sticker price. So it's your call if you want to settle for a frugal choice or spend some extra bucks on class.

2021 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Pure

2021 Audi S3 Vs BMW 2-series 230ixdrive

Talking of the 2021 Audi S3 against BMW 2-series 230ixdrive, BMW is more inclined towards opulence and Audi is more inclined towards sporty feels. Both have their own fan base and loyal customers. Both are powered by a similar 2.0L inter-cooled inline-4 but BMW offers less output. Also, Audi is the fastest. BMW is available at a lesser price and is more spacious. So again you take that test drive and decide what is that the enthusiast in you wants more.

2021 BMW 2-series 230i x drive

2021 Audi S3 Vs Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

Mercedes is synonymous with luxury and is said to be the driver's car. But its output and acceleration stand nowhere as compared to that of the 2021 Audi S3. At the same time, it is less thirsty and more spacious as compared to Audi. It is less pricey than the sporty baby. But we here go with Audi S3 because it justifies the price with class and performance.

2021 Mercedes Benz CLA Class 250

 

2021 Audi S3 Final Verdict

The recipe for the 2021 Audi S3 is quite simple. Peppy performance, killing looks and classy feels. It gracefully combines the benefits of a Sedan car with the assurance of its luxury badge. Not to forget the sportiness. It is good under the hood and not at all rowdy on the road. It offers you an engaging drive and is loaded with tech both for your entertainment and your safety. It is a wonderful car with that speed and also a practical car for your daily use. It looks swanky and stylish and offers you amazing creature comforts. 2021 Audi S3 is worth its sticker price and wait.