Even in the Age of the SUV, the entry-luxury compact sedan segment still has juice, and Audi is set to deliver a performance-oriented challenger in the form of the new-for-2022 S3. A hot-rodded version of the new A3 sedan, the S3 will go head-to-head with the aggressive BMW M235i Gran Coupe, Cadillac CT4-V, and Mercedes-AMG A35 when it hits the market. This pint-sized sports sedan certainly looks the part, and because we’ve been impressed with the current-generation model, we’re excited to get behind the wheel of this new one. The cabin is shared with the all-new 2022 A3, which borrows styling and technology from Audi’s larger sedans—the A4 and the A6—but everything about the S3 feels more youthful. The 2022 S3 will likely follow the A3 to U.S. dealers by a few months, so we expect to see it on sale by the end of 2021.
What’s New for 2022?
The 2022 S3 is all-new and based on the similarly fresh 2022 A3 sedan. Although both cars will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the S3’s engine makes a stout 306-hp and will send its power through a standard all-wheel drive system. Aside from more power, the S3 also gets a lowered, more aggressively tuned suspension, grippier sport seats, a special grille and four exhaust tips.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Audi hasn’t released a full features-and-options list for the 2022 S3, but we know it will follow the brand’s three-trim layout starting with the base Premium, then graduating to the mid-level Premium Plus, and finally the top-spec Prestige trim. Without a full list of features it’s difficult to know which one will represent the best value, but our experience with the current crop of Audis suggests the mid-range Premium Plus will likely satisfy the widest swath of buyers.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All S3 models will come with a 306-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. This setup is similar to the last generation S3, which bolted to 60 mph in just 4.6-seconds at our test track. Thanks to 18 more horsepower than the previous S3, we expect the 2022 model to be at least as quick if not quicker, but we won’t have a chance to test the new one until closer to its on-sale date.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the S3 is good for 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway which makes it more efficient than the A35 and right on track with the M235i Gran Coupe. When we get a chance to test the S3’s highway fuel economy on our 75-mph test route, we’ll update this story with results. For more information about the S3’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The S3’s cabin is nearly identical to the new 2022 A3’s but adds some racier styling elements such as sport seats with quilted leather inserts and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. From photos, we can see that the S3 will receive the same toggle-switch gear selector as the A3 as well. We’ve yet to see either car in person, so we can’t comment on passenger space or cargo capacity, but the S3 is a compact sedan so we aren’t expecting limo-like accommodations.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While the standard A3 comes with either a 10.1- or 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen we expect the more expensive S3 to offer the larger display as standard. Also likely to be standard is Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-dash navigation. Audi hasn’t released full details of the S3’s standard and optional features, so we’ll update this story with more information closer to the car’s on-sale date.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Like most Audis, the S3 will come standard with several driver-assistance features; more advanced technology will remain optional. For more information about the S3’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The new S3 will come with the same standard warranty as the rest of the Audi lineup, which includes coverage on the vehicle’s powertrain and a bumper-to-bumper policy that spans four years or 50,000 miles. Audi also covers the first dealer maintenance for new-car buyers—a nice perk—but the M235i Gran Coupe comes standard with a three-year complimentary maintenance plan.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles