The 2022 Audi S3 is an interesting one for us straight out of the gate. It’s around $10,000 more than the Volkswagen Golf R that it shares its platform with but balances slightly less power with a sedan body style and interior that’s strictly Audi. When both the VW Golf R and Audi S3 received their price rises at the start of the new generation it brought the pair closer than ever before, with both now edging beyond the $70,000 mark and into the true ‘luxury car’ segment.
In doing so, it made the decision between the two cars tougher, but after spending a week in the 2022 Audi S3 it was enough for us to call it one of the top premium performance sedan bargains of the year. While we won’t be directly comparing VW and Audi in this article, we’ll explain why forking out the extra coin might be the smarter choice.
Related: 2022 Audi e-Tron S Review
2022 Audi S3 Sedan at a Glance
|High Point||Low Point||Verdict|
|Great all-rounder with enough performance to put a smile on your face and a good spacious cabin. Well-priced when you compare it to other performance sedans in this segment.||While very quick, it’s not the most engaging drive and misses out on the new Golf R’s power upgrade and rear differential. Overall, not enough theatre from the engine.||The 2022 Audi S3 Sedan is the sensible choice in the performance sedan segment and although it’s not as performance-focused as it’s sibling, the Golf R, it pips it for the luxury factor.|
Priced from around $73,000 AUD before on-road costs (about $82,000 drive-away in our state) the 2022 Audi S3 sedan is roughly $10,000 more expensive than its platform-shared brother the 2023 Volkswagen Golf R. It does have one distinct advantage, its a sedan and is finished in true Audi quality with Audi parts. As much as you want to compare the two for drivetrain similarities and raw figures, there’s no looking down the VAG food chain for S3 buyers.
What’s the Interior Like on the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan?
We’ll start with the interior of the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan because it’s where it makes a case for top daily driver duties. As all modern cars have undergone Kardashian-Esque body enhancements and become bigger, what we once knew as fairly pokey interiors on some of the luxury brands ‘entry’ models have become quite sizeable.
The S3 shares most of its interior with the new Audi RS3 – you can read our review here – and that’s a good thing because it’s a mature all-rounder with a good balance between tech and function. Audi understands how sick and tired we are of overwhelming screens and have opted for a single infotainment display surrounded by physical air-conditioning buttons and a smattering of USB ports in the front and rear. Top marks should be awarded to Audi once again for the physical volume dial just above the gear selector that allows you to physically change track or slide your finger in a circle to adjust the volume.
We’re sympathetic to the gloss black plastic around the gear selector because it does look great but would likely scratch like every other we’ve experienced. On the other hand, we’re not sympathetic to the stubby gear selector itself that negates the need for an armrest entirely and is hardly ergonomic… where are you supposed to rest your hand? #savethegearsticks
The ‘Steel Grey’ Nappa Leather seats in our test car are more than comfortable for long road trips and while we wouldn’t put a family of four in the car for longer trips, travelling with one or two passengers in the rear would be fine for medium trips thanks to ample headroom (tested around 6ft tall). Just don’t tell them how the rear door plastics are cheaper and scratchier than the fronts.
Thanks to the sedan’s body shape, the S3 offers a well-sized boot that’s large enough for two suitcases and measures 325 litres.
Infotainment System in the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan
When it comes to infotainment it ticks the two main boxes. First, it’s large at 10.1-inches, second, it has full-screen Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an angled wireless charging pad that nicely offsets the extra battery used by the connected system. We could tell you all about the native navigation and digital radio, but you’re just going to use your phone. Just know that the native Audi 3D maps are some of the best in the business.
Behind the driver sits Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit Plus which measures at 12.3-inches and is equally as high resolution. Choose from any one of the gauges that range from wide maps for touring and more driver-focused options for sporty driving, speaking of which, how does it perform?
What Powers the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan?
|2022 Audi S3 Sedan Performance Figures|
|Engine||2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol|
|Power||228kW @ 5450–6500rpm|
|Torque||400Nm @ 2000–5450rpm|
|Acceleration||0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds|
The 2022 Audi S3 is purposeful in its power delivery from the 2.0-litre EA888 motor that’s found in a handful of Volkswagen Group products. It’s matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that was faultless in our testing, gone are the days of clunky DCT gearboxes that plagued early VW products.
Check out the video we shot above to hear the exhaust sound.
Related: 2022 Audi RS 3 Review
How Does the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan Drive?
While the engine and drivetrain are certainly capable, it’s the active dampers that steal the show for us. Most small ‘hot hatches’ in this segment struggle to blend sporty and commuter capabilities but we could see ourselves happily driving the S3 every single day. No amount of harsh Sydney roads could unsettle the S3 and when we pushed it down a few of our favourite driving roads, Sports mode was neither too harsh nor stiff. Individual mode lets you control all the settings regardless.
The 2022 Audi S3 is up there for outright pace thanks to the safety net afforded by the Haldex four-wheel drive system, but it does suck a little fun and enjoyment from the sedan. Of course, euro-emissions rules mean the exhaust does nothing more than a few crackles every now and then in Sport mode. We wish Audi could give us a little more engine note, at least offering a sports exhaust from the factory or partnering with an aftermarket supplier like VW and Cupra with Akrapovič.
Should You Buy the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan?
How Much Does the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan Cost?
The 2022 Audi S3 Sedan costs $$72,657 AUD before on-road costs. In our state of NSW that worked out to be $82,127.00 AUD drive-away.
The 2022 Audi S3 Sedan is covered by Audi Australia’s five-year unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Servicing your S3 Sedan on a 5-year service plan will cost $2,580 AUD with intervals of 12 months or 15,000km. Audi Advantage can be purchased for $2,900 AUD and includes 2 Year unlimited km Warranty, 2 Years of Scheduled Servicing, and 2 Years of Roadside Assistance.
Man of Many’s Verdict on the 2022 Audi S3 Sedan
The 2022 Audi S3 Sedan is everything it says on the tin. A very capable, quick, and good-looking sedan from one of the best luxury car brands on the market. It gives up some outright pace compared to its cheaper sibling Golf R, but it more than makes up for the circa. $10,000 price difference with a host of Audisms, specifically related to the interior and sedan body style. While we’ve struggled to vouch for the extra spend with past generations, choosing the S3 over the Golf R is a worthy upgrade for those not seeking outright performance.
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