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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Audi S3/RS3

Overall verdict
Incredibly competent, deceptively fast, but needs to be at warp speed before it gets interesting.


Flattering, safe at speed and it IS quick


Numb steering, anonymous styling, not super-thrilling at medium speeds


What is it?

The latest version of the Audi S3 quattro, now available as an S3 sedan as well, with essentially the same recipe as before: front-biased all-wheel drive running gear and powerful turbocharged four-cylinder motor. But Audi has massaged virtually every aspect to make it more efficient, faster and, well, generally better all round. The 296bhp S3 may be innocuous-looking, but performance is blistering: it hits 62mph from rest in just 4.8 seconds with the S-tronic DSG ‘box. Even faster is the new RS3, whose familiar 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine produces 362bhp, 27bhp more than before. On paper, it’s probably the hottest production hot hatch on the planet. Mind you, at over £40k it’s also one of the most expensive…

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
S3 TFSI Quattro Black Edition 5dr S Tronic
4.6s 150g/km 43.5 310 £37,095
The cheapest
30 TFSI 116 SE Technik 5dr
9.9s 114g/km 56.5 116 £22,500
The greenest
30 TDI 116 SE Technik 5dr S Tronic
10.4s 103g/km 72.4 116 £26,300
Continue: Driving