Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Audi - A3 - S3 Sportback 5-dr hatch

Launch Story

31 Oct 2008

AUDI has added yet another niche model to its jam-packed Australian showrooms in the five-door S3 hot-hatch.

The Sportback model joins the current-generation three-door S3, which was introduced locally last year.

The new model attracts a $1900 premium over the three-door for a sticker price of $68,310.

Barring the addition of two extra doors, the Sportback S3 is essentially the same as the three-door, except that it is slightly longer and 40kg heavier for a total of 1495kg.

As a result it is 0.1 seconds slower to 100km/h, but still manages the sprint in an impressive time of 5.8 seconds. It has a top speed that's electronically capped at 250km/h.

Both S3s run Audi's celebrated 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder turbocharged engine that manages to pump out 188kW.

This advanced powerplant, which uses direct-injection and a turbodcharger with a maximum boost pressure of 1.2 bar, generates 330Nm of torque all the way through from 2500rpm to 5000rpm.

The four-valves-per-cylinder TFSI engine is also quite economical, with the S3 Sportback using a respectable combined average of 8.5 litres per 100km.

There is a catch though, as the S3 demands pricier 98 RON premium fuel.

At this stage, the only transmission available is a six-speed manual, but a dual-clutch automatic is expected to be added at some stage - although Audi Australia won't discuss when.

The manual gearbox is linked up to the latest-generation quattro all-wheel drive system. It uses an electronically-controlled hydraulic Haldex clutch to split the torque between the front and the rear wheels. If required, this system can send 100 per cent of the torque to the front or rear wheels.

The S3 Sportback is 72mm longer than its three-door sibling, measuring 4302mm from nose to tail. The cars are the same width, but the Sportback is 3mm taller.

Like the three-door, the S3 Sportback's suspension features several lightweight aluminum components to limit the amount of unsprung mass.

It sits 25mm lower than the standard model and also has a sportier tune.

MacPherson struts are used for the front-end, while a four-link independent system is used for the rear.

The S3 Sportback runs new 18-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded braking package with black front callipers featuring S3 emblems and front ventilated discs.

It also has a range of other visual cues to set it apart from standard A3 models, including a chrome grille and foglight surrounds, a bodykit including bumper extensions and a rear grey diffuser, two oval exhaust pipes and redesigned tail-lights and unique exterior mirrors.

Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard, as are Nappa leather sports seats and a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, while a flat-bottomed version is available as an option.

Comfort features include dual-zone climate-control, a Bose sound system, cruise control, Bluetooth mobile phone capability and rear parking sensors.

Six airbags including curtain airbags are standard, as is electronic stability control.

The S3 Sportback is available for the first time with optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), a feature already available in the TT and R8 as well as Australia's HSV models.

This feature sees the shock absorbers utilising synthetic oil infused with tiny iron particles which do not affect the oil flow during normal operation, but align to slow the flow of the oil when exposed to a charge, which in turn stiffens the damping tune. The firmer ride is activated by pressing a button on the dashboard. MRC costs $2400 with the S3 Sportback.

Another option available for the S3 Sportback is Audi Park Assist which, in the right circumstances, can park the car for you. It is able to parallel park as long as it deems there is sufficient space.

Using the information screen it indicates if the parking process can proceed, before the driver engages reverse and the system takes over the steering. The driver must still control the brake and throttle. This system is a $950 option.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new A3

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

A3 pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here