Test Drive: 2016 Audi S3

As their bread and butter sales models have grown larger and more expensive over the last several years, the top three premium European auto manufacturers have introduced new entry-level models to the U.S. market to appeal to more budget-conscious buyers. Audi has the A3, BMW has the 2 Series and Mercedes has the CLA. Thankfully, all three of them have also built high-performance versions of those cars, which combine their smaller proportions and lighter weight with more horsepower, which is almost always a good combination. Audi’s S3, for example, is clearly based on the $30,900 A3 sedan, but it’s a big step up in performance, street presence, and price.