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2020 Audi S3 Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

What do you get with each? Find out below..
2020 Audi S3 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Premium vs Premium Plus

What 2020 Audi S3 Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

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Audi is one of the leading names in luxury vehicles, but theirs will not drain every penny out of your bank account. That is a big part of why buyers keep coming back for more. And, for the most part, Audi's vehicles do not disappoint. But what about the new 2020 Audi S3? Could it be the right car for you?

It certainly could, with its sporty nature, which drivers will prefer over the A3 if they want something with a lot of spunk. It only takes the S3 about 4.6 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, which is exciting indeed. It is also one of the more fuel efficient vehicles in its class, getting about 25 mpg combined (with 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway).

The S3 sounds like a pretty fun vehicle, right? Well, it is. But you will have to take the time to choose between one of its two trim levels. With a starting MSRP of just $2,600 between them, you might be tempted to go for the line-topping Premium Plus trim level. However, the base Premium trim also deserves your consideration. For being a base trim, it is loaded with a lot of nice things.

So, which trim level is right for you? Does one of them meet your needs better than the other? Read through to the end of this trim level, as we will announce which trim level presents the best deal for the average driver.

Compare the 2020 Audi S3 Premium vs Premium Plus Trims.  What is the difference?

Since we only have two trim levels to analyze, we will go a bit more in-depth with describing each trim and what makes them stand apart from one another. While we will focus on the differences, we need to start with the similarities, and there is one glaringly obvious similarity that you will note once you pop the hood.

The 2020 Audi S3 Premium and Premium Plus trims share the same engine. Both of the S3's trim levels are powered by a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine that musters up a strong 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This engine has a top speed of 155 mph when you take it out on the race track, and it gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, which is a fantastic time for this segment. It is certainly a lot speedier than the A3. The powertrain gets rounded out by a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and Audi's standard quattro all-wheel drive. This powertrain alone warrants a test drive, but there is a lot more to the S3's two trim levels that buyers need to know about before they decide to purchase.

First of all, you have to consider the fuel economy. EPA estimates for the S3's two trim levels both sit at a respectable 25 mpg combined (22 in the city and 29 on the highway). And real world tests show that these numbers are pretty closely matched, meaning that you should get somewhere around this rating in real life driving scenarios. For such a sporty vehicle in this luxury class, that showing is not too shabby.

Also, consider the features. Features are what can make or break a vehicle. And they tend to make the S3 even more exciting. Let us start off with the infotainment features. Standard infotainment features on the base Premium trim include a driver information system shown in color, a 7-inch MMI infotainment display set in the center of the front console, Audi's smartphone app integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a huge 10-speaker sound system with 180 watts, a single CD player, and MP3 playback capability. Also, you will get Audi's music interface, which includes 2 USB ports, HD radio, a complimentary 90-day trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a SDXC card slot with a 32GB operating capacity, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity with audio streaming on devices that are compatible with the system. Pretty nifty, right?

Well, the line-topping Premium Plus offers even more. The sound system gets upgraded to a fantastic Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers and 705 watts. The Audi phone box (a handy feature that has a signal booster and will charge your wireless devices) also gets included on the Premium Plus. It can be a helpful feature when you are toting your wireless devices around.

Now, it is important to go over what gets included inside of each of the S3's trim levels. The interior design on both is quite stunning and speaks to the fact that this is an elegant Audi vehicle. The Premium trim levels is heated and cooled by a dual-zone automatic climate control system, which means both rows of seating get an even distribution of air flow. The system works well at quickly heating up or cooling down the cabin, which is a huge bonus for those of us who live in places where temperature extremes are common. The activated charcoal air filter is a nice bonus. This is helpful when it comes to odor control, and having this kind of filter in your car can make a difference in air quality.

Other standard features found inside of the Premium's cabin include a 3-spoke multi-function flat-bottom sport steering wheel with paddle shifters and the signature S badging, a tilt and telescopic steering column, illuminated brushed aluminum inlays, a gear selector wrapped in leather, illuminated vanity mirrors for the front passenger's and driver's extending sun visors, and power windows with one-touch up/down functioning and power retention until you open the front door. You also get a panoramic sunroof, integrated child door locks on the rear doors, a black cloth headliner, the aluminum interior package (which puts aluminum on the window control trims, mirror control trims, door handle surrounds, and climate control vents), an ambient LED lighting interior package, and leather seating featuring the S emblem and contrast stitching.

The front seats are sport seats and come with extending thigh support. The driver's seat is 8-way power-adjustable with 4-way power lumbar support. There are also comfort head restraints for the driver and front passenger that are 4-way adjustable. The rear seats are 40/20/40-split folding. The front seats get standard heating and comfort folding arm rests. There are floor mats placed in the front and rear of the vehicle, a mat for the trunk, four beverage holders throughout the cabin, pedal caps set in aluminum-optic, and front door sill inlays done in illuminated aluminum and bearing the S badging.

If you think the Premium's cabin is fancy, the Premium Plus adds a few more touches to make itself look even more distinguished. An automatically dimming rearview mirror gets swapped in, and there is a digital compass built into it to help guide you along your journey. The interior storage package gets standardized as well, giving the Premium Plus USB charging ports for the rear seat passengers, a 12-volt power outlet in the trunk, and a grocery hook that is sure to come in handy.

Of course, you are probably wondering what type of safety and driver aids come on the 2020 Audi S3's two trim levels. There are actually quite a few, and the base Premium trim is pretty well equipped. This trim level has advanced airbags for the driver and front passenger, front thorax side airbags, knee airbags, and Sideguard head curtain airbags. It also has a safety belt reminder for those sitting up front, an easy to access LATCH system for child car safety seats, a power central locking system with a safety unlock feature that will activate if the airbags get deployed, electronic stability control, traction control, a secondary collision brake assist feature, an anti-lock braking system with brake assist and electronic brake pressure distribution, a tire pressure monitoring system, a rear view camera, and an electromechanical parking brake.

Driver assistance features on the Premium include Audi advanced key (which has trunk entry, keyless start and stop, and front door entry), rain and light sensing capabilities for the automatic windshield wipers and headlights, cruise control (which has resume, coast, and accelerate), Audi drive select, Audi pre sense basic, and Audi pre sense front.

Meanwhile, on the Premium Plus, you will enjoy the addition of Audi side assist with rear cross traffic alert, the parking system plus (which gives you acoustic parking sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle), a camera distance sensor, and high-beam assist. That sure does up the ante when it comes to safety, and for just a few thousand dollars over the base trim, it makes the Premium Plus all the more attractive to buyers.

But what about the outside? Is there anything on the exterior body that sets these two trim levels apart? The Premium comes with 18-inch 5-arm dynamic design wheels and stick performance summer tires (225/40 to be more precise), a Platinum Gray Singleframe front grille, front and rear fascia and side sills specifically designed for the S, exterior mirror housings set in aluminum-optic, high gloss aluminum trim around the outside of the side windows, a body-colored rear slip spoiler mounted to the trunk, S model quad exhaust outlets, a full array of LED headlights with all-weather lighting, headlight washers, LED taillights that have dynamic indicators, LED turn indicators built into the exterior side mirror housings, side mirrors that are power-adjustable and heated, heated windshield washer nozzles, and an anti-theft alarm system with a motion sensor included.

That sure is a whole lot of fancy bells and whistles, and the Premiums Plus trim level does not really add anything else to the mix. These two cars are built from the same lightweight material, too - a fully galvanized steel unibody with an aluminum hood and front subframe. This lightweight design helps give the S3 an aerodynamic feel, making it light on its feet (but not so light that a swift wind will carry it away).

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, CarsDirect & MotorTrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

With all of that being said, it is time to declare which 2020 Audi S3 trim level is the better buy. That honor goes to the line-topping Premium Plus. It does not cost a whole lot more than the Premium trim level, and it adds quite a few helpful and attractive features to the list. Getting those extra driver aids is a major bonus, and the 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is the icing on the cake. Its crystal clear sound is concert-like and a real 'must-have' for music lovers.

The Premium is actually a great base trim, but with its pricing being so close to the Premium Plus, the extra couple grand you will spend is easily justified when you consider how many more features come standard on the Premium Plus.

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