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Price, fuel economy, range and depreciation

If £37,000 sounds expensive given that the S3 won’t, in the fullness of time, rank as even the top-billing model in the A3 range, know that this is very much the going rate in 2020 for a premium-brand four wheel-drive hatch with around 300bhp.

The BMW M135i xDrive and Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic+ flank the Audi by around £500, and it’s worth noting that all three share similarly strong residuals. To sample the next rung up in the mega-hatch hierarchy – currently occupied by the 415bhp Mercedes-AMG A45 S, which will be joined next year by the RS3 – you would need to spend more than £50,000 and resist the temptation of bona fide sports cars such as the BMW M2 Competition.

S3 edges premium rivals in the short term, though the Mercedes-AMG A35 holds its value more effectively if you keep it for three years

Of course, in terms of specification, it’s unlikely many S3s will remain at £36,975. LED headlights and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit are among several useful features that come as standard, but unless you want your car in white or blue, you’ll need to spend more on paint, and many owners will then upgrade the standard 18in wheels.

Having electrically adjustable front seats, a reversing camera and the upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system will then push the price to more than £40,000.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Audi S3

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