Review: Audi RS3
The Audi RS3
The Audi RS3 is available in one style model, the Sedan and only 1 trim level with an MSRP of $56,200. It is essentially the greatest version of the A3. It’s been referred to as the ‘high-performance variant’ of the A3 and the S3.
The 2019 model introduced fixed sport suspension as an option and other adjustments to package features which are detailed below.
Expert test drivers note and give high ratings to the drive, interior and infotainment. Complaints are the tight passenger spaces and cargo, front seat height, firm ride quality and some luxury standard features being considered optional on the RS3. The Audi scores high with both testers and drivers. Expert drivers do debate the suitability for taller drivers, owner and rental drivers indicate that the car may be suitable for taller drivers.
The Audi RS3 comes in with a whopping 2.5L 5-cylinder 400hp engine featuring a 7-speed automatic manual dual-clutch automatic transmission. Standard options include adaptive suspension dampers and changeable drive modes. AWD is standard.
Expert test drivers note and give high ratings to the drive, interior and infotainment.
Safety and driver’s aids include front and rear parking sensors, heat power-folding mirrors, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. Exterior styling is geared towards the business executive with 19″ alloy rims with summer performance tires, panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, keyless entry, and ignition. Interior features include leather upholstery, heated seats, dual climate control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration, 10 speaker sound system.
While only offering 1 trim level, the Audi RS3 does come with a variety of targeted optional packages. These optional packages are technology, driver assistance package, dynamic, the black optic and the stand-alone.
Technology – Features WiFi hotspot, navigation, Virtual Cockpit, smartphone vehicle monitoring and control, and 14 speaker sound system.
Driver Assistance Package – Automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist.
Dynamic – Enhanced performance. sport exhaust, red brake clippers, wider front wheels, and tires.
The Black Optic – Same as the Dynamic but with blacked-out trim details.
Stand-alone – These features are limited to carbon fiber interior trim, premium vinyl-covered armrests and kneepads, and a fixed sport suspension.
The Audi scores high with both testers and drivers.
The closest competitor to the Audi RS3 is the BMW M2 Competition and the Mercedes-AMG CLA45. The BMW M2 Competition features a 405hp turbocharged 6-cylinder executive sedan. Despite its class, the M2 Competition’s interior is not suited to a commuter drive. Unlike the Audi RS3, the BMW M2 Competition boasts a tall roof and high seat position making the driver’s position feel spacious.
The Mercedes-AMG CLA45 starts at a much lower MSRP of $33,100. The A45 boasts many standard features and a 2.0L 4-cylinder 7-speed automated manual with 208hp on a front-wheel drive.
Expert and driver reviews
The transmission gets low reviewer ratings, while storage and safety features rate highly. Driving is rated very highly for the Audi RS3. Acceleration received a whopping 9/10 from Edmunds. Handling is also rated high by expert test drivers. Comfort does not get excellent expert ratings but is definitely serviceable for the executive class. It seems more of an executive’s business casual summer car.
The interior otherwise gets good interior ratings of 8/10 but the seating position did cause some complaints for taller users. While the Audi RS3 may have reduced cargo space, the way the spacious cabin and other cargo areas make up for the loss of space.
All surveyed drivers rate the Audi RS3 a 5/5.
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