Audi RS3 review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Introduction

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Audi RS3 2017 front tracking shot
Add to shortlist
  • Audi RS3 2017 front tracking shot
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3 RHD dashboard detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD distant front tracking
  • Audi RS3 RHD distant rear static
  • Audi RS3 RHD headlamp detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD offside front wheel detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD boot open
  • Audi RS3 2017 front tracking shot
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3
  • Audi RS3 RHD dashboard detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD distant front tracking
  • Audi RS3 RHD distant rear static
  • Audi RS3 RHD headlamp detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD offside front wheel detail
  • Audi RS3 RHD boot open
RRP £46,310What Car? Target Price from£44,538

Introduction

What Car? says...

In an effort to remain at the pointy end of the hot hatch horsepower pyramid, two German firms have been locked in an intense battle of numbers for more than half a decade. First, the Audi RS3 took the honour of being the most powerful hot hatchback when it was launched back in 2011, only for it to be edged out by the monstrous 355bhp Mercedes-AMG A45 just two years later.

Audi’s response was to increase power to a whopping 394bhp from its TT RS-sourced engine. Not only is it bigger in capacity than most modern hot hatch powerplants, it has an extra cylinder, too. Although it makes the engine smoother whilst remaining compact, the main upshot of the five-cylinder layout is a distinctive soundtrack that’s reminiscent of the far pricer Audi R8.

Naturally, power is sent to all four wheels and there’s only one gearbox option, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. With standard fit launch control, acceleration is on par with some serious sports cars, while inclement conditions shouldn’t prove too much of an issue for this five-door missile. Of course, being the priciest A3 of all, you can also expect plenty of standard equipment, too.

Will that be enough to lift the historically straight-laced Audi above the far less expensive, Honda Civic Type-R and Renault Megane RS? Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions on all aspects of the RS3, and to see how this musclebound A3 compares with the competition.

And, before you settle on your new hot hatch, remember that What Car? can save you an awful lot of money without any painful bartering with dealers. Just head to our New Car Buying pages for savings on thousands of new cars.

At a glance

Number of trims2 see more
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions29.7 - 29.7
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles

How much is it?

Our pick

BEST PETROL

OurPicks

Audi Rs3 RS 3 TFSI 400 Quattro 5dr S Tronic

Read full version review

What Car? Target Price: 44,538

RRP £46,310 Save at least £1,772

Get the best price

Also consider

BMW M135i

2019 - present

The BMW M135i combines a classy interior with enjoya...

Mercedes A35 AMG

2019 - present

Fast and grippy, if not the most rewarding drive.
 ...

Mercedes A45 AMG

2019 - present

The A45 AMG is incredibly rapid in a straight line, while...

Skoda Octavia vRS

The Skoda Octavia vRS is quick and spacious, although it can't...