Audi RS3 review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Star rating
Audi RS3 RHD dashboard detail
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  • Audi RS3 2017 front tracking shot
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  • 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
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

With close to 400bhp, the Audi RS3 is stretching the very definition of a ‘hot hatch’ to its limits, and you might say the same thing about its price tag. It costs much more than the similarly posh but far slower Mercedes-AMG A35, but does undercut the BMW M2. Factor in the cost of carbon ceramic brakes and the optional adaptive dampers, and you’re looking at an A3 that’s not far off the cost of a BMW M4.

Unsurprisingly, fuelling, taxing, servicing and insuring it will cost more than if you went for one of the lesser models in the A3 range, too. At 194g/km the RS3 sits in the highest BIK company car tax bracket while its official fuel economy of 33.2mpg will seem like a distant dream if you start to enjoy yourself.

For some, however, those costs will be inconsequential. If you want the fastest and most luxurious hot hatch around, the RS3 is the one to choose.

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Audi RS3 RHD dashboard detail

Overview

The Audi RS3 isn’t the sharpest driving machine, but few hot hatches can match its all-weather pace and high quality interior. It’s also ridiculously rapid with an addictive exhaust note that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The only real issue is the frustrating automatic gearbox brought about by a 2019 facelift.

  • Incredible all-weather pace
  • High-quality interior
  • Good practicality
  • Less involving than main rivals
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Hesitant gearbox

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