Audi RS3 Sportback long-term test: report 6

Back in January, we named this 394bhp rocketship the best hot hatch for daily usability, but now we're putting that verdict to the ultimate test by actually living with one...

Long-term Audi RS3 France loading car

The car Audi RS3 Sportback Launch Edition Run by Will Nightingale, road test editor

Why it’s here To see if this 394bhp hot hatch is as easy to live with as we initially thought

Needs to Be the ultimate all-rounder: fast and thrilling when asked, but also relaxing on longer jaunts

Mileage 11,828 List price £58,480 (Carbon Black) Target Price £58,590 Price as tested £62,590 (based on Carbon Black with equivalent specification) Test economy 31.1mpg Official economy 31.0mpg

14 June 2022 – The French Dispatch

Our best hot hatch for daily usability proved how deserving it is of that What Car? Awards title on a recent trip to France. The challenge: 600 miles return with mum, sister and suitcases in tow.

The Audi RS3 handled the task with ease, munching through motorway miles and carving through Normandy's tight and twisty B-roads with a smile on the face of all on board (especially mine). It's not only a brilliant daily driver, I thought, but an exceptional grand tourer, too.

Long-term Audi RS3 France Hotel parking

I expected to have to compromise a little on boot space, because this generation of the RS3 is roughly 100 litres down on the standard A3 Sportback in terms of storage capacity due to its quattro four-wheel drive system. But the boot provided the perfect amount of room for our long weekend away and the four-wheel drive added confidence when any rain surfaced.

For some people, the RS3 may be a pocket rocket – a car designed exclusively for getting from A to B in the shortest time possible – but for me, this trip proved that it can also be an engaging and comfortable long-distance companion. And as a result, I’m going to start saving for one in the background.

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