Audi RS3 Sportback long-term test

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

Audi RS3 front left static

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 15,212 List price £59,305 (Carbon Black) Target Price £58,590 Price as tested £62,590 (based on Carbon Black with equivalent specification) Test economy 29.8mpg Official economy 31.0mpg


16 August 2022 – A real drag

A couple of weeks ago we were given the chance to test a prototype of the Kia EV6 GT – a new high-performance version of our 2022 Car of the Year.

It’s an electric car with two enormous electric motors, more power than a Porsche 911 Turbo and an official 0-62mph time of just 3.5sec. That’s actually slightly quicker (by 0.3sec) than the Audi RS3, a car that costs about the same to buy but is as far from the idea of an electric car as it's possible to be.

Audi RS3 drag race

That gave my childish brain an idea: why not find out for sure by pitting the two cars against each other in a drag race? A quarter of a mile on a disused runway with a standing start. If nothing else, it’d be good fun.

For a full lowdown of what happened, just watch our video below, but the short of it is that the RS3 lost. I could come up with excuses on its behalf, including that the surface was dusty, and that I’ve posted faster 0-60mph and quarter-of-a-mile times on other occasions. I’d be clutching at straws, though, because in truth the conditions were identical for both cars.

So, the RS3 might not be the fastest car you can buy for £60k, but I really don't care. The gorgeous sound of its five-cylinder petrol engine more than makes up for the slightly softer (but still savage) kick in the back it gives when accelerating. And it's in a different league to the higher and much heavier EV6 GT around corners, because it's more agile and has much sweeter, more communicative steering.

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