New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45
With 395bhp and a £45k price, the new Audi RS3 is the heavy hitter of the hot hatch class. Only the Mercedes-AMG A45 can stand in its way...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
A good driving position is crucial in a hot hatch. Thankfully, the RS3’s is tough to fault, with the optional wing-backed Super Sport seats (£795) fitted to our test car being both comfortable and wonderfully supportive. Combined with an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel that has a wide range of height and reach adjustment, it’s easy to find your ideal driving position.
That said, you sit even lower behind the A45’s wheel and Recaro sports seats are standard. They’re more heavily bolstered than the RS3’s pews and, despite having less padding, are still surprisingly comfortable on long journeys – although our test car did have optional four-way adjustable lumbar support (£895 as part of the AMG Exclusive Package).
The RS3 is much classier inside, though, with a plethora of soft-touch plastics, well-damped switches and plenty of metal accents. Granted, some might find the predominantly dark grey interior a little too restrained, but the £895 optional RS Design Pack (which adds red accents around the air vents and contrast stitching) brightens things up a bit. The A45’s interior is, to be frank, a bit low-rent.