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...

Author Avatar
What Car? team
17 November 2016

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Hot hatches aren’t often bought primarily for their practicality, even if both cars in this test come with five doors. However, it’s important to remember that one of the key attributes of a hot hatch is that they demand fewer compromises than similarly priced sports coupés. Therefore, the fact that the RS3 offers fractionally more rear head and leg room than the A45 is not something to be sniffed at.

The RS3 also has a far more usable boot, thanks to its extra length and wider aperture; it managed to swallow five of our carry-on suitcases, whereas the A45 could manage only four. The big lip at the A45’s boot entrance is annoying when loading and unloading heavy items, too.

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

Both cars come with 60/40 split-folding rears seats. Once the seats are folded down, neither car has a completely flat extended load bay, but the RS3 remains the more practical of the two, thanks to a height-adjustable floor that reduces the load lip and ensures there’s no step up to the rear seats when they’re laid down.

Audi RS3

Official boot capacity 335-1175 litres Suitcase capacity 5

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

RS3 has a better-shaped boot, while there’s slightly more leg room in the rear and more head room throughout. Interior is quite restrained, despite red accents; wing-backed Super Sport front seats are a must-have option at £795.

Mercedes-AMG A45

Official boot capacity 341-1157 litres Suitcase capacity 4

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

A45’s boot is roughly the same size as the RS3’s, but a high load lip and a narrower aperture impede access. Up front, excellent standard Recaro sports seats sit you lower than in the RS3, but the interior isn’t as classy overall.