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...

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What Car? team
17 November 2016

Our verdict

Ferociously fast, luxurious, reasonably practical and secure in all conditions, the RS3 has a lot going for it. But if you’re spending £45,000 on a hot hatch, you probably want it to be truly engaging to drive, and despite the changes Audi has made, the RS3 still places unflappable performance ahead of flamboyant fun.

The A45, on the other hand, feels like a wonderfully well-engineered machine, with incisive steering and an intrinsic balance that gives you the confidence to push it hard. Yes, the RS3 has a more exotic, charismatic engine, but if you want a grin-inducing driving experience rather than just the quickest hot hatch you can buy, the A45 is the better choice.

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1st – Mercedes-AMG A45

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

For Entertaining, incisive handling; sportier driving position; more compliant ride

Against Poor infotainment; cheap-feeling interior; so-so practicality

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Mercedes-AMG A45 review

Find a great Mercedes-Benz A-Class deal

2nd – Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45

For Bonkers performance; engine note; classy interior; slower depreciation

Against Straight-laced dynamics; grabby ceramic brakes; firmer ride; pricier to buy

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Audi RS3 review

Find a great Audi A3 deal

Also consider:

Specifications: Audi RS3 2.5 quattro

Engine size 5cyl, 2480cc, turbo, petrol

List price £44,300

Target Price £44,300

Power 395bhp @ 5850-7000rpm

Torque 354lb ft @ 1700-5850rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 3.9sec

Top speed 174mph

Claimed fuel economy 34.0mpg

CO2 emissions 189g/km

Specifications: Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic

Engine size 4cyl, 1991cc, turbo, petrol

List price £41,830

Target Price £39,740

Power 376bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 350lb ft @ 2250-5000rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 4.4sec

Top speed 155mph

Claimed fuel economy 40.9mpg

CO2 emissions 162g/km


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