New BMW M240i vs Audi RS3: costs

Thrills meet daily usability in these upmarket four-wheel-drive rocketships. But should we be listening to the gospel according to Audi or BMW?...

New BMW M240i Coupe side shot

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

If you’ve virtually ruled out the Audi RS3 already on the basis of its price, hold your horses just a minute. Yes, it will cost cash buyers a hefty £13,100 more initially, but it’s also predicted to depreciate at a much slower rate than the BMW M240i. Indeed, if you factor in all the costs you’re likely to encounter in the course of running these cars over a typical three-year period – including fuel, servicing and insurance – the difference to your pocket shrinks to around £1300.

The RS3 is a much dearer option for anyone signing up to a finance agreement, though. Put down a £6000 deposit on a four-year PCP contract and you’ll pay £729 a month, compared with just £525 for the M240i. It’s a closer-run thing for those planning to lease, but our research indicates the M240i is still the cheaper option by around £150 a month.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M240i costs

And if you’re hoping that the RS3 goes some way towards justifying its higher price by giving you more standard equipment, prepare to be disappointed. Both cars are actually very similar on the specification front, with 19in alloy wheels, cruise control, leather seats, LED headlights and climate control fitted as standard. You get front and rear parking sensors but have to pay extra for a rear-view camera.

You’ll also need to delve into the options list if you want either with adaptive cruise control, and there are more individual extras to choose from on the M240i. You can have an electric sunroof or a heated steering wheel, for example – neither of which is available on the RS3 Carbon Black.

Audi RS3 Sportback side shot

Disappointingly, the new BMW 2 Series failed to achieve Euro NCAP’s top five-star safety rating; it scored four stars overall. Based on sensors in a crash test dummy, concerns included weak protection of a 10-year-old sitting in the back during a side impact, along with poor pelvis protection of pedestrians.

The Audi A3 fared better on both counts and scored five stars overall, although testing was conducted back in 2020, so it doesn’t cover the RS3 specifically.

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