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Expert Rating

Audi RS 3

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Expert Rating

Audi RS 3

(2021 - present)

    Summary


    Now in its third generation, the Audi RS 3 is an upmarket performance model based on the regular Audi A3 range, available as both a five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon.

    Arriving in late 2021, the RS 3 is the smallest member of Audi’s RS performance family. It has been warmly recieved by the UK media, with a large majority of road test reviews referring to the hatch rather than the saloon. Reviewers generally come to the conclusion that, while the RS 3 is an impressive performance package, its price is rather steep for a hot hatch of this size.

    “It isn’t cheap and some rivals are more playful through the corners”, What Car? concludes, “but otherwise tough to fault.” The cheapest version of the Audi RS 3 starts at nearly £50,000, which is significantly more expensive than other hyper-hatches of the same size, such as the Hyundai i30 N and Ford Focus ST.

    However, the RS 3 provides speed and acceleration that can rival some sports cars; performance that the i30 N and Focus ST simply cannot match. Powered by the same five-cylinder 400hp engine used by the Audi TT RS, the RS 3 accelerates from rest to 60mph in 3.8 seconds. This pace means that, from a performance standpoint, the only strong rival the Audi RS 3 faces is the Mercedes-AMG A 45.

    Reviewers also point to how well the car performs through corners too, compared to older iterations of the RS 3, and both the hatch and saloon versions have earned praise for their ‘engaging’ exterior styling.

    Finally, reviewers also comment that, while this is a class-leading performance model, it is still an Audi A3 at heart, being just as comfortable to drive as the wholesale model. Carwow explains: “The RS 3 isn’t hardcore all of the time, and can in fact settle down very nicely when you want it to. On the motorway, it feels comfortable and smooth – and you have that massive power on tap whenever you need it.”

    As of June 2022, the Audi RS 3 holds an Expert Rating of 76%, based on 12 reviews published by the UK motoring media.

    RS 3 highlights

    • Quality interior trim
    • Class-leading hot hatch performance
    • Comfort that other hot hatches can’t match
    • Five-cylinder engine sounds great

    RS 3 lowlights

    • Less storage space than the regular A3
    • Expensive base price, trims and options
    • Cheaper alternatives are more agile
    • So-so fuel economy

    Key specifications


    Body style: Medium five-door hot hatch and sports saloon
    Engines: petrol
    Price: From £49,415 on-road

    Launched: Winter 2021/22
    Last updated: N/A
    Replacement due: TBA


    Media reviews


    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

    Autocar

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    Car

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    Car Keys

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    Carbuyer

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    Carwow

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    Evo

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    Heycar

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    Honest John

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    Parkers

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    The Sunday Times

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    Top Gear

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    What Car?

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    Safety rating


    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 5 stars
    Date tested: December 2020
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 89%
    Child protection: 81%
    Vulnerable road users: 68%
    Safety assist: 73%

    The Audi RS 3 has not specifically been assessed by Euro NCAP, but it shares its safety rating with the regular Audi A3 range, which was awarded a five-star rating in December 2020.

    Eco rating


    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    No eco rating

    The Audi RS 3 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. If it happens, we’ll publish the results here.

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    As it was only launched at the very end of 2021, we don’t have enough warranty data on the Audi RS 3 to generate a reliability rating.

    The Car Expert’s reliability information is provided exclusive from extended warranty data from our partner, MotorEasy. As soon as MotorEasy has sufficient data on the RS 3, we’ll publish the score here.

    Awards


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the Audi RS 3 has received

    2022

    • What Car? Awards – Best Hot Hatch for Daily Usability

    Similar cars


    If you’re looking at the Audi RS 3, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    BMW M135i | Cupra Leon | Ford Focus ST | Honda Civic Type R | Hyundai i30 N | Mercedes-AMG A 35 | Mercedes-AMG A 45 | Renault Megane RS | Volkswagen Golf GTI

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    Audi RS 3The Audi RS 3 is rapid hyper-hatch and sports saloon that is highlighted for its impressive performance, as much as its expensive price.