Some vehicles have power that virtually any driver can access, and the Audi RS 3 is one of them. Its vast performance reserves are kept in check by various driver-assistance systems, a clever dynamic suspension, and Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi’s dual-clutch transmission provides seamless gear changes without the technique or patience required for a stick shift. Inside the cabin, passengers have all of the comfort features and infotainment they want for the daily commute, and there’s a usable back seat, unlike in most sports cars. The BMW M2 has much more power and better handling, but it’s only available as a coupe, limiting its practicality. The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 costs less than the Audi RS 3 and is more luxurious, but it lacks some of Audi’s innovative technology.
In the world of Audi sedans, the most powerful and driver-focused among them are the RS models, and the Audi RS 3 is the most affordable ticket to this elite club. A 401-horsepower engine and advanced suspension provide the RS 3 with speed and handling to give supercars a run for their money.
The 2023 Audi RS 3 is built in one trim level. It comes standard as a four-door sedan with all-wheel drive.
Pricing for the Audi RS 3 starts at $60,900 before a $1,095 destination fee. Standard features are generous, with a limited-slip differential, 19-inch alloy wheels, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors, automatic LED headlights, fog lights, a power moonroof, memory side mirrors, auto parking assist, leather upholstery, front sport seats, a power driver’s seat, tri-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10-speaker audio system, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, in-car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a digital gauge cluster.
With a turbo 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, the Audi RS 3 produces 401 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. It links up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. The RS 3 has electromechanical steering with speed-sensitive assistance and a sport suspension with Audi’s DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) system. Large 14.8-inch front and 12.2-inch rear brakes quickly bring the Audi to a halt.
Step on the gas, and the Audi RS 3 rockets to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, onto an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. A 180-mph speed limit is optionally available, as are ceramic brakes.
Audi is known for making some of the best interiors of any brand, and while the Audi RS 3 isn’t as luxurious as larger sedans in the automaker’s lineup, it doesn’t disappoint. Though the cabin is small, there is a lot to like, with high-end materials gracing every surface. The seats are pleasantly firm and supportive, and the RS 3’s steering wheel is easy to hold and features compact paddle shifters. The infotainment screen and HVAC controls are angled towards the driver, a nice touch in a car built around the driving experience. The back seat is small but usable, while the trunk avails just 11.3 cubic feet of cargo space.