Car Review: Audi unleashes the ultimate little sedan with a 400hp five cylinder powered RS 3

The Audi RS 3 sedan is a special car — not just a run-of-the-mill small luxury sedan. The RS 3 comes equipped with a different engine than most cars today. A five-cylinder turbo engine that packs a 401hp punch! It even won the “International Engine of the Year award.”

This engine has a unique sound when it is in full song and will have you hitting the gas often to hear it sing. The R S3 is more than a spectacular engine. It has standard RS sport suspension and dynamic chassis control that will impress with handling ability. You will need a racetrack to really explore what this car can do legally.

However, a day on terrific back roads will give you a hint of it. You will hop out after a day of fun and wish for more time. You can have fun all the time, luckily the RS 3 will treat you nicely in your daily driving.

The last Audi RS 3 lost a few points when it came to the looks that did not match performance. Now, the new RS 3 has a more aggressive look to better convey that it’s a serious sports car that happens to have four doors. The unique honeycomb grill really sets the tone. It is not all serious.

There is some fun like RS specific LED lighting that gives some checkered design and animation when you unlock the car. The flared fenders help swallow wide wheels and low-profile tires give this Audi a proper stance. The dual exhaust is integrated into the rear valance and it does not look like an add on or afterthought. If the looks does not convey sporty, the bright color options will push it over the edge.

Open the door on the RS 3 and you quickly notice this is not some bare-bones car just for the track. The fine Nappa leather seats with honeycomb stitching and carbon inlays really dress up this sports car. Rear seat space for this compact car has grown but do not expect an abundance of head and legroom for taller riders. A stubby shifter is tiny compared to what you usually see, but it is simple to use and looks cool. The excellent Audi 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is impressive with sharp display and graphics. The 10-inch MMI touch display is simple to use and there is still a redundant volume knob on the center console.

Cost: $58,900; as tested $64,845

MPG: 20 MPG City; 29 MPG Highway. I managed 22.1 MPG in 122 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $2,750 RS technology package; 350 Audi side assist with cross traffic alert; $1,100 RS sport exhaust system with black tips; $750 black optic package; $1,095 destination charge

Safety: parking system plus with park assist; head-up display with sign recognition; intersection assist; adaptive cruise assist with traffic jam assist; Audi active lane assist; Audi side assist with pre sense rear; Audi pre sense city low speed collision assist; top view camera system; rear cross-traffic warning

Things to know: Audi RS 3 will impress with a special five-cylinder engine with 401hp and incredible handling limits.


  • Performance from a rare five cylinder engine and handling that rivals two door sports cars
  • The interior combines sporty looks with more upscale materials
  • Has a sporty look with a more aggressive styling on the outside


  • High price tag when you check off on the option boxes
  • Ride is a bit firm for those not used to sporty sedans
  • Steering a touch light at higher speeds

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