2021 Audi RS 3

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2021 MODEL
$56,200
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2021 Audi RS 3 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 10, 2020
Joel Sam Santhosh's image

Joel Sam Santhosh

Content Writer

Audi is expected to launch the 2021 RS3 model offering incredible performance and other features in late 2020 or early 2021. It is one of the best-selling sedans world-wide. Its previous generation models had terrific sales, urging Audi to facelift the new RS3. The brand has confirmed that RS3 sedan will receive a facelift with more trims, interior and safety features on offer but those are just speculations while reality could be much different. With a price tag under 60,000USD, it is currently offered in only one trim level.

See detailed review »

Pros

Great cabin experience

Easy-to-use infotainment system

Strong acceleration and grip

Cons

The ride is harsh in some situation

Cramped rear seats

Small cargo space

What's New?

New facelift

Updated infotainment


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 Audi RS 3 Review video

Styles

2021 Audi RS 3 in Glacier White Metallic color 2021 Audi RS 3 in Nardo Gray color 2021 Audi RS 3 in Ara Blue Crystal Effect color 2021 Audi RS 3 in Daytona Gray Matte Effect color
Glacier White Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

9.6

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Audi RS 3 Base

Base

power
394 hp @ 5850 rpm
fuel
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$56,200


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 7A) Starting at $56,200 MSRP (19/22/28) 394 hp @ 5850 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 5, Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded
7-Speed Dual Clutch all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

9.6

Overall Rating


Infiniti Q60 Redsport, BMW M2 Competition and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 continue to be its rivals with Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 being its major nemesis. The price of the new model is expected to be the same as the previous year. In addition, choosing between trims should be pretty easy as there is only one trim and it offers everything you can get in a Compact Luxury Sports Car. Here is our take on the 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan that is soon going to be on sale in the US market.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Front View
2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Rear View

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2021 Audi RS 3 Features

Audi RS3 is believed to onset in only one trim –Audi RS3 Sedan S-Tronic 2.5T, with many extraordinary interior, infotainment, safety and exterior features. The 2020 Audi RS3 was priced at 56,200USD and the upcoming model will not deviate much in its price.

Model

Standard Audi RS3

MSRP(AWD)

$56,200

Key Features

2.5L Turbocharged Inline 5

 

S sport seats in Fine Nappa leather with contrast diamond stitching

 

Full LED headlights

 

LED taillights with dynamic rear indicators

 

Leather or Alcantara steering wheel

 

MMI touch

 

Audi pre sense basic

2021 Audi RS 3 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Audi RS3 is included in the list of the best high-performance sedans being sold in the market. Every Audi variant is prone to minor issues. Like every other Audi car, RS3 also has to be maintained regularly for a good driving experience. With a decent warranty, maintenance and repair costs should not dent your pocket but still what Audi has to offer is better than its rivals. 

Reliability and Ownership Costs

J.D. Power report and customer reviews are two important references that every customer relies on. Audi RS3 has not been rated by J.D. Power for two generations. RS3 requires frequent maintenance all through its lifespan. The average repair cost of Audi cars is estimated at $300 per year. But the costs can be reduced through warranty and scheduled maintenance options. Every Audi service center is advanced enough to solve any unexpected problems.

2021 Audi RS3 costs $56,200 on average. The RS3 is one of the Audi cars that has a very high depreciation rate. After the first year, the RS3 is expected to lose 25 percent of its value but that number goes down as the year’s progress. Audi’s are among the most valuable and reliable cars in the market and the same holds true for the RS3. 2020 Audi RS3 had one safety recall defect due to the deactivation of airbags. Audi offers only one year of complimentary scheduled maintenance and infrequent free repairs. So, if you encounter a repair situation, be warned it’s going to be expensive.

Warranty

Audi RS3 offers competitive limited warranty and powertrain warranty. It offers good 24-hour roadside assistance for 4 years or unlimited miles.

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hour roadside assistance

4 years/ unlimited miles; whichever is earlier

Audi RS3 offers a similar basic warranty as BMW M2 Competition and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. None of the rivals can beat Infiniti Q60 Redsport in powertrain warranty of six-year/70,000-mile. Complimentary maintenance warranty 1 year or 10,000 miles is poor for Audi. BMW offers the same service for 36 months/36,000miles for M2 competition.

Miles per Dollar

In this we will be factoring the annual maintenance cost and how many miles the car runs on average in a year. We do not have an annual maintenance estimate for the 2021 mode and hence it has to say exactly how much miles per dollar u get. However, based on the average annual maintenance we are expecting the 2021 model to give roughly around 45 miles for a dollar. 

2021 Audi RS 3 Buying Advice

Audi RS3 comes only in one trim. We recommend you opt for the Dynamic package along with adaptive exhaust but keep the standard magnetic damping. By spending $2,000 on the navigation package and the driver assistance package, and the addition of all safety features keeps the sedan under $60,000. If money is not a constraint, then a lot of exterior and luxurious interior options can be added to the build. Also, when compared to its rivals Audi RS3 a stand top in performance and safety features and is reliable.

Is buying a car Audi RS3 a good idea?

As stated earlier, Audi cars need maintenance and its excessive costs can be halted when in warranty period. So, buying a used car reduces the warranty period and also increases the chances of frequent maintenance. It is better to go for the fresh one with all the fresh parts.

2021 Audi RS 3 Engine and Performance

The 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan will get a more turbulent engine than its previous model. A 2.5-liter TFSI turbocharged five-cylinder can be found beneath the hood similar to its predecessor but in an updated form.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Engine

This engine is powerful enough to generate a power of 414 Hp and a torque of 369 lb.-ft. A performance version will be unleashed later to produce a boosted power of 444 Hp.

Model

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan (Expected)

2020 BMW M2 Competition

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

MSRP

$56,200

$58,900

$54,800

$55,000

Engine

2.5L Turbocharged Inline 5

3.0L Turbocharged Inline 6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline 4

3.0L V6

Drivetrain

AWD

RWD

AWD

RWD

Transmission

7-speed Automatic

6-speed Manual

8-speed Automatic

7-speed automatic 

Power (HP@RPM)

394hp@6000rpm

405@5230

382@6500

400hp@6,400rpm

Torque (lb.-ft @ RPM)

354hp@2000 rpm 

406@2350 rpm

354@4750rpm

350lb-ft@1,600rpm

The beast under the hood along with 7 speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission coupled to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, adaptive electronic power steering and adjustable dampers work in chorus directly to put forward a delightful journey. 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan has a powerful engine to beat its rivals in the power field. BMW M2 Competition costs more than others but delivers an engine which generates more torque than any other competitors.

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan Acceleration and Braking Performance

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan is expected to have better acceleration than its forerunner. The acceleration figures are not yet disclosed. The 2020 Audi RS3 Sedan has a robust engine making it dash from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. It just takes 12.1 seconds to cover a quarter mile.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Accelerate 0-60 MPH Just In 3.9 Sec.

Moving on to the braking department, ventilated eight-piston front disc brakes of 14.6 inch and ventilated rear disc brakes of 12.2 inch helps to brake from 60 MPH to a standstill in just 109 ft. 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan is expected to have slight improvements in braking performance.

Model

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan (Expected)

2020 BMW M2 Competition

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

0-60 MPH

3.9 sec.

4.2 sec.

4.1 sec.

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec.

12.4 sec.

12.7 sec.

13.9 sec

Top Speed

155 MPH

174 MPH

155 MPH

N/A

60-0 MPH

109 ft

106 ft

121 ft

110 ft

Although Audi RS3 Sedan and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 have similar top speed, RS3 beats its rivals in the acceleration department. It takes very little time to cover 0-60 MPH and quarter mile when compared with its adversaries. 

2021 Audi RS 3 Fuel Economy

2020 Audi RS3 Sedan has an EPA estimated mileage of 23 MPG combined. Its mileage figures are not impressive but with a full fuel tank, RS3 Sedan can cover a maximum of 533 miles to overcome the other downside.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Instrumnet Cluster

We can expect a better fuel-efficient RS3 Sedan in the upcoming generation.

Model

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan (Expected)

2020 BMW M2 Competition

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

MPG (City)

19

18

20

20

MPG (Highway)

28

25

29

27

MPG (Combined)

23

20

23

22

Fuel Capacity 

14.5 gallons

13.7 gallons

13.5 gallons

20.2 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

409/533/458 miles

247/343/274 miles

338/473/378 miles

400/540/440 miles

Despite the fact that Infiniti Q60 Redsport has a large fuel tank, its range is not enough to beat Audi RS3. Audi RS3 offers a long-range with its large fuel tank. But its fuel economy figures are poor when compared with the most efficient Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.

2021 Audi RS 3 Interior

Audi RS3 Sedan offers luxurious and classy interiors that touches the heart of every car enthusiast. RS badges are engraved on the gear shift lever and steering wheel. Spherical AC vents, ambient LED interior lighting, elegant dashboard, leather or Alcantara steering wheel, door-mounted wing mirrors, dual-zone climate control and carbon fiber inlays are few highlights.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Front Seat

Moving on to the seats, RS3 Sedan offers room for 5 occupants. Nappa leather sports bucket seats with diamond stitching in red or Rock Gray thread depending on your choice gives the seats a sportier sensation. If you opt for Red diamond stitching, $750 will be added and also the silver air vents will be replaced by a red one. RS3 Sedan provides sufficient front and rear legroom. The seats are manually adjustable and also have electrically controlled lumbar support. The front seats are heated but the rear seats are not. Even though it is a 5-seater sedan, it will be a little bit tight if you pack 3 adults in the rear seats.

Model

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan (Expected)

2020 BMW M2 Competition

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

Seating Capacity

5

4

5

4

Front Row (Headroom/ Shoulder Room/Legroom) in inches

36.5/54.8/41.2

40.1/54.4/41.5

38.5/55.1/41.8

37.4/54.6/43.1

Second Row (Headroom/ Shoulder Room/Legroom) in inches

36.1/53.0/35.1

36.5/53.4/33.0

35.7/54.0/33.9

34.5/52.0/32.4

The RS3 has a trunk space 10 cubic feet which are extendable by splitting and folding rear seats. RS3 also has ample space for holding large water bottles, 2 cupholders to be shared among front and rear occupants and a small-sized glove box. Audi RS3 Sedan and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 offer 5 seats while the M2 and Q60 Redsport can only seat 4. All the rivals provide sufficient rooms in both front and rear. In terms of cargo space, Audi RS3 Sedan has the lowest trunk capacity while M2 Competition has the highest –13.8 cu-ft.

How is the 2021 Audi RS3 Sedan’s infotainment system?

2021 Audi RS3 holds the same infotainment features and technologies as its predecessor. To display information on performance, travel, entertainment and status of the vehicle, a 12.3-inch display is presented in the virtual cockpit. A 7-inch touch screen display is also included with standard Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto interface. Another main highlight feature is the MMI touch with handwriting-recognition technology. This allows you to control apps, navigation, music and telephone through a write input. These can also be controlled through steering-wheel controls and voice inputs.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Dashboard

SiriusXM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports are also provided for more pleasure. A phone box is also provided with dual functionality – wireless charging and signal booster. Entertainment is incomplete without the music system. RS3 Sedan adds in Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 thoughtfully placed speakers as standard and 705 watts of peak power for a tuneful and harmonious journey.

2021 Audi RS 3 Exterior

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan comes with enriched exterior designs. It gets updated wide fenders, black honeycomb front grille, bumpers, roof-mounted spoiler and 15 digital daytime running LED lights. The front remains unchanged.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan Third Quarter View

The rear end encounters a few modifications. Apart from 19-inch 5-spoke titanium-alloy wheels, the twin oval exhausts, diffusers, LED DRLs and the LED taillights with dynamic indicators are its signature features.

Model

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan (Expected)

2020 BMW M2 Competition

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2020 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

Curb weight

3593 lbs.

3600 lbs.

3660 lbs.

3882 lbs.

Length (in)

176.3

176.2

184.8

184.4

Width (in)

70.7

73.0

70.0

72.8

Height (in)

55.0

55.5

55.4

54.5

Ground Clearance (in)

N/A

4.6

3.9

4.9

Wheelbase (in)

103.6

106.0

107.4

112.2

Audi RS3 Sedan has 176.3 inches when computed from bumper to bumper, 70.7 inch in width excluding the mirrors, 55 inch in height and a wheelbase of 103.6 inches. On the whole, it is a small sedan when compared with its adversaries. Audi RS3 Sedan is the smallest and lightest among the rivals. It also possesses a short wheelbase. Infiniti Q60 Redsport has the highest figures in terms of exterior.

2021 Audi RS 3 Safety

2021 Audi RS3 Sedan gets the same features as its previous gen. Standard Audi pre sense basic with seatbelt pretensioners is a key safety feature to safeguard the passengers and driver during a crash by tightening the front safety belts and closing the windows and sunroof. Audi’s side assist features park sensors at the front and the rear ends along with a rearview camera. 

Other safety features include active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, rear cross-traffic assist, driver assistance, driver and passenger knee airbag, back-up camera, high-beam assist, and dual-stage driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags. 2021 Audi RS3 is not broadly tested by the IIHS or NHTSA. However, it may be tested later and may be given all the ranks similar to Audi’s A3.

2021 Audi RS 3 Competition

2021 Audi RS3 Vs BMW M2 Competition

Both are among the best Luxury Sports Cars that you can buy in the market and both are marketed towards driving enthusiasts. However, when it comes to driving pleasure the BMW is the winner even though it's underpowered.

2021 BMW M2 Competition

The reason is its manual speed gearbox. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a balance between driving pleasure and comfort the Audi is a better choice. 

2021 Audi RS3 Vs Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

It is very difficult to settle on the battle between RS3 Sedan and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. Both of them wins in one or the other fields. Audi conquers acceleration, braking and fuel economy departments while offers ample space inside for both passengers and the materials.

2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

Both of them have good infotainment and safety features. CLA 45 costs less than RS3 but if you can add a few dollars, it would be better to go for Audi.

2021 Audi RS3 Vs Infiniti Q60 Redsport

Audi RS3 Sedan beats Infiniti Q60 Redsport in almost all divisions. RS3 Sedan has a more powerful engine than Q60 generating much better power and torque. Moving on to fuel economy, RS3 stands slightly above Q60.

 2021 Infiniti Q60 Redsport

Interior and exterior features are slightly better than Q60, even the storage capacity. Wrapping up, Audi RS3 Sedan is better than Infiniti Q60 Redsport and you get much better features in RS3 if you add a few dollars to Q60.

2021 Audi RS 3 Final Verdict

Audi RS3 will be perfect for those who want a sporty sedan with a great engine and braking features, decent interiors and classy silhouette. If you need more seating and storage options, then you may have to get detached from RS3. RS3 has the best infotainment and safety features which are available within the budget. 2021 Audi RS3’s debut is not yet officially declared but is expected to be unwrapped later this year.