2020 Audi RS 3

MSRP range: $56,200
(1)
MSRP$63,205
Edmunds suggests you pay
Based on nearby sales up through June 7th
$54,108

What Should I Pay

2020 Audi RS 3 Review

  • Potent acceleration and heaps of traction
  • Well-trimmed cabin
  • Enough practicality to serve everyday use
  • Attractive, easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Snug back seat and small cargo area
  • Ride quality might be too firm for casual drivers
  • Front seats sit too high for tall occupants
  • Some driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise, are optional
  • Nardo edition adds special paint and a higher top speed
  • Part of the first RS 3 generation introduced for 2017

The Audi RS 3 is a true pocket rocket. It combines the small body of the regular A3 sedan with a 394-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. It also comes with a performance suspension, upgraded brakes and, as is typical for a high-performance Audi, standard all-wheel drive. While the styling may be low-key, the distinctive howl from that five-cylinder engine is anything but, and the RS 3 will make its presence known with just a mash of the gas pedal.

Most manufacturers save this kind of performance for much larger cars, but strong competition can be found in the BMW M2 Competition, which offers a similar size and similar thrills. Mercedes-Benz has also just introduced its performance version of its A-Class sedan, the AMG A 35. If you're looking for a bit more practicality than a sports car can offer but still value a compact size with plenty of power, the RS 3 is absolutely a future classic.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
Once forbidden fruit, the RS 3 has been lurking in the U.S. market for the last few years. Wrapped with relatively plain styling, the RS 3 is shockingly fast as well as practical and fairly comfortable. With one of the best-sounding engines on sale today, we only wish the RS 3 was slightly less expensive and more fun at lower speeds.
If there's one thing that isn't in question with the RS 3, it's performance. Launch-control acceleration is stellar, braking is confidence-inspiring, and handling is incredibly accessible. But like a good sled dog, this little guy is happiest running at full speed, not trotting through the neighborhood.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is smooth and quick to answer shift commands from the steering wheel paddles. But sometimes the RS 3 needs a moment to respond to a full throttle request. It often leaves you a step behind where you want to be.
Most sport-oriented vehicles require concessions in terms of comfort. Our test car had the optional Dynamic Plus package, which adds a fixed suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes. With it, the ride is stiffer than the average small sedan's. It's busy but not likely to offend you if you're shopping performance-focused vehicles.

Wind noise is well isolated at most speeds, but road noise ranges from mild to moderate depending on speed and road surface. Dynamic mode opens the exhaust flaps, amplifying the unique voice of the inline-five engine. Our test car's ceramic brakes squealed on occasion under light pressure when slowing to a stop.
Audi's infotainment interface is advanced yet user-friendly. The fully digital gauge cluster takes a little time to learn but is highly functional once you get the hang of it.

Entry through either the front or rear doors is shockingly easy thanks to the swept-back door openings. Forward visibility is good thanks to the low door-mounted mirrors, though the top of the windshield might impede visibility for taller drivers. The rear headrests take up about 25% of the rear view and cannot be collapsed out of the way.
The RS 3's excellent audio and navigation systems are both pleasing and easy to use, and integrating your smartphone couldn't be more seamless. We did, however, expect more advanced driver aids at this price.

Our test RS 3 came with parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera. Adaptive cruise control is optional, which is a bit surprising at this price point. Some of our drivers thought the stability control system steps in too aggressively during enthusiastic driving.
The RS 3 is an example of how small sedans can still be very useful. At 10 cubic feet, its trunk is about 3 cubic feet smaller than the class average. But because the cabin has been well thought out, there is less compromise than you might expect. A rubberized area ahead of cupholders is a perfect space for a smartphone or pair of sunglasses. The door pockets are a decent size and will fit a large water bottle.
The EPA estimates the RS 3 will get 22 mpg (19 city/28 highway), which is about average for a small performance sedan. We averaged 19.4 mpg over the course of two weeks of driving. On our 115-mile evaluation route, we observed 24.3 mpg. We expect you'll be able to match the EPA numbers if you aren't constantly hard on the throttle.
The RS 3 might not be the bargain of the segment, but its price premium isn't unwarranted. Though a few small areas cheapen the feel of the RS 3, it still has one of the nicest-designed and highest build-quality interiors in the class.

The main things that make the RS 3 feel a little cheap are the manual seat adjusters and plastic paddle shifters (we'd expect solid-feeling metal shifters for a performance car like this). Otherwise, the rest of the cabin is solidly constructed.
Audi always nails the design and temperament of its cars, and for that we applaud it. We love the way the RS 3 drives and handles when you're really going for it. But if you're just driving around town, the fun factor is only mediocre.

If Audi does one thing well, time and time again, it's understated style. The RS 3 is definitely a sleeper sport sedan.

Which RS 3 does Edmunds recommend?

With no trim levels to choose from, we'd option the RS 3 up with the Dynamic package for the wider tires and the sport exhaust system. We'd also spring for the Navigation package, which includes the slick, fully digital instrument panel. We'd urge you to skip the stiff RS sport suspension, even if it is a no-cost option, unless maximum performance is a top priority.

Audi RS 3 models

The 2020 Audi RS 3 is offered in only one trim with several option packages available as the way to add equipment. The RS 3 comes standard with a 394-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Highlighted features and desirable option packages include:

Every RS 3 comes with:

  • LED headlights
  • Leather sport seats
  • An adaptive suspension
  • 14-speaker audio system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

The optional Dynamic package includes:

  • Staggered-width 19-inch wheels
  • Sport exhaust

Get the Driver Assistance package if you want:

  • Traffic-adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring

The Navigation package adds:

  • Digital instrument panel (Virtual Cockpit)
  • An integrated navigation system
  • Handwriting recognition touchpad

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Audi RS 3.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
1 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • ride quality
  • handling & steering

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Amazing
John C.,
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)
The build quality, the power, and the handling. Its a drivers dream ride.

2020 Audi RS 3 video

JONATHAN ELFALAN: Ladies and gents, that is an Audi RS 3. So what makes this car special? Well, it's based off of the Audi's popular A3. But it has double the horsepower, 400 horsepower 354 pound-feet of torque, Quattro all-wheel drive. What else do you need? Let's go. OK, so the RS 3 only really comes in one configuration. That's with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, as well as the turbocharged inline-five Now, as much as we like manual transmissions, I can't really argue with this box because it makes things really easy. Especially if we're trying to get the best acceleration time here. So to start, we're just going to leave everything as is, as if you were to just turn on the car and mash the gas. Drive. Auto. And here we go. All right. This car gets off the line pretty good. There's about a half-a-second delay in between when I put my foot down and when it actually leaves. But after that, once the engine spools up, there's really not much-- there's not much waiting after that. Let's turn ESC off. Sport mode selected. OK, so for launch control, Audis in the past that we've tested, generally, you just mash the brake, mash the accelerator, and something fantastic is supposed to happen. All right here we go. Oh, yeah. Oh, that's much better. [LAUGHS] Woo. What an improvement. OK, so driving this car around, you get a sense that there's a little bit of turbo lag down in the lower ranges. And only when you're really going for it does it feel like it stays within its power band. So if you can take that terrible lag out of the equation, the result is pretty great. So we dropped a full second off of our 0 to 60 time, zero wheel spin off the line. So we confirmed that the RS 3 is fast, as suspected. But take a corner. Let's go find out. I really wasn't expecting it to actually handle this well. It's got a little bit of weight over its nose, just like the TT RS. So the weight bias is closer to, like, 58% over the front. And so I was expecting it to be a little bit more pushy, a little more prone to understeer. It actually feels like it has a little better balance, and the Quattro all-wheel drive system actually adjusts as you change the mode. So it's looking at sending more of the torque back to the rear wheels. It can only do so much because this is a front-drive system. You're not going to be able to send a ton to the back. It's usually maybe up to 50%. Despite the front bias nature, it feels relatively well-balanced. This has a staggered front-to-rear setup. But this time, it has the bigger tires on the front end, 255-millimeter wide tires versus 235s for the rear. And what that's going to do is it's going to provide this car more front grip than it does rear. So you notice I'm shifting gears with the paddles here. There's good response from the paddles. You don't have to wait a whole second for the gearshifts to actually occur when you ask for them. Audi actually also has this sport mode here that I'm going to switch into. It's supposed to do the shifts for you. It does a pretty good job. It's not as aggressive as we would be with the paddles, so it's downshifting as you're exiting a corner, not really setting you up ideally for the exit. But again, with this dual clutch being so quick, it reduces the number of things you have to think about when you're driving. So while it's maybe not as playful as a rear-drive car, it's definitely more confidence-inspiring. It's probably suitable for somebody that may not have a ton of track experience. It's a little bumpy. And that's because we have the optional dynamic sport plus package, which outfits the RS 3 with a thick suspension, carbon ceramic front brakes, and a couple of other things. Good for, I think, dynamics. As a daily driver, it's definitely going to be a little too busy for most. Standard equipment in this is Audi's magnetic ride adaptive suspension. And that's going to give you options. You can run in comfort mode. You can run in auto. And then you have a dynamic setting, so that's going to have a specific tuning for the RS. And I think that should work pretty well. And then you don't have to put up with the ultra-stiff suspension when you're just going out for groceries. This inline-five this isn't a perfect engine. It has a little bit of turbo lag that really manifests itself when you're not driving it hard. In this situation, it works fantastic because you're always in the boost, you're always higher in the revs, and you never really have a chance to fall out of that. When you're driving this on the street, off the line, I've been in situations where it took a half a step too long for the boost to come in, and I found myself not being able to merge or make, like, the lane changes quick because there was a car coming up in the other lane. And I found myself in those situations more often than not. It's a shame, because I really like this engine. And when you're wailing on it, it's insane how quickly you can drive this thing. This is the interior of the RS 3.R And as you can see, it looks very similar to an A3. So Audi does a really good job with their design. It's elegant, but it's not overdone. It's functional, but it isn't plain. They strike probably one of the best balances between remaining very functional and easy to use, but also making everything look clean. But we've got this really nice, big digital dash that Audi calls its virtual cockpit. It's fully configurable. You can have a large tach in the front if you're driving this thing spiritedly, or you can have it set to display an entire navigation map. The way that this differs from other cars, like the TT RS or the R8 is it has a secondary screen. It actually retracts and pops up when you need it to. They've split the functionality a little bit between the screens, so you don't have to control all the vehicle settings and stuff through here with the thumb wheels. These sports seats are pretty nice. They've got this quilted leather with contrast stitching. You've got the RS logo embossed on the seats, a little bit of ventilation on the back. But what I found surprising is these things are manually adjustable. So everything but the lumbar control is manual. Typically, when seats have manual controls, they're these very aggressive, very track-focused bucket seats. It gives you a finer degree of adjustment for dynamic driving. These things, not so aggressive. Like the bolstering is there, but it doesn't quite hold you in that well. I was moving around a lot when I was on a track. It just makes your everyday routines a little more cumbersome. I think Audi had the idea of these seats being sport-focused because this is an RS vehicle. They didn't go all the way. We've got some alcantara inserts that are also RS-specific. We got some alcantara on the gear shift, we've got some alcantara on the door here. These carbon inserts, I wouldn't need to have them. I think they're an additional cost. But we also have nice alcantara lining on the steering wheel. If I had to nit-pick a little bit about the interior, it would have to be that these vents fall a little below the quality of everything else. In other cabins, Audi has actually integrated the air conditioning controls in the vent, so that it gets rid of this whole lower section down here. And you've got these really trick AC controls built into the center of the vents, and that really cleans up the design. So I understand that the standard A3 follows the same design, so they couldn't really reinvent the vents here. But just for an RS vehicle, you expect a little bit more. And the very last thing I'd like to point out are the paddles. The paddles, they're functional, but they're just a little cheap. For as much as you're using them, you'd really like to feel something that's a little bit more substantial. All in all, this is a very well-done cabin. We're going to continue to enjoy the things that Audi puts out. So, guys, that is the Audi RS 3, an exciting new addition to the segment. And some might even say the new leader. If you like this video, be sure to subscribe. And for more information, check out edmunds.com. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2017 Audi RS 3 Track Test

NOTE: This video is about the 2017 Audi RS 3, but since the 2020 Audi RS 3 is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$56,200
MPG & Fuel
19 City / 28 Hwy / 23 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: all wheel drive
Transmission: 7-speed automated manual
Engine
Inline 5 cylinder
Horsepower: 394 hp @ 5850 rpm
Torque: 354 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 176.3 in. / Height: 55.0 in. / Width: 70.7 in.
Curb Weight: 3593 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 10.0 cu.ft.

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Safety

Our experts’ favorite RS 3 safety features:

Audi Pre Sense Basic
Senses when a front collision is imminent. Can tighten the seat belts, power up the windows, and close the sunroof automatically.
Audi Side Assist
Alerts you if a car is approaching or lurking in a blind spot and beeps if you signal for a lane change in that direction.
Rear Cross-Traffic Assist
Warns you if a car is approaching from the sides when you're backing out of a parking spot.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover10.9%



Audi RS 3 vs. the competition

2020 Audi RS 3

2020 Audi RS 3

2020 BMW M2

2020 BMW M2

Audi RS 3 vs. BMW M2

With robust power and balanced handling, the M2 is a more fluid backroad companion than the RS 3. As a bonus, you can get a manual transmission in the BMW. But its ride quality is pretty stiff, and it lacks the four-door practicality you get with the RS 3.

Compare Audi RS 3 & BMW M2 features 

Audi RS 3 vs. BMW M4

The M4 leans a bit closer to being a true sports car than the RS 3. It's also larger than the Audi but not necessarily more practical. We like the grunt from the M4's turbocharged engine, but the roads need to be perfect to get the most from the chassis. The RS 3 can be pushed harder across a wider array of conditions.

Compare Audi RS 3 & BMW M4 features 

Audi RS 3 vs. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The new kid in class in the AMG A 35, which is based on Mercedes-Benz's excellent A-Class sedan. It might be down on power and overall performance when compared to the RS 3, but it also costs a lot less and packs a more modern and tech-forward interior than the Audi.

Compare Audi RS 3 & Mercedes-Benz A-Class features 

FAQ

Is the Audi RS 3 a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 RS 3 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.9 out of 10. You probably care about Audi RS 3 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RS 3 gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the RS 3 has 10.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Audi RS 3. Learn more

What's new in the 2020 Audi RS 3?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Audi RS 3:

  • Nardo edition adds special paint and a higher top speed
  • Part of the first RS 3 generation introduced for 2017
Learn more

Is the Audi RS 3 reliable?

To determine whether the Audi RS 3 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the RS 3. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the RS 3's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2020 Audi RS 3 a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Audi RS 3 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 RS 3 and gave it a 7.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 RS 3 is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2020 Audi RS 3?

The least-expensive 2020 Audi RS 3 is the 2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $56,200.

Other versions include:

  • 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $56,200
Learn more

What are the different models of Audi RS 3?

If you're interested in the Audi RS 3, the next question is, which RS 3 model is right for you? RS 3 variants include 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM). For a full list of RS 3 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Audi RS 3

2020 Audi RS 3 Overview

The 2020 Audi RS 3 is offered in the following submodels: RS 3 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM). The 2020 Audi RS 3 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The 2020 Audi RS 3 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2020 Audi RS 3?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Audi RS 3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 RS 3 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 RS 3.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Audi RS 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 RS 3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2020 Audi RS 3?

2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)

The 2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $63,205. The average price paid for a new 2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $9,097 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $9,097 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $54,108.

The average savings for the 2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is 14.4% below the MSRP.

Which 2020 Audi RS 3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Audi RS 3 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Audi RS 3.

Can't find a new 2020 Audi RS 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Audi for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $11,042.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2020 Audi RS 3?

2020 Audi RS 3 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM), 7-speed automated manual, premium unleaded (required)
23 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/28 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG23
Transmission7-speed automated manual
Drive Trainall wheel drive
Displacement2.5 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase103.6 in.
Length176.3 in.
Width70.7 in.
Height55.0 in.
Curb Weight3593 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2020 Audi RS 3?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Audi lease specials