2020 Audi RS 3

What’s new

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

Pros & Cons

  • 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
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2020 Audi RS 3 Review

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.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

7.9 / 10
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.

How does it drive?

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.

How comfortable is it?

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.

How’s the interior?

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.

How’s the tech?

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.

How’s the storage?

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.

How economical is it?

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.

Is it a good value?

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

There are no consumer reviews for the 2020 Audi RS 3.

Trending topics in reviews

    Features & Specs

    quattro 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    quattro 4dr Sedan AWD
    2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM
    MPG 19 city / 28 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission7-speed automated manual
    Horsepower394 hp @ 5850 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Audi RS 3 features & specs


    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
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%

    Audi RS 3 vs. the competition

    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


    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 quattro 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:

    • quattro 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 quattro 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 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM).

    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. 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 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)

    The 2020 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $57,195. The average price paid for a new 2020 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $2,060 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $2,060 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $55,135.

    The average savings for the 2020 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is 3.6% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 2 2020 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    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. There are currently 2 new 2020 RS 3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $60,895 and mileage as low as 0 miles. 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. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $4 on a used or CPO 2020 RS 3 available from a dealership near you.

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

    Find a new Audi RS 3 for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,598.

    Find a new Audi for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,849.

    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.

    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