Odds are, if you're reading this, you have a penchant for performance cars. If all of the specs and accounts of the 2018 Audi RS 3 are any indication, it's the real deal. It's based on the A3 entry-level luxury sedan that is already one of our top-rated cars. But it more than doubles the power output with a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, which churns out an impressive 400 horsepower that gets routed to all four wheels. Sign us up!
Standard feature highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, LED headlights, power-folding mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry/ignition, an adaptive suspension, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery, manually adjustable sport seats, split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a USB port and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
To those features, you can add the Technology package (a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote vehicle monitoring and control, a navigation system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a virtual instrument panel and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system); the Dynamic package (wider wheels and tires, a sport exhaust and red brake calipers); and the Dynamic Plus package (a higher top speed, a carbon engine cover, individual tire pressure monitors, front ceramic brake rotors and a fixed sport suspension).
Among other vehicles that are similarly priced with this kind of performance, the BMW M2 is the most direct competitor. For the money, you get more features with the RS 3. We haven't tested the Audi yet, but on specs alone, it's going to be a very close battle. The Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 is also in the class, but it's biased more toward the luxury spectrum rather than outright performance.
Otherwise, we'd look within Audi's own stable to the TT RS coupe as a possible alternative. We can't wait to try out the 2018 Audi RS 3, but in the meantime, use all of Edmunds shopping tools to see if it's a good fit for what you expect out of a compact sport sedan.
Is the 2017 Audi RS 3 a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Audi RS 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 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.
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What options are available on the 2017 Audi RS 3?
Available Audi RS 3 2017 Submodel Types: Sedan
Available Trims: quattro
Exterior Colors: Glacier White Metallic
Interior Colors: Black w/Rock Gray Stitching premium leather
Popular Features: AWD/4WD, Alarm, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Aux Audio Inputs, Back-up camera, Blind Spot Monitoring, Bluetooth, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Heated seats, Keyless Entry/Start, Leather Seats, Mobile Internet, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Navigation, Parking sensors, Post-collision safety system, Pre-collision safety system, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Sunroof/Moonroof, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, USB Inputs, Upgraded Headlights, Upgraded Stereo
Engine/Mechanics: 5 cylinders
Fuel Types: premium unleaded (required)
Drivetrains: all wheel drive
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.