2017 Audi RS 3 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Ridiculous power in a relatively compact car
  • Refined interior with excellent materials
  • Lots of high-tech features that are easy to use
  • Aggressive styling without being cartoonish
  • Limited interior storage and cargo space
  • Likely has a stiff ride quality
Other years
Audi RS 3 for Sale
2017
List Price Estimate
$31,915 - $36,888

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Which RS 3 does Edmunds recommend?

The 2017 Audi RS 3 only comes in one trim level, so you only have to decide on options. The Technology package adds some of the newest and coolest features, and the Dynamic package should push the performance ceiling higher. We'd probably skip the Dynamic Plus package, though, because it may make the ride quality far too harsh.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Start with a class-leading entry-level luxury sedan like the Audi A3. Double the power output with a 400-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine and upgrade the brakes and suspension to match. Sound like a good idea? Yes, we think so, too. The best part is, this idea has been realized in the 2017 Audi RS 3.

It benefits from all of the smart design and tech from the A3, giving it the kind of performance we're used to pulling out of dedicated sports cars costing much much more. With this in mind, the only real direct competitor is the BMW M2, which happens to be a staff favorite. The RS 3 does have it beat on paper with more power and all-wheel drive, so to say we're excited to test it for ourselves is an understatement. These cars have the makings of an epic shootout.

2017 Audi RS 3 models

The 2017 Audi RS 3 is an ultra-high-performance variant of the A3 and S3 sedans. It is available in a single trim level and is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine (400 horsepower, 354 pound-feet of torque). A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.

Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, automatic LED headlights, heated and power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, adaptive suspension dampers, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, heated front seats, leather upholstery, eight-way manual sport seats with power lumbar adjustment, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats. Electronic features include Audi's MMI infotainment system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a rearview camera, and a 10-speaker audio system with HD and satellite radio and a USB port.

Most of the RS 3's options are offered in bundles. The Technology package includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone vehicle monitoring and control, a navigation system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a digital gauge cluster display (Virtual Cockpit), and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. You can also get 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). Stand-alone options are limited to carbon-fiber interior trim and rear-seat side airbags.

Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

Driving

The RS 3 is all about performance, and by the specs and firsthand accounts, it's impressive. With 400 hp and all-wheel drive packed into this small sedan, we expect it to likely out-accelerate the BMW M2.

Comfort

We expect the RS 3's ride quality to be firmer than that of the already stiff S3, but the adaptive suspension should keep it from being overly harsh. If the sport seats in other Audi vehicles are any indication, these seats should provide a good balance of lateral support and comfort.

Interior

The RS 3 is a stylistically enhanced version of the A3, and its interior benefits from an understated design, tons of features, an easy-to-use interface and excellent materials throughout. Outward visibility is notably excellent, too.

Utility

The interior pockets and bins are modestly sized with just enough space for your personal items. The trunk tells a similar story, requiring you to fold the rear seats down if you need to transport items like golf bags.

Technology

Not only does the RS 3 have a ton of features and functionality, but they're easy to operate, too. The available virtual instrument panel enhances the feeling that Audi uses tech in a very smart manner.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Audi RS 3.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Car is extremely quick, handles incredibly well
jsr,09/16/2018
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)
The RS3 has a dual personality. While its suspension is firm and transmits road imperfections to the occupants, it's quite docile in "Comfort" mode, but toggle that to "sport mode" and it becomes a rocket ship glued to the pavement in corners and accelerating with an adrenaline rush that must be experienced to be believed. However, presumably in the interest of saving weight or emphasizing its role as a high performance sedan, features found on most other Audi sedans are missing. For example, the seats are manually adjusted, telephonic road assistance support is not offered, and the cruise control doesn't offer the drive the increment and decrement speed choices of 1 mph or 5 mph that Audi's "non-RS" sedans do. The biggest surprise, however, was the incredibly rapid depreciation ($20,000 in the first year I've owned it, with only 12,500 miles driven. That's partially forgivable in light of the smiles the car generates even sitting still (I've never had so many people come up and swoon over a car's appearance), and the enormous grins that cannot be suppressed as it rockets through the corners while generating those unbelievably musical exhaust notes in sport mode.

Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
400 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all Used 2017 Audi RS 3 features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the RS 3 models:

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 the blind spots and beeps if you signal for a lane change in that direction.
Rear Cross-Traffic Assist
Warns the driver if a car is approaching from the sides when backing out of a parking spot.

More about the 2017 Audi RS 3

Used 2017 Audi RS 3 Overview

The Used 2017 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's a good price on a Used 2017 Audi RS 3?

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Which used 2017 Audi RS 3s are available in my area?

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Find a used Audi RS 3 for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $15,445.

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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.

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