2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2018 Audi RS 3
MSRP
$54,900
2018 Audi RS 3

Pros

  • Potent acceleration and heaps of traction
  • Well-trimmed cabin
  • Enough practicality to serve everyday use

Cons

  • Snug back seat and small cargo area
  • Ride quality might be too firm for casual drivers


Which RS 3 does Edmunds recommend?

Available in only one trim level, the 2018 Audi RS 3 shifts your decision-making to the options list. Go for the Dynamic package, which will push the playfulness quotient and performance ceiling higher. We also like the Technology package for its connectivity features and Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster. Skip the Dynamic Plus package if you value a forgiving ride quality.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

For Audi nerds, the arrival of the RS 3 on U.S. shores is a big deal. This fire-breathing compact sedan has until now been forbidden fruit, with sales limited to overseas markets. The first handful of RS 3s arriving will bear a 2017 model designation and be identical to the 2018 model.

The RS 3 is what happens when you fortify Audi's class-leading A3 entry-level luxury sedan with a 400-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine. Naturally, the brakes and suspension have been upgraded to match, and most of the A3's and S3's optional equipment has been made standard on the RS 3.

It's Audi's answer to the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 and the terrific BMW M2, both potent performers in their own rights. The RS 3 is philosophically much closer to the Benz, with its transverse engine layout and all-wheel drive, while the BMW takes a more classic rear-drive approach. One thing's for sure — this is the kind of rivalry we can get behind.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Audi RS 3 as one of Edmunds' Best Sport Sedans for this year.

2018 Audi RS 3 configurations

The 2018 Audi RS 3 is a 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 hp, 354 lb-ft). 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, leather upholstery, heated eight-way manual sport seats with power lumbar adjustment, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats. Electronic features include 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 packages. The Technology package includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone vehicle monitoring and control, navigation, an expanded digital instrument cluster display (Virtual Cockpit) and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. There's also the Dynamic package (wider front wheels and tires, a sport exhaust and red brake calipers) and the Dynamic Plus package (a higher top speed, a carbon-fiber engine cover, individual tire pressure monitors, front ceramic brake rotors and a fixed sport suspension). Driver assistance features are bundled into a package, and there are two more packages that largely consist of cosmetic items.

Stand-alone options are limited to carbon-fiber interior trim, rear-seat side airbags and premium vinyl-covered armrests and kneepads.

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

Track numbers are one thing, but in the real world the RS 3's 400 hp and all-wheel drive promise to make it a point-to-point standout.

Comfort

The suspension tuning is firmer than even the S3's, so don't expect the RS 3's ride comfort to be smooth. But the supportive seats and well-crafted touch points will make long drives more pleasant.

Interior

With good visibility and decent headroom, the cabin is as functional as it is attractive. The front seats' standard extendable thigh support is a welcome touch.

Utility

The trunk is small but the 40/20/40-split rear seat can be folded down to carry long items such as golf bags.

Technology

There's an awful lot of technology features in the RS 3, but they're not cumbersome to use. The rising center infotainment screen is an entertaining touch, and the optional, expanded Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is terrific.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Audi RS 3.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

S3 upgrade well worth it
Mike,05/30/2018
From the initial test drive you’ll notice the power compared to the S3. While the 0-60 is impressive, where you can really notice the difference is 60-100. The virtual cockpit is incredible, showing you g-force, power and torque all at once (or your full music info, map, etc.). Ride is noticeably stiffer but adjustable when needed unless you get the pricy dynamic plus (skip it and get the other packages which give you more for your $).
2018 Red RS3
Jeff Allen,06/16/2018
I’ve had my car for a month now. I find myself inventing reason to drive it, trips to the store for no reason. It’s the only red one I’ve seen on the road to date. Powers great, handling is outstanding and the interior is both comfortable and nicely styled. It’s everything people are saying the RS is.
Fastest car on the road, plus most fun
Justin Bandt,08/24/2018
Everyone compliments the looks of the car. It's so much fun to drive and sounds awesome. When it starts up or when the turbo spools and the gears shift, the pop of the exhaust is so cool.
Best sedan ive ever owned!!
Bill P.,11/05/2018
If you're looking for a car that looks sharp, handles well, picks up like no others, And has the braking power to stop a tractor trailer, With All the luxuries you'll ever need, This is the car for you. With all the options like I have you're gonna spend some money. I will tell you it is Worth every penny. I buy a new vehicle every year and as I said this one seems to be the best 1 I've ever owned.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$54,900
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
400 hp @ 7000 rpm
See all 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan features & specs

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 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.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%

2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan for Sale

Audi RS 3 2018 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)
New 2018
Audi RS 3
quattro
(6)
Rockville Audi
19.2 mi away
MSRP$63,000
Est.Loan: $1,137/mo
View Details
Audi RS 3 2018 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)
New 2018
Audi RS 3
quattro
Audi Richmond
95 mi away
MSRP$68,425
Est.Loan: $1,237/mo
View Details

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More about the 2018 Audi RS 3

Fans of Audi performance models await the arrival of the 2018 Audi RS 3 with bated breath. Even if you're not a rabid Audi enthusiast, this 400-hp, all-wheel-drive, bite-size thrill ride might be right up your alley. Audi has offered its top-level RS cars in the United States before, but never before as a variant of the otherwise affordable and unassuming A3 sedan.

The first 200 RS 3s arriving at dealers will technically be 2017 models. Otherwise, the 2018 RS 3 is going to be the new model for everyone. Standard feature highlights on 2018 models 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.

If that's not enough for you, head to the options packages. The Technology package adds a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote vehicle monitoring and control, navigation, a virtual cockpit expanded instrument panel and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. Driving enthusiasts will gravitate toward the Dynamic package (wider front wheels and tires, a sport exhaust and red brake calipers) and the Dynamic Plus package (a higher top speed, a carbon-fiber engine cover, individual tire pressure monitors, front ceramic brake rotors, and a fixed sport suspension).

Direct competitors to the RS 3 include the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 and BMW M2. For a given price point, the RS 3 is probably the best equipped. We haven't tested the Audi yet, but all indications point to a dead heat among them performancewise.

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.

2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan Overview

The 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan is offered in the following styles: quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM).

What do people think of the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 RS 3 Sedan 5 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 2018 RS 3 Sedan.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 RS 3 Sedan featuring deep dives into trim levels including quattro, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan here.
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 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan?
2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedans are available in my area?

2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan Listings and Inventory

There are currently 2 new 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $63,000 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan for sale near you.

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Find a new Audi RS 3 for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $19,533.

Find a new Audi for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $16,412.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan and all available trim types: quattro. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Audi RS 3 Sedan include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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