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2019 Audi RS 3

What’s new

  • Minor adjustments to package features
  • Fixed sport suspension now available as stand-alone option
  • Part of the first RS 3 generation sold in the U.S. starting in 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
Other years
2019
Audi RS 3 for Sale
MSRP
$56,200
MSRP Starting at
$56,200
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$58,590
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$58,590

Save as much as $6,141
Select your model:
Save as much as $6,141
MSRP
$56,200
MSRP Starting at
$56,200
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$58,590
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$58,590

Save as much as $6,141
Select your model:
Save as much as $6,141


Which RS 3 does Edmunds recommend?

The RS 3 is available in only one trim level, so your decision-making comes down to the options list. We like the Dynamic package, which pushes the playfulness quotient and performance ceiling higher, and the Technology package for its connectivity features and its high-resolution Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster. Skip the fixed sport suspension if you value a forgiving ride quality.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.9 / 10

It's the sad lot of American buyers that we're often deprived of the world's more entertaining cars. But once in a while, a high-performance sedan such as the Audi RS 3 gets past the market and regulatory gatekeepers.

This fire-breathing compact was forbidden fruit until late 2017 when the first models arrived at U.S. ports. The RS 3 is what happens when you fortify Audi's class-leading A3 sedan with nearly 400 horsepower, all-wheel drive, upgraded brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. There's also most of the optional equipment from the A3 and the sportier S3 models.

Nothing much changes for 2019. Last year's optional Dynamic Plus package has been dropped, but the fixed sport suspension that came with it remains as a stand-alone option. It amps up the RS 3's handling ability beyond the standard adaptive dampers, but it rides firm enough that it's best left to hardcore enthusiast drivers.

Other key options for high performance from a small European car include Audi's TT RS (a similar take, just with two fewer doors), the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45 and the terrific BMW M2 Competition. The RS 3's sedan body style and all-wheel drive make it closer philosophically to the Benz, while the BMW follows a classic rear-drive coupe approach. One thing's for sure: The days of Americans not getting the good stuff seem to have ended.

2019 Audi RS 3 models

The 2019 Audi RS 3 is a high-performance variant of the A3 and S3 sedans. It is available in a single trim level and powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine (394 horsepower, 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 power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, adaptive suspension dampers and selectable drive modes.

Interior highlights include dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, heated eight-way manual sport seats with power lumbar adjustment, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.

Onboard tech 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. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert also come standard.

Most of the RS 3's options are offered in packages. The Technology package includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone vehicle monitoring and control (Audi Connect Prime and Plus), integrated navigation, an expanded digital instrument cluster display (Virtual Cockpit), and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. There's also the Driver assistance package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic high beams.

For slightly enhanced performance, get the Dynamic package for its wider front wheels and tires, a sport exhaust and red brake calipers. The Black Optic package is similar but adds blacked-out exterior trim details.

Stand-alone options are limited to a fixed sport suspension (which replaces the adaptive dampers), carbon-fiber interior trim, rear-seat side airbags, and premium vinyl-covered armrests and kneepads.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Audi RS 3 (turbo 2.5L inline-5 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

Scorecard

Overall7.9 / 10
Driving8.5
Comfort7.0
Interior8.0
Utility8.0
Technology8.0

Driving

8.5
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.

Acceleration

9.0
The RS 3 tops the pint-size performance segment in power and has no trouble getting it to the ground with all-wheel drive, which also makes it the quickest to 60 mph at 4 seconds flat. But there is some delay between full throttle and takeoff as you wait for the turbocharger to come online.

Braking

8.0
In casual braking, the optional carbon-ceramic discs have a little less grab than traditional brakes, which takes some acclimation. Hard stops from 60 mph also require more pedal effort. But the brakes delivered ultra-stable, consistent and fade-free runs at a laudable 110 feet.

Steering

8.5
The steering is adequately communicative and accurate relative to your inputs. It significantly quickens the more you turn the wheel, for less effort in slow turns. Varying levels (modes) of effort are well-tuned for their purposes, but the lightest Comfort setting borders on oversensitive.

Handling

8.5
The RS 3 doesn't have the fluidity you'd get from a rear-wheel-drive performance car. But with its grippy, extra-wide front tires, it's able to enter, move through and exit corners with incredible point-and-shoot speed. It's designed to be driven rapidly without requiring high levels of driver skill.

Drivability

7.0
The seven-speed dual-clutch is smooth and quick to answer shift commands from the steering wheel paddles. But when caught off guard, the RS 3's engine often takes a moment to respond to a full-throttle request, leaving you a step behind where you want to be.

Comfort

7.0
There are concessions to make with most sport-oriented vehicles in terms of comfort. If not for the Dynamic Plus package, which adds a fixed suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes, the RS 3 would be more comfortable to live with. But it's not bad considering its performance level.

Seat comfort

7.0
The sport seats are fairly comfortable, but they lack the support we'd expect in a car this capable. The quilted perforated-leather seatbacks help breathability, and there's a fair amount of positional range. The manual-only adjustments (except lumbar) are inconvenient.

Ride comfort

7.0
The ride is stiffer than the average compact, which increases busyness but likely not to an offensive degree for someone shopping performance-focused vehicles. Our test vehicle ditched its stock adaptive suspension for the optional fixed RS suspension, which we suspect trades some comfort for performance.

Noise & vibration

7.0
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 exhaust flaps, amplifying the unique voice of the inline-five engine. Our tester's ceramic brakes squealed on occasion under light pressure when slowing to a stop.

Climate control

8.0
The dual-zone climate control works well and maintains cabin temps during long drives. Syncing the driver and passenger zones takes some button experimentation, but eventually you'll figure it out. The fan doesn't blow strong, but the seat heaters get toasty quick.

Interior

8.0
Audi's control interface continues to be one of the most advanced and user-friendly in the industry. We are impressed by how easy it is to scoot into the cabin and how much legroom is available once inside. There are only a couple of minor issues concerning visibility and headroom to contend with.

Ease of use

8.0
The fully digital gauge cluster takes a little time to learn, but it proves highly functional once you're up to speed. Audi's central MMI infotainment system is also pretty easy to figure out and won't require an instruction manual to operate most functions.

Getting in/getting out

8.5
Entry through either the front or rear doors is shockingly good. The smart, swept-back door openings provide good head clearance with easy step-overs. You sit down a bit into the car, but that's expected for this class. Also, four shorter sedan doors are easier to wield than two longer coupe doors.

Driving position

7.0
The seat provides precise incremental manual adjustments but doesn't sit low enough, even for an average-size person. Those taller than 6 feet may find it more of an issue. The steering wheel has an adequate amount of reach and tilt adjustment, but we wouldn't call it generous.

Roominess

7.5
An average-size person can sit behind a similar-size person with ample legroom. But taller or longer-torsoed occupants will likely need to slouch some to avoid brushing their hair on the headliner. The seat width will be comfortable for four adults but a little tight for five. It's best in legroom but third everywhere else.

Visibility

7.5
The rear headrests take up about 25% of the rear view and cannot be collapsed out of the way. But you can remove them or fold the seats down. Forward visibility is good thanks to the low door-mounted mirrors, though the top of the windshield may be cut a hair low.

Quality

8.0
The only areas that make the RS 3 feel a little cheap are the plastic paddle shifters and air vents. Otherwise, the rest of the cabin is a model of tight tolerances, quality materials and attention to detail. The leather seats look the part, but manual adjustments ring cheap rather than sporty.

Utility

8.0
The RS 3 is an example of how subcompact sedans can still be very useful with a smart design. 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.

Small-item storage

8.0
The RS 3 doesn't have a lot of space for small items, but the areas offered are relatively useful and well-designed for the segment. A rubberized area ahead of dual cupholders is a perfect space for a smartphone or a pair of sunglasses. The door pockets are a decent size and will fit a larger-than-standard water bottle.

Cargo space

7.5
The trunk is well-shaped but, at just 10 cubic feet, is definitely a subcompact size. The rear seats split and fold flat to accommodate longer items, and the liftover is fairly low. There's some underfloor storage, but it's mostly taken by the battery and tire kit.

Child safety seat accommodation

8.0
Isofix anchors are easily accessed under plastic covers with top tethers just behind the outboard rear seats. Rear-facing seats should fit because of the legroom, so this back seat should be more accommodating to small families than most of its competitors.

Technology

8.0
With Audi's ever-bullish position on technology, the RS 3 doesn't disappoint — for the most part. An excellent audio and nav system is both pleasing and easy to use, and integrating your smartphone couldn't be more seamless. But we did expect more advanced driver aids at this price.

Smartphone integration

8.5
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though you can opt to use Audi's native interface, too. Both work well and we like the option. Bluetooth was quick and easy to pair, but oddly, we could not initiate pairing through voice commands. Two USB ports and a 12-volt socket are up front and there's a 12-volt in back.

Driver aids

6.5
Our tester came with parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera. Adaptive cruise and lane departure warning are optional, which is a bit surprising at this price point. Stability control steps in too aggressively during dynamic driving, but you can turn it off if you want.

Voice control

8.0
Voice controls responded well to commands and were able to find what we requested most of the time. Online Google searches through the car's cellular connection take longer than your average smartphone search but are effective.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Audi RS 3.

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

Trending topics in reviews

  • emission system

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Edmunds Review of 2019 RS3 flawed and inaccurate
RS3 DC,
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)

1. Converse to the Edmund's claim that RS3 seats sure too high for tall drivers, I am slightly over 6'2" and have headroom galore. Even the author of Tall Guy car reviews (who is 6'10") discusses how he has abundant headroom. Seat height is adjustable; 2. If you want a comfortable ride with the added benefit of dynamic suspension, then opt for the magnetic suspension. On rough roads, dialing in to "Comfort" mode yields a ride that rivals a long wheelbase luxury car; 3. The RS3 is a sub-compact car, so Edmunds gives it a con for tight rear seat room. Crazy. Edmunds' belief that small cars should have Mercedes S-class rear seat room shows their inability to discern between large and small vehicles. If you want to see a more accurate RS3 review, go to a more experienced and more fair reviewer entity like "Car & Driver" which gives this over-engineered vehicle a well-deserved 5/5 rating.

5 out of 5 stars, Little refined 4 door all wheel rocket
Jed,
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)

No extras really needed other then the sport exhaust. Extra's add up and actually do very little to up grade the beast inside! 57 grand is a lot for many, but it's beyond worth it!

Write a review

See all 2 reviews




Features & Specs

quattro 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD
2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM
MSRP$56,200
MPG 19 city / 28 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission7-speed automated manual
Horsepower394 hp @ 5850 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2019 Audi RS 3 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 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

Audi RS 3 vs. BMW M2

The RS 3 incorporates Audi's iconic Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which helps it make the most of the 394-horsepower engine. The M2 favors the classic rear-wheel-drive approach based around a hearty straight six-cylinder engine. Regardless of configuration, both deliver loads of fun from expertly balanced handling, steering and acceleration.

Compare Audi RS 3 & BMW M2 features

Audi RS 3 vs. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Like the RS 3, the AMG CLA 45 helps put its wealth of small-car horsepower to the ground via an all-wheel-drive system that also makes it hugely entertaining in curves and corners. The Benz includes a generous list of standard features and also costs less than the RS 3. But the AMG's ride can be stiff and unforgiving, and its overall level of refinement is a little disappointing.

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

Audi RS 3 vs. Porsche 718 Cayman

Not surprisingly, the 718 Cayman is built to high-quality standards, delivers world-class handling and engine performance, and offers a wide range of customization options. You'll pay for all that, of course, since Porsche is not one to lay on a load of standard features. But this also offers a chance to tailor the 718 to your tastes rather than be bound to a handful of option packages.

Compare Audi RS 3 & Porsche 718 Cayman features
FAQ
Is the Audi RS 3 a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 RS 3 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.9 out of 10. Edmunds’ consumer reviews show that the 2019 RS 3 gets an average rating of 5 stars out of 5 (based on 2 reviews) You probably care about Audi RS 3 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the RS 3 gets an EPA-estimated 22 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 2019 Audi RS 3?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Audi RS 3:

  • Minor adjustments to package features
  • Fixed sport suspension now available as stand-alone option
  • Part of the first RS 3 generation sold in the U.S. starting in 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 5-star average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2019 Audi RS 3 a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Audi RS 3 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2019 RS 3 and gave it a 7.9 out of 10. Our consumer reviews show that the 2019 RS 3 gets an average rating of 5 stars out of 5 (based on 2 reviews). Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 RS 3 is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2019 Audi RS 3?

The least-expensive 2019 Audi RS 3 is the 2019 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 2019 Audi RS 3

2019 Audi RS 3 Overview

The 2019 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 2019 Audi RS 3?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Audi RS 3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2019 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 2019 RS 3.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Audi RS 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 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 2019 Audi RS 3?
2019 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM)

The 2019 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 $64,540. The average price paid for a new 2019 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $6,141 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $6,141 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $58,399.

The average savings for the 2019 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) is 9.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2019 Audi RS 3 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2019 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) 2019 Audi RS 3 for sale near. There are currently 4 new 2019 RS 3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $62,440 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 2019 Audi RS 3. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $3,372 on a used or CPO 2019 RS 3 available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2019 Audi RS 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Audi RS 3 for sale - 7 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $24,465.

Find a new Audi for sale - 4 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $11,213.

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 2019 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