The Audi RS3 is in competition with the like of the Ford Focus RS, the Golf R and other such hot hatches. This is a car that loves its straights and it certainly delivers on power. Irish punters can only choose from two automatic versions, the S-Tronic Quattro and the S-Tronic Quattro.
Getting from 0-100km/h is done in super-quick time. All it takes is 4.3 seconds and this is because of the 367 bhp 2.5 litre TFSI engine that pushes it along. The seven-speed automatic S-Tronic gearbox is seamless going through its paces and the all-wheel drive system delivers its torque wonderfully.
On straights, the RS3 will plant you to the back of your seat. It comes with a selection of driving mode that that change the feel of your drive. On twisty roads it doesn’t leave you feeling as confident as you would be in the likes of the Golf R or even the BMW M135i and going over our potholes can certainly be felt. While the handling is excellent, there can be some understeer on corners. However, the car does feel grounded and there is good grip.
Once again, it’s difficult to say that an Audi is not refined. You definitely hear all of the noises that you want to hear in an RS3. The refinement can also be seen in the exterior of the RS3, it looks like the A3, but with a sportier look. It’s all done very subtly – which is something that Audi is excellent at. It has the honeycomb grille and more aggressive wheel arches, but it still manages to hold its classiness.
Audi build an excellent interior. While some of their cars may look a bit bland on the inside, everything is of top grade quality. The RS3 appears sportier inside. Under the bonnet, you can expect your engines to be excellent too and despite diesel gate associations with Volkswagen engines, they do still make brilliant engines, and the RS3 offering is no different.
The Audi A3 scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. This vehicle is packed with assistance systems. Apart from the performance features, it would share plenty with the A3 proper such as radar controlled cruise control, lane assist, hill hold and a pre-sense system which can indicate and prepare the car for a crash before it happens.
There is good space in both the first and second rows of the RS3. It offers boot space of 280 litres though – which means that this is perhaps not the most practical of family cars… no surprise there though, this is an RS3 after all!