2018 Audi RS 3

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$54,900–$54,900 MSRP range
(5.0) 2 reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2018 Audi RS 3. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    22 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    400-hp, 2.5-liter I-5 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    7-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

2018 Audi RS 3 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Another Audi RS model is coming stateside, but it's not the six-figure RS 7 or the TT sports car. Instead, the German automaker plans to bring a high-performance version of its compact A3/S3 sedan to the U.S. over the next few months. It's the 400-horsepower RS 3, a car that will go on sale for the 2018 model year this summer, with a small number of 2017s available before that.
 
The 2017 RS 3 starts at $55,450 for the 2017 model -- a mere $11,600 more than the 2017 S3 -- but it may be hard to find any cars at that price, as Audi says it will offer only "a limited number" of 2017 RS 3s with a bevy of optional equipment. The 2018 RS 3, meanwhile, hits dealers this summer with a starting price of $55,875.
Exterior
The RS 3's six-sided grille has a honeycomb pattern instead of the S3's slatted design, but the easiest way to tell the RS 3 apart is below it, where the RS' bumper openings have gloss-black framework instead of the body-colored details on the A3 and S3. The visual effect makes for a continuous, thin opening on the RS 3 that spans the nose and fans out into taller portals below the headlights -- interesting in the details, but more mild than wild. In back, the RS 3 ditches the S3's quad tailpipes for dual pipes, but they're beefy like the RS 7's. The RS 3's silver wheels measure 19 inches and wear high-performance summer tires.
 
Interior
The RS 3 has standard sport seats -- they're ...
Vehicle Overview
Another Audi RS model is coming stateside, but it's not the six-figure RS 7 or the TT sports car. Instead, the German automaker plans to bring a high-performance version of its compact A3/S3 sedan to the U.S. over the next few months. It's the 400-horsepower RS 3, a car that will go on sale for the 2018 model year this summer, with a small number of 2017s available before that.
 
The 2017 RS 3 starts at $55,450 for the 2017 model -- a mere $11,600 more than the 2017 S3 -- but it may be hard to find any cars at that price, as Audi says it will offer only "a limited number" of 2017 RS 3s with a bevy of optional equipment. The 2018 RS 3, meanwhile, hits dealers this summer with a starting price of $55,875.
Exterior
The RS 3's six-sided grille has a honeycomb pattern instead of the S3's slatted design, but the easiest way to tell the RS 3 apart is below it, where the RS' bumper openings have gloss-black framework instead of the body-colored details on the A3 and S3. The visual effect makes for a continuous, thin opening on the RS 3 that spans the nose and fans out into taller portals below the headlights -- interesting in the details, but more mild than wild. In back, the RS 3 ditches the S3's quad tailpipes for dual pipes, but they're beefy like the RS 7's. The RS 3's silver wheels measure 19 inches and wear high-performance summer tires.
 
Interior
The RS 3 has standard sport seats -- they're optional on the S3 -- with elaborate, quilt-stitched sections that fan out at the shoulders. Other areas have aluminum or carbon-fiber inlays. RS badging adorns the seats, door sills and flat-bottom steering wheel. Nappa leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with Audi's Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and Bang & Olufsen audio optional. The gauges can show specific horsepower and torque output, as well as a G-meter.
 
Under the Hood
A performance sleeper, the RS 3 is not. The sedan boasts a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder with port and direct injection that's good for 400 hp and 354 pounds-feet of torque, up 108 hp and 74 pounds-feet versus the S3's turbo four-cylinder. The engine drives all four wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission with a launch control program for maximum acceleration. Indeed, Audi says the RS 3 can hit 60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds -- considerably less than the S3's already-quick 4.7 seconds. It's also a couple of ticks ahead of manufacturer-estimated times for the RS 3's most direct competitor: the Mercedes-AMG CLA45.
 
The RS 3's all-wheel drive has no default bias, but Audi says it's programmed to send as much power to the rear wheels as possible. Various driver-selectable modes can alter steering and drivetrain settings as well as stiffness for the optional adaptive shock absorbers. The electronic stability system has a sport mode with reduced intervention, and high-performance, carbon-ceramic disc brakes for the front wheels are optional.

Latest 2018 RS 3 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

2018 Audi RS3 Awesomeness!

by Edgar from Brambleton, VA on July 25, 2018

This car is truly amazing and fun to drive, there is no doubt that this is one of the fastest cars available for a low price. It's a great car for the money. It can be used as a daily driver as the ... Read full review

(5.0)

Daily Driver with ridiculous performance

by Rennsportfan from New Hampshire on June 30, 2018

I love this car. The comfort given the sportiness of the car is fantastic. It?s easy to drive like an a3 when you?re in traffic (which the adaptive cruise is great for) and then put the car in sport ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 Audi RS 3 currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Audi RS 3 has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Audi

Program Benefits

Comprehensive 300+ point dealer inspection, 24/7 roadside assistance including towing and trip interruption reimbursement, 1 Year/Unlimited Miles Audi Certified pre-owned Limited Warranty coverage, transferability of the Audi Certified pre-owned Limited Warranty to a subsequent private owner, and CARFAX® Vehicle History Report.

  • Limited Warranty

    1 Year / Unlimited Miles

    1 Year/ Unlimited Miles Audi Certified pre-owned Limited Warranty features 1 Year / Unlimited Miles of warranty coverage after the expiration of the new vehicle limited warranty or from the date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired and coverage honored at over 300 Audi dealerships service centers throughout the U.S., total confidence is yours as you take the road less traveled.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 300+ point inspection.

    See inspection details.

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All Model Years for the Audi RS 3

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The RS 3 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker