Audi RS 3 (2017-2021) review - Interior, design and technology
Subtly pumped-up looks and plenty of attractive options are part of the RS3's allure
Audi’s RS models are usually designed to fly under the radar and the new RS 3 sticks to the brief – although fans of fast Audis will spot one a mile off.
On top of the obvious badging, the single-frame grille is filled with a gloss black honeycomb mesh with bigger air intakes either side. LED headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard, too, along with RS-specific colours and trims. All cars get 19-inch alloy wheels, bespoke for the high-powered hatch and saloon, while matt aluminium wing mirrors, a roof spoiler and two gaping oval exhausts finish off the subtly pumped-up look.
The Sport Edition model adds some subtle styling upgrades, including a black finish for the grille surround, window trims, rear diffuser and alloy wheels. Inside, the Sport Edition adds some more supportive sports seats and flashes of carbon fibre trim.
If you are dabbling in the options list – and it's quite a long one – there are plenty of ways to personalise your RS 3. You can remove the 155mph speed limiter for £1,600, while Ceramic Brakes cost £4,695. The £1,000 sports exhaust is well worth the extra, too.
The standard A3 Sportback’s interior is already a pleasant place to spend time, and the RS 3 version turns things up a notch with a pair of gorgeous wingback sport seats, finished in quilted leather. A flat-bottomed steering wheel trimmed in Alcantara feels fantastic in your palms, while the instrument cluster is upgraded with a digital boost meter for the turbo.
Standard kit inside includes the retractable screen for displaying the sat-nav, rear parking camera and infotainment functions.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The latest RS 3 comes with a clear colour screen as standard, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity included. It's fairly intuitive to use through the click wheel located on the centre console, but alongside the latest touchscreen infotainment systems it’s starting to show its age. The seven inch screen is small, too, but at least the 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital dials look great. A Bang & Olufsen stereo and wireless phone charging are also available.
In this review
- 1Audi RS 3 reviewThe Audi RS 3 is a storming pocket rocket that gives the BMW M2 and Mercedes-AMG A 45 a run for their money
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe RS3 has dazzling A-to-B pace, thanks to its prodigious power and traction
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsReasonable fuel economy is achievable, if you have willpower and a light right foot...
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingSubtly pumped-up looks and plenty of attractive options are part of the RS3's allure
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Audi RS3's mix of potent performance and family-friendly practicality is hard to beat
- 6Reliability and SafetyAudi gets great reliability and build quality scores in our Driver Power survey, plus it looks good in crash tests