2022 Audi RS3 Sedan
Class: Subcompact Crossover
Miles Driven: 462
Fuel Used: 21.8 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||C+|
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||B-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||401 horsepower|
|Engine Type||2.5-liter 5-cylinder|
|Transmission||7-speed DCT automatic|
Real-world fuel economy: 21.2 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/29/23 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium Gasoline
Base price: $58,900 (not including $1095 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: RS Technology Package ($2750), RS Sport Exhaust System ($1000), Black Optic Package ($750), Side Assist Package ($350)
Price as tested: $64,845
The great: Sports-car experience
The good: Decent fuel economy. Roomy front seating row
The not so good: Limited rear-seat space, no manual transmission
After skipping the 2021 model year, Audi’s entry-level car is redesigned on a slightly larger platform for 2022, gaining angular new styling, updated engines, a dynamic new interior layout, and several new technology features. Like the previous-generation A3, the new version will be offered in A3, S3, and RS3 models, which differ markedly in their performance, features, and prices. The base A3 is powered by a 201-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The sporty S3 version has a non-hybrid 306-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Available midyear is the high-performance RS3 will return to the line, with a 401-horsepower 2.5-liter 5-cylinder. All engines pair with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The A3 is available with front-wheel drive or Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. The S3 and RS3 come standard with all-wheel drive.
A 10.3-inch digital instrument panel is standard, and a 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit display with added features is available. A 10.1-inch touchscreen controls infotainment features, which include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and WiFi hotspot capability. Climate controls and other secondary functions are selected by physical switchgear. Lane-departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection are standard. A blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assist, 360-degree surround-view monitor, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering are available. The Audi A3 has earned a devoted following among car enthusiasts for its handy compact size, pleasing road manners, and understated upscale vibe. This latest version carries on that tradition well, while adding a welcome bit of added interior space, richer cabin furnishings, and more technology features. For those who want some extra spice in that mix, the S3 does a great job of turning up the heat, with power that elevates the already capable A3 into the realm of true performance cars.
Our test RS3 lived up to it sporty looks with plenty of power and sports-carlike handling. Firm, responsive steering and strong brakes add to the driving fun. Despite the power—and the fun to be had tapping it—we saw better than 21 mpg, close to the EPA combined estimate of 23.
Inside, the RS3 looks and feels modern, with an easy-to-read instrument panel that supports enthusiastic driving. We were disappointed by the amount of hard plastic in the car, especially around the center console. Seems “junior” Audis are not elevated to the same luxury levels as larger and more-expensive models. Still, the RS3 cabin is a comfortable place for front-row passengers to spend time. The cramped second row is best used only occasionally, and then by smaller occupants.
At more than $65,000 as equipped, the RS3 might be priced just out of reach of the young enthusiasts who would likely enjoy it most. But if you have the money, this little Audi is a whole lot of fun to drive, and pretty classy to boot.
Audi RS3 Gallery
Click below for enlarged images.