2021 Audi RS 3

MSRP $56,200

Ranked #8 in Sedan

7.9

Overall Rating

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2021 Audi RS 3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 13, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Audi RS 3 Sedan was first instigated in 2017 as a performance-oriented sibling of the popular A3. Since then, the car has attracted many buyers who were looking for the sophisticated looks of the A3 with a more powerful engine. The RS 3 sedan is one of the most appreciated, loved, preferred, and powerful sedans in the US Market. The 2021 RS3 is priced at $57,000 and is powered by a 2.5L turbocharged inline-5 engine.

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Pros

Excellent engine performance and handling.

Sublime infotainment system.

Elegant exterior design.

Congenial cabin comfort.

Cons

Compromised cargo space.

Highly placed front seats can cause discomfort for tall passengers.

Cramped rear row

What's New?

Optimized Engine with a higher power.

Adaptive Cruise Control.

Improved Infotainment System and Color Head-up display.

Performance Data Recorder.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$56200

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

151 cu.in.

horsepower

394 hp @ 5850 rpm

torque

354 lb.-ft.. @ 1700 rpm

transmission

7 speed Dual Clutch

dimensions

wheelbase

103.6 in.

length

176.3 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

55 in.

curb weight

3593 lbs.

ground clearance

4.29 in.

capacity

passenger volume

86 cu ft.

cargo volume

1 cu ft.

payload capacity

992 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.9 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

12.1 sec.

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$56,200 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Audi RS 3 in Nardo Gray color
Nardo Gray

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Pricing and Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

6.5

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

8.0

Exterior

9.5

Safety

7.0

Competition

8.0

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.9

Overall Rating


2021 RS 3 sedan arrives with improved, premium, and sleek fascia which looks seductive and appealing. Moreover, it comes with a well-curated cabin with premium upholsteries, and a galore of features to accompany the driver. It is rumored that the engine has been optimized and now produces a massive 415 horsepower compared to the previous model year’s 394 hp. The RS 3 Sedan ranks 2nd in its segment and competes with the likes of the 2021 BMW M2 Competition, Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45, and Kia Stinger GT2.

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan front view
2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan rear view

6.5/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

9.5/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Audi RS 3 Features

For the 2021 Model Year, the Audi RS 3 arrives with only one trim to offer similar to the previous model years. However, the standard model comes packed with several packages and features. A 2.5L turbocharged inline-5 engine with Quattro AWD, 19-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive cruise control, LED DRLs, heated exterior mirrors, Titanium grey Inlays in 3D design optic, and many more features come standard in the car.

Trim

RS 3

MSRP

$57,000

FEATURES.

2.5L turbocharged inline-5 engine with Quattro AWD.

 

19-inch alloy wheels in 5-arm-blade design, matt titanium looks with 235/35 tires.

 

RS sport front seats with integrated head restraints, upholstered in fine Nappa leather with diamond-patterned stitching.

 

LED headlights including LED daytime running lights

 

Adaptive cruise control

 

Panoramic glass sunroof

 

Electric front seat with lumbar support

 

Titanium grey Inlays in 3D design optic

Despite having a heavy dose of standard features, you can load the car with several optional features too. These include:

  • RS Performance package:

-Choice of 19” alloy wheels with wider front tires 

-Audi magnetic ride – adaptive damper system with various suspension settings

-705-watt 14 speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System

-Carbon fiber inlays

  • RS Design package:

-Armrests in black monopod with contrasting stitching in red.

-Knee pads on the center console in black Alcantara with contrasting stitching in red.

-Air vents in black with red inserts.

-Seat belts in black with a red edge

-Floor mats in black with RS 3 logo and contrasting stitching in red.

  • Extended matt aluminum styling package
  • Extended black high gloss styling package

Which Trim should you buy?

The 2021 RS 3 comes in only one trim option to choose from. The car already comes with several best-in-class features that make it worthwhile. The affair doesn’t end here. Apart from the attractive standard features, the company provides many optional packages as mentioned above. In our opinion, the RS Performance Package should be the best fit alongside the purchase of the car. The package brings an attractive wheel design, a premium sound system by B&O, and other essential embellishments.

2021 Audi RS 3 Engine and Performance

6.5/10

The 2021 Audi RS 3 sedan comes with a 2.5L turbocharged inline-5 engine coupled with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Automatic transmission. This duo produces 415horsepower and 369 lb-ft torque. While we are familiar with inline-4 and inline-6, this unique inline-5 config is what made the RS 3 famous. The exhaust note is really unique and the engine redlines at 6,900 rpm. 

 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan engine bay

The vehicle comes standard with the renowned Quattro AWD tech which helps the car stay planted on the roads. The powerful engine and the Quattro tech provide an incisive push to the vehicle which helps it to cover 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a quarter-mile run in a mere 12 seconds. The dynamic and powerful engine provides the car with an adequate performance which helps in a pleasant driving experience. The car has a top speed of 155 mph.

Models

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

MSRP

$57,000

$58,900

$54,800

$52,590

Engine

2.5L Turbocharged Inline-5

3.0L Twin-turbocharged Inline-6

2.0L turbocharged inline-4

3.3L Twin-turbo V6

Drivetrain

AWD

RWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

7-speed DCT

6-speed Manual

8-speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic

Power 

415hp @ 6000rpm

405 hp @ 5230 rpm

382hp@ 6,500rpm

365hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque 

369lb-ft @ 2000 RPM

406 lb-ft @ 2350 rpm

354lb-ft @ 4750 rpm

376lb-ft @ 1300 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

3.6

4

3.9

4.7

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

12

12.4

13

12.9

Top-Speed (MPH)

155

155

168

167

The Audi RS3 enjoys the best engine attribute here and the unique inline-5 config takes things up even a notch more. It offers the best performance on paper, fastest 0 to 60 mph, and the quickest car to cover a quarter-mile. For enthusiasts, M2 Competition comes with a 6-speed manual and RWD drivetrain. This is definitely a sweet deal but you can’t ignore the AMG CLA45 and Stinger GT2 too. All cars in the competition offer one thing unique or the other.

The Merc comes very close in terms of 0-60 mph performance to the S3, clocking a time of 3.9 seconds. The BMW takes 4 seconds, whereas the Stinger is the slowest with a time of 4.7 seconds. The Merc has the most top speed at 168 mph.

How well does the 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan handle?

Taking a look at the 2021 RS 3 sedan’s sleek and sporty exterior and the massive engine under the hood, it's typical to believe how difficult it may be to handle it. However, in reality, that’s not the case. The car not only is swift but also provides a dynamic driving experience. The steering is responsive and smooth and it performs well in the city. It balances itself well in the city traffic, is easy to park in tight spots and maintains excellent etiquettes on the go. 

 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan ride and handling

On highways, the car is a beast, but is tamable. It has minimal body roll and can tread through curves and corners easily. The suspension is on the juvenile side but absorbs the bumps and jolts from bad road conditions easily. Overall, it provides a stabilized and pleasant ride.

Braking Performance

The 2021 Audi RS 3 sedan comes equipped with a powerful engine that can set the tarmac on fire. To counteract that, it comes equipped with 14.6-inch rotors on the front and 12.2-inch rotors on the rear. This brake setup helps the car come to a stop at 109 feet from 60-0 mph. The brakes are further enhanced with features like ABS and brake assist which comes in handy during an emergency.

Models

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

14.6

15.7

13.8

13.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.2

15

13

13.4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3593

3393

3660

4023

60-0 MPH (feet)

109

107

109

N/A

BMW M2 has the best braking performance of 107 feet thanks to its lower curb weight and large 15-inch brake rotors. In fact, the BMW M2 has the largest front and rear brake rotors among these four. The 2021 RS 3 weighs a little more than the BMW and despite its smaller brake rotors it offers enough bite to stop it within 109 feet from 60-0 mph. The Merc takes the same distance as the Audi to stop, at 109 feet. 

2021 Audi RS 3 Fuel Economy

6.5/10

Considering the RS 3 is a sports sedan, Audi has done an excellent job in maintaining fuel efficiency despite an increase in power for the 2021 model year. The car returns 19 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highways, and 22 mpg combined. The vehicle comes equipped with a 14.5-gallon fuel capacity and provides an excellent range of 319 miles combined.

Models

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA 45

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

MPG (City)

19

18

20

17

MPG (Highway)

28

24

29

25

MPG (Combined)

22

20

23

20

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

14.5

13.7

13.5

15.9

Range (City/

Highway/

Combined,

in Miles)

276/406/319

247/328/274

270/391/310

270/397/318

The Mercedes AMG CLA 45 provides the best overall efficiency figures. When you take the power figures into account, the RS 3 is simply the most balanced car. The Kia Stinger comes equipped with a large fuel tank for its V6 engine, and is a gas-guzzler. The Audi offers the most range, followed by the Kia’s range of 318 miles combined and the Merc’s combined range of 310 miles. The M2 is the least efficient car in the lot and has a poor range of 274 miles combined.

2021 Audi RS 3 Interior

8.0/10

The 2021 RS 3 has one of the most well-built and comfortable cabins you can ever be in. The cabin can house 5 people, and the passenger room provided is adequate. The cabin features Aluminum accents in the air vents, window switches and other parts of the car which provide a sophisticated look and a premium feel. The RS Sport front seats come wrapped in Nappa Leather upholstery and diamond-pattern stitching. The seats are heated and come with electric lumbar support. You can also get the Massage function included within the optional packages. 

 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan cockpit area

The multifunction sports steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara leather feels deluxe, and merits a memorable driving experience. Furthermore, the cabin comes well-curated with a Front center armrest, LED reading lights front and rear, LED footwell lighting, illuminated cup holders in the front, and LED luggage compartment lighting with 12V Power Sockets. Moreover, the dashboard looks clean and sparse. The AC vents are spaced wide, a 7-inch touch display docked above the AC vents and the music system below. If we talk about the cargo space the car provides, it is on the lower side. The car offers 10 cubic feet of cargo capacity and is visibly lesser than its competitors.

Models

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

Seating Capacity

5

4

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg; inches)

36.5/54.8/41.2

40.1/53.4/41.5

38.5/55.1/41.8

38.3/56.4/42.6

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg; inches)

36.1/53.0/35.1

30.1/54.4/33.0

35.7/54.0/33.9

37/54.8/36.4

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

10

13.8

11.6

23.3

The BMW M2 is the only car in the competition which comes with a 4 seater accommodation for it is a coupe by design; rest of the cars are 5 seaters. The Audi offers decent front and rear legroom. The headroom in the Audi is the least among the cars here. The Kia has the best front legroom space, whereas the BMW M2 offers the most front headroom. In the rear however, it's the Kia that offers the most headroom and legroom. On the other hand, the Kia Stinger GT comes with the best trunk capacity of 23.3 cu-ft which remains miles ahead of the other three. The Audi RS3 offers the least cargo space at just 10 cu-ft, some compact cars also feature more space. Some of the standout interior features are:

  • RS sport front seats with integrated head restraints, upholstered in fine Nappa leather with diamond-patterned stitching with optional massage function.
  • Audi virtual cockpit with fully digital configurable instrument cluster with 12.3-inch-high resolution color display.
  • Aluminum looks like interior elements.
  • Automatic air conditioning with dual-zone climate control.
  • LED interior lighting package.
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in Alcantara.
  • Storage and luggage compartment with 12V power socket.

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2021 RS 3 comes equipped with a well-balanced Infotainment System. It features a 7-inch high-resolution LCD with a navigation system and Integrated Voice control. Also, it supports Bluetooth Music Streaming and supports Apple and Android devices. In the standard model, a 10-speaker music system with center speaker and subwoofer, a 6-channel amplifier comes equipped. However, an optional Bang & Olufsen Sound System can be availed with the RS performance Package.

 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan front seats

Some standout infotainment features on the 2021 Audi RS are:

  • Audi connects with Wi-Fi hotspot and Google support.
  • Smartphone Interface with Apple and Android compatibility,
  • Configurable 12.3-inch-high resolution color display.
  • 7-inch high-resolution color display with navigation.
  • Aux-in, 2 SDXC card readers, and 10 GB flash memory.
  • Integrated Voice control.
  • B&O Music System. (Optional)
  • Wireless charging. (Optional)

2021 Audi RS 3 Exterior

9.5/10

The 2021 RS 3 brings some notable changes to the exterior. The fascia now looks more aggressive and tempting with broader and muscular fenders. The front grille is wider and is positioned lower compared to previous models. The Matrix LED DRLs are sharper and wider. At the back, the wrap-around LED tail lights along with oval exhaust tips and trunk head spoiler makes the car look meaner and sharper. The red brake calipers provide a sporty look and the 19-inch 5-arm blade alloy wheels provide the final touches of the face’s appeal.

 2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan 

Models

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3593

3600

3660

4023

Length (inches)

176.3

176.2

184.8

190.2

Width (inches)

70.7

73

73.1

73.6

Height (inches)

55

55.5

55.4

55.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

4.3

4.6

3.9

N/A

Wheelbase (inches)

103.6

106

107.4

114.4

The RS 3 remains well balanced in terms of dimensions, the car is sleek and eye-catching. The Stinger GT2 leads in terms of exterior dimensions; it is the heaviest, longest, broadest, and has the largest wheelbase. The BMW is the tallest car, and it’s ground clearance of 4.6 inches also gives it a raised stance.The Audi RS 3 has the tightest wheelbase of 103.6 inches. It also has the least height of 55 inches. The length and width of the RS 3 are the least in this comparison as well. Some standout exterior features on the RS 3 are:

  • 19-inch 5-arm blade alloy wheels
  • Red Brake Calipers
  • Heated, electrically adjustable, and folding exterior mirrors
  • Audi Matrix LED headlights
  • Panoramic glass sunroof
  • Matt Black roof rails

2021 Audi RS 3 Safety

7.0/10

The 2021 RS 3 sedan is based on the Volkswagen MQB platform. The body frame is mainly composed of aluminum along with steel. Furthermore, to provide strength and a rigid structure for protection from any collision, the frame is reinforced with side impact beams and pillars which provide the car with sturdiness and safety. Apart from the well-built chassis, there are some driver assistance programs and safety measures that the car comes packed with. Standout safety features available are:

  • Lane departure warning with Lane Keep Assist.
  • Blind-spot Monitoring System with rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera.
  • Emergency braking assist.
  • Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking.
  • Automatic High-beams with DRLs.

2021 Audi RS 3 Competition

8.0/10

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan vs 2021 BMW M2 Competition

Despite the BMW M2 being packed with a more powerful engine compared to the RS 3, the RS 3 offers better performance, better fuel efficiency, and better interior space than the BMW. Also, it costs less than the BMW, making it affordable to many buyers. However, the M2 comes with better trunk space. To sweeten the deal, it comes with manual transmission which is preferred by many.

2021 BMW M2 Competition

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan vs 2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

The RS 3 leads in terms of power and performance. However, the Mercedes offers better trunk space and MPG numbers. The interior of the Mercedes is classier, spacious, and functional than the Audi. Furthermore, the faceoff between the Audi gets more competitive when you see the pricing. The Mercedes costs less than the Audi by approximately $3000. Long story short, if you are looking for performance, the Audi has the clear edge. If you are looking for decent mileage, trunk space, and a classy cabin the Mercedes tends to be a better option.

2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2021 Audi RS 3 Sedan vs 2021 Kia Stinger GT2

The comparison between the RS 3 and Stinger GT2 should be interesting as both the cars go head to head with all they have. The GT2 enjoys a bigger engine whereas, RS 3 defines performance. Moreover, the mileage provided by the Audi remains superior and efficient. Acknowledging the attributes the Audi possesses, it’s a fair win for the German Automaker.

2021 Kia Stinger GT2

 

2021 Audi RS 3 Final Verdict

The 2021 Audi RS 3 is undoubtedly one of the best sport sedans in the market. The engine is capable and powerful and the chassis looks handsome and sturdy. Talking about the cabin, it's spacious, well-built and comfortable. It also comes with an intuitive infotainment system along with a good music system. For comparison, the car has better performance figures than the other competitors and can be raced on the track occasionally. In addition to that, the 2021 RS 3 is built on a strong platform and arrives equipped with essential driver assistance programs and safety features.