The Audi RS3 is the top-of-the-line Audi A3 model that promises to make you feel special even in the entry-level Audi premium automobile. The RS3 offers something no other car from its segment can, and that is a truly exciting engine that actually sounds good and drives good.
The 2.5L 5-cylinder engine is basically an Audi R8 engine cut in half and that is why the RS3 sounds way better than its main rival, the A45 AMG. When it comes to reliability, the A3 was never the most reliable Audi car out there, but as with all German premium performance cars, they are reliable if you make them so by constantly maintaining them.
No car is free of faults, and the RS3 is no different. The most common Audi RS3 issues are associated with the engine, the fuel pump, the electronics, issues with the top mounts, and issues with the MAF sensor. Most of these can be taken care of through timely and thorough maintenance even before they take place.
All in all, the RS3 is a really fun car to drive and it seems like most owners are happy with how the Audi RS3 performs in the reliability sector. The RS3 is a fun-to-drive compact Audi car that also offers luxury amenities and a really exciting engine.
Audi RS3 – Engine issues
There are a few reports online saying that there are instances in which the 5-cylinder turbocharged engine cuts all power without an apparent reason. These typically occur while the car is idling, but there are instances in which people complained about these issues taking place while driving which is a big issue.
The RS3’s engine is also known to sometimes go through oil at a faster pace, especially for higher mileage examples. The 2.5L is not an engine people deem as unreliable and there aren’t too many Audi RS3 models on the road for us to properly assess the reliability. However, we do know that this engine needs to be maintained, otherwise it could fail catastrophically.
Audi RS3 – Fuel pump issues
Both the Audi RS3 and its younger brother, the S3 are known to experience issues with the fuel pump in which the system either stops providing fuel or it cuts off fuel going to the engine periodically. These issues can put a lot of stress on the camshaft and that is why they need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Audi RS3 owners complained about the car prompting warning lights such as “low fuel pressure” and it seems like the issue is mostly down the fuel control module which should be swapped whenever it starts causing issues. A faulty fuel pump is a dangerous scenario as it can also be the reason why some RS3 models lose power while driving.
Audi RS3 – Electrical issues
The Audi RS3 is prone to certain electrical issues just like in the case of the regular Audi A3. These issues include a faulty infotainment system that glitches or freezes without an apparent cause and issues with the power window regulators which come with plastic clips and hooks which are known to break at a time.
Issues with the backup camera or exterior lightning are also common. Issues such as these come as no surprise as many premium German cars suffer from electrical issues because they are complex and packed with all sorts of high-end electrical features.
Audi RS3 – Issues with the top mounts
There are many owners online that complain about the top mounts emitting knocking sounds, mostly at the rear end. Many RS3 owners took their cars to an Audi dealership and got their rear top mounts replaced free of charge.
Audi never issued a recall because of this issue because it does not serve as a huge threat to the overall safety and the bad thing is that there are simply too many VAG cars with the same issue. Either way, be sure to inspect if the RS3 you are looking at has these top mount issues.
Audi RS3 – MAF sensor issues
The MAF (Mass airflow) sensor is tasked with determining how much air should joint the combustion process in order for the engine to always offer optimal power. However, this sensor is a known gripe with many VAG performance cars and can be dealt with in two different ways.
First, you should try and clean the entire MAF which many people say solves the issue. If it does not, you will have to replace the sensor altogether.
Is the Audi RS3 fast?
The Audi RS3 is the fastest Audi A3 model money can buy. The RS3 can do a 0-60mph run in about 3.5 seconds which is an insane number for an entry-level Audi RS car. The RS3 can do the quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds which is an impressive number indeed.
As such, the RS3 is a really fast car as it offers 410hp which is not something to argue with. A few decades ago the most powerful supercars offered around 400hp, but they are nowhere as fast as the RS3 is thanks to the Quattro AWD system and the lightning-fast dual-clutch gearbox.
Is the Audi RS3 a good buy?
The Audi RS3 is one of the best Audi RS cars these days because it offers a short wheelbase and an overall weight count that is still in the realm of reason. 410hp is more than enough for the RS3 to deal with even some supercars while the transmission is as fun as they come because it shifts extremely fast.
The RS3 is a great buy for those who want a smaller car that feels like it can outrun 99% of cars on the streets. It is compact enough and can be parked anywhere, yet it comes with all of the Audi technology you’d ever want. As such, it is a great compromise of styling, speed, size, and luxury.
What is the difference between the Audi S3 and the Audi RS3?
The Audi S3 is the entry-level performance A3 variant while the RS3 is the top-level performance A3 variant. The S3 comes with a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder while the RS3 comes with a 2.5L turbo 5-cylinder engine.
The RS3 gets about 100hp more and it manages to outrun the S3 from 0-60mph for almost an entire second.