Poss new RS3 Owner


Registered User
Hi All,

I'm possibly looking into the RS3 as a replacement for my M3 (e92) and wanted a bit of advice. Cut a long story short we were targeted for a burglary due to the car so I'm looking for something less lairy for the driveway and also something more practical. I travel to customers and the 23mpg (mostly motorway) is killing me ... that and shoehorning two kids into the back with associated gubbins that kids come with.

I'm booked in for a test drive tomorrow so I can experience the car first hand but I'm interested to know if (big if) performance wise I'd notice the drop in BHP? Do any members of the forum have tin lids and how do you find practicality? Buckets ... positive or not for someone that does a lot of miles. Is there any options that are a must have or anything I need to look out for? I guess most importantly ... does the RS3 attract a lot of attention? I'm looking for something that is very off the radar and not going to peering out of the window every second to make sure the thing is still there.

Cheers for your help and look forward to your advice.


Registered User
Hi Dav33d, welcome to the board.

In general, the RS3 is an extremely low-key car. To most people it just looks like another A3. Take the front and rear badges off to increased stealth; replace them with a TDi badge if you really want people to ignore it ;)

The driving experience will feel very different. BMW M engines are all about high revs and really wringing the engine out. The RS3 is turbocharged so it has more torque lower down the rev range and so gives more acceleration most of the time. Comparing performance stats, the RS3 should match an M3 to 60, possible even better it. Between 60-100 the M3 would probably catch it and then over 100 the M3 probably has the edge (HP govern speed, torque governs acceleration).

Only you will know if the driving experience is sufficient for you in the RS3. Expect the car to feel very different to drive, however, especially as the M3 is a peach of a rear-drive car and the RS3 is an AWD car that behaves mostly FWD at the limit (though you can get it more mobile if you try). Also check the tyres on the car when you test drive it; most people have gotten rid of the standard Continentals and found the car to be much improved with Goodyear F1s or Michelin Pilot Sports.

The RS3 is very practical, though if you need buggies I'm not sure how well they would fit. I have just driven over 225 miles in mine in heavy traffic, and with periods of 'proper' motorway driving, and averaged over 31mpg according to the computer, so respectably fuel efficient (I also do business miles). I have also cut through horrendous rain without a moment of doubt thanks to the surefootedness of the car.

I don't have buckets so can't comment on them. My car has the electric seats which I find very comfortable due to the wider range of adjustability they provide. My car is extremely well specified (I bought second hand) and the things I find most beneficial are the power seats, automatic headlights and dimming rear view mirror. Cruise is also extremely handy, and I personally like the Bose stereo but quite a few people find it lacking.

The car is pretty much bullet proof, too, by the way. As long as it is properly maintained and has had the brake modification applied you should be good. Mine is coming up to 29k miles of trouble-free driving.

Have a good test drive and let us know how the car compares to your M3 what ever you decide!


The Older I Get The Better I Was
Gold Supporter
Probably the most discrete piece of all-weather quick machinery there is!

Mine's averaged 26mpg from new and yes; I too can see 33mpg on a steady run.

Nothing more to be said, and there's nothing out there I'd change mine for - that'd fit in my garage anyway.

And sans badges, now that is a laugh...


Bluey loaded with four 18-inch x 9J TT rims and tyres; the RS3 has good carrying capacity too.
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Pretty much as said above really,

I have Buckets and they were a criteria when i was looking for an RS3 (I had 2 x S3's and 1 x TDi A3 S line so wanted a change from comfort seats) yes they ain't the easiest things to get ones *** in and out of, but once in i find them really supportive and for me they add to the whole 'RS3' package, believe you me i've had lots of cars with Buckets/Recaro's in (focus ST 2008 facelift seats gave me instant back ache !! so uncomfortable)

I've a Misano red one, this wasn't my first choice after having loads of white cars i really wanted a white RS3, but at the time i was looking they were thin on the ground and poorly specced, so when the Misano one came up for sale near me (bonus) i eventually bought it, rest is history shall we say....

I do think not a lot of people know what it is, you will obviously get attention from boy racers and the like but i tend to ignore them (why drive up my **** in that Astra / Corsa Etc....?) then you will get looks from others in Audi's, Mercs and the like who do understand what it is capable of (its fast very fast.......) but you've had an M3 so you understand.

Yes it could attract thieves, you already have a car that could attract them, could you garage it maybe to keep it out of sight at night ?

You could always allow extra cash to beef up security (I'm looking at getting the Viper Smartstart system) to give you piece of mind (A downside of having Bucket seats and an RS3!!)

The same applies whatever performance car you end up with, there will always be some scumbag wanting to Nick it,steal from it,scratch and damage it rather than going out getting a job and earn some money legally !! but this is the world we now live in I'm afraid there is little we can do about other peoples actions.

As John has said above take the badges off it, even buy some colour coded mirror caps and it becomes quite anonymous.

BHP down on the M3, i think in the real world thats not an issue, i actually think the 5 cylinder engine propels the car to 60 quicker than Audi's figures would have you believe, compare it to RS4 0-60 times there ain't anything in it really.

Now i won't lie to you, mines been in to Audi a few times, Stockport for 1st service and brake update(terrible dealers never going back) Manchester for creaking bucket seat, High pressure fuel pump leak and squeaky front brakes (new seat base installed, new HPFP and head scratching at the front brakes never going back there for reasons i'm not saying on here)
However i had 2nd service 2 weeks ago at Stafford Audi and i think their customer service is a revelation !!!! i cannot recommend them enough ! they have single handedly restored my faith in Audi as a premium brand and when the time comes to change guess where i'll be buying from.....

So if you decide to buy one, find a low milage 1 owner with as many options as you can and go enjoy it, you will NOT be disappointed !!!

Oh, just one more thing, i get about 220 miles per tank using shell V-power Nitro, most i've had was to Cornwall last year 320 miles on a full tank (better than our 61 S3)

Hope this helps a little, if you need any more info shout.


Registered User
Thanks for all your replies, very well balanced opinions and kind of echo what I hoped the car would be like.

So ...to the test drive and it didn't start very well. The guy that I met to arrange the test drive was on his day off and the other guys had no record of the test drive or me actually paying a visit in the first place. To make matters worse someone looked at the car yesterday ...but I digress!

It's easy to see why people love that 2.5 engine, average speed cameras were on the motorway and at 65/70 mph after I reset the average it was up to about 35mpg so a lot more economical the M3 but the power is still there. That's the dull bit.

Performance wise I thought it had a lot of real world grunt, certainly a lot easier to realise the power in the RS3 than the M3, which you have to work very hard to get proper performance out of. There's less "drama" in the RS3 in terms of noise and feel, steering lacked feedback and was a bit light. That said it felt planted and the S button provided some fun!!

Hoping that a deal can be done but I'm waiting on trade in values on the M ... if it looks good I'm likely to go for it. I don't see another car out there with the same pace, practicality and that can totally go under the radar... maybe the 135i but it's ugly and I think I've had enough of beemers.

Dave Hedgehog

Registered User
RS3s (RSs in general) are not low key, thieves know what they are and target them (4 door Audi RSs are the getaway car of choice as the only thing the police have than can follow one is india 99), they tried to force my front door recently to get mine.

Audi RS buckets are stolen like there is no tomorrow, they are very easy to sell on ebay for big money and the theft normally writes the car off as Audi charge over 10k for replacements HERE

I get 26mpg out of mine on MWays cruising at midish 70s, i have averaged 19.6mpg over the last 10k miles :D If you get more than this out of one buy a golf diesel cause you drive slower than my mum :D

Fantastic car thou, I love it, not sure it would be an M car drivers cup of tea thou as the front end is all over the place when pushing on hard, MPSS's reign this in alot thou. A M135 debadged maybe a better choice.
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Dave Hedgehog

Registered User
Hi Dav33d, welcome!

Try the other button next to the 'S' button (you have a 'sport mode' and a truly switched off mode by pressing longer), press the 'S', set the gearbox on 'S'. You'll understand why it's such a good car...

thats a good point, you have to drive them in ESP Sport mode (first ESP setting before ESP off) as this activates the E Diff, its baffling why its off in normal mode /facepalm


Registered User
A few more thoughts :

1. Check it has had the brake upgrade done. If you are buying from an Audi dealer this should be easily sorted if not.
2. Check the alloys are genuine OEM Audi.

3. Running costs should be a pleasant surprise (insurance quotes are usually very low, tax is low and and mpg is good on motorway cruises >30mpg)
4. To avoid attention, debadge front and rear, and avoid the bucket seats. I have taken work colleagues out in mine and they don't even realise what the car is. :think:
5. Compared to the M3 I think you'll find the RS3 handles significantly differently along tighter, twisty B roads (understeer springs to my mind). Just be sure you can live with this. As said above grippier tyres and ESP Sport mode help a lot in this respect.
6. The plus side to the above is that the RS3 is truly one of the best and most practical all weather performance cars you can own IMHO and a very safe family car.

Good luck with the purchase !