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Audi RS3: Buying guide and review (2011-2012)

Audi RS3: Buying guide and review (2011-2012) Classic and Performance Car
Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3
Over the past few decades the top German auto manufacturers have been trading punches at the upper end of the luxury performance segment, with ever increasing fervour. The premium hatchback sector has become particularly hotly contested and Audi introduced its RennSport ‘RS’ line of cars to compete with Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M range for top honours.
 
The first generation RS3 made its debut in 2011, intent on topping its segment. Packed with technology that showed Audi was not pulling any punches, its crowning glory was the 335bhp five-cylinder turbo engine. With a howl that harked back to the original 1980s Quattro, four-wheel drive and a long list of standard kit the RS3 was a desirable package. 
 
A launch price of £40,000 reflected its premium status, with very limited numbers being made available for the UK market its relative rarity was ensured. Class-leading acceleration and a characterful engine made it a favourite among performance car enthusiasts, and five years on it’s still easily able to hold its head high among the newer generation of sporty hatchbacks.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Built in limited numbers, only 750 were made available to the UK market making the RS3 rarer than most rivals. Standard specifications were high, including sat nav, and there were also a host of optional extras to choose from. Specific to RS models were an alcantara steering wheel, additional readouts in the digital instrument binnacle, RS logos, bucket seats and styling packages in black or a matt aluminium finish. Other desirable options include cruise control, adaptive headlights, electric seats and a Bose sound system.
 
Only the five-door Sportback body style was available, but lowered suspension and 19-inch alloys completed the sporty package. While the RS3 certianly looks special, the biggest change over the standard S3 was under the bonnet. The engine was a powerful five-cylinder 2.5-litre unit, producing 335bhp. Unavailable in any other A3, and shared only with the TT RS (and subsequently RS Q3), it gives the RS3 a pleasing off-beat soundtrack with the power to make the most of its uprated chassis. While the TT RS eventually got a manual transmission, the RS3 was only ever equipped with the seven-speed S Tronic, which removes some of the driver involvement but suits the character of the car. 
 
The four-wheel drive setup allows for the sort of press-on motoring in inclement weather conditions, which would leave most rivals sliding into ditches. This all-weather ability does rob the car of some fun, as well as handling poise when extended on track. While quite effective in normal use, front brake pads have a tendency to squeal and can fade under duress. In real world conditions however the trade-off seems a good one, and the RS3 is able to provide rapid cross country motoring in safety.
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine 2480cc 20valve DOHC in-line five-cylinder 
Power 335bhp @ 5400-6500rpm
Torque 332lb ft @ 1600-5300rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-62mph 4.6 seconds 
Fuel consumption 31mpg 
Gearbox Seven-speed S-tronic
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2578mm
Length 4302mm
Width 1794mm
Height 1402mm
Weight 1575kg
 
Common problems
 
• Parts are readily available from Audi dealers however RS specific components do carry a premium over standard items. Thanks to Audi’s top notch build quality and with the cars being so new there have not been a lot of issues or latent faults that have cropped up since the RS3’s debut. Other than ensuring that your potential purchase has been serviced regularly there are only a few things to check for.

• The running gear is very strong and can take a lot of punishment however some owners have found that too many full bore starts on grippy surfaces can damage the four wheel drive system and/or the clutch.

• There are a lot of specialists out there willing to modify your RS3 and some are offering 500bhp+ conversions. If the car you are looking at has been chipped or has received other modifications be aware that the extra strain on the drivetrain may cause problems and further expense down the road.

• Squealing brakes and warped discs have come in for criticism from some owners. Solutions range from disc and pad replacement to uprated items. Not all cars suffer from this, so a quick test drive can confirm whether the car you intend to purchase has this issue or not. Some cars would have had a calliper upgrade carried out by Audi while others have resolved the issue by changing brake pads to non-original ones.

• With low-profile tyres and 19-inch alloy wheels, potholes can damage the alloys more readily, so check for any buckling or other signs of damage. Generally a shaky steering wheel or vibrating pedals can indicate damaged alloys or suspension components.

• The S-Tronic gearbox is a strong unit. Gear change hesitation in certain modes can be resolved with an ECU flash, however persistent issues may require a gearbox oil change to resolve.
 
Model history
 
2011: 335bhp Audi RS3 launched in the UK. Limited number of 500 made available. Available in five colour options and with seven-speed S-tronic gearbox only. High standard equipment level included numerous RS3 specific trim items
2012: Due to strong demand a further 250 units were made available to the UK market
 
Clubs and websites
 
• www.audi.co.uk
• www.audirs3oc.com
 
Summary and prices
 
Residual values have stayed firm, which means that even a 2011 car with 50,000 miles on the clock will still sell for £25,000 and up. Lower mileage examples can command up to £32,000 due to the car’s rarity.
 
Words: John Tallodi 
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Last updated: 21st Dec 2015
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Audi RS3 cars for sale

38 Search results
Audi RS3
21989 65950 GBP
  • Audi RS3

    £34,499 £34,499

    Variant name:2.5 TFSI RS 3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic ,Variant: 2.5 TFSI RS 3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic ABS,Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,Anti Theft System,Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,CD Player,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Four Wheel Drive,Front Fog Lights,Heated Seats,iPod Connection,Isofix Seats,Leather Steering Wheel,Leather Upholstery,Manufacturer Warranty,MP3 Connectivity,Multiple Airbags,Onboard Computer,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control,Upgraded Alloy Wheels

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 35000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
    Lookers Group -Silverlink Volkswagen
    0845 149 9100 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Audi RS3

    £39,990 £39,990

    Variant name:Rs 3 Sportback ,Derivative:2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic ,Variant: 2.5 TFSI RS 3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic [Nav] Audi RS3 Sportback 2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic finished in Daytona Grey, pearl effect. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, navigation system, electronic stabilisation control (esc), 19" x 8j '5-arm rotor' design in galvanised Silver - alloy, privacy glass, rs brake system - 19-inch wave-front discs, rs dual-branch exhaust system, comfort and sound package, dynamic package, electric panoramic glass sunroof and interior lighting package.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 10553 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £25,900 £25,900

    Variant name:Sportback ,Variant: 2.5T FSI RS3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic, Full Audi Service History, 19inch Black Rotor Alloys, Navigation, Bluetooth, BOSE, Cruise Control, Xenon Headlights, Privacy Glass, Centre Arm Rest, Heated Front Seats. Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer this stunning Audi RS3 finished in the very sought after colour combination Suzuka Grey with Black Leather interior and Piano Black Interior Trim. The specification on this car includes 19inch Black Rotor Alloys, Audi Navigation Plus, Bluetooth, BOSE Audio, SD Card Connectivity, Rear Park Assist, Multi Function Steering Wheel with Paddles, Cruise Control, Dual Climate Control, Xenon Headlights, Privacy Glass, Centre Arm Rest, Heated Front Seats and much more. This car also benefits from a full Audi Service History done at Audi Glasgow on 07/07/14 at 14683miles and 10/04/15 at 22265miles, Highland Audi on 07/04/16 at 31304miles and Aberdeen Audi on 29/03/17 at 38062miles. Supplied with 2 keys and all its original owners manuals and wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available.

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 41632 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Audi RS3 2.5T SPORTBACK QUATTRO

    £39,850 £39,850

    Black Nappa leather trim, contrast stitching, RS3 embossed seats, piano black interior trim, heated seats, automatic climate control, Panoramic Roof, 19in Rotor Diamond cut grey finish alloys, black Brembo brake calipers, Uprated brakes, Audi Drive Select, Sports Exhaust, Dynamic Pack, Satellite Navigation Plus, DAB radio, SD Card readers, Bluetooth telephone integration, AMI (Audi Music Interface), ESP with traction control, Thatcham category 1 alarm, electric windows front and rear, electric heated mirrors, remote central locking and alarm, ABS, front and side airbags, leather/suede multi-function steering wheel, trip computer, driver information system, Xenon headlamps, headlamp wash, LED DRL (Daytime Running Lights), Cruise Control, front fog lamps, Auto-Light function, rain sensor, front centre armrest, Audi Park Assist front/rear, Privacy Glass, Aluminium mirrors, One Owner from new, full Audi service history, VAT Qualifying

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 14000 mi
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £39,990 £39,990

    Colour SatNav, Comms Pack, Dual Climate Zones, Bluetooth, Full Leather, Panoramic Sunroof, Powered Folding Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Satellite Navigation, Xenon Headlamps, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Bang & Olufsen, Keyless Entry, Privacy Glass, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Curtain Airbags, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Quick-Clear Screen, Side Air Bags, Twin Air Bags, Push Button Start, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Handbrake, Auto-dip Rearview, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Metallic Paintwork, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Folding Rear Seats, Front Centre Armrest, 19'' Alloys, 4x4 HUGE SPEC CAR COMES WITH FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY,PANORAMIC ROOF,DYNAMIC PACK,SPORTS EXHAUST,SUPER SPORT FRONT SEATS,PANTHER BLACK,TECH PACK,FOLDING DOOR MIRRORS

    • Mileage: 14000 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • AUDI RS3 SPORTBACK QUATTRO NAV DYNAMIC PACK- SUPERSPORTS SEATS- TECH PACK 2016

    £38,995 £38,995

    2016/16 Reg Audi RS3 Finished In Mythos Black with Black Leather Interior. Great Spec to Include- Dynamic Pack Including RS Sports Exhaust and Audi Magnetic Ride with RS Sports Suspension, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Super Sports Seats with Diamond Quilted Leather, Technology Package, Comfort and Sound Package, Bluetooth Phone Prep, 19” Rotor Arm Alloys Finished In Gloss Black, Gloss Black Exterior Styling Pack, Black Roof Rails, Electric Lumber Support, Electric Heated and Folding Mirrors, Privacy Glass. HPI CLEAR;;THIS AUDI RS3 HAS ONE PREVIOUS OWNER AND FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY. ;;INDOOR SHOWROOM- LOW RATE FINANCE WITH ZERO DEPOSIT OPTIONS- PART EXCHANGE- FREE DRIVE AWAY INSURANCE- NATIONWIDE DELIVERY. ALL MAJOR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED- VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENTS ONLY ;

    • Mileage: 16000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.48
    For sale
  • 2012 Audi RS3 Rs3 Quattro 5dr

    POA POA

    2012 / 12 REG + 62,000 MILES + FULL SERVICE HISTORY + 1 PREVIOUS OWNER + 2 KEYS + SAT NAV + FULL LEATHER INTERIOR + HEATED SEATS + CRUSIE CONTROL + BLACK OPTIC PACK + ROOF RAILS + 461 BHP WITH PRINT OUT + FULL TURBO BACK EXHAUST SYSTEM + RAMAIR FILTER + UPGRADED FUEL PUMP + FORGE FRONT MOUNTED INTERCOOLER + FORGE UPGRADED INTERCOOLER PIPES + AET HYBRID TURBO + APEX COILOVER SUSPENSION + RAC WARRANTY + RAC ROADSIDE ASSIT + Satellite Navigation System - DVD - Based, Dual - Zone Electronic Climate Control, Rear Acoustic Parking System, 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Alloys AM/FM Tuner and Single Front, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm,

    • Year: 2012
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £23,495 £23,495

    4x4 2012 / 12 REG + 62,000 MILES + FULL SERVICE HISTORY + 1 PREVIOUS OWNER + 2 KEYS + SAT NAV + FULL LEATHER INTERIOR + HEATED SEATS + CRUSIE CONTROL + BLACK OPTIC PACK + ROOF RAILS + 461 BHP WITH PRINT OUT + FULL TURBO BACK EXHAUST SYSTEM + RAMAIR FILTER + UPGRADED FUEL PUMP + FORGE FRONT MOUNTED INTERCOOLER + FORGE UPGRADED INTERCOOLER PIPES + AET HYBRID TURBO + APEX COILOVER SUSPENSION + RAC WARRANTY + RAC ROADSIDE ASSIT + Satellite Navigation System - DVD - Based, Dual - Zone Electronic Climate Control, Rear Acoustic Parking System, 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Alloys AM/FM Tuner and Single Front, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm

    • Mileage: 62000 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • AUDI RS3 SPORTBACK QUATTRO MAGNETIC RIDE WITH RS SUSPENSION- TECH PACK 2015

    £35,995 £35,995

    2015/15 Reg Audi RS3 Sportback Finished in Metallic Mythos Black with Lunar Silver RS3 Embossed Bucket Seats. Spec Includes- LED headlights with headlight washers, 19" Rotar Arm Alloys in Titanium Finish, Audi Magnetic Ride with RS Sports Suspension, Extended Matt Aluminium Styling Package, Fine Nappa Leather Seats with Diamond Stitching, Extended Mono.pur Interior Finish, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Cruise Control, Interior Lighting Package, Light/Rain Sensors, Audi Music Interface, MMI Navigation High, Audi Connect, Privacy Glass, Electric Folding Mirrors, Matt Aluminium Roof Rails, Aluminium Race Design Inlays, Audi Phone Box. HPI CLEAR;;THIS ONE OWNER AUDI RS3 COMES WITH BALANCE OF MANUFACTURES WARRANTY 2018.;;INDOOR SHOWROOM- LOW RATE FINANCE WITH ZERO DEPOSIT OPTIONS- PART EXCHANGE- FREE DRIVE AWAY INSURANCE- NATIONWIDE DELIVERY. ALL MAJOR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED- VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENTS ONLY

    • Mileage: 20000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.48
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £39,390 £39,390

    Variant name:Rs 3 Sportback ,Derivative:2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic ,Variant: 2.5 TFSI RS 3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic [Nav] Audi RS3 Sportback 2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic finished in Nardo Grey. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, navigation system - high, cruise control, 19" x 8j '5-arm rotor' design in titanium matt finish - diam, MMI navigation Plus, s sports seat, technology pack, windscreen with sunband and acoustic glass, reversing camera, rs dual-branch exhaust system, bluetooth phone connection, comfort and sound package, advanced key, anti-theft alarm, Audi music interface (ami), door mirrors - electrically folding - adjustable and heated, dynamic package, electrically adjustable lumbar support, hill hold assist, inlays - Aluminium race design, interior lighting package, light and rain sensor, matt Aluminium roof rails and fine nappa leather with Diamond-patterned stitching and r

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 13771 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
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