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

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 
Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3
Last updated: 21st Dec 2015
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Audi RS3 cars for sale

21 Search results
Audi RS3
23993 56489 GBP
  • Audi RS3 Sportback

    £42,995 £42,995

    Variant: 2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5085 mi
    For sale
    Marshall Motor Group-Marshall Audi of Bexley
    020 3484 2025 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 2012 Audi RS3 Rs3 Quattro 5dr + RECARO EXCLUSIV BUCKET SEATS

    POA POA

    Full Leather Quilted Recaro Bucket Seats, Heated Seats, SAT NAV, Cruise Control, Bose Sound System, Tyre Pressure Monitoring system, Interior Light Pack, Aluminium Styling Pack, Center Arm Rest, Reverse Parking Sensors, Balance of Manufacture warranty Remaining. Usual RS3 refinements. Audi RS3 Features Air Conditioning Climate Control Dual Climate Zones Full Leather Xenon Headlamps Cruise Control Power Steering Traction Control Bose Aluminium Styling Pack Recaro Bucket Seats

    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £27,995 £27,995

    4x4 FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL ELECTRIC LEATHER SEATS + FRONT AND REAR HEATED SEATS + BLACK PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + CRUISE CONTROL + PRIVACY GLASS. 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Titanium Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    • Mileage: 17000 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £48,990 £48,990

    Comms Pack, Dual Climate Zones, Bluetooth, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Panoramic Sunroof, Powered Folding Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Satellite Navigation, Xenon Headlamps, Bang & Olufsen, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Metallic Paintwork, Privacy Glass, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Handbrake, Auto-dip Rearview, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Front Centre Armrest, Height Adjustable Seat, Folding Rear Seats, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Curtain Airbags, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Quick-Clear Screen, Side Air Bags, Twin Air Bags, 4x4 THE PERFECT HOT HATCH,HAS SOME LOVELY EXTRAS,PANORAMIC ROOF,TECH PACK,COMFORT AND SOUND PACK,DYNAMIC PACK WITH SPORTS EXHAUST,HIGH GLOSS STYLING PACK,SUPER SPORT SEATS,GLOSS BLACK WHEELS,THEY SHOULD CALL THIS CAR A HYPER HATCH !!

    • Mileage: 500 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £25,995 £25,995

    4x4 FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL LEATHER BUCKET SEATS + HEATED SEATS + ALUMINIUM PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + PRIVACY GLASS. 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Titanium Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    • Mileage: 37500 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £25,990 £25,990

    Xenon Headlamps, Heated Seats, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, 4x4, Full main dealer service history Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo Quattro S Tronic Automatic registered March 2012 finished in Misano Red with Black Leather interior with Grey Contrast Stitching and Piano Black Trim, Rear Parking Sensors, Heated Front Sports Seats with RS Embossed Headrests, Xenon Headlamps with Washers, 19 Inch 5 Arm Rotor Alloys, Electric Heated Door Mirrors, Satellite Navigation Plus, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, Automatic Climate Control, Full Audi Service History at West London on 20/11/14 at 9,499; Portsmouth on 07/08/15 at 17,644 and 28/07/16 at 27,538. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. See our website for HD walk around video. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 28400 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £29,995 £29,995

    Bluetooth, Colour SatNav, Climate Control, Full Leather, Alarm, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Privacy Glass, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Front Centre Armrest, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Folding Rear Seats, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Isofix, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Roof Rails, Auto-dip Rearview, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, CD Player, Radio, Aux point, Parking Sensors, Alloy wheels, 4x4, Service history BLACK STYLING PACK,SILVER STICHING WITH RS3 EMBOSSED LEATHER SEATS,BLACK IN LAYS

    • Mileage: 26400 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £27,000 £27,000

    Xenon Headlamps, Heated Seats, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, 4x4, Full main dealer service history Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo Quattro S Tronic Automatic registered March 2012 finished in Misano Red with Black Leather interior with Grey Contrast Stitching and Piano Black Trim, Rear Parking Sensors, Heated Front Sports Seats with RS Embossed Headrests, Xenon Headlamps with Washers, 19 Inch 5 Arm Rotor Alloys, Electric Heated Door Mirrors, Satellite Navigation Plus, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, Automatic Climate Control, Full Audi Service History at West London on 20/11/14 at 9,499; Portsmouth on 07/08/15 at 17,644 and 28/07/16 at 27,538. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. See our website for HD walk around video. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 28400 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • 2012 Audi RS3 Rs3 Quattro 5dr

    POA POA

    FULL LEATHER INTERIOR, BOTH FRONT ELECTRIC SEATS, FRONT AND REAR HEATED SEATS, CRUISE CONTROL, BOSE SOUND SYSTEM, ALUMINIUM STYLING PACK, PRIVACY GLASS, BALANCE OF MANUFACTURER WARRANTY REMAINING. Audi RS3 Features Air Conditioning Bluetooth Climate Control Colour SatNav Full Leather Rain-Sensing Wipers Xenon Headlamps Cruise Control Parking Sensors Electric Windows Electric Mirrors Bose Aluminium Styling Pack Front and Rear Heated Seats

    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £43,995 £43,995

    4x4 MASSIVE SPEC RS3 + EXCLUSIVE SEPANG BLUE + SUPER SPORT SEATS WITH RED STITCHING + OPTICS PACK + REVERSE CAMERA + HEATED SEATS + INTERIOR LIGHT PACK + PANORAMIC GLASS ROOF + DYNAMIC PACK + RS SPORTS EXHAUST + MAGNETIC RIDE + ADVANCED KEY + COMFORT SOUND PACK + B AND O SOUND SYSTEM + BLACK STYLING PACK + UPGRADED GLOSS BLACK ALLOYS + CRUISE CONTROL + SAT NAV NEEDS ENABLING + PRIVACY GLASS.

    • Mileage: 8000 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £23,995 £23,995

    4x4 FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL LEATHER BUCKET SEATS + HEATED SEATS + BLACK OPTIC PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + BOSE SOUND SYSTEM + REAR HEATED SEATS + CRUSIE CONTROL + PRIVACY GLASS, 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design BLACK / RED Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    • Mileage: 59500 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £26,995 £26,995

    4x4 FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL LEATHER BUCKET SEATS + HEATED SEATS + ALUMINIUM PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + PRIVACY GLASS. 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Titanium Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    • Mileage: 37500 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £31,490 £31,490

    Bluetooth, Colour SatNav, Climate Control, Full Leather, Alarm, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Privacy Glass, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Front Centre Armrest, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Folding Rear Seats, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Isofix, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Roof Rails, Auto-dip Rearview, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, CD Player, Radio, Aux point, Parking Sensors, Alloy wheels, 4x4, Service history BLACK STYLING PACK,SILVER STICHING WITH RS3 EMBOSSED LEATHER SEATS,BLACK IN LAYS

    • Mileage: 26400 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • AUDI RS3 2.5 TFSI Sportback S Tronic Quattro 2011

    £23,993 £23,993

    RAC INSPECTED and APPROVED. Top Brand Cars are pleased to offer this true super car in stunning, White, With full fine nappa leather interior, This RS3 provides performance, Looks and practicality, Just some of the spec includes DSG Gearbox with steering wheel paddle shift, SATNAV, Bluetooth interface with voice control, Audi multi media interface, Dual SD readers, Auxiliry leads, Bose sound system, Heated front seats, Stainless steel exhaust, Electric folding door mirrors, Rear park assist, Dual climate control, Xenon headlights, Auto headlights and wipers. For full spec feel free to call our sales team. Viewing by appointment only. Part exchange welcome. Finance available. Debit and credit cards taken

    • Mileage: 33000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.48
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £48,995 £48,995

    4x4 SEE FULL SPECIFICAITON BELOW: UNIQUE., 5 seats, Black, PANTHER BLACK CRYSTAL PAINT, INTERIOR LED LIGHT PACK, AUTO DIMMING REAR MIRROR, CRUISE CONTROL, SUPER SPORTS SEATS WITH GREY STITCHING, PRIVACY GLASS, RED BRAKE CALLIPERS, PHONE BOX, SIDE ASSIST, HILL HOLD ASSIST, ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE MIRRORS, HIGH BEAM ASSIST, EXTENDED INTERIOR ELEMENTS MONO PUR, BLACK PACK, BANG AND OLUFSEN STEREO B&O, MAGNETIC RIDE, SPORTS EXHAUST WITH DYNAMIC PACK, ADVANCED KEY KEYLESS GO, 8.5 WIDE FRONT + 8'' WIDE REAR ALLOYS DIAMOND CUT, EXTENDED 4 YEAR AUDI WARRANTY, RAC APPROVED DEALER; Overnight Stay or Nationwide Delivery available. DREAM IT. DRIVE IT. Visit thboler.com for a full set of pictures for this vehicle, PEACE OF MIND WHEN BUYING FROM OXFORDSHIRE'S ONLY RAC BUYSURE DEALER Buy your car from one of the largest independent car dealers in the UK with a unique service centre and kids play area. 2 YEAR RAC WARRANTY INCLUDED. Visit our website thboler.com for more details. ALL MAJOR PAYMENT METHODS ACCEPTED. ALL P/X WELCOME, OR FOR A UNBEATABLE FINANCE QUOTATION PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.THBOLER.COM. OPEN 24/7. NATIONWIDE + INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY AVAILABLE. CONTACT US FOR DETAILS ON OUR FLEXIBLE TEST DRIVE PROGRAMME

    • Mileage: 700 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £47,995 £47,995

    4x4 ULTIMATE SPECIFICATION AND COLOUR COMBINATION. NARDO GREY + ALL THE TOYS, Grey, 19'' Titanium Rotor Alloys(C8J), Advanced Key, Aluminium Race Design Inlays, Black/Rock Grey/ Black Headlining, Black Roof Rails, Black Styling Package, Comfort & Sound Package (with B&O Speakers), Dynamic Package, Elec Folding/Dimming Mirrors, Extended Mono Pur Finish, External Mirrors High Gloss Black, Nardo Grey, Non Smoking Package, Privacy Glass, Reversing Camera, Super Sports Seats, Technology Pack with Audi ConnectTHB BOSCH APPROVED DEALER; Overnight Stay or Nationwide Delivery available. DREAM IT. DRIVE IT. Visit thboler.com for a full set of pictures for this vehicle, PEACE OF MIND with our own fully comprehensive BOSCH approved Warranty. Buy your car from one of the largest independent car dealers in the UK with a unique service centre and kids play area. 3 Month THB WARRANTY INCLUDED. Visit our website thboler.com for more details. ALL MAJOR PAYMENT METHODS ACCEPTED. ALL P/X WELCOME, OR FOR A UNBEATABLE FINANCE QUOTATION PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.THBOLER.COM. OPEN 24/7. NATIONWIDE + INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY AVAILABLE. CONTACT US FOR DETAILS ON OUR FLEXIBLE TEST DRIVE PROGRAMME. We try to make every advert as accurate as possible but some errors can occur. Please make sure you have check the specification carefully

    • Mileage: 1800 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
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