17 December 2020

Audi RS Q3 Car Review 2020

The Audi Q3 is a subcompact luxury crossover SUV that ticks all of the boxes for most drivers thanks to its luxurious feel, selection of mod cons and build quality.

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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020
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Audi RS Q3 2020

For those wanting to not only tick the boxes, but smash them, Audi also offer the new RS Q3. It’s functional, fast, and best-of-all has that great turbo 5-cylinder exhaust note to boot.

Looks can deceive

You might think that the Audi RS Q3 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but take a second look and you’ll start to notice that this is no normal compact SUV. For instance, huge red brakes are visible inside the 20” mag wheels and the gaping air diffusers and grilles around the car feature sleek black inserts.

In true Audi RS fashion, the rear wheel arches have been pumped out 10mm to give a lovely wide-bodied appearance. The RS Q3 comes standard with LED headlights, and Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators and RS-specific darkened trims are also available as an option. The rear lights also feature LED technology.

Oh that engine!

The five-cylinder engine is a modern classic. It first appeared in the 1976 Audi 100, which powered fantastic Audis through the Group B rally era and then took a break from 1994 until its reintroduction in the sporty TT RS.

In 2018, Audi Sport received the sought-after “International Engine of the Year Award” for the 2.5 - litre TFSI engine in the 2.0-2.5-litre class for the ninth consecutive year. This year, the power has increased 17% and can sprint to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. The dual-branch RS exhaust system underscores the characteristic sound of the five-cylinder firing sequence. The optionally available RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trim helps to accentuate the sound even more.

Oh what fun it is to ride…

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system influences the quattro drive and other components such as steering, suspension, S tronic, engine characteristic and sound. Depending on the selected equipment variant, there is a choice of five or six modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual or, as an alternative to the individual mode, the two new RS modes - RS1 and RS2. Via ‘Audi MMI’, the driver can adjust and save the two RS modes individually. Simply pressing the new “RS MODE” button on the steering wheel provides rapid access to those two modes and allows the driver to switch between them with ease.

Inside is exactly what you would expect from a luxury performance Audi. The emphasis on the horizontal lines conveys a generous sense of space in the cabin. The air-conditioning control unit, the centre console and the MMI touch display are tilted toward the driver by ten degrees and the entire cockpit is very much designed with the driver in mind.

As an option, buyers can also choose the larger Audi ‘virtual cockpit plus’ with a shift light display that prompts the driver to upshift when the maximum engine speed is reached. Special RS displays also provide information on tire pressure, torque, power output, lap times, g-forces and acceleration measurements.

The RS sport seats are finished in fine Nappa leather, with RS-specific honeycomb pattern and integrated head restraints - available for the first time in the Q3 range. Entry lighting with Audi Sport projection in the doors welcomes the driver and front passenger when they open and RS logos adorn the interior on the steering wheel and the illuminated front door sill trims.

ANCAP gave all variants of the Q3 the maximum five-star rating in 2018 with the exception of the RS Q3 which is yet to be tested. Audi has equipped the RS Q3 with a raft of safety features as standard across the range, which includes the AEB system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross traffic assistance, lane departure warning with lane keeping assistance.

The airbag count is also the same as a regular Q3 at six, and inside you’ll also find three top tether anchor points and two ISOFIX mounts for child seats across the second row.

Some might say it’s bordering on a little bit over the top for an SUV of this size, but you can stand out even more by going for the incredible, eye-catching Kyalami Green or Turbo Blue (no additional cost) colour options. You also have the option to change up to the Sportback model (offered for the first time on the Q3) for an additional $3k.

At a glance


Audi RS Q3 


2.5L TFSI Five-Cylinder Turbo


From $111,900

ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

294kW, 408Nm


Seven-speed S Tronic

Fuel economy


Towing capacity

1,900kg (braked), 750kg (unbraked)


quattro AWD

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload


 Safety systems

  • ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, electronic diff lock, traction control and electronic stabilisation control
  • Driver/passenger airbags
  • Audi Side Assist
  • Audi Active Lane Assist
  • Audi Pre Sense basic
  • Forward Collision Warning and AEB
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