CarAdvice tests Audi RS3 vs Mercedes-AMG A45

The Audi RS3 is one of the most dynamic and exciting hot hatches on the market. Its 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine produces 367 hp and allows the RS3 to rocket from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. That’s plenty fast, especially for a hatchback that can double as a family car when it needs to be. But will its combination of power, practicality and performance be able to take down its rival hot hatch from Mercedes-AMG?

Audi RS3 Sportback
Audi RS3 Sportback

Well, the folks from CarAdvice Australia have decided to find out. The Mercedes-AMG A45 packs even more power, to the tune of 381 hp and is capable of 0-60 in a very similar 4.2 seconds. So the AMG is no slouch and can take it to the RS3. But which car is the better hot hatch?

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CarAdvice separated the test into two different categories; for everyday driving and for performance driving. Around town and in everyday driving, it seems as if the RS3 is the better car. It’s optional magnetic suspension is better suited for rough roads than the AMG’s optional adjustable suspension. The RS3 magnetic shocks are both more comfortable and better planted around town. Although, the RS3 does tend to roll a bit more in corners. However, that tends to help a bit for comfort. It’s also more practical, has a nicer interior that’s better laid out and is better looking. So for just puttering around town, the RS3 seems to be the better car.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

However, when it came to really push the cars to their limits, the team at CarAdvice seemed to prefer the A45 AMG by a small margin. According to them, the A45 had a bit sharper of steering, better brakes and was just a bit more dynamic. When pushing them through the twisties, the A45 was the sharper car and the one they’d choose for performance driving. Though, the A45 was said to understeer a bit during initial turn-in at high-speed, but its all-wheel drive system does a quick job of fixing that and pulling the car through the corners. But the RS3 was said to have a bit better turn-in, with virtually no understeer at all, surprising on an Audi.

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Overall, though,he Audi RS3 is said to still be quite excellent and its engine a bit torquier, thanks to its extra .5 liters of displacement, so it’s a bit punchier at low speeds. But the A45 AMG is said to just be the more exciting car, even if by just a bit, which is the more important metric for hot hatches like these two. The RS3 is also a bit more expensive, making the Mercedes-AMG A45 the better car of the two, according to CarAdvice.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.