Photo Comparison: 2022 Audi RS3 Sportback vs Mercedes-AMG A45 S

Now that the 2022 Audi RS3 Sportback is officially here, it’s time to see how its design stacks up against its competitors’ designs. Without question, the closest competitor to the RS3 Sportback is the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. In fact, they’re so close — in terms of size, price, power, and performance — that they seem purpose built to do battle with each other. But we can’t drive the RS3 just yet, so we can only compare their styling.


Being that the RS3 Sportback and AMG A45 S hatchback are going to be the most commonly compared versions of each car, as the sedans aren’t as popular, they’re the two we’re going to use here. So let’s take a look at which design is best.


Up front, the Audi RS3 is far more aggressive and a lot busier. Its angles are sharper and there are a lot more of them. While the AMG has softer edges and angles, with more flowing lines than crisp lines. That doesn’t mean the AMG is boring but it isn’t as sporty looking as the RS3. While I don’t personally love either, I think the AMG is has more handsome mug. It’s just less fussy and seems like it will age better. Plus, its grille is a more appropriate size.


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In profile, though, the Audi RS3 Sportback is the better looking car. Its sharp shoulder line, muscular wheel arches, more aggressive roofline, and lack of silly wing make it look far sleeker and sportier. The AMG isn’t a bad looking car but, compared to the RS3, it just looks too tame. Plus, due to its sort of slab-sided wheel arches, it looks as if it’s sitting on top of its wheels, while the RS3 looks hunkered down over them.


Out back, the two cars are close but I have to give it to the Audi RS3 Sportback again. Its taillights are sleeker and more modern, its dual tailpipes are cleaner, and it lacks the AMG’s rear wing which just looks a bit try-hard. The AMG has some cool features, such as the quad exhausts, but overall the RS3 is sportier looking.


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Inside, though, I think the AMG has the better cabin. The Audi RS3 Sportback looks cool inside but it really doesn’t look much different than a standard A3, save for the steering wheel stripe. While the AMG A45 isn’t all that different from a standard A-Class, either, even that car’s cabin is brilliant. The AMG A45 looks more special than the RS3 inside, thanks to its killer steering wheel, turbine-like air vents, and contrast piping throughout. Just a really nice looking interior.


On the whole, it’s a tough call. Both cars are good looking and both are really cool. It’s hard to say which one I’d buy, just based on looks, and I’d like to say that their driving dynamics should be the deciding factor, but I have to pick a winner. So I’m gonna go with the Audi RS3 Sportback, only because I think it looks a bit sportier and that’s a bit more my style. But I perfectly understand if customers would prefer the AMG’s more subtle grille and snazzier cabin.


CategoriesCompetitors RS3
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.