2019 Audi RS 3 vs. 2019 BMW M2 Competition

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RS 3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW M2 Competition doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The RS 3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The RS 3 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The RS 3’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the RS 3 and the M2 Competition have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 1 place higher in reliability than BMW.

Transmission

The Audi RS 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the M2 Competition.

Brakes and Stopping

The RS 3 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RS 3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M2 Competition (255/30R19 vs. 245/35R19).

The RS 3’s optional 255/30R19 front tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M2 Competition’s 35 series tires.

The RS 3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the M2 Competition; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The RS 3 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The M2 Competition’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the RS 3’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M2 Competition’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Audi RS 3 amounts to more than styling. The RS 3 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the M2 Competition (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RS 3 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The RS 3 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the M2 Competition can only carry 4.

The RS 3 has .4 inches more front shoulder room and 2.1 inches more rear legroom than the M2 Competition.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The RS 3’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the M2 Competition’s power windows.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RS 3 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RS 3 has standard extendable sun visors. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The RS 3’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The M2 Competition’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The RS 3 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RS 3 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations

The RS 3 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The M2 Competition hasn’t been picked since 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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