2019 Dodge Charger SRT vs. 2019 Audi RS 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Charger SRT has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the Charger SRT’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Charger SRT has standard Uconnect 9-1-1, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Charger SRT and the RS 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

The Dodge Charger SRT weighs 943 pounds more than the Audi RS 3. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Dodge’s powertrain warranty covers the Charger SRT 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the RS 3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the RS 3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 8 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Charger SRT’s warranty.

Reliability

The Dodge Charger SRT’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the RS 3’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Charger SRT has a standard 220-amp alternator. The RS 3’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Charger SRT has a standard 730-amp battery. The RS 3’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Charger SRT is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Charger SRT’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RS 3’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Dodge vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Dodge 19th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Engine

The Charger SRT’s 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 313 more horsepower (707 vs. 394) and 296 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 354) than the RS 3’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is faster than the Audi RS 3:

Charger SRT

RS 3

Zero to 60 MPH

3.4 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.1 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.2 sec

8.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.7 sec

4.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

1.7 sec

2.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.3 sec

3.2 sec

Quarter Mile

11.4 sec

11.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

128 MPH

117 MPH

Top Speed

204 MPH

174 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Charger SRT 392’s fuel efficiency. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Charger SRT has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 3 (18.5 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Charger SRT has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Dodge Charger SRT, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the RS 3.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Charger SRT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 3:

Charger SRT

RS 3

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

The Charger SRT stops much shorter than the RS 3:

Charger SRT

RS 3

80 to 0 MPH

194 feet

204 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

157 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

116 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Charger SRT has larger tires than the RS 3 (275/40R20 vs. 235/35R19). The Charger SRT’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RS 3 (275/40R20 vs. 255/30R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Charger SRT has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 19-inch wheels are available on the RS 3.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Charger SRT’s wheelbase is 16.8 inches longer than on the RS 3 (120.4 inches vs. 103.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Charger SRT is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than on the RS 3.

The Charger SRT’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.7% to 43.3%) than the RS 3’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the Charger SRT more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Charger SRT a Large car, while the RS 3 is rated a Subcompact.

The Charger SRT has 18.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 3 (104.7 vs. 86).

The Charger SRT has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 4.7 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 5 inches more rear legroom and 4.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the RS 3.

Cargo Capacity

The Charger SRT has a much larger trunk than the RS 3 (16.5 vs. 10 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Charger SRT is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RS 3. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

The Charger SRT has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RS 3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Charger SRT has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Charger SRT, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster), outside mirror angle and radio stations. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Charger SRT’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The RS 3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Charger SRT’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The RS 3 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Keyless Enter-N-Go standard on the Charger SRT allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi RS 3’s Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Charger SRT to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RS 3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the Charger SRT is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The RS 3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Charger SRT and the RS 3 have standard heated front seats. The Charger SRT also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RS 3.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Charger SRT keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The RS 3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Charger SRT’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

The Charger SRT will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Charger SRT will retain 53% to 54.09% of its original price after five years, while the RS 3 only retains 43.72%.

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

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