2020 Audi RS 3 vs. 2020 BMW M2

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

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 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 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 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 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The RS 3’s optional 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 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the RS 3’s optional 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 M2 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RS 3 and the M2 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

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.

Engine

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As tested in Car and Driver the Audi RS 3 is faster than the M2 Competition (automatics tested):

RS 3

M2

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.7 sec

9.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.7 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

117 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

On the EPA test cycle the RS 3 gets better fuel mileage than the M2:

MPG

RS 3

Auto

2.5 turbo 5-cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

M2

Manual

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

Auto

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

17 city/23 hwy

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

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

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RS 3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M2 (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’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; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

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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 (.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

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

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

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The RS 3’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M2 has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The RS 3’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the M2’s standard power windows.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the RS 3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The M2 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 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 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The RS 3’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The M2’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 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 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi RS 3 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the M2.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RS 3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RS 3 will cost $1085 less than the M2 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi RS 3 will be $3072 less than for the BMW M2.

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

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