2020 Audi RS 3 vs. 2020 Volkswagen GTI

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 GTI 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 Volkswagen GTI has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

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

Both the RS 3 and the GTI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

© 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 corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the GTI’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 13 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The RS 3’s 2.5 turbo 5-cylinder produces 166 more horsepower (394 vs. 228) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 258) than the GTI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Road and Track the Audi RS 3 is faster than the Volkswagen GTI (automatics tested):

RS 3

GTI

Zero to 30 MPH

1.4 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.2 sec

14.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114.9 MPH

99.7 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

The RS 3 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GTI (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

RS 3

GTI

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.4 inches

The RS 3 offers optional heat-treated ceramic front 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 GTI doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The RS 3 stops much shorter than the GTI:

RS 3

GTI

80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

214 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

118 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RS 3 has larger standard tires than the GTI (235/35R19 vs. 225/40R18). The RS 3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GTI (F:255/30R19 & R:235/35R19 vs. 225/40R18).

The RS 3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GTI’s standard 40 series tires. The RS 3’s optional 255/30R19 front and 235/35R19 rear tires have a lower 30 series front and 35 series rear profile than the GTI’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RS 3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the GTI.

Suspension and Handling

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The RS 3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.2% to 41.8%) than the GTI’s (60.4% to 39.6%). This gives the RS 3 more stable handling and braking.

The RS 3 handles at .96 G’s, while the GTI SE pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the RS 3 is quieter than the GTI (42 vs. 52 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the RS 3. The GTI doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The RS 3’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GTI 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.

If the windows are left open on the RS 3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the GTI can’t use the remote to operate the 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 GTI 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 GTI doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The RS 3 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The GTI offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The RS 3 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the GTI Autobahn.

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. The GTI doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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