2020 Volkswagen GTI vs. 2020 Audi RS 3

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 2020/06/04

The GTI has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, 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 GTI and the RS 3 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 and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GTI the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RS 3 has not been tested, yet.

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 2020/06/04

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the GTI for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RS 3.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GTI’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2020/06/04

The Volkswagen GTI’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

GTI

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

RS 3

Auto

2.5 turbo 5-cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the GTI Automatic’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RS 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen GTI uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RS 3 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2020/06/04

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen GTI higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi RS 3 (3). This means the GTI produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the RS 3 every 15,000 miles.

Chassis

© 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 2020/06/04

The Volkswagen GTI may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 550 pounds less than the Audi RS 3.

The GTI is 8.3 inches shorter than the RS 3, making the GTI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volkswagen GTI amounts to more than styling. The GTI has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the RS 3 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GTI get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the GTI SE is quieter than the RS 3:

GTI

RS 3

At idle

39 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

80 dB

88 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/06/04

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

The GTI has 7.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 3 (93.5 vs. 86).

The GTI has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the RS 3.

Cargo Capacity

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The GTI has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the RS 3 (22.8 vs. 10 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The GTI 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

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The GTI’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The RS 3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GTI has a standard rear wiper. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the GTI SE/Autobahn has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RS 3 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The GTI SE/Autobahn also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The GTI Autobahn’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RS 3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/06/04

Insurance will cost less for the GTI owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the GTI will cost $6340 to $7490 less than the RS 3 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen GTI will be $25354 to $33413 less than for the Audi RS 3.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/06/04

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen GTI, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The GTI was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 14 years. The RS 3 hasn’t been picked since 2018.

Motor Trend selected the GTI as their 2015 Car of the Year. The RS 3 has never been chosen.

The GTI was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 5 of the last 13 years. The RS 3 has never been an “All Star.”

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the Audi A3/S3/RS 3 by almost four to one during 2019.

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

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