Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2018 Audi RS 3 VS 2018 BMW M3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2018 Audi RS 3

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2018 BMW M3

Safety Comparison

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 M3 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 M3 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 M3 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 M3 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the RS 3 and the M3 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Road and Track the Audi RS 3 is faster than the BMW M3 (automatics tested):


RS 3


M3 Competition Package

Zero to 30 MPH

1.4 sec

1.5 sec

1.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

3.9 sec

4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6 sec

6.3 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

12.3 sec

12.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the RS 3 gets better fuel mileage than the M3 Auto (19 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy). The RS 3 gets better fuel mileage than the M3 Manual (19 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 M3’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RS 3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the M3.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability, the RS 3’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the M3’s (36.1 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The RS 3 is 8.2 inches shorter than the M3, making the RS 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics Comparison

The RS 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The M3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 M3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 M3 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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