This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Audi A3 RS3 Sportback (15-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

It's easy to find a good driving position becaue the seat and steering wheel are both multi-adjustable. The familiar layout is a classy affair - the soft-touch dash with its circular air vents and the RS3 badging add to the sporty feel, while the controls work with superb precision.

A car that can cope with real-world driving and give the driver a thrill is a rare beast, but the RS3 manages to handle both. Not only is it an engaging and enjoyable drive for enthusiasts, but if you prefer to pootle down to the shops or around town, then it will happily cruise along. The low roar from the exhaust is a lovely accompaniment and never gets boring because it has the right level of insulation in the cabin.

Road, wind and tyre noise don’t intrude into the cabin too much. Up front the sports seats are well bolstered and have great side supports holding you firmly in place when cornering. The rear has ample room even for taller passengers, and the five-door bodystyle makes entry and exit easy with no awkward clambering through the front doors like some of its three-door rivals.

Even on the 19-inch alloys that come as standard, the ride is compliant and not overly stiff but remember to turn the Sport button off to get maximum comfort through towns or urban areas.