Some people may be surprised that a car as fast as this new Audi RS3, and as capable in isolated areas, should end up with such a guarded report.

The truth, though, is that it just isn’t exciting or entertaining enough. At times, it’s borderline boring.

The RS3 has strong all-weather performance but lacks character

Although technically impressive, by the standards of hot hatchbacks the RS3 suffers a noticeable shortage of dynamic character.

It’s a hard car to take satisfaction from, with its inert steering and a chassis that’s very capable but lacks the agility and finesse to really please on a typical back road.

And aside from hot hatches, when you consider the excellent sports cars at the RS3’s price point, that failing seems all the harder to forgive.

With everyday use in mind, we could well understand why you might pick the RS3 over a less practical performance rival, but in our opinion the trade isn’t worth making.