The new Q3 is the epitome of an all-round car, whether you’re going on a holiday or everyday driving, you’ll get plenty of space and practical features putting comfort and performance at the centre of your every journey.
With sharper lines similar to all of the new Audi models, a wealth of sophisticated technology and more space, comfort and technology, the Audi Q3 is here.
We are realising more and more that modern life is a balancing act and the Audi Q3 is a compact SUV that juggles it all in style. With more space inside, a more striking appearance on the outside and enough SUV road presence to inspire confidence yet compact enough to handle tight urban streets, the Audi Q3 makes getting it just right look effortless.
There is a choice of Sport, S Line and Vorsprung specifications available at launch with four engine options. Three TFSI and one TDI with power outputs ranging from 150PS to 230PS.
Supportive sport seats with either full cloth upholstery in Sport models or a combination of cloth and synthetic Twin leather in the S line are standard. In the S line there are two further extra cost upholstery options - full Twin leather or Twin leather and Alcantara – and the latter option is also available for the Sport model. For the first time Alcantara also appears as an option for the surfaces of the instrument panel and the door armrests. They are available in three colours, including a bold orange.
Connect to the Audi Smartphone Interface wirelessly for a seamless integration between your mobile devices and your Q3. Plus, thanks to integrated Audi Connect services, you can enjoy a wide array of digital features on your journeys.
Entry level will be the 1.5 litre TFSI engine with 150PS and 250 Nm of torque. Using the new Audi naming convention it will be badged as 35 TFSI and will be fitted with a fast-shifting seven-speed S tronic and front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual coming later.
The 2.0 litre TFSI will be named as 40 TFSI and comes with 190PS and 320 Nm of Torque.The remaining TFSI engine is the 45 TFSI with 230PS and 350 Nm of Torque. Both of these options are coupled as standard with the seven-speed S tronic gearbox and use quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The only diesel engine available is the 2.0 litre unit with 150PS and 340 NM of Torque. This will be named as the 35 TDI model and is initially available with manual transmission and quattro drive. A seven-speed S tronic will be offered in combination with front-wheel drive shortly afterward along with a 2.0 TDI developing 190PS to extend the range.
Sport trim highlights include:
In addition or replacement to Sport, the S line trim highlights include:
In addition or replacement to S line, the Black Edition trim includes:
In addition or replacement to Black Edition, the Vorsprung trim highlights include:
The TFSI e version of the plug-in hybrid from Audi can cover up to 30 miles whilst producing zero local emissions in fully-electric mode. It also features all the space, technical refinements and progressive steering we love from the traditional Q3.
Combining electric driving with a combustion engine provides you with both impressive performance as well as efficiency. The combined system power comes to 245PS with 400Nm of torque.
Enjoy a choice of driving modes; purely driving in EV mode is great for everyday short journeys, whereas the Auto-Hybrid mode will intelligently and efficiently divide tasks between the 1.4 TFSI engine and the electric motor.
The battery for the electric motor is kept below the flat loading area, allowing you 380 litres of luggage capacity or increase it up to 1,375 with the seats folded down.
For charging at home, we'd recommend a home wall box for easy charging overnight and a full battery when you wake up. When you're on the go, the Audi e-tron Charging Service makes it simple and easy for plug-in hybrid and fully-electric Audi users to access and pay for their public charging. With just one charge card/myAudi app you can access thousands of charging points across the UK and the rest of Europe.
It’s a typical SUV in that it sits high on big wheels, but is also typically Audi in the slim headlamps and the now familiar radiator grille which is becoming uniform across the Audi range. It looks understated compared to some – the main premium badged rivals such as the Evoque, Merc GLA and the BMW X2 in particular – but some (me included) quite like that. It looks very neat, unfussy and I’m rather taken by the suggestion of coupe styling at the back with those heavily raked D pillars framing the back window.
It’s been said to the point of boredom, but it’s nonetheless worth repeating, that the aesthetics of a car are mainly subjective and in the case of this writer, the Q3 gets the thumbs up in its quiet approach over the more ostentatious looks of some others.
Quality, you take that for granted, elegance too for that matter inside any Audi and the Q3 more than delivers everything you want in those respects. The plastics and materials you touch and see are high grade, the seats are comfortable, the dash and instrumentation looks inviting and the Q3 has that indefinable sense of making you feel very much part of the car as you slip behind the wheel.
The front seats are fine, but the ones behind are not especially good for adults; while that sloping roofline looks sporty it does restrict the headroom available underneath, nor is the boot space the biggest in this sector. I would also urge a note of caution on the spec level because it’s all too easy to start ticking the options list and pushing up the cost. This is a danger when you’re spec-ing up any new car, but you need to pay particular attention with the premium brands.
That said, you can forgive so much when you appreciate touches like the soft glow of hidden illumination in the cabin at night and the tactile experience of those parts you touch or the comfort of the driver’s seat. It is a nice place to be.
This is a little bit old-school Audi and a little bit old-school SUV because the steering can feel a little vague and doesn’t connect to your neural system as effortlessly and faithfully as, say that in the BMW. Point it into a bend and it’s not instantly apparent if the car will follow your anticipated course because the steering and suspension between the front wheels and you filter out some of the messages you need; however, maybe that’s just me talking as someone who enjoys feeling really involved when I’m driving.
What the Q3 does do well, surprisingly so actually, is, providing your car has the smaller diameter wheels, it rides well over all but the worst of our broken roads. SUVs place competing demands on their designers. On the one hand, they need to stiffen the springs and anti-roll bars to prevent motion sickness as the leverage of the raised ride height makes the car wallowy in the bends or when braking. On the other hand, they need to have a reasonably comfortable ride. Some I can think of are utterly defeated by this and are positively unpleasant, but the Audi caught my attention for all the right reasons.
Under the bonnet you have the choice of 1.4 or 2.0 litre petrol engines or a 2.0 diesel. The little petrol engine is for front wheel drive versions only, the 2.0 exclusively with the Quattro drivetrain and the diesel either/or.
The bigger petrol engine is great, a good choice, the smaller one is game, but struggles a little under load. We all know that diesels are being driven out of favour, but the endless torque available from this one is so perfectly suited to an SUV that it is certainly worth a look.
It’s smooth, nicely insulated and with a seven speed semi-automatic ‘box never seems fussy or busy making progress feel relaxed. You have to factor in the fuel economy as well, because comparing like-for-like trim specs, the diesel averages 61 mpg, the 2.0 petrol 42 and the 1.4 48 so there are significant cost savings depending on your mileage.
Whilst the Q3 isn’t the latest in the Audi model range, or the newest one in this sector, it still has so much in its favour. The styling gets a big tick from me, as does its ride and the interior from the driver’s perspective. Residuals are good which has a big and beneficial effect on finance packages and whole-life running costs.
If you’re thinking of an Audi, you have certain expectations, on quality, performance, styling, of wanting a certain panache that makes you feel good about yourself every time you drive it - yes, even in our traffic and on our roads; then the Q3 may not be perfect, but it does give you all that!