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Audi Q3 (2018–)

Last updated 12 January 2019

 
5
Premium interior. Very practical.
1.5 TSI petrol engine disappointing with S tronic automatic gearbox.
Updated 25 July 2018
Audi reveals 2018 Q3

It will be available in a choice of 11 paint colours and initially in the UK in Sport or S line specification, the latter featuring an exclusive design for the bumpers, sill trims and diffuser. LED...

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Introduction

Buyers of premium compact SUVs have a difficult decision to make. The Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X2 are both excellent, while the slightly leftfield Volvo XC40 is arguably the best. And then there's the Audi Q3 which, traditionally, just wasn't that good. It wasn't great to drive, it looked bland and predictable, while the interior was dated and it was not as spacious as it should have been.

Audi's sought to address that with the latest generation Q3. And what a job it's done. From the second you set your eyes on the new Q3, it's clear that it's moving the game on considerably. Not as bold as the XC40, admittedly, but quietly attractive.

The interior is just as impressive. It's similar to that used in the bigger Q8, as well as the A7 Sportback and e-tron electric SUV. The firm's Virtual Cockpit - a digital replacement for conventional dials - is standard across the range, as is a 10.1-inch multimedia display in the centre of the dash.

It all feels extremely upmarket with premium, soft-touch materials and a generous amount of room. Passengers in the rear are also well catered for, with plenty of head and legroom as well as a bench that can slide backwards and forwards depending on where you want to prioritise the extra space.

There are four engines available - three petrols and one diesel, with power ranging from 150PS to 230PS.

The entry-level 1.5-litre petrol (badged the 35 TFSI) produces 150PS and 250Nm of torque but is initially only available with a seven-speed DQ200 dry clutch S tronic automatic gearbox. This combination isn't the best - the engine feels strained and can be noisy, plus it's easy to catch the gearbox out. Having said that, it's easy enough to get used to the gearbox with time and, under normal driving, the engine is perfectly refined.

There are two version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine. The first is available with 190PS and 320Nm of torque, badged the 40 TFSI, or there's the 230PS and 350Nm, badged the 45 TFSI. Both engines comes with the DQ381/DQ500 seven-speed wet clutch S tronic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

The only diesel engine available at launch is a 2.0-litre unit producing 150PS and 340Nm of torque. Badged the 35 TDI, it will initially come with a manual gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive. An automatic version will follow along with front-wheel drive, as well as a 180PS version.

 

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