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Audi Q3 (2018–)

Last updated 12 January 2019

 
5

Driving

Audi reckons most Q3 buyers in the UK will opt for the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol, badged the 35 TFSI. Most of the time it's fine, but if you want to overtake you'll find yourself wishing you'd opted for more power.

That's especially true for the awkward seven-speed S tronic gearbox which can be reluctant to change down and generally doesn't provide a drive as refined and relaxing as we'd expect from an Audi SUV.

If you're happy to take it easy, the 35 TFSI and S tronic automatic gearbox is fine. It's very quiet and refined on the motorway, although the lag when you hit the accelerator can become frustrating around town.

Fortunately, there are other engine options. The 2.0-litre petrol is available with 190 or 230PS and, we suspect, will be much better suited to the Q3 than the 1.5. Then there's a 2.0-litre diesel producing 150PS, which will remain the choice for high mileage users.

Engines aside, the Q3 is a perfectly reasonable car to drive. The variable ratio steering means it doesn't take many turns of the wheel when negotiating tight corners, while it's also nice and light at low speeds. All-round visibility is also pretty good, with that high-up driving position providing a good view of the road ahead.

Up the speed and it's not exactly a nimble handler, but it feels like it has plenty of grip and there's not too much lean in the corners.

It also rides pretty well, if slightly on the firm side if you opt for the S Line with its sport suspension. Our test car was fitted with 19-inch alloys and, while it wouldn't glide over potholes, it wasn't uncomfortable in 99 per cent of situations.

To drive, the Q3 is neither entertaining like an X2 or soft like an XC40, but it's a good all rounder. We'd recommend opting for one of the bigger engines if budget allows, but the entry-level 1.5 is easy enough to live with every day.

 

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