Audi Q3 (2018) Review

Audi Q3 (2018) At A Glance

5/5

+Premium interior. Very practical.

-1.5 TSI petrol engine disappointing with S tronic automatic gearbox.

New prices start from £31,765, brokers can source from £25,866
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

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.

Real MPG average for a Audi Q3 (2018)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

77%

Real MPG

25–41 mpg

MPGs submitted

13

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

What midsize, petrol SUV should I buy?
"I'm in quandary and require your help! I have a 2009 Lexus GS450h - which I love - but I want an update because the boot is ridiculously small. I feel the need for an SUV as I have had 4x4 in the past and liked the feeling of elevation with loads of space. I don’t really want the largest of the SUVs, but I'm hesitant to buy the smaller options as I was put off either by complaints on reliability (or gearbox in the Lexus) or lack of customer care (Jaguar). My thoughts turn to Audi Q5 or Mercedes GLA - say one to two years old. I don’t want diesel as my journeys are normally up to 50 miles. I want room for my golf clubs and clutter, and there are normally only two adults in the car. I would very much welcome your thoughts and recommendations as always."
First of all, we'd cross the Mercedes-Benz GLA off your shortlist. A new model arrived this year but its predecessor is quite small and, even when it was new, wasn't that great. The Audi Q5 is a better option, or a smaller Q3. We'd recommend looking at the Volvo XC60 – it's a really good mid-size SUV with a superb interior. There's a T8 plug-in hybrid model, too, which sounds like it could suit your needs well (provided you're able to charge a car at home). It's worth considering the Lexus NX, too – its CVT gearbox doesn't appeal to everyone, but it's a very dependable choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will an oil change at a non-franchised garage affect my warranty?
"I have an almost 16-month-old Audi A3 Quattro and, like you, I believe in annual oil changes. But because of lockdown it's only done 8000 miles. It's not due for a service until it is two years old. The Audi dealer quotes £229 for an oil and filter change which I think is extortionate. A local Audi specialist quotes less than half that using genuine parts. Do you think it would affect the warranty if the specialist did the work?"
You can probably have it done at any reputable garage so long as they use approved parts/methods and you get the relevant paperwork that proves as much. Best to check the small print first so you don't inadvertently void your warranty, though.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
There's a faulty part on my new car, should I reject it?
"My two-week-old Audi Q3 has a start-stop system fault with a message appearing in the dash. Upon diagnosis, the dealer says the alternator needs to be replaced and this part is on back-order. It will take two weeks to get the part and the car is safe to drive until then. It appears the car is a mild hybrid and relies heavily on this part. Should I reject the car as it is less than a month old or accept the fix, please?"
The 2015 Consumer Rights Act gives you the theoretical right to reject car in the first 30 days if a fault is found. However, this may be a lengthy process and you will be without the car while the rejection is processed: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-consumer-rights However, if you are otherwise happy with the car, I would make a complaint and ask for some form of recourse from the dealer for the inconvenience caused. They may be willing to give you a partial discount or free servicing once they become aware of how unhappy you are with the fact that your expensive premium car is failing to live up to expectation.
Answered by Dan Powell
Are the 1.5 TSI engine issues in Audis sorted out now?
"We're considering buying a 2019 Audi Q3 with the 1.5 engine. Are you able to comment on the reports that it suffers from low speed “kangrooing” . If it does, have Audi managed to find a cure? Your comments and advice would be much appreciated."
This is the latest on the 1.5 TSI issues. To sum up, VW Group say they've fixed the 1.5 TSI with a software update but many owners still report issues: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/driving-1/2020-07/volkswagen-confirms-no-further-measures-planned-in-regards-to-15-tsi-issues/ Test drive the car when it's cold and see if you can take it away to drive it for a bit longer. Dealers are usually quite good at letting you take it for an extended drive to see how you get on with it. Make sure you really get a feel for how it feels moving between standstill, first and second gear. I would also be asking the dealer - via email - if it's suffering any issues they know about if it's had the fix (which I assume it has). That way you have some comeback if things go awry after you buy it (if you buy). You can read about how we struggled with a SEAT Arona with the same issue, that way you know what to look out for too: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/seat-arona/hopping-mad-with-the-arona/
Answered by Georgia Petrie

What does a Audi Q3 (2018) cost?

Buy new from £25,866 (list price from £30,040)