The Audi Q3 is a strong competitor in the premium compact SUV sector and offers comfortable fuss-free drive. Released in November 2018, it shows significant improvement compared to its 2011 predecessor. With a larger body than before, the Q3 is now better distinguished from the Q2 and placed comfortably below the Q5, offering more spacious interior and relaxed driving experience.
On the outside you can spot the single-frame 8-side grille inspired by Q3’s bigger brother, the Q8. The Q3’s sporty front definitely makes the Q3 a distinguishable car on the road. LED lights come as standard and you can customize them further with the different trim lines. On the sides, Audi focuses on a more recognisable front and back wheel arch and shoulder line. You also have the option to order the side bumper contrasting to the main car colour which visually puts emphasis on the high driving position of the vehicle.
The rear of the car shares similar design features to other MQB platform vehicles. Turning indicators come in the delightful Audi cascading style. The 10cm longer body makes the new Q3 look more proportionate than its predecessor. It’s built on an 8cm longer wheel base which helps build more interior space as well. Audi now offers a wider range of more vibrant colours which you can pair with some of the interior variations.
Legroom and headroom allows even taller passengers to sit comfortably in the rear bench. However, three tall adults might struggle as the ceiling over the middle seat is higher and steeper. The spacious back area offers more convenience than the Mercedes GLA or the BMW X1 and makes it much easier to fit a child seat too, which puts the Q3 high up the ranking of compact family SUVs. Backseats can be moved back or forward up to 150mm, giving you the option to expand the 500-litre boot even further.
Audi combines different types of fabric for each part of their seats to create comfort, durability and temperature regulation. Front part of the driving seat can be extended forward for taller drivers. The steering wheel is easy to adjust and gives you a great range to move up and down as well as forward and backwards.
High-quality hard plastic, knobs and the customised leather and Alcantara options add up perfectly to create a luxury feeling. Mood lightning creates nice ambience during a long journey. You can combine your interior with different exteriors and tailor parts of the dashboard and surfaces with Alcantara available in beige, grey and peachy orange.
Technology dominates Q3’s dashboard. Analogue dials are replaced with a 10.25in digital array, which can be upgraded to a 12.3in when virtual cockpit is requested. Audi integrates a second 10in entertainment touch screen to the dashboard, with type B and type C USB ports and a 12V socket below it. There are 2 more USB ports in the back and Apple and Android smartphone connectivity.
The new Q3 comes in five engine variations. The four-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine 35 TFSI (which is only available in front wheel drive) offers 148bhp and ensures good fuel economy, especially if you go for the automatic gearbox. Quattro 4-wheel drive options are available in the 187bhp 40 TFSI and 227bhp 45 TFSI from the petrol engines, and the 148bhp 35 TDI and 187bhp 40 TDI diesel. If you do need the 4-wheel drive for your weekend off-road activities, the diesel engine will certainly save you more on fuel.
Overall the new Q3 offers a very intuitive and relaxing to drive. It has a good grip on the road and although it feels better on motorways, curved mountain roads wouldn’t present a challenge.
The S line comes with lowered suspension unlike normal suspension on the Sports model which is softer. Adaptive suspension is also an option at an extra cost meaning you can switch between comfort and sports mode at the switch of a button. The steering wheel feels smooth and is not excessively responsive at slight movements so it keeps the vehicle steady on the road. The further you steer, the more responsive the wheel gets, which makes the Q3 easy to manoeuvre and park in an urban environment.
The 7-speed automatic gearbox is a bit slow to respond and considered one of Q3’s slightly weaker points. It is much louder when you put your foot down, especially compared to how quiet the Q3 is in general. The 6-speed manual gearbox feels smoother and more responsive than the manual one.
The new Q3 comes in 3 trim levels: Sport, S line and Vorsprung. You can specify wheels ranging from 18in up to 20in. The Sports trim is well equipped with MMI Navigation Plus and Audi Virtual Cockpit, sports seats, LED headlights with daytime-running lights and dynamic rear indicators. If you upgrade to the S line you can enjoy the S line exterior styling with privacy glass and ambient lighting pack. The Vorsprung version will upgrade your ambient lightning pack to a multi-coloured one. It features black styling pack and ‘5-V-spoke star’ wheels in matt titanium-look.
Drivers have plenty of driving assistant features to choose from to complement the rear parking sensors, hill hold system and cruise control with speed limiter which come as standard even on the base models. Some of the options include adaptive suspension with damping control, Audi Parking System Plus, rear-view camera and park assist. If you go for an automatic gearbox, you can select adaptive cruise control to ease you out on long journeys.
Regardless of which trim you go for, your Audi Q3 will be well equipped in comparison to competitors in the same price range. Thoughtfully built, good-looking and entertaining, it makes an amazing compact family SUV.
The new Audi Q3 is available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts. Check out our latest Audi Q3 deals or call Nationwide Vehicle Contracts today on 0345 811 9595 to speak to one of our experienced sales advisers.