Donna Kelly has over 12 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
Spacious, stylish and packed full of hi-tech features, the Audi Q3 may be Audi's smallest SUV but boasts the same level of luxury and refinement as its larger stablemates.
Now in its second generation, the family SUV continues to compete in one of the toughest classes and is an attractive alternative to rivals such as the BMW X1, Volvo XC40 and Mercedes GLA.
Our Audi Q3 review covers:
Influenced by the flagship Q8, the latest Audi Q3 has an imposing exterior style, with its high stance, large grille, flared wheel arches and more upright windscreen giving the Q3 a strong presence on the road.
As expected from a car of its size, the Q3 boasts plenty of room inside for both driver and passengers. Headroom is generous, and there's more room in the back than you'll find in many other cars of this size, although the Volvo XC40 and BMW X1 both have more legroom.
Storage options are good, with practical pockets in both front doors and a handy non-slip cubby directly beneath the air conditioning controls.
Storage continues at the rear with a 675-litre boot, which is more space than X1 (505 litres) or XC40 (432 litres), although the VW Tiguan offers even more. The sliding rear bench adds an extra dimension to the Q3's practicality but does reduce the boot space to 530 litres if you slide the seats right back to maximise legroom.
The rear seats split and fold in a handy 40/20/40 arrangement, which gives more flexibility than you get with the more common 60/40 split that many rivals offer. Nice touches include LED spotlights in the tailgate, a parcel shelf you can stash under the floor, and the option of the hands-free boot opening.
Inside, the Q3's cabin is well-built with thorough attention to detail but doesn't quite boast the upmarket look or feel of the Range Rover Evoque or Volvo XC40. There are soft-touch materials on the dashboard and some attractive new trim options for the dashboard and door armrests.
Latest generation models get Audi's fantastic Virtual Cockpit display, which replaces the traditional instrument pack. The 12-inch wide TFT screen can be configured to display a wide range of driving and navigation graphics and control other infotainment and vehicle functions.
Trim levels include the Technik, Sport, S Line, Black Edition and the top-of-the-range Vorsprung. The entry-level Technik model has LED headlights, MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Virtual Cockpit and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Sport trim adds full body colour paint finish and Sport styling, front sport seats and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The mid-spec S Line models come with a more aggressive styling, ambient interior lighting, privacy glass, sports seats with leather trim and 19-inch alloy wheels. The Black Edition model is visually enhanced with a Black styling pack, which adds black highlights to the exterior, radiator grille and window trims.
The top-of-the-range Vorsprung trim includes a panoramic sunroof, twin leather upholstery, SONOS premium sound system, black styling pack and huge 20-inch alloy wheels.
The Audi Q3 offers a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, ranging in power from 148bhp to 241bhp. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine (badged 35 TFSI) kicks off the range and will suit most drivers thanks to its blend of power and economy. For those needing more power, the 187bhp 40 TFSI and 227bhp 45 TFSI deliver everything you need. Both are available with Quattro four-wheel-drive powertrain and seven-speed dual-clutch S Tronic transmission.
Diesel options include the 35 TDI and 40 TDI models, which share a 2.0-litre engine and deliver 148bhp and 187bhp, respectively. Company car drivers should consider the new TFSI e plug-in hybrid model, with its tax-busting 36-38g/km of CO2.
The Q3 feels stable on the road, and the body roll is well controlled during cornering in terms of ride. The grip is spread evenly, although the BMW X1 offers more engagement. That said, the Q3 is comfortable and composed on the road and is a lot more agile than the Evoque and XC40.
Prices for the new Audi Q3 start from £32,780.00 OTR* or to lease from £335.54 per month.
Thinking of leasing the Audi Q3? Car leasing offers many advantages over buying including, lower, fixed monthly rentals, a low initial outlay and the option to change your car every two, three or four years. Lease with Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, and you'll also get the full manufacturer's warranty, road tax included for the duration of the contract, breakdown cover and free mainland GB delivery direct to your door (exclusions apply).
*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and typically includes one year’s road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Always check with the manufacturer.