Road Test: Audi Q3 35 TSi S Line
Audi’s second take at the compact SUV market, equals bolder styling and a more grown up feel says Martyn Collins.
SECTOR Compact SUV PRICE £32,260 FUEL 36.7-39.2mpg (WLTP) CO2 133g/km (NEDC Correlated)
Following in the flood of new premium compact SUVs released over the last year, including the BMW X2, Volvo XC40 and the Jaguar E-Pace. Audi has given its latest Q3 a serious workover to compete with this top pile of rivals.
The biggest Q3 change is the styling. Gone is the first-gen’s curvy, forgettable looks. Q3 Mk2 looks bigger (it’s 97mm longer), with styling cues obviously inspired by the Q flagship – the Q8. Highlights include the distinctive shoulder line that flares out around the arches, angular front and rear lights, and the latest version of the family octagonal grille.
Inside, with the wheelbase growing by 78mm, the Q3 feels more spacious than before – especially in the back. The driving position is excellent, and the S-Line’s sport seats are comfortable. We’re also fans of the Q3’s tall dash design, which on this test car was enhanced with the fitment of the latest, optional version of the Virtual Cockpit and the large, standard touchscreen infotainment system. Quality as expected, is impressive and there’s a practical 530-litre boot.
In Audi-speak, we’ve got the 35 TSi powering this Q3, which means a 150hp 1.5-litre petrol. This is mated to seven-speed S-Tronic transmission. Best described as smooth and willing, only when accelerating does it feel a bit harsh.
Even on standard 19-inch alloy wheels and sport suspension, this Q3 had a mostly comfortable ride – although it’s still a bit on the stiff side. A predictable, tidy handler, this Q3 also has impressively precise steering.
Not quite the best to drive, but the Q3 offers an attractive, high quality alternative to established Compact SUV alternatives.