Family-sized SUV with a healthy dose of Audi style and tech
Audi’s first Q3 sold over a million examples, so the recipe was obviously to a lot of peoples’ tastes. The new version is larger inside and out than its predecessor, and the design is more angular, bringing it into line with the Q3’s big brothers in Audi’s SUV line-up. The front features a larger octagonal grille with slim LED headlights, while the side profile has more pronounced shoulder lines. A subtle yet effective update on a winning design.
As standard the entry-level Sport comes with a full panoply of safety systems, including Audi Pre-Sense with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning and Audi side assist. In the event of a collision occupants are protected by a six-airbag system. The Driver Assistance Pack, available as an option, includes traffic sign recognition, high-beam assist, adaptive cruise assist and emergency assist as well as the Audi Parking System Plus.
Audi’s latest interiors have cut down on buttons and switches in favour of touchscreens and the new Q3 has no analogue dials, with a 10.25in version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instruments as standard and a 12.3 upgrade available. The Q3 comes with a choice of three trim levels; Sport, S line and Vorsprung. Sport is well equipped as standard with 18in alloys, LED front and rear lights, MMI Navigation Plus, dual-zone climate control, a power-operated tailgate and cruise control. The S line spec upgrades the seats to a cloth/leather combination, there are 19” alloy sports wheels and sports suspension as standard. Vorsprung ticks virtually every box, adding 20in alloys, Matrix LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D sound system, adaptive suspension and park assist with 360-degree
Audi’s new naming strategy eschews horsepower or engine capacity (the latter increasingly meaningless in this age of high-efficiency, small capacity engines) in favour of a simple two-digit numbering system. There are two engines, a 35 TFSI petrol and a 35 TDI diesel. For the record both produce 150PS, though the diesel is far more powerful with 340Nm to the 35 TSFI’s 250 Nm.
The 35 TDI hits 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds with combined consumption (18” wheels) of 60.1mpg. If you prefer petrol, the 35 TSFI with 7-speed S tronic transmission also hits 0-62mph in 9.2s, while the same engine with a six-speed manual records 9.6 seconds. Best mpg for the petrol engines is again with the S tronic auto, recording 48.7 combined mpg with 18” wheels.
Verdict: Anyone looking for a family-sized SUV that can tackle everything from mild off-road tracks to the everyday commute is spoiled for choice. What could swing it for the Audi is the beautifully-executed interior, with a high standard of material quality, and the understated yet prestigious design. Prestige with practicality in a very appealing package.