Modern production engineering is a wonderful thing. It means that makers like Audi can offer an increasingly diverse choice of models, enabling everyone to find a model that meets their needs exactly. The new Q3 Sportback, for instance, combines the Q3’s versatility with a sleek fastback shape, for a hint of coupé with the practicality of a five-door SUV.
Distinctive from every angle, the Q3 Sportback proudly asserts its Audi identity with a dramatic, gloss-black grille and tapered headlights. Trapezoidal air inlets frame the grille, leading the eye around to the side with its strongly contoured wheel arches and sculpted doors. The roofline tapers down towards the tailgate for a coupé profile, while the matt black rear diffuser gives the tail a wide, purposeful look. Compared with the Q3 it shares a platform with, the Q3 Sportback is lower, slightly longer and a shade narrower.
At launch the Q3 will be offered as a 2.0-litre 45 TFSI petrol, which develops 230 metric horsepower, and 2.0-litre 40 TDI diesel versions that develops 150hp. Coming soon will be a 48 Volt mild-hybrid 35 TSFI: this model is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine augmented by an electric motor. All are equipped with a seven-speed dual clutch auto gearbox and all but the entry level model will feature quattro all-wheel drive. To emphasise the Q3 Sportback’s sporting character the standard suspension is more taut and roll-resistant, while adaptive dampers are an option.
All Q3 Sportback models have the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, from the standard 10.25-inch display to the 12.3-inch screen of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit Plus. Infotainment is controlled via a 10.1-inch MMI touch display, which offers Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility. Top of the range package is MMI Navigation Plus, which offers Audi Connect and Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as traffic light, parking space, and hazard alerts. Other options include a top-of-the-range Bang and Olufsen sound system with virtual 3D sound.
Like every new Audi model, the Q3 Sportback comes as standard with Audi Pre-Sense, which recognises a potential accident (for instance skidding tyres) and initiates preventive safety measures like seat belt pre-tensioning. Depending on specification, this will be augmented by Pre-Sense Front or City; both use cameras or radar sensors to warn of a potential collision and can even initiate emergency braking. Other options include adaptive cruise assist, emergency assist, park assist, cross traffic assist rear and camera-based traffic sign recognition.
Verdict: if your life responsibilities say you need a five-door SUV but you hanker after a sports car, the Q3 Sportback could be the perfect compromise. OK, its sister model the Q3 might have slightly more rear load space, but there’s not much in it. The Q3 Sportback is a practical choice that can still turn heads…and put a smile on your face.
The Q3 Sportback is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.
• 18” x 7.0J ‘5-double-arm’ design alloy wheels
• LED headlights with daytime-running lights and dynamic rear indicators
• Front Sport seats in Index cloth
• MMI Navigation Plus with MMI touch display
• Audi Virtual Cockpit
• Audi Pre-sense Front with pedestrian and cyclist detection
• 19” x 7.0J ‘5-twin-spoke dynamic’ design alloy wheels
• S line exterior styling with Privacy glass
• Front Sport seats with ‘S’ embossed logo in Pulse cloth/twin leather upholstery
• Ambient lighting pack
• 20” x 8.5J '5 twin-spoke Rotor' design Audi Sport alloy wheels in matt black, diamond cut finish
• Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators
• Black Styling Pack
• Twin leather upholstery
• Extended Ambient Lighting Pack - multi-coloured
• 20” x 8.5J ‘5-V-spoke star’ design Audi Sport alloy wheels in matt titanium-look, diamond-cut finish
• Panoramic sunroof
• Alcantara frequency/Twin leather upholstery
• Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System
• Driver Assistance Pack