The Audi Q3 is a one of the most important vehicles in the German marque’s line-up, given the growing reluctance of people to buy ‘ordinary’ saloons or hatchbacks when there’s a crossover/SUV on offer.
It competes in a hugely competitive market against the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 at the premium end of the crossover sector, but also has to attract buyers of more mainstream vehicles such as the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashquai, Renault Kadjar and Peugeot 3008. There are some strong rivals within the VW Group itself, namely the Skoda Karoq, SEAT Ateca and VW Tiguan.
At first glance, the latest Audi Q3 looks rather similar to its predecessor, but that was always the Audi way. There’s a new front grille with octagonal edges, new headlamps, and the car’s profile is taller, emphasising its crossover credentials. There’s a bit more pizazz to the exterior styling too, with bulging rear wheel arches that are styled similarly to those of the A5 and A8 saloons.
The latest version of the Audi Q3 is built on the VW Group’s MOB platform, which it shares with an increasing number of in-house stablemates. There’s only a single five-door bodystyle and five-seat cabin arrangement, but you do get a roomy boot.
There is a range of petrol and diesel engines, offering power outputs of 148bhp to 218bhp, and you can opt for a quattro four-wheel-drive powertrain and six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch S tronic transmission.
Trim levels start off with the Q3 Sport, or you can spec up to the Q3 S Line or Q3 Vorsprung.
All come models with Audi’s hugely impressive Virtual Cockpit digital dash, alloy wheels and LED headlamps. The Q3 S Line gets sport suspension and sports seats with leather trimmings plus larger alloys, while the Vorsprung adds adaptive suspension, special matrix headlamps and an Alcantara-trimmed interior.