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What is it?
The baby of the Audi SUV line-up, the Q3 is effectively an off-road sibling of the A3 hatchback. Available in two or four-wheel drive, the latter only on the more powerful engines, the Q3 competes with the likes of BMW’s X1 and the Mercedes GLA.
What is the Audi Q3 like to drive?
Audi’s Drive Select feature is now standard across the range, offering four configured modes of comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency to tweak the Q3’s engine, automatic transmission (if specified), steering, climate control and cruise control (if fitted) to the driver’s mood. For a vehicle with a higher centre of gravity, body control is good.
What engines are available?
Audi offers two petrol and two diesel power outputs across six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic, and two and four-wheel drive. The petrol versions are the 150hp 1.4 in two-wheel drive and with a manual or auto gearbox, and the all-wheel drive auto 2.0 TFSI 180. From a Diesel perspective, it’s 150 and 184hp versions of the 2.0 TDI, the former in all variants of transmission and driven wheels, and the latter only as four-wheel drive but with manual or auto gearbox.
What are the key standard features of the Audi Q3?
Of the three trim levels, SE is the start point, and gets standard kit including 17in alloys, Audi Drive Select, Audi Music Interface for iPod, USB and MP3 connectivity, Bluetooth, DAB radio, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
- S-line adds 18in twin-spoke alloys, electric folding and heated mirrors, powered tailgate, LED headlights and tail lights, S-line branding inside and out and perforated leather gear lever.
- S-line Plus adds 19in alloys, sat nav, auto dimming rear-view mirror, frontand rear parking sensors, cruise control, privacy glass and metallic paint.
What are the key options?
Leather interior, electronic damper control, Audi Connect online services, off-road styling pack for the SE model, BOSE audio upgrade, digital TV reception, sat nav on all bar S-line Plus that gets it as standard, panoramic glass sunroof, keyless entry and start and hill decent control. A no cost option on S-line trim and above is a sports suspension that lowers the car by 20mm.
What will it cost to run?
The most efficient Q3 is the 119g/km 2.0 TDI 150hp model in manual and front-wheel drive. That rises depending on wheel sizes and versions, with four-wheel drive adding 12g/km and the auto gearbox a further 3g/km. The 1.4-litre petrol model gets Audi’s Cylinder on Demand technology that shuts down two of the four cylinders to save fuel when the engine is under light load. All models get a stop-start as standard.
What safety features does it have?
Six airbags, front fog lights, and Isofix fittings for the front passenger seat as well as the outer rear ones are all standard, along with a space saver spare wheel, while high-beam assist is fitted to S-line Plus. Optional safety kit includes speed limit display on the dashboard, active lane assist, side assist and hill hold assist. The Q3 hit the maximum five-star result when it was Euro NCAP crash tested in 2011.
Premium alternatives to the Audi include the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Mini Countryman, while other more mainstream considerations could include the Nissan Juke, Renault Kadjar and Vauxhall Mokka.