Audi’s new Q3 - a quality compact SUV

Hugh Maguire: find the Q3 highly recommendable

Audi’s new Q3 - a quality compact SUV

The new Audi Q3 aims to bring a bit of that Audi high tech and quality to their compact SUV.

The New Q3 is built on a new platform that is shared with other vehicles in the VAG group and the real benefit here is that its larger than the old model, therefore offering more space and better comfort.

Prices start at €38,600 for the entry level model. The car on test here is the new Q3 1.5 Q35 TFSI petrol auto in S-Line guise.

So has it any street cred?

The new style is bolder and more muscular than that of the old model giving the new Q3 a strong presence on the road. In addition some strong new colours (Turbo Blue on my test car) mean you won’t go unnoticed if thats your thing! I liked it. Its distinctive and boasts a real air of class about it.

What’s it like inside?

In my opinion Audi make one of the highest quality and well executed cabins in cars today.

The new Q3 is no exception, boasting Audi’s digital cockpit as standard, a large 25cm central touchscreen and thankfully some buttons to operate functions as well.

The interior of the S-Line model is upholstered in leather and alcantara with sports seats and in this car an optional sporty looking flat-bottomed steering wheel. I like the overall design and particularly the fact that the touchscreen is neatly integrated into the dashboard design.

There is enough standard equipment to please and a wealth of options to choose from should you wish.

But beware, gleefully ticking the options list will quickly bump up the base price. Options on my test car came to over €8,000!

The cabin itself feels more spacious than in the previous model and the load area is larger too swallowing up to 530 litres of luggage.

What is under the bonnet?

My test car was powered by Audi’s 1.5 litre TFSI 4 cylinder 150 bhp petrol turbo which in this car was mated to the S-Tronic 7-speed auto gearbox.

That combination while proving satisfactory left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.

It just lacks a bit of gusto and even when switched to the Dynamic mode up shifts and downshifts felt lazy and performance adequate rather than really good.

Over some 600km it burned on average 6.8 litres per 100km and it will cost you €270.00 to tax for a year.

What is it like to drive?

The S-Line version tested has the slightly firmer sports suspension and it rides the road very well soaking up undulations and imperfections with ease. The handling is surefooted and offers plenty of grip whether on wet or dry roads.

Noise levels are generally well suppressed though at motorway speeds those big mirrors do generate a bit of wind whistle.

On twisty country roads it doesn’t roll too much and on motorways it cruises quietly, but despite its sporty overtones it’s not a sporty SUV to drive.

So what is the Verdict?

Overall I liked the new Audi Q3. Its stylish, well designed, beautifully put together and boasts the very latest in automotive high tech.

It'sbigger too so driver and passengers have more space and there are a myriad of options to choose to personalise your new Q3.

If you are looking for an upmarket high quality compact SUV that delivers in almost all areas the new Q3 is highly recommended.

The Q3 S-Line S-tronic as test costs €53,712 including €8,620 of options.