Audi Q3: Choosing the best in an overcrowded small SUV market

By Jessica Durston - 26 January 2022

  • Audi Q3

    Audi Q3

A monthly motoring column from Leigh Robinson.

Audi have a number of models to cover all tastes and there isn’t a bad one among them.

The second generation Audi Q3 is probably the best small version SUV in an overcrowded market. There are 12 different engines including three petrols, two diesels and a plug-in hybrid - the 45 TFSIe.

There are nine trims, from the entry-level Technik to the range-topping Vorsprung, and prices range from £31,000 to £52,000.

You can get mpg of 50 to 140 depending on your model, with a top speed of 130mph. And there is a three year warranty.

The plug-in hybrid has a 1.4-litre petrol engine plus an electric motor for a combined 242bhp. Electric power alone will give you 30 miles.

The 35 TFSI is ideal for fuel economy. The diesels are obviously the best for high mileage drivers but the TFSI e is best for those who can make full use of driving in full-electric mode by doing short journeys and charging up regularly.

The Q3 has the Audi progressive steering, which gets faster the more you turn the wheel.

The majority of the engines have the superb seven-speed S tonic automatic gearbox as standard. There is a six-speed manual gearbox on the 35 TFSI and 35 TDI and it has a reasonably slick shift action.

All trims have the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display which is 10.25in on Sport and S line models, or 12.3in with Edition 1 and Vorsprung, and all models have powerful LED headlights. There is plenty of kit including sat-nav, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a DAB radio. You can also have a 15-speaker Sonos premium sound system - part of the Comfort & Sound Pack or standard on Vorsprung models.

The Q3’s rear seats split and have the 40/20/40 arrangement, which gives more flexibility than you get with the normal 60/40 split that many other cars have. The Q3 has 675 litres of luggage space, although the plug-in hybrid TFSI e has a higher boot floor than the other versions, so a slightly lower boot capacity.

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