Audi has given its Q3 crossover a refresh for the new year - with a new entry-level engine and high-spec trim. It may be the cheapest car in the range - by a massive £2,865 - but the 1.4 TFSI engine is far from a poor relation.
Available with front-wheel drive only, it's designed as a petrol alternative to the 2.0-litre TDI 140, the new engine comes with a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed auto gearbox, produces 148bhp and 250Nm of torque.
That translates to a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds for the manual version, and a 124mph top speed, which drops to 8.9 seconds and 126mph for the dual-clutch S tronic model. Combined economy is set at an official 47.9mpg, while the C02 emissions are set at 137g/km - exactly the same emissions figure as the front-driven diesel model.
On sale now, SE models with the new 1.4 TFSI start at £23,870 for the manual, rising to £28,115 if you go for the sportier S line version fitted with the S tronic gearbox. That means the cheapest model will compete with the new Nissan Qashqai, as well as traditional premium rivals like the BMW X1 sDrive and Mercedes' forthcoming GLA.
Audi has also added a new trim level to the range, but only for Quattro all-wheel drive variants of the Q3. The new S line Plus models cost an extra £2,350 compared with the standard S line cars, but benefit from a extended kit list that includes 19-inch alloy wheels, perforated leather and Alcantara seats, sat nav, cruise control and parking sensors all-round. Like the S line model, the 20mm lower sports suspension is a no cost option - and can be removed if the customer desires, and prices start at £31,835 for the 2.0 TFSI 170 manual.
The S line Plus and new 1.4 TFSI Q3s are available to order now, with the first deliveries arriving in spring.