Audi Q3 review - Engines, performance and drive
Much improved ride comfort makes the latest Q3 a real contender for class honours
The previous generation Audi Q3 was definitely compromised when it came to ride comfort, but this latest version is much improved. Even if you choose the big alloy wheels and lower suspension of the S Line, the car cushions bumps really well and in fact, offers one of the most comfortable rides in its class. Choose the adaptive damping that’s standard on the Vorsprung and it’s better still. However, the Sport suspension doesn’t crash over potholes, but it does ensure the body stays rigid and can cause an unsettling, bouncing sensation around town. It’s better the faster you go, smoothing out at motorway speeds.
The Q3 feels as stable on the road as you’d expect from an Audi, and body roll is well controlled during cornering. But while it has good turn-in response to steering inputs and terrific grip, it’s ultimately not as engaging to drive as a BMW X1. There’s a certain numbness about the Audi’s steering feel, which leaves you feeling less connected to the road.
Refinement is very impressive, and the Q3 is a great cruising machine, but the transmissions are a little bit of a let-down. The manual gearbox has a slightly clunky feel, while the seven-speed dual clutch S tronic auto is disappointingly slow to respond at times.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The entry-level petrol car is the 35 TFSI which uses a 148bhp 1.5-litre turbo, and comes with front-wheel drive and the choice of S tronic seven-speed auto or six-speed manual gearboxes. The 0-62mph time is between 9.2 and 9.6 seconds depending on spec. There’s also a 2.0-litre petrol engine available in 187bhp or 227bhp guise, known as the 40 TFSI and 45 TFSI respectively. They share quattro 4x4 running gear and dual clutch auto transmission and will reach 62mph from rest in 7.4 and 6.3 seconds respectively.
The 35 TDI and 40 TDI models share a 2.0-litre engine in 148bhp and 187bhp configurations, and acceleration figures are on a par with similarly rated petrols.
In this review
- 1Audi Q3 reviewThe Audi Q3 is a BMW X1 rival that has bags of style, impressive tech and makes a great all-rounder
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingMuch improved ride comfort makes the latest Q3 a real contender for class honours
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEconomy figures are unconfirmed, but running costs should be appropriate to each model’s performance
- 4Interior, design and technologyGreat design inside and out, and the Audi Q3 is a technological tour de force
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Audi Q3 is bigger than previously, but still only a five-seater albeit a roomy one
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Q3 gets top marks for safety, but reliability reports aren’t great across the Audi range