New Audi Q3 (2018-present)

The new Q3 is larger, better equipped and more satisfying to drive, but in this hotly contested class, it needed to be

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Handsome
Big boot

Weaknesses 

Gearboxes aren't as good as competitors
Will be pricey
Best New Discount

Audi Q3 Estate Special Editions 2.0 tdi [184] quattro black edition 5dr s tronic

Total RRP £37,900

Your quote £32,588

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The outgoing Audi Q3 was launched six years ago, in 2011. In that time this mid-size SUV has become a familiar face but as anyone knows, familiarity breeds contempt. It was time for a change.

That change has come in the form of an all-new model. All-new but still vaguely familiar. It has to see off stiff competition from the likes of the all-new BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. Is it up to the challenge?.

First impressions are good. The new Q3 is a handsome and confident-looking vehicle. It’s larger and wider than the old model, and lower, too. The bonnet is bullishly horizontal rather than too sloping, the windscreen is more upright and the roofline has a rakish angle. Audi’s trademark hexagonal grille and a set of squared-off wheelarches complete the effect.

On the road it’s not quite as fun as a BMW X1, whose steering has more feel, but it handles securely and goes around corners with real verve. Better still, there’s no trade-off in comfort. The old Q3 had a slightly firm and unsettled ride but even on the largest wheels and stiffer suspension available with S Line trim, the new car is supple riding. On the motorway, it’s a refined and a relaxed cruiser.

There’s a choice of three petrol or two diesel engines. The smallest, the 1.5, is a spirited little number and doesn't suffer the drag of the larger engined models because it’s two-wheel drive only. For anything more strenuous, the mid-power 2.0-litre petrol with four-wheel drive as standard is good but if you need extra pulling power and economy consider one of the two, 2.0-litre diesels.

The least powerful comes with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. Both aren't the Q3’s finest hour; the manual feels clunky and the auto can be a little slow to change.

The new Q3’s extra bulk translates into a roomy interior, especially in the back where knee, head and legroom are all plentiful. The BMW X1 edges it slightly, though. It’s not a big deal, since the Q3’s back seat slides on runners to create more legroom if you wish.

Of course, just as the rear seat can be pushed back to increase legroom, so it can slide the other way to increase boot space – from 530 litres to as much as 675 litres, figures that dwarf the Volvo XC40 (432 litres) and X1 (505 litres).

In terms of its fit and finish, as well as the level of technology on offer, the Q3’s interior is hugely impressive. No old-school dials here; the new Q3 is a screen lover’s paradise. There are two: a choice of 10.25 or 12.3-inch screens in place of the analogue dials and displaying driver or infotainment information including Google Earth sat nav guidance. The second, a 10-inch touchscreen, sits within the centre console and incorporates comfort and connectivity functions. It’s responsive and easy to use although some owners may miss traditional controls.

The interior looks and feels good. High-grade plastics and tasteful metal trims abound but you can also specify your Q3 with Alcantara, a suede-like material, in a choice of colours. Together with tasteful ambient lighting casting its warm glow on things, the Q3 feels fun and inviting, as well as coolly efficient. There are three trim levels but all versions have LED lights, climate control and a leather-covered steering wheel.

Last Updated 

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:00

Key facts 

Boot size: 
530 litres
Width: 
1849mm
Length: 
4485mm
Height: 
1603mm
Tax (min to max): 
£45 to £230

Other Editions

  • Audi Q3
    The Audi Q3 is good to drive, roomy and cheap to run - once you've bought it