Audi Q3 Sportback (2019-present)

Fancy an upmarket medium SUV but one that turns up the sportiness dial? The Q3 Sportback could be for you – but it comes at a price

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

High-quality cabin
Eye-catching design
Good to drive

Weaknesses 

More expensive than regular Q3
Limited rear headroom
Automatic gearbox slow to react
Audi Q3 Sportback prices from £26,990   Finance from £341 per month

As more and more drivers flock towards SUV-style cars, manufacturers are devising an increasing number of high-riding models to differentiate their offerings. First, they simply downsized the traditional large SUV into a smaller package to produce more affordable, economical and easier to drive options, but now sportier versions beginning to appear as well: BMW has its X2, X4 and X6; Mercedes-Benz has sleek 'coupe' versions of the GLC and GLE; and Audi has joined the fray with its Q8, a sportier-looking alternative to its large Q7 SUV.

Audi has now added to its sleek SUV range with the Q3 Sportback, a coupe-like variant of the Q3 SUV that’s set to take on the BMW X2. At first glance, this is quite clearly a car aimed at drivers who want a bit more exuberance from their SUV to turns heads on the street. It looks similar to the regular Q3 at the front, but from the side it's clear from the sloping roofline that swoops down at the back of the car that the Q3 Sportback channels the spirit of something more sporty.

In many cases, a roofline like this would most likely seriously hamper a car’s practicality - dramatically limiting headroom for passengers in the rear seats - but this surprisingly isn’t really true here. Yes, the rear headroom is slightly compromised, so anyone over six-foot would have to hunker down to get in, though legroom is impressive – and even then they wouldn’t be particularly comfortable on long journeys.

However, it's not a huge compromise and, when it comes to boot space, there’s no difference at all between this car and its standard Q3 sibling: the 530 litres is impressive and offers a 60-litre advantage over the X2. Bear in mind, though, that the similarly long - and far cheaper - VW Golf Estate offers a much larger boot, so if you want to be sensible, the Q3 Sportback isn't the car for you.

Inside the Q3 Sportback, Audi has stuffed the car with high-quality materials and it all feels well put together. There are a couple of cheaper bits of plastic around the cabin, but overall the effect is very much of a premium vehicle.

Audi has recently adopted touchscreen displays and the one in the centre console of the Q3 Sportback does the job well - though it still requires you to prod the screen while driving, which can be more distracting than using the physical rotary controller that Audi cars used to have alongside the gearstick.

It’s functional enough, with smartphone integration including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while the pair of USB ports include one using the latest type C connector, making it compatible with the latest devices. Also on offer is the Audi Connect feature, which offers extra sat-nav functions, and a wi-fi hotspot (although it's an extra-cost option).

Out on the road, the Q3 Sportback feels nimble and agile enough, in the same way the regular Q3 does. It's not as fun or engaging as the X2, but there’s not a huge amount in it and Q3 Sportback buyers won’t feel disappointed at how it drives. The ride is better than the X2, feeling comfortable on most road surfaces – especially if you add the adaptive suspension system, which is optional on most trim levels.

On the subject of trim levels, there are four to choose from. Sport and S line will account for most sales, with the Vorsprung trim available for those who want more equipment as standard, plus the desirable Edition 1 limited to some of the first buyers.

Audi is keeping it simple with its engine range – just a couple of diesels and a couple more petrol units, one of which has a mild hybrid system to maximise efficiency. There are six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic gearbox options, but the latter is a little disappointing, as it does have a tendency to stutter ever so slightly before changing gears.

The one major downside of the Q3 Sportback is its price. Starting as £32,440 and rising to a pretty steep £48,765, it costs around £1,000 more than comparable Q3 models. Is it worth the extra cash for less practical rear seats and a sleeker roofline? The obvious utilitarian answer is no, but if you place a value on style, in addition to the undoubted substance of the standard Q3, then perhaps £1,000 is a price worth paying.

Last Updated 

Friday, November 1, 2019 - 09:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
530-1400 litres
Width: 
1,843mm
Length: 
4,500mm
Height: 
1,567mm
Tax: 
£210-£855 in first year and £145 thereafter

Best Audi Q3 for... 

Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TDI
The lower-powered diesel is the economy champion of the range, with an official fuel consumption figure of between 45.6mpg and 47.9mpg.
Audi Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI quattro
With a power output of 230hp, this petrol-powered version packs the biggest punch, with a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds.

Audi Q3 History 

  • July 2019 Q3 Sportback first unveiled.
  • October 2019 First deliveries of Q3 Sportback to UK.

Understanding Audi Q3 car names 

  • Q3
  • Engine
    35 TDI
  • Trim
    Sport
  • Gearbox
    S Tronic
  • Engine
    Audi has adopted a rather complicated and unintuitive way of badging its engines, using numbers (in increments of five, between 25 and 70) to relate to an engine’s power output; the higher the number, the more power the engine has. In the case of the Q3 Sportback, the numbers 35 (145-159hp) and 45 (223-244hp) are used for different versions of the car.
  • Trim
    The Q3 Sportback is available in four trim levels: Sport, S line, Vorsprung and Edition 1. The equipment levels of the first three increase as the price goes up, but the Edition 1 is a limited-edition variant only available in the first months after the launch of the car.
  • Gearbox
    There are two gearbox options, a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, called S Tronic, which uses a dual-clutch system with the aim of providing faster, slicker gearchanges.

Audi Q3 Engines 

Diesel: 35 TDI, 40 TDI Petrol: 35 TFSI, 45 TFSI

Audi is keeping the engine range for the Q3 Sportback pretty simple, with just two diesel and two petrol options.

When the car was initially launched, there were only two options. The sole diesel was a 2.0-litre, 150hp unit – badged as a 35 TDI – with an official fuel economy figure of 45.6-47.9mpg, depending on the trim level buyers opt for. CO2 emissions range from 124g/km to 129g/km, while the 0-62mph time is a respectable 9.3 seconds. The engine is refined and supplies enough power for daily use, on all types of road.

The diesel range will be augmented in early 2020 by a 190hp version of the 2.0-litre diesel, badged as a 40 TDI, which will only be available with the quattro four-wheel-drive system.

The only petrol engine at launch is a 230hp 2.0-litre unit, called 45 TFSI. A punchier unit with more power than anything else in the range, 0-62mph is possible in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 144mph. Of course, with this kind of performance, it won’t be cheap to run, with on-paper fuel consumption of 31.4-32.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 171-174g/km.

Also available in early 2020, a little later after launch, is the engine that Audi predicts will be the most popular, a 1.5-litre 35 TFSI petrol engine that produces 150hp. Significantly, when mated to the S Tronic automatic gearbox, it also features a mild-hybrid system that improves efficiency by recovering energy when the car slows down.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

35 TFSI

petrol

TBC

150hp

TBC

TBC

45 TFSI

petrol

31.4-32.1mpg

230hp

6.5 secs

144mph

35 TDI

diesel

45.6-47.9mpg

150hp

9.3 secs

127mph

40 TDI

diesel

TBC

190hp

TBC

TBC

Audi Q3 Trims 

Sport, S line, Vorsprung, Edition 1

Buyers can choose from one of four trim levels, one of which is limited to the initial launch period.

The starting point for Q3 Sportback ownership is the Sport trim level, with equipment that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, powerful LED lights (headlights, rear lights and daytime running lights), a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen, 10.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit digital dials, that display driving, media and sat-nav information in front of the driver, Audi Connect services (including Amazon Alexa), smartphone interface (including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), DAB radio, autonomous emergency braking that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, lane departure warning, cruise control, traffic sign recognition, rear parking sensors, sports seats, a powered tailgate and sports suspension.

S line cars add 19-inch alloys, a lot of styling features (including bumpers and side skirts in contrasting grey paint, radiator grille, side air inlets and diffuser) for a more aggressive look, privacy glass, leather upholstery, black cloth headlining, ambient lighting and steel pedals.

On top of the S line, the Vorsprung trim adds 20-inch alloys, Matrix LEDs - which light up individually to maintain the greatest view of the road ahead at night without dazzling oncoming drivers - adaptive suspension, a full-length glass sunroof, suede-like Alcantara/leather seats, Alcantara interior trim, Park Assist automatic parking function, 360-degree camera, cross-traffic rear assist to help detect other cars when reversing, Bang & Olufsen audio system, wireless phone charging and handsfree boot release.

For a limited period after the launch of the Q3 Sportback, the Edition 1 trim adds to the S line 20-inch alloys, Matrix LEDs, a black styling pack, a larger 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit, flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and heated, electrically adjustable seats.

Audi Q3 Reliability and warranty 

The Q3 Sportback has only just been launched so it's too new to appear in the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey.

Audi also only appears in 16th place in the list of the most reliable manufacturers, which isn’t particularly impressive.

The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is equally unimpressive, with rivals such as BMW offering the same term, but allowing for greater mileage.

Used Audi Q3 

At time of writing, the Q3 Sportback has only just been launched in the UK, so it's too early to get an accurate idea of used prices.

However, despite the Q3 Sportback having real appeal, used buyers are less likely to be willing to pay the £3,000 premium compared to regular Q3 cars, so bargains might be possible.

Even shortly after the launch of the car used models were starting to filter through, so keep an eye on BuyaCar for nearly new and used models for the best Q3 Sportback deals.

Other Editions