CITY LIFE: Desirable and sporty Q3 small SUV a gem in Audi's range
CITY LIFE: Desirable and sporty Q3 small SUV a gem in Audi's range

Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI Sport road test and review

WHEN you have two little girls who never get into the car without half the Barbie collection or most of the contents of the craft cupboard and a husband that would gladly spend his days off the beaten track, a small city SUV makes little sense.

Yet there are certainly people out there for which they do, forcing sales in that segment to soar and carrying quality builds like the Q3 to popularity.

So much so in fact that Audi's small SUV claimed more than 40% of that market last year and this mid-cycle update which improves fuel efficiency, simplifies the range and adds more value should make it difficult to topple.

2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed
2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed


The Q3's sporty, supportive seats are a delight holding you in and providing the perfect cradle for the lower back. They are easily adjustable too for that ideal driving position, the latter enhanced by the higher seating stance.

Head and legroom is decent, actually much more so than rivals, although rear-seat passengers could be disadvantaged by tall front seat occupants.

The cabin is decidedly familiar and retains the top-end materials and quality feel regular Audi drivers are accustomed to. The design is clever and practical and the instrumentation clear and easy to read.

Storage options include cup holders that can expand to hold larger bottles, behind the seat pockets and a handy pull-out drawer under the front passenger seat.

Boot space (460 litres) can easily deal with two medium suitcases or a decent grocery shop, even a smallish pram and of course lowering the 60:40 rear seat when needed will increase that space to 1365 litres. There is no ski-port though which can make carrying longer items tricky.

2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed
2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed

On the road

Our 2.0-litre TFSI Sport was paired with a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and a revised version of Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Around town, where it is likely to spend most of its time, the Q3 is hard to fault - easy to manoeuvre, easy to park and enough lowdown torque to get you out of sticky situations.

This effortless lowdown power delivery also allows the Q3 to be wonderfully dynamic should you come across some challenging winding stretches.

This compact SUV stays flat around faster corners with the quattro system providing peace of mind and is eager to driver input. The gearbox is precise, never missing a beat, and the steering is sharp both around town and on the open road.

This update also sees the addition of an off-road ESC mode to maximise traction on dirt roads although whether buyers will have cause to try it out remains to be seen.

2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed
2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed

What do you get?

You would expect a bit of bang for your buck at this price point and Audi has responded to some extent adding $7000 of extra value including a reverse camera across the range but unfortunately you will still have to fork out more for added comforts, some which incidentally come as standard offerings with competitors.

Audi Australia has grouped common add-ons in packages to keep the cost down but even still adding satellite navigation (part of a $2990 Technik package), advanced safety features like active lane assist and high beam assist (part of the $2490 Assistance package) and an electric tailgate (part of the $2990 Comfort package) will set you back another $10,000.

2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed
2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed

Running costs

Efficiency in our Q3 TFSI was reportedly improved by some 13% with official consumption figures at 6.7l/100km. We managed 8.5l/100km in our week of predominantly city drives. Audi offers a three years unlimited kilometre warranty.


The new Mercedes Benz GLA (from $48,300) is the main competitor here but the BMW XI ($49,500) and the Range Rover Evoque (from $51,990) also feature.


The Q3 is an enticing overall package but it is not cheap so the lack of sat nav except as an optional extra definitely irks. There is no normal USB port in the cabin with drivers having to use Audi's cable interface system in the centre console.

It also misses out on a rotary dial control for the infotainment system but the buttons on the dash are easy enough to navigate.

The Q3 is a neat-looking unit and the new nose with the bigger grille is in keeping with a modern design. The sporty stance and well-proportioned exterior add to the appeal.

2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed
2015 Audi Q3. Photo: Contributed

The lowdown

The Audi Q3 is an impressive offering with good power, excellent driving dynamics and a quality fit and finish. There are some glaring omissions like standard sat nav but buyers are likely to be swayed by the smooth, fun drive and the feeling of relaxed confidence.


What matters most

What we liked: Ride quality, spacious interior, powerful engine.

What we'd like to see: Better standard inclusions list, rotary touch controls for infotainment system.

Warranty: 3 year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Vital Statistics


Model: Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI Sport

Details: Five-door all-wheel drive small luxury SUV.

Engines: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 125kW @ 4300rpm and peak torque of 280Nm @ 1700rpm.

Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

Consumption: 6.7 litres/100km combined.

Bottom line plus on roads: from $52,300 (entry from $42,900).

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