New Audi Q3 (2018-present)

The new Audi Q3 offers enough space, tech and comfort that you'll be reconsidering a bigger Audi

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Handsome
Standard technology
Big boot

Weaknesses 

Average gearboxes
Limited diesel availability
More expensive than Volvo XC40
Best New Discount

Audi Q3 Estate 45 tfsi quattro vorsprung 5dr s tronic

Total RRP £47,075

Your quote £44,246

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Current-generation Audi Q3 prices from £17,200   Finance from £313 per month

More than a million Audi Q3s have been put to good use by young families and older drivers alike, who find the car agreeable for its blend of Audi pedigree, raised seating and affordable cost.

Audi's problem is that the latest car might be too agreeable. By making it look better, turning the technology dial up to ten and giving people more space to stretch out in comfort, it offers almost everything that the larger Audi Q5: its boot is only 20 litres smaller. The Q3 has more standard tech and a price tag that's £10,000 cheaper.

Petrol-powered Q3 models start from almost £31,000 and the most affordable diesel is more than £34,000. It may be less than a Q5, but it's considerably more than a highly-rated Volvo XC40, as well as a Jaguar E-Pace and BMW X1, which are all similarly-sized tall sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Is it worth it?

It has a bold design, with a wide hexagonal grille and tapering headlights at the front of a car that's bulkier than the previous-generation Audi Q3. This translates into a roomy interior, especially in the back where knee, head and legroom are all plentiful. If you own one of the original Q3s, you’ll really notice the difference in this respect. The similarly-sized BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 edge it slightly, though.

One neat trick Audi has pinched from other car makers is to fit a sliding back seat. It means you can free up more boot space, should you wish, although with a very generous 530 litres as standard (increasing to 675 litres if the back seats are moved forward) this is one of the best in the class. The XC40 offers 432 litres and X1 505 litres.

Take a seat inside and you'll realise that the Audi is in a different class to all but the Volvo. What you see and touch looks and feels expensive. High-grade plastics and tasteful metal trims abound and you can also specify your Q3 with Alcantara, a suede-like material, in a choice of colours.

With ambient lighting casting its warm glow on things, the Q3 feels fun and inviting, as well as coolly efficient. A minimal aesthetic has been created by doing away with traditional analogue instruments and ‘old-fashioned’ buttons and knobs. If you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of the latest tech, whether for your smartphone, desktop computer or just around the home, Audi’s approach is likely to win you over.

Instead of analogue instruments there is Audi’s ‘virtual cockpit’ as standard. This is made up of a bright and sharp screen, directly ahead of the steering wheel, showing engine revs, vehicle speed and customisable information, such as sat-nav guidance. A second display, a 10-inch touchscreen, sits in the centre of the dashboard, controlling the standard climate control, entertanment and phone functions, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easy control of apps. Audi Q5 buyers will be miffed that this setup is optional on their more expensive vehicle.

The digital controls are responsive and easy to use although some owners may feel that working through a series of menus with your fingers is more of a distraction than using the rotary controller on the older Q3..

On the road, it's not quite as fun as a BMW X1, which seems to respond more directlt to steering, but it's stable and composed at speed. 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 gives a supple ride.

It's quiet and relaxed on the motorway, where you can also get the benefit of advanced driver asssistance systems that can accelerate, brake and steer the car at any speed - but the driver remains responsible for the car. It was awarded the maximum five stars for safety after independent safety testing by Euro NCAP

A choice of three petrol and two diesel engines should mean that you find the right combination of power, economy and price. Neither manual nor automatic gearboxes are the Q3’s finest hour; the manual feels clunky and the auto can be a little slow to respond to the driver’s needs.

There's little else to criticise. It might be expensive, but you can see and feel exactly where Audi has spent the money. You're unlikely to fee short-changed - especially if you've saved money by not getting the larger Audi Q5.

Last Updated 

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 15:00

Key facts 

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

Best Audi Q3 for... 

Audi Q3 Sport 35 TDI quattro
The least powerful diesel Q3 will return almost 50mpg but it would be better if it was available with the frugal combination of a manual gearbox and two-wheel drive.
Audi Q3 Sport 35 TFSI
As most families want their money to go far, the petrol-powered, 35 TFSI model in Sport trim with a manual gearbox is pretty much all the compact SUV they’ll need.
Audi Q3 S line 45 TFSI
There’s no S or RS version of the new Q3, yet at least, so the fastest model is the 45 TFSI, which has a 2-litre petrol engine with 230hp and can zip from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds.
Audi Q3 Vorsprung 45 TFSI
You could spend silly money on a new Q3, such as nearly £50,000 on a 45 TFSI quattro in Vorsprung trim.

Audi Q3 History 

  • January 2019 First deliveries of Q3 begin. Range consists of 35, 40 and 45 TFSI petrol engines; a 35 TDI diesel is also available.
  • March, 2019 Higher powered 40 TDI joins the range

 

Understanding Audi Q3 car names 

  • Q3
  • Trim level
    Sport
  • Engine
    35 TDI
  • Driven wheels
    quattro
  • Gearbox
    S tronic
  • Trim level
    Trim levels indicate the amount of standard equipment. Sport is the cheapest (but still includes plenty as standard) followed by S line and then Vorsprung.
  • Engine
    Engines have a two-digit badge system indicating power: the higher the number, the more powerful the engine. TDI means the engine runs on diesel; TFSI means it is powered by petrol.
  • Driven wheels
    Quattro is Audi's four-wheel drive system.
  • Gearbox
    S tronic is the name Audi gives to its automatic gearbox.

Audi Q3 Engines 

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

The most affordable Q3 35 TFSI is powered by petrol. It's a 1.5-litre engine with 150 horsepower (hp) that comes with a manual, six-speed gearbox driving the front wheels and there is the option to add Audi’s S tronic, seven-speed automatic gearbox to this motor.

It’s a good engine, better, arguably, than either of the more powerful 2-litre petrol units. Fuel economy of around 40mpg (when fitted with a manual gearbox) is reasonable for a petrol-powered SUV.

The more potent 40 TFSI produces 190hp but only comes with the automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, so fuel economy falls to 32mpg. It’s noticeably faster but not as smooth. Go for the 45 TFSI and power jumps to 230hp, while acceleration from 0-62mph is a second quicker at 6.3 seconds, which is brisk. It’s also no less frugal than the 40 TFSI.

Perhaps the best all-rounder remains the 2-litre diesel engine. However, the slight snag with the 150hp, 35 TDI is that the front-wheel drive version (up to 48mpg) comes only with an automatic gearbox, while the manual gearbox version (up to 42mpg) is only available with quattro four-wheel drive.

Step up to the 40 TDI, with 190hp, and it comes with an automatic and quattro as standard, so fuel economy is 40mpg at best.

Company car drivers should note that the 35 TFSI petrol attracts 27 per cent benefit in kind tax, better even than the 35 TDI diesel, which only gets down to 29 per cent.

 

Model

Fuel

Official fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

35 TFSI

Petrol

40.4mpg

150hp

9.6sec (manual)

131mph (manual)

40 TFSI

Petrol

32.5mpg

190hp

7.4sec

136mph

45 TFSI

Petrol

31.7mpg

230hp

6.3sec

144mph

35 TDI

Diesel

48.7mpg

150hp

9.3sec (manual)

131mph

40 TDI

Diesel

40.4mpg

190hp

8.0sec

137mph

Audi Q3 Trims 

There are three trim levels available across the Q3 SUV range. These start with the most affordable, Sport. The middle level is S line, and flagship versions that are the most expensive are called Vorsprung.

Although the Q3 is considerably more expensive than a Volvo XC40, it’s good to see a Sport version isn’t as sparse as a hermit’s cave. It comes with bright LED headlights, as well as the smart dual-screen interior with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Audi also includes dual zone climate control and cruise control, plus driver assistance features like rear parking sensors and lane departure warning.

Upgrade to the S line trim for around £2,000 and the car gets a more sporty appearance and larger, 19 inch alloy wheels. There’s also sport suspension, that’s a little less comfortable, but makes the car feel slightly nimbler in corners, and a host of S line branding throughout the car, as well as neat little details such as stainless steel pedals.

Splash the cash (a crushing £7,000 premium), go for Vorsprung, and the equipment list lengthens considerably. There are larger-still, 20-inch alloy wheels, contrasting Manhattan grey bumpers, black roof rails, and matrix LED headlights, which divert main beam away from other drivers to avoid dazzling them, while maintaining maximum light on the rest of the road. There's also adaptive suspension that can be adjusted for more comfort or sportiness.

Inside, multi-coloured mood lighting, a panoramic glass sunroof and Alcantara trim give a more luxurious feeling. Vorsprung also features surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise assist for automatic steering, accelerating and braking on motorways (the driver remains responsible for the car) and cross-traffic assist that can spot oncoming cars when reversing out of a parking bay or road. With a Bang & Olufsen audio system and contactless charging for smartphones, it’s ideal for those who want pampering.

Those with lesser trim Q3s that want to add further options can consider a Comfort and Sound Pack (£995), a Parking Pack (£1,250) or a Driver Assistance Pack (£800).

Audi Q3 Reliability and warranty 

Audi doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to making reliable cars. Out of 27 car manufacturers, the German company languished in 20th position in the 2018 Driver Power survey, carried out by Auto Express.

However, with that said, the previous generation Q3 didn’t fare too badly in the same survey. It was judged to be the 12th most dependable SUV and 4x4.

Any new Q3 will come with a three-year warranty that is unlimited in mileage for the first two years, then reverts to a limit of 60,000 miles in the third year. Over that period UK breakdown cover is included.

Used Audi Q3 

Audi’s Q3 has been on sale for less than a year, so used examples are very new and low mileage, meaning in turn that prices are barely any different to new models. However, the good news it could be yours in a matter of days, whereas a factory order can take months to arrive.

Bear in mind that a new Q3 can be specified exactly to your preference. However, if you can find the right car in the right colour, engine and trim – as well as with the right options – then a nearly-new model could be the ideal choice.

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