All-New Audi Q3 sharpens up its act. This is the all-new Audi Q3, and according to the German brand, it will be bigger and more comfortable when it arrives this winter. Replacing one of its most popular models, the BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 rival also gets a bolder look and the latest interior technology.
A striking ‘Singleframe’ grille brings the Q3 in line with Audi’s latest models, with a distinctive bezel and eight vertical chrome bars like pinstripes on a sharp suit. The LED headlights are new, there are prominent vertical air intakes where you might expect the fog lights, and sharper creases everywhere. A long roof spoiler, broad rear lights and rakish D-pillars are all attributed to giving the Q3 a sportier appearance than before.
At launch there’ll be 11 paint colours to choose from, while Sport and S line trims will both get a unique look, with different bumpers and side skirts. LED lights and dynamic (sweeping) rear indicators will be standard for both versions. Changes inside are arguably even more significant, with the somewhat dated gauges of the seven-year lifespan Q3 replaced with Audi’s digital Virtual Cockpit measuring 10.25-inches and a central 10.1-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard. Speaking of which, the fascia is now much more driver-orientated thanks to a 10-degree shift in focus. The design of the dashboard echoes the octagonal front grille and materials appear to be of typical Audi quality. Sport trims get cloth upholstery, while S line get a combination of cloth and faux-leather. For the first time, Alcantara can also be chosen as an optional trim for the instrument binnacle and doors.
We’ve already mentioned the Q3 is now larger – by 97mm in length and 18mm in width, but its roof sits 5mm lower for an improved stance. Importantly, the wheelbase has also been stretched by 78mm and Audi reckons there’s more knee, head and elbow room as a result. The back seat splits 40:20:40 and can slide by 150mm to adjust passenger space or luggage room. You can also tilt the rear backrests over seven stops and there’s an optional centre armrest to improve comfort. With the seats slid back, there’s 530 litres of capacity in the boot, expanding to 675 litres when cargo is the priority. Both figures trump the 505 litres of the X1, while the E-Pace has 577 litres.
Initially there’s just one diesel engine – Audi’s 2.0-litre TDI with 148bhp, quattro four-wheel drive and a manual six-speed gearbox. This will soon be joined by a front-wheel drive version fitted with a seven-speed S tronic gearbox, while a 2.0-litre TDI with 187bhp will arrive later.
The suspension has been tuned to feel ‘palpably more comfortable’ without sacrificing responsiveness and uses four-link rear suspension with 18-inch wheels on Sport trims and 19s for the S line, that also gets firmer suspension. Adjustable dampers will also be available as an option, along with Audi drive select, offering six different driving modes.
Expect a raft of safety systems too, from self-parking to lane assist and adaptive cruise control that can steer the Q3 in its lane in stop and start traffic. Blind spot warning will be standard in the UK, along with autonomous emergency braking.
“The back seat splits 40:20:40 and can slide by 150mm to adjust passenger space…”