It may only look like a facelift, but this Audi Q3 is all new. As Audi’s best-selling SUV, it’s easy to see why the manufacturer has stuck with a seemingly winning formula.
The Q3’s sharper styling is more apparent on second glance; it’s wider and longer, but also has a lower roofline – giving a more aggressive stance.
Audi has overhauled the interior, adding digital instruments and a high-resolution infotainment screen.
Engines include a 1.5-litre petrol (35 TFSI) and a 2.0-litre diesel both with 150PS (35 TDI). For more power, there is also a 2.0-litre petrol with 190PS (45TFSI) and a 190PS diesel, with all-wheel-drive.
The 35 TDI is the most efficient, achieving 60mpg and 127g/km of CO2.
Fleet customers will have to carefully consider the numbers when choosing between the diesel or its petrol counterpart. Benefit-in-kind tax for the 35 TFSI is cheaper by around £200 per year, but the diesel will return much better fuel economy.
In the 35 TFSI, we struggled to better 38mpg. The petrol unit also feels strained and offers little pulling power at lower revs.
A clever cylinder deactivation system engages on light throttle, but we didn’t see fuel consumption anywhere near the claimed 48.7mpg figure. The torquey diesel is the better drive.
While the interior quality is high, the cheaper Volvo XC40 is a nicer place to be. Driveability is a strong point though as the Q3 handles well.
We have no doubts that user-choosers will lap up the Q3 in droves. However, we must point out that mainstream brands do offer much better value products with few compromises.