Fleet News

First drive Audi Q3 2.0 TDI 177 SE S-tronic

Audi
BIK List Price
£28,240
Audi Q3 BIK list price
BIK Percentage
24%
Audi Q3 BIK Percent
CO2
156g/km
Audi Q3 CO2
Combined MPG
47.9
Audi Q3 MPG

Review

Audi’s new model proliferation seemingly knows no bounds as it seeks to fill every discernible niche in the car market.

The latest effort is the Q3 – in a similar vein to the successful Q5, but on a slightly smaller scale. Rivals – or at least premium-badge rivals – in the sector are also relatively new with the BMW X1 a couple of years old and the Range Rover Evoque having arrived on the scene a few months before Q3.

It’s hard to deny that Audi has been around long enough to know what will work with customers, particularly user-choosers, and most of those ingredients are here: sophisticated interior with top quality materials, a range of low CO2 engines with strong performance, and typical Audi styling.

For now, diesel versions have Quattro four-wheel drive and a seven-speed S-tronic double-clutch auto which, combined with the 177bhp 2.0 TDI, result in 156g/km CO2 and 47.9mpg. However, next year front-wheel drive models join the range using a 140bhp 2.0 TDI, with CO2 emissions of 137g/km and fuel consumption of 54.3mpg. This perhaps would find favour with more fleet users, especially those whose policies exclude 4x4s.

Audi claims a major practical advantage over its BMW and Land Rover rivals: as the Q3 has been designed with a transverse engine (unlike the longitudinal layout of its competitors), it can be roomier inside yet remain compact.

The Q3 is remarkably agile at low speeds, and doesn’t feel any more unwieldy than a compact family hatchback.

The unfortunate trade-off is a desperately fidgety ride, more akin to a Mini than a family car.

One other potential problem for the Q3: with it’s straight-laced Audi looks, put it alongside a Range Rover Evoque and ask a driver to choose, the road presence and proportions of the new Land Rover would have it win any kerb-side popularity contest.

Fuel costs
Considering this car has 177bhp, four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission (albeit a more frugal double-clutch S-tronic auto), its 47mpg official figure is pretty good and competitive with rivals.
CO2 emissions
Falls beneath the all-important 160g/km threshold for capital allowances, so those fleets that do allow four-wheel drive cars should see this Q3 fit comfortably within their policy.
Residual values
Pretty strong residual values, as is usually the way with new Audis, but shaded somewhat by the highly desirable new Range Rover Evoque, at least while both models are still new.
Running costs
Overall running costs are modest, despite the Q3 being a four-wheel drive version. But perhaps worrying that the Evoque gets so close overall despite being a thirstier car.
Driver appeal
The Q3 has the ingredients that have made other Audi models desirable, but perhaps the brand should now take care not to saturate the niches in the market as well as the traditional sectors.
FN Verdict
The Q3 is a well packaged and desirable alternative to an upper-medium car, with relatively low costs. But its rivals from BMW and Land Rover in this small sector are strong, and we expect this nich to grow further. It will have its work cut out to maintain a strong profile.
Top Speed
132mph
Audi Q3 Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Audi Q3 Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Audi Q3 Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £12,175
4 Year 80k : £8,975
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 44.39
4 Year 80k : 42.93

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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