- Three petrol engines and two diesels
- Six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed automatic available
- More powerful engines fitted with Quattro four-wheel drive
The Audi Q3 isn’t going to be the fastest car in the world, and that’s mostly fine – it’s a comfortable place to spend time in when driven in a relaxed manner and that’s what it does best.
Two entry-level engines are available from launch. Both badges are prefixed with ‘35’ to signify their power output in kW, equating to 150hp. The 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 150hp and 250Nm of torque, while the 2.0-litre diesel produces 150hp and 340Nm of torque.
We’ve yet to drive the 35 TDI diesel engine, but suspect it will feel markedly quicker than the 1.5-litre petrol on a day-to-day basis, if a little less refined.
The 1.5-litre TFSI engine will remain quiet and smooth for the majority of the time provided you don’t ask too much of it. Work it above 4,500rpm and it becomes quite vocal, with the engine shouting in protest as it struggles to haul the Q3 with any finesse.
Audi may claim a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds with the DSG automatic gearbox, but this is not an experience you’d regularly want to endure. Top speed is 128mph.
Larger 2.0-litre engines became available in early 2019. Badged 40 TFSI, this petrol engine ups power to 190hp, torque to 320Nm and reduces the 0-62mph time to 7.4 seconds. An even more powerful 45 TFSI version will provide 230hp, 350Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds. Both are Quattro four-wheel drive and automatic-only.
A 40 TDI diesel producing 190hp will reach 0-62mph in 8.0-seconds and reach 137mph. Torque is yet to be confirmed but it will be four-wheel drive and automatic only.
Choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic
Both entry-level 35 engines can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
Choose the six-speed manual and the 0-62mph time may take slightly longer, but the ability to select the right gear at the right time may prove more user-friendly during everyday use.
As mentioned above, higher-output engines come with the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. How well it performs is a bit of a mixed bag: Gearchanges are smooth and quick on the move, but the dulled response when stationary means you’ll have to forgo any gaps at junctions or in low-speed traffic. Attempts to launch off the line can leave you floundering and trying to counteract this with ample throttle inputs will leave you with a shouty engine coupled with a lack of traction.
Ride and handling
- Firmer S line suspension reduces body roll
- Good grip levels but hardly agile
- Choice of drive modes available
The Audi Q3 is a relaxed place to spend time in so it comes as no surprise that it’s not the most involving driving experience on the road. In the grand scheme of the premium crossover world, the Q3 is neither here nor there, with most of the controls like the steering, pedals and gearshifts being light, easy and accurate – perfect for urban and suburban driving. But it’s not as entertaining as a Range Rover Evoque or BMW X1/X2.
The steering is light and there’s little indication of grip levels, but this is expected in an SUV. The standard-fit progressive steering amplifies the turning angle of the wheels as you apply more steering lock, so it’s not too slow to react when navigating through sharper corners.