Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Dashboard shared with Q3 SUV
  • Controls angled towards the driver
  • Solid construction, high quality materials

For the most part the interior differences between the Sportback and SUV versions of the Q3 are similar to those you’d notice comparing an A3 Sportback and Saloon – minimal in other words. For the most part this is a good thing, as the Q3 dashboard is one of the most attractive and is simple to use, despite being tech-heavy.

Quality-wise it’s of a standard that’s long been an Audi hallmark, combining a variety of textured and glossy finishes, along with fillets of upholstery on the dash itself on some trim levels, that lend it an appropriately upmarket feeling.

Instrumentation is fully digital courtesy of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system, in two different sizes depending on the trim level, flanked by a multimedia touchscreen that also runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Audi’s own sophisticated system that incorporates Amazon Alexa.

Below that are physical dials and knobs for the climate control and driving modes rather than a second touchscreen as featured in pricier Audis, all of which operate with a satisfying action.

The RS Q3 comes with sports front seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with badging and a a performance display mode for the Virtual cockpit. You’ll also find the RS drive mode button on the steering wheel, otherwise it’s largely the same.

Is it comfortable?

  • Sport suspension remains pleasingly compliant
  • Supportive front seats; rear ones fine
  • Elevated seating position gives a commanding view

Time was when an Audi fitted with Sport suspension was as comfy as tobogganing down a mountainside on a concrete sleigh, but developments in recent years has seen this situation reversed – it’s now superbly comfortable and well-damped, even on the conventionally sprung arrangement.

What does negate the comfort levels slightly are the larger 19-inch wheels on S Line models – we’ve yet to sample a Vorsprung on 20-inch rims – but only slightly. These top-spec Vorsprung models do come with a more sophisticated suspension arrangement that adapts to the road surface automatically, which makes things more comfortable. There’s an increase in road noise and a firmness to the ride over broken surfaces, but that’s about it. In fact, at motorway speeds, the only noise niggle is some wind rushing around the door mirrors.

Engine-wise, no surprise that the petrols are quieter than the diesels, but even the former sound somewhat strained as they’re revved hard when a quicker getaway is needed.

Up front the seats are not overly squishy, which makes them great companions for short and long journeys, with a high level of support and bolstering and a broad range of adjustment that ensures a fine, commanding driving position. Even with this coupe bodystyle, visibility – and general cabin lightness – are strong points.

It’s less comfy in the rear, for taller adults at least, but it’s by no means a dire experience, particularly as there’s a useful range of adjustment for both the seat base and backrest angle, although that will impact upon the usable boot space.

Even the RS Q3 remains perfectly usable for everyday commuting and long-distance journeys. Switch to Comfort mode and the engine sound become muted, while the adaptive suspension means the ride is no firmer than most hot hatches – great news especially if you opt for the bigger 21-inch wheels.