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Audi Q3 Sportback verdict

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.3 out of 53.3

Written by Keith WR Jones Published: 23 July 2019 Updated: 14 June 2022

Should you buy one?

Would we pick one over a BMW X2 or Range Rover Evoque? No, not if a more engaging driving experience is a high priority, but factor that out and the Audi runs those two much closer. It fully commits to the coupe look like the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and BMW X4, but costs less and is therefore more appealing than smaller SUVs from those brands (the GLA and X2).

While appreciation of styling is subjective, the Sportback’s elegantly tapered, longer silhouette makes it more attractive, regardless of whether you subscribe to the notion of its coupe-ness. However, this is a less practical car than the regular Q3 and costs more to boot. With that in mind it’s tricky to recommend unless you’ve fallen head over heels for the looks.

Which version is best for you?

If we’re sticking to the Audi, which version makes the most sense? Trim level-wise S Line is the one to go for and for once we’d suggest limiting the optional extras to a bold, bright metallic paint finish – the bodywork can pull off some vibrant shades, including orange. Unless you must have a long list of technology add-ons, the standard set of equipment is actually comprehensive enough for most, with plenty of features to keep you safe, comfy and entertained on the move.

While its brakes left us a little unsatisfied, for the majority of buyers the 35 TFSI S Tronic with the 48-volt mild-hybrid system makes the most sense. It’s a sensible, pragmatic choice that will offer real-world efficiency, especially for city driving where the stop-start function can turn off the engine at speeds of up to 14mph rather than simply getting to a complete standstill.

The RS Q3 has been a bit of a surprise for us, managing to entertain in the corners far more than expected. Combining that with the characterful engine and pace means you have quite a capable sports SUV. We’d have one over the VW T-Roc R or Cupra Ateca, but the big question remains: Why not have a regular RS 3 in the first place?