autoX Awards 2023: It maybe four years too late but you shouldn’t make the mistake of dismissing the Audi Q3 on that basis. You see, even after arriving late to the party, the second-gen baby Q covers all the bases for an entry-level luxury SUV.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Q3 looks much, much nicer and, more importantly, it finally looks like an SUV instead of a jacked-up hatchback. It’s got muscular lines and creases, sleeker headlamps, and a beefy derriere, all of which give it a more prominent and intimidating crossover look. It could definitely do with better wheels, though – the standard 18-inch wheels look a bit boring.
Inside, it tells a similar story. The interior embodies Audi’s classy and clutter-free theme, and everything seems to be bolted together to last a lifetime. Some plastic components used inside the cabin don’t feel as premium as seen on some of the rival brands, but it isn’t a dealbreaker. What it does miss out on, though, is some crucial creature comforts. In terms of comfort and space, the Q3 is quite spacious both at the front and back.
While the Q3 does leave you wanting a bit more in terms of its exterior design and creature comforts, its driving experience more than makes up for it. Powered by Audi’s familiar 188bhp and 320Nm producing 2.0-litre TFSI petrol unit, the Q3 is a brisk performer as it gets this SUV up to speed effortlessly. The engine refinement is extraordinary, too.
The great thing about the Q3 is that it gets the quattro AWD system as standard. And this definitely gives it an edge over its rivals, almost all of which are front-wheel driven. Sure, the Q3’s AWD isn’t a full-time affair either, but it does transfer torque to the rear axle when required. At the track, this was particularly evident – the Audi Q3 felt more planted and grippy when pushed to the limits. and while it’s not exactly what you would call a corner carver, it’s not lousy either. In fact, the ride-and-handling balance is superb.
Overall, the Q3 makes for a well-rounded entry-level luxury SUV, albeit there are a few compromises to be made, especially if you happen to be someone who loves to be in tune with the times.
- 2023 AUDI Q3 (Lap Time: 01:13.7)
|COMFORT / SPACE
|RIDE & HANDLING
|VALUE FOR MONEY