No longer Audi’s smallest SUV, the Q3 has now grown and moved further upmarket
2018 is certainly proving to be a busy year for Audi. Just last month it unveiled an all-new A1 Sportback and facelifted TT, and before that there was the Q8, and new A6 and A7. Now, there’s this, the second-generation Q3.
The outgoing Q3 was the oldest member of Audi’s Q family, so its replacement is timely. With the Q2 forming the bottom of the range, the Q3 has moved on to the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform and been allowed to grow, to better take on key rivals like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40.
Grown by how much, you ask? Well the new Q3 gains 97mm in length (to 4,485mm), and 25mm in width (to 1,856mm), making it 46mm and 60mm longer than the X1 and XC40 respectively. The Q3’s wheelbase has also been stretched by 77mm to 2680mm, which is again longer than the X1’s but slightly shorter than the Volvo’s. Practicality is boosted thanks to a sliding rear bench (with a 40/20/40 split), giving between 530 to 675-litres of boot space.
Despite the increased dimensions, the car’s overall silhouette remains recognisably Q3, though the sheetmetal sees some big changes. Many styling cues are shared with its Porsche Cayenne-rivalling big brother, the Q8 coupe-SUV, not least the massive new octagonal grille, a feature for all Audi Q models moving forward. The Q3’s shoulders are broadly chiselled too, evoking the old Quattro rally special.
As with the recently unveiled A1 Sportback, you won’t find any analogue instruments inside the Q3 – even on base models, the traditional dials have been replaced with a digital instrument cluster that can display music and navigation info – 10.25-inch as standard, 12.3-inch optional.
Trickle-down tech from the brand’s more luxurious models also features in the form of the infotainment touchscreen – the optional 10.1-inch item is borrowed from the A6, 7 and 8, although unlike those cars, the aircon functions in the Q3 are controlled by regular dials and buttons. Alcantara can also be specified on the seats, doors and dashboard to lift the cabin ambience (likewise 30-colour ambient lighting), and the centre console is angled toward the driver.
As is the way with Audis these days, the Q3 goes big on tech functions. For example the car can be synced with your smartphone through an app, via which information such as navigation routes, calendars/schedules, music streaming and emails or Twitter messages are automatically transferred and displayed in the car.
The Q3’s onboard navigation can also learn and recognise driver’s journey preferences, and utilises cloud-based real-time traffic data to calculate routes. The most expensive infotainment versions also feature Google Earth, can display up-to-date info about your destination (such as a restaurant or attraction), as well as the intelligent voice recognition tech as debuted on the A8.
At the moment, all petrol engine options for the Q3 are turbo four-cylinders: a 1.5-litre with 150hp, and a 2.0-litre with either 190 or 230hp, although it’s not been confirmed which will be coming to Singapore. Updates will come as we learn more closer to a projected launch date toward the middle of 2019.