The Audi Q3 is the premium German alternative to the likes of the Range Rover Evoque in the compact premium SUV sector, but it is no longer the smallest SUV that Audi offers with the coupé-shaped Q2 taking that mantle.
Of the two models that undercut the baby Range Rover (this Audi and the BMW X1) , the Q3 was the most stylish, however the second generation X1 brought a brutish charm to the segment. Audi had to do something to keep the handily compact and finely finished and detailed – as you would expect from any contemporary Audi – Q3 a strong on-paper case proposition. In 2015, Audi gave the Q3 a mild facelift, with a more prominent front grille, revised engines and more equipment the headline changes.
The Q3 line-up is a simple range to understand. There are three engines on offer, a 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrols and a 2.0-litre diesel, while a turbocharged, four-cylinder, 2.5-litre unit is solely used in the RS Q3 in two states of tune. There are three transmissions: a six-speed manual, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic S-tronic only for the 1.4 TFSI models and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic S-tronic for the rest of the range. Keeping to the theme, Audi offers three trim levels: SE and the sportier S-line Navigation and S-line Plus, while the RS Q3 gets its own additions from Audi's Sport division.
So, does Audi's Q3 have what it takes to compete with rivals like the Evoque and X1? Let's find out.