More crossover than traditional SUV, the Q3 is a rather more shapely chip off the Q7 block as far as styling is concerned, and the facelift now means Audi's Q-range is uniform with the Q2, Q3, new Q5 and Q7 all looking aesthetically similar. It is fairly squat at the kerb – for a 4x4, at any rate.
Under 4.4m long, the Q3 is a full 250mm shorter than the outgoing Q5 and 275mm shorter than the second generation Q5. For urban drivers, this SUV has much to recommend it in terms of packaging. And although the Q3 still has plenty of visual presence, it is of an understated Teutonic kind.
So the car appears unexpectedly small. It lacks a little impact next to an Evoque but, in reality, it’s intended for a slightly different customer, one who’ll appreciate its quietly handsome aesthetic because it’s so smart and discreet.
The Q3’s gently sloping D-pillars and clamshell tailgate are among its most interesting visual features and will appeal to those repelled by the idea of a more boxy 4x4.
Like Audi’s bigger SUVs, the car’s hatch is a wraparound closure with wide, undivided tail-lamps that – provided you go for S-line trim or tick the right option box on your SE-spec car – are lit by LEDs.
The Q3 might offer the option of four-wheel drive, but it is an unashamedly road-biased SUV. That's especially true of the styling, which shuns the bulky cladding of its A4 Allroad cousin for a more elegant look. Choose a model with colour-coded side skirts and you'll never want to take it onto the rough stuff.
As for the engine range - the entry level 1.4 TFSI petrol produces 148bhp, while the 2.0 TFSI produces 177bhp. The diesel range is powered by the same 2.0 TDI in two power outputs - 148bhp and 180bhp respectively. Previously the range was topped by the RS Q3, which uses the five-cylinder, 2.5-litre TFSI unit found under the RS3 producing 335bhp and in Performance guise 362bhp.