Fit and material finish have long been Audi strengths, but the firm has added an impressively fine-tuned aesthetic to its interiors in recent years. The Q3 typifies this effort to meld function and premium feel in a clean-cut, purposeful environment.
The dashboard is a mix of the A1's and the previous generation A3's dashboard, but set higher and its upper and lower sections are subtly canted away from the occupants. Soft-touch trim and brushed buttons feature throughout much of the handsome matt black centre console. In daylight, it’s all pleasantly appealing, but at night the peerless use of subdued LED spotlighting bathes the cabin in a mesmerising glow.
There are mis-steps which stand out among the otherwise slick execution – the clickable climate controls (set unusually low, just above the centre console) are not satisfying to use, for example.
But most failings are so immaterial that they serve only to highlight the first-rate effort of the overall ambience. The fact that the Q3 is made in Seat’s Martorell factory is also irrelevant: this car is as tightly built as any German Audi.
You sit high, with a traditional SUV vantage point, but the car is sufficiently compact to pass as a tall hatchback rather than a full-on SUV. Nevertheless, up front, the overall impression is one of satisfyingly snug surroundings rather than an unfortunately cramped cabin.