The increasingly popular compact SUV market seems ready-made for Audi’s covetable brand.

You could, admittedly, buy a very well-equipped Skoda Yeti for a similar price to an entry-level Q3, which may be more appealing to some buyers.

The Q3 is competent rather than seriously impressive

The trend-conscious customer base is likely to prove highly receptive to the super-slick product positioning that has become a cornerstone of Audi’s success, and which the Q3 represents, however.

If you're sold on Audi's premium-quality build and associated kudos, and want an SUV's raised ride height and over-hedge viewing facility, then the Q3 is the way to go.

It's a well honed car, one that effortlessly perpetuates a seamless experience of attainable upmarket packaging. But, separated from its aspirational starch, the new Q3 is commendably competent rather than seriously impressive.

Objectively, it earns few significant demerits, but there is a familiar sterility to the way the Audi Q3 drives. That it refuses to sparkle dynamically will hardly matter to most of its intended buyers, though. The Q3 is highly competent, refined, beautifully finished and tastefully styled.

Which, ultimately, is why Audi sold nearly 100,000 of them in 2012 alone.

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