What is it?
This is the cheapest way in to the cute and compact Audi Q3 SUV. Ignore the faintly ludicrous £33,090 after-options ‘as-tested’ price of the car driven here; a considerably less challenging £24,560 buys you a front-drive, 138bhp 2.0 TDI engined example in SE trim and with a six-speed manual gearbox.
What’s it like?
Appealing, in a no-nonsense – or at least not much nonsense – way. It may only be driven by its front wheels, and only have a out-dated, low-tech manual gearbox, and only produce 138bhp from its 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, but the essence of what makes the Q3 such a desirable motor in the first place is undimmed.
In other words, this is a stylish if understated premium SUV but with the restrained footprint of a family hatch. The Q3’s cabin is never going to win awards for spaciousness, especially in the rear, but it is an extremely well-executed bijou driving environment. And you won’t waste half a Saturday afternoon circling the town centre trying to find a parking space to fit the car into.
Out on the open road the 138bhp motor is a proven and willing performer, and for the most part you won’t miss the extra 36bhp of the higher-powered variant. You will, however, notice the almost effortless 50mpg-plus fuel economy, stretchable to nearer 60mpg with a careful right foot on gentle motorway runs.