Another day, another compact crossover. Audi figuratively stuck their second-gen Q3 into a press, squeezed it into a hatchback, pardon, coupé, pardon, Sportback shape and charges you extra for the loss in practicality.
You should know: Actually, I’m quite the Q3 fan. I also appear to be the only one who genuinely liked the first generation’s stubby looks. This second version obviously falls in line with Audi’s edgy design trends and also brings their new era of cabin tech to the party. In southern Africa, all Q3’s are only available with a turbo-petrol engine.
More info: You get the choice between 35 TFSi and 40 TFSi which means 1.4L (110kW/250Nm) or 2L (132kW/320Nm) in plain English. TFSi stands for Troll Fuel Sign information. I think? Another mandatory item on the whole range is Audi’s dual-clutch automated transmission; 6-speed for all 1.4’s and 7-speed for the bigger two litre models.
What else? I’m also on record as being the only dual-clutch gearbox hater on the planet but hasten to add that it depends on the engine and vehicle size/weight. In this 40 TFSi it was acceptably smooth and fast at all but parking speeds. I’d imagine that the smaller capacity models may struggle a bit with smooth momentum.
All 40-models are also shipped with quattro all-wheel-drive.
Why you shouldn’t: If you can look past the price tag of about R715,000 I would also caution against Audi’s stingy but overpriced options strategy. Our test unit had quite a few tasty features but the selection of these will hopefully be at your own discretion. I highly recommend LED headlights, posh speakers, this striking blue and grey colour combo, as well as the exclusion of any nanny driver aids.
Why you should: The Audi Q3 Sportback may seem a bit silly at first but it cuts a dashing figure and mostly does as it’s told – highly sophisticated town and highway manners mixed with all the latest toys as well as a 555L boot, comfy 235/55R18 tyres for a spot of mild off-roading, and a 1 year warranty with five years or 100,000km worth of service plan.
|Engine:||2L i-4 turbo-petrol|
|Transmission:||7-speed Automatic, AWD|
|Avg cons.:||(claimed 8.3)|
|0-100km/h:||7.8 seconds (claimed 8.24)|
|Top Speed:||Claimed 220km/h|