In Review

Audi Q3 2019: reviews, rivals, pricing and UK release date

Can the new compact crosser rival the BMW X2 and the Range Rover Evoque?

A new version of Audi’s Q3 is about to go on sale. The new car is the second-generation model of the company’s compact SUV. 

The first Q3 arrived in 2011 at a time when the crossover market was sparsely populated, says Autocar. In recent years, however, the segment has “exploded” and this means the new Q3 faces tough competition.

The main rivals are the new BMW X2 and Volvo XC40, the magazine says, but Land Rover is expected to launch an updated version of its Evoque in the near future that will no doubt spice up the competition. 

So can the new Q3 give its rivals a run for their money?

Here’s what the critics have to say:

Reviews

Autocar calls the Q3 a “mixed bag” and says the new car has a few issues that Audi should have “nailed” before its launch. 

The magazine objects to the car’s “disappointing” turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. While the new Q3 “moves along happily” on urban roads, the engine sounds as if it’s being worked hard at low speeds and revs in a “deeply unhappy fashion” above 4,000rpm.

But things start to improve when you head inside the new SUV. 

That’s because the Q3 comes with extensive equipment, even in the entry-level models, says Top Gear. Standard kit includes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display, which swaps the conventional analogue dashboard for a digital version, as well as a 10in high-resolution touchscreen integrated into the centre console. 

In addition, base-spec cars are equipped with LED headlights, a blind-spot warning system and lane-keep assistance thrown in for free, the car site says. Even a powered tailgate, which electronically closes the boot lid, is included in standard models. 

On the road, Auto Express says the Q3 boasts “keen turn-in, strong grip and decent adjustability.” Ride comfort, which was a problem for the previous generation Q3, is much improved in the new model. 

The Q3’s gearbox options, however, do let the side down “ever so slightly”, the magazine says. That’s because the manual option is “a little clunky”, while the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic can be slow at changing gear.

“If practicality and desirability are at the top of your agenda, the new Q3 will carry all of your stuff/family/friends and look good in a modern yet reserved way while doing it”, Car magazine concludes. 

Despite the large amount of standard equipment, the motoring magazine says the SUV is “vanilla” compared to its rivals. The BMW X2 and Volvo XC40 are “better to drive” and more comfortable than Audi’s “dull” compact crossover. 

Price and release date

Official pricing has yet to be announced, but entry-level Q3 35 TDI models are expected to go on sale for around £31,000 when the car hits showrooms in November.

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