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Audi Q3 Test Drive Review

Date: 15 December 2014   |   Author:

Audi's entry point to its SUV range has been facelifted and now comes with upgraded engines, pushing diesel and petrol versions into the fleet spotlight.

The big news is the revised 150hp 2.0-litre diesel. While it doesn't qualify for Audi's Ultra badge, it has had a 15% improvement in efficiency, knocking CO2 down by 18g/km to 119g/km.

There is also a 1.4 TFSI model available with Volkswagen Group's impressive Cylinder on Demand technology that gets CO2 down to 127g/km, just below the 130g/km writing-down allowance threshold. This is the first time the Q3 range has had access to this engine, which is incredibly responsive and feels really nippy, even on a car that is bigger than the A1 and A3 the unit is also used in.

The trim line-up follows the Audi formula with SE, S-line and S-line Plus specifications available. There's a slight retail bias, with 40% of sales expected to go to fleet customers, and the improved 2.0-litre diesel will be the most popular corporate option.

There's been a 10hp boost to overall power and the 150hp diesel is more than adequate for city and motorway driving. It's quiet in the cabin too - there's no vibration coming through the wheel or onto the gear stick either - making it a very comfortable place to be.

All models get full body-colour paint finish, which was previously just standard on S-line versions and above. The entry-level SE models also get xenon bulbs and LED daytime running lights.

Audi has made its Drive Select feature standard across the Q3 range and it lets you customise the driving set-up to stiffen the steering and alter the throttle response, or soften things for a comfortable ride.

The improvements to efficiency now push the car to the top of the pack against premium competitors with only the GLA 200 CDI SE able to compete on CO2 by matching the 119g/km figure. However, the Q3
is the better looking of the two, and it offers more power and torque, although there's an £825
price premium.

Both the BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque, at 128g/km and 133g/km respectively, don't
get close enough on CO2 to be a credible threat for those fleets looking at competitive whole-life costs.

Audi Q3 2.0 TDI 150hp S-line

P11D price £29,430
Model price range £25,340-£30,820
Fuel consumption 61.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 119g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £93/£186
Service interval 2yrs/20,000mls
Insurance (1-50) group 18
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 420/1325 litres
Engine size/power 1461cc/150hp
Top speed/0-60mph 126mph/9.6secs
On sale March 2015


Impressive improvements to efficiency