Audi Q3 Estate Review

Overall Rating:

Audi Q3 Estate Exterior

From the Audi Q3 range comes the Audi Q3 Estate - practical yet compact for an SUV, it's a great option for your next new car. Check our Audi Q3 Estate review.

Pros

  • Loads of high-tech features.

  • Big boot.

Cons

  • Both automatic and manual gearboxes can feel unresponsive.

  • Firmer ride than the Volvo XC40.

Exterior

4/5

Driving Experience

4/5

Interior

4/5

Practicality

4/5

Running Costs

3/5

Our Rating:


Overall Verdict

The new Audi Q3 Estate is an immensely practical compact SUV with the luxurious characteristics to match. The interior cabin is wonderfully stylish and Audi hasn't held back on providing a generous amount of high-tech goodies!

Competing with the likes of the Volvo XC40, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA, the Q3 Estate is associated with a well-respected crowd. It’s also worth noting that the second generation Q3 Estate is £1,150 cheaper than the Audi Q3 Sportback.

Despite the engines being a little rough around the edges and the gearboxes a tad vague, the Q3 Estate’s exquisite practicality has its rivals beaten all day which makes it a popular choice for small families.

Venture inside the cabin and the Q3 Estate has a pristine cabin to match it’s exterior styling. Everything you see and touch is of a high-quality and you’ll have no trouble getting comfy as you nestle into the sporty front seats.

The standard 3-spoke leather steering wheel is another great feature that allows you to control a number of on-board navigation systems thanks to its multi-functioning capabilities. Included in this is the Q3’s highly regarded infotainment system. The standard 10.25-inch MMI touchscreen is complemented by the 10.1-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit to give the Q3 Estate a superior feel over most other small SUVs.

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, Audi’s optional Comfort and Sound Pack (additional £1,295) will get you a tidy Bang & Olufsen sound system, a handy rear view camera as well as hands-free opening of the boot and doors.

The Audi Q3 Estate also comes with plenty of standard safety kit including precision parking rear parking sensors, cruise control and a front pre-sense mechanism to reduce the risk of accidents.

Practicality reigns supreme in the Audi Q3 thanks to its significantly spacious boot. Jump back into the rear seats and the Q3 offers loads more room than many similar priced alternatives.

All things considered, the Audi Q3 Estate is a cracking all-rounder with bucket-loads of style and practicality. It’s just a shame about the slightly underwhelming driving experience compared to some other luxury small SUV cars.


Available Trims

Sport

The entry-level ‘Sport’ trim boasts a generous selection of standard equipment to make it a very enticing option. The 18” '5-double-arm alloy wheels are the foundation to the car's impressive exterior style, while the futuristic LED headlights provide powerful assistance on dark roads. Somehow, the ‘Sport’ trim has managed to wrangle Audi’s intuitive Virtual Cockpit into its possession which is a huge selling point for those on a budget.

S Line

The S Line trim is where the Audi Q3 Estate starts to ramp things up a notch. The 19” ‘5-twin-spoke-dynamic’ alloy wheels give the S line a luxurious shine, while the rejuvenated exterior styling pack offers S Line bumpers and platinum grey accents amongst a number of other appealing aesthetics.

Edition 1

Similar to Audi’s ‘Black Edition’ trim, the ‘Edition 1’ comes with a striking black styling pack that radiates the Q3’s intimidating presence. The machete-like 20” ‘twin-spoke rotor’ alloy sport wheels follow suit in matt black with diamond cut finish. The Matrix LED headlights use cutting-edge tech to alter the brightness of your lights according to your situation, while you won’t struggle to get comfy in the Edition 1 thanks to the soft, twin leather upholstery.

Vorsprung

The top of the range ‘Vorsprung’ trim is an absolute cut above the rest if you’ve got an extra £11k to play around with. The adaptive suspension with damper control allows you to select your preferred driving mode, while the instinctive Driver Assistance Pack provides a broad range of safety and parking assistants. Add Alcantara/twin leather upholstery, heated front seats and a panoramic sunroof into the picture and costs will rack up - but you can decide whether it’s worth it.


Exterior

Our Rating:

The Audi Q3 Estate bases much of its exterior style off the larger Audi Q8 Estate. The commanding and aggressive octagonal grille provides enticing first impressions, while the deep front bumpers look very smart alongside the Selenite silver accents.

The muscular sculpture of the Q3’s body shape emphasises the car's strong creases and the fact that you can get the entry-level ‘Sport’ trim in 8 colour variations is pretty cool. Definitely one of the more trendy-looking small SUVs on the market.


Driving Experience

Our Rating:

The Audi Q3 Estate is available in 3 petrol and 2 diesel outputs. You have the choice between a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic, but neither cover the Q3 in too much glory as they can both be a tad slow and unresponsive when you put the foot down.

The entry level 35 TFSI 1.5-litre 150bhp petrol engine is an ideal choice if you’re not planning to clock up too many miles and stick to city driving. You’ll get the option of picking between a manual or S Tronic automatic transmission, but it’s the only Q3 engine that doesn’t come with Audi’s four-wheel drive ‘quattro’ system. The 35 TFSI reaches 0-62mph in 9.4s and manages a top speed of 126mph.

The middle of the range 40 TFSI quattro 2.0-litre 190bhp S Tronic reaches a top speed of 144mph and completes 0-62mph in 7.4s, although, it’s inefficient fuel economy leaves a lot to be desired. Topping off the petrol range is the 45 TFSI quattro 2.0-litre 230bhp S Tronic which can get you to 62mph in 6.3 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 144mph.

With the 35 TDI 2.0-litre 150bhp diesel output you get the option of a front-wheel drive powertrain with a six-speed manual gearbox or the quattro four-wheel drive automatic transmission. The performance stats are identical to the 35 TFSI, but the 2.0L 35 TDI has its petrol equivalent well beaten in regards to fuel economy.

If you’re regularly on the motorway, the 40 TDI quattro 2.0-litre 190bhp S Tronic is your best bet for economical running costs. It’ll also manage 0-62mph in 8 seconds flat and ramp up to a top speed of 134mph.


Driving Position

Once you’ve nestled into your leather perch of a driver's seat, you’ll realise the Audi Q3 Estate provides you with a good front view - it's a great car with a high driving position.

The pillars between the windscreen and the front doors aren’t particularly clunky, but it’s still a tad tricky to spot smaller cars approaching junctions.

Rear visibility is better than most small SUVs and the Q3’s rear parking sensors provide an additional layer of protection and guidance.


Handling

The Q3’s precise steering and well controlled body lean make it pretty fun to drive around town, but the laggy gearboxes don’t do much to fight its corner against alternatives like the Volvo XC40 and the BMW X1.

The more powerful outputs come with the option of quattro four-wheel drive which provides the Q3 with ample amounts of grip to handle slippery conditions with ease. S Line models are equipped with larger alloy wheels to give the Q3 even higher levels of grip.


Suspension

The Q3’s standard suspension (available on Sport trim) handles most lumps and bumps relatively well and offers a more comfortable driving experience than sport suspension available on both the S Line and Edition 1 trims.

The larger alloy wheels and lower sport suspension make the Q3 Estate significantly firmer, and quite frankly less comfortable than the entry-level suspension.

You can pay extra (standard on Vorsprung trim) to get adaptive suspension with damping control. This lets you choose between the softer, more comfort-oriented suspension or the stiffer sporty suspension depending on your driving situation giving you the best of both worlds!

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