Audi Q3 SE 2.0 TDI

quattro S tronic

Audi Q3, front
Audi Q3, front
Audi Q3, front
Audi Q3, front
Audi Q3, side
Audi Q3, rear
Audi Q3, interior

AUDI'S desire to be represented in almost every automotive segment would seem to be pretty much complete and the car maker now seems to have all bases covered - with the possible exceptions of an MPV and a pick-up.

It's particularly the case when it comes to crossovers/SUVs where Audi now has three offerings to match all needs and tastes.

The cavernous Q7 is a consummate seven-seater, the Q5 is a much-loved mid-sized model while the Q3 perfectly plugs the compact gap below it.

Given the rapid growth of its model range it would be understandable if Audi didn't always get things right. In its haste to deliver all things to all men one might imagine the odd slip-up or two.

But nothing could be further from the truth and pretty much every new Audi unveiled seems to have a knack of hitting the spot.

The Q3 is a classic example and any idea Audi might be over-reaching itself in terms of its crossover representation were quickly dismissed.

It stands out as the ultimate compact crossover and about the only criticism that could be levelled might be it isn't cheap. This particular model will set you back more than £30,000 though the range starts at £25,650 for a front-wheel-drive petrol-powered SE.

Launched in 2011 it still looks fresh and contemporary and a recent facelift has given it a new look with a revised front grille, a wrap-around tailgate, new bumpers, new alloy wheels and bi-xenon headlights.

The engine line-up has been revised with buyers able to choose a selection of TFSI petrol engines and TDI diesels which all offer improved performance, enhanced economy and lower emissions.

This was the lower powered 2.0-litre TDI and proved a capable and smooth unit.

An entry-level SE model it nonetheless came well equipped and features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, automatic wipers and lights, rear parking sensors and cruise control.

The interior is as sublimely Audi-like as one would expect - one of the great strengths of the brand and something which seems to get better and better with each new model or mid life makeover.

One might assume as a truly compact SUV the Q3 would be tiny - but it isn't. It would still manage to fit the bill as a decent family car and feels bigger than many hatches.

It's surprisingly roomy on the inside with a cabin that has a family estate kind of feel and a decent sized boot too - 420-litres or 1,325 with the rear seats folded.

As well as being comfortable to travel in it is also good to drive, agile, light and nimble and impressively flat when cornering with a decent measure of that coveted car-like handling all SUVs seem to aspire to.

This is in large part down to its compact dimensions, though certainly aided by the fact it was Quattro model rather than a front-wheel-drive one.

FAST FACTS

Audi Q3 SE 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic

Price: £30,330

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 9.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 131g/km

Bik rating:24 %

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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