By Mike Torpey on 2017-03-24 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Audi Q3 2.0 TDI
quattro S line Plus
WHEN it comes to covering bases, nobody does it better than Audi.
Whether it be limo-like opulence, fiery performance, estate versatility or SUV style, the boys from Ingolstadt have the boxes ticked.
Take the compact Q3 posh crossover, a vehicle now boasting far more presence than when it originally arrived some five years ago.
If you need adequate rather than cavernous space, don't fancy the size of a full-blown SUV - like this model's stablemate the Q7 - yet enjoy the raised ride height and driving position, then the Q3 may be a smart choice.
Of course with quality, and there's plenty of that, comes price - in the Q3's case from a starting point of Â£26,600 for a 1.4-litre petrol model in entry grade Sport trim.
Opt for the tested 2.0-litre turbodiesel with S tronic dual clutch transmission, four-wheel drive and top whack S line Plus spec and you're looking at almost another Â£10,000 on the tab. And that's before those tempting add-ons from the options bin.
Pearl-effect paint costs another £550, a technology pack is £1,010, reversing camera and park assist for £575 and you may fancy perforated Alcantara/leather upholstery for another £485.
And there are plenty more from where that little list came from.
Based on the A3, the Q3 is taller, has a raised ride height, good all-round visibility and offers the option of Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive set-up.
The engine line-up though is both comprehensive and economic, the 2.0-litre unit with its 184ps of punch being in my view the pick of the pack.
Strong, smooth and near silent, you can expect to return around 44 miles per gallon - not too far removed from the official combined figure of 51.4.
As a driver's car, the Q3 is one you take too straight away. It's light, well damped, corners positively and feels nicely balanced around urban roads and really comes into its own on faster roads and the motorway.
Despite its city-friendly size the Q3 has a deceptively roomy interior with comfortable seating for four - five at a push - plus 460-litre load bay rising to 1,365 litres if the split/folding rear seat is stowed.
The cabin design is trademark Audi and all about German efficiency rather than emotional appeal. What's guaranteed though is top notch quality.
All models are pretty well specced up but the higher grade S line trim levels get the likes of all-weather LED headlights and dynamic ‘scrolling' rear indicators which illuminate sequentially within two-tenths of a second from the inside out in the direction the driver intends to turn.
Audi Q3 2.0 TDI quattro S line Plus S tronic
Mechanical: 184ps, 1,968cc 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via Sautomatic gearbox
Max Speed: 136mph
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 51.4
Insurance Group: 25
C02 emissions: 144g/km
Bik rating: 28%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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