By Maggie Barry on 2020-02-23 - Experienced car journalist.
Audi Q3 S line S
I OPENED the rear door of the latest Audi Q3 to throw in my shopping - and got quite a surprise. The legroom in the rear was so big I actually noticed it.
Interested, I researched it some more. Not only is it greater in this new generation of Audi's compact SUV but you can move the rear seats backwards or forwards so increasing or decreasing the legroom and, at the same time, the boot space which can rise from 530-litres to a generous 675-litres.
This car used to be the smallest in Audi's SUV line up but with the advent of the new Q2 it has had to mature a little. It is therefore bigger to define the distance between it and its younger sibling and it takes some of its styling details from the very desirable Q8.
It is very pretty in profile with chrome around the windows, chrome roof bars and a neat integrated rear spoiler on this S line trim. It has Audi's deep grille at the front with the iconic four rings and sits proudly on 18-inch alloys.
Inside, it is very well finished - very Audi. There areheated electrically adjustable front sports seats, a slimmed down centre console with minimal buttons - and that doesn't mean Audi has then thrown everything at the steering wheel. It is leather trimmed and flat bottomed with one or two features that mean you don't have to be distracted to turn up the volume on the radio or limit the speed if you are on a motorway.
There is lots of dark black gloss across the dash which lights up when you switch on. The virtual cockpit appears in front of you with alternative views - large dials and a small sat nav screen or a large sat nav screen and small dials- whatever is your preference.
The 10.2-inch infotainment screen sits in the centre above the climate buttons. It's all quite simple - perhaps not as intuitive as other ones I have tried - but once you get used to it, it works well and it looks very good. Plush when turned off and space age when switched on.
There are loads of cubby holes and storage in this version which sports the Storage Pack (£210) that makes it a practical car and soft ambient interior lighting adds that luxurious finish.
The version I am driving also sports the 1.5-litre TFSI engine. With this engine onboard it is a seriously well balanced drive.
Of course you can choose from the various driving modes available with Audi's Drive Select at the toggle of a switch - Dynamic, Efficiency, Auto, Individual, Comfort and Off-road. The Q3 is not a four wheel drive but a front wheel drive. However it does have the capability with this last mode to tackle some rough terrain.
It glides along perfectly on the motorway, displays a surprising prowess on winding country roads and is very easy to manoeuvre and park.
It is this S line trim with the 1.5-litre engine that Audi reckon will be their best seller. That means you can expect to see a lot of them on the road since the Q3 is one of the brand's most popular cars.
Audi Q3 S line S tronic
Mechanical: 150ps, 1,498cc, 4cylpetrol engine drivingfront wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 128mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 48.7
Insurance Group: 21
C02 emissions: 133g/km
Bik rating: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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