The new Q3 has broken cover, revealing a stunning new look, more space, more comfort and more technology than the outgoing model. The new model will open for ordering in the autumn and first deliveries will be in late 2018. Prices and full UK specification will be confirmed nearer to the introduction date.
The Audi Q3 is the perfect all-rounder for a demanding family, and comes packed with technology similar to that found on its big brother, the Q8, including virtual cockpit and a large touchscreen MMI display.
Note: pictures and video may not reflect UK specification
The exterior design
The sharper creases and sleeker lines of the new Q3 give it a stronger road presence than its predecessor, and this is complemented by its octagonal Singleframe front grille, large side air inlets and slim headlights. The LED headlights are standard, along with LED daytime running lights, and optional Matrix LED lights can be specified.
Side on, the headlight and rear light graphics are connected by the car’s shoulder line with strong accents over the wheel arches, which draw their inspiration from the original Audi quattro. The rear spoiler, and steeply raked C pillars add to the SUV’s eye-catching new look.
A full paint finish will be standard for Sport and S line models with a choice of up to 11 paint colours, depending on trim level. It will be possible to order a contrasting colour finish on certain parts of the lower body section on Sport versions to further accentuate the SUV’s look.
S line models have exclusively designed bumpers, sill trims and diffuser
The focal point of the interior is the instrument panel, which references the octagonal shape of the Singleframe. High-gloss black trim surrounds the centre of the new operating system: the MMI touch display. Together with the air conditioning controls underneath, it is tilted 10 degrees toward the driver. All displays, buttons and controls are located ergonomically.
Sport seats are standard on Sport and S line: Sport comes with cloth interior and on S line a combination of cloth/Twin leather. For the first time Alcantara also appears as an option for the surfaces of the instrument panel and the door armrests. They are available in three colours, including a bold orange.
In the dark, the optional contour/ambient lighting package sets pinpoint lighting accents on the centre console and doors. It can be set to 30 colours and also illuminates the storage compartment under the instrument panel as well as the quattro logo above the glove compartment, or the Audi rings on front-wheel-drive models.
The Audi Q3 is easy to get into, and has good all-round visibility. The three-seater rear bench can be moved back and forth by 150 millimetres as standard, and its three-way split backrest, in the ratio 40:20:40, can be tilted in seven stages. For even greater comfort the rear seat can be equipped as an option with a centre armrest incorporating two cup holders.
The luggage compartment is also easily accessible through the standard electrically powered tailgate, and has a capacity of 530 or 675 litres depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests – with the backrests completely folded down the capacity rises to 1,525 litres.
The loading floor can be adjusted in three levels, and the low loading sill (748 millimetres) makes stowing heavy luggage easier. If the parcel shelf is not needed, it can be stowed under the loading floor. You can also add an optional storage and luggage compartment package, which includes nets on the backs of the front seats, a storage compartment under the front passenger seat, a luggage compartment net and LED spotlights in the tailgate to provide illumination whatever the vehicle is carrying.
Controls and displays
Sport and S line versions, come with a fully digital MMI touch display and 10.1-inch screen in the centre of the instrument panel as standard, along with MMI navigation plus and the Audi Virtual Cockpit with a 10.25 inch screen within the binnacle.
Using the multifunction steering wheel the driver can view data, such as road and engine speed, and manage MMI functions and listen to music, Audi connect services and navigation mapping. The driver can configure the display according to their needs.
These trims are equipped with new natural-language voice control. It understands freely structured wording, asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices and defers to the speaker when interrupted. Responses to enquiries are made not just with the benefit of information stored onboard, but also with detailed knowledge from the cloud – the same feature is used in the Audi A8. The online cross-referencing improves both the detection rate and the results
Infotainment and Audi connect
The MMI navigation plus in the Audi Q3 offers the same technical functions as those in our higher-end models, such as the stunning new Q8. The navigation, for instance, recognises the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable route suggestions. The route is calculated – in parallel to the planning in the car – on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic situation.
The Audi connect portfolio is offered on a three-year subscription as standard on Sport and S line, It supplements the navigation using the LTE Advanced standard, which provides its services in virtually all European countries using a SIM card that is permanently installed in the vehicle.
These services include the high resolution satellite images of Google Earth, traffic information online, point-of-interest search as well as information on parking spaces and filling stations, which appear directly on the navigation map – where necessary also with dynamic additional information such as prices and availability. Audi connect also includes media streaming, online news, access to Twitter and email.
A Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices is part of an optional data package which the customer can add conveniently from the car.
Many Audi connect functions are brought together in the myAudi app. It connects the customer’s smartphone to the new Q3, allowing, for instance, navigation routes to be imported seamlessly through myAudi Navigation. Once the user gets into their car, route guidance is continued on the onboard monitor. On departure at the end of the journey, the smartphone navigates them onto their next destination.
The app also supports music streaming and transfers the smartphone calendar onto the MMI. Furthermore, the user can remotely lock and unlock their car, consult the current vehicle status and pinpoint where their Audi Q3 is parked using the myAudi app on their smartphone.
A range of hardware modules supplements the infotainment portfolio. The Audi smartphone interface, which is standard in the UK, links customers’ iOS and Android cell phones and places their Apple Car Play or Android Auto environment on the MMI display.
The Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound provides three-dimensional audio. The sound experience is generated through four additional loudspeakers in the instrument panel and one in each D pillar. The sound system uses 15 loudspeakers altogether and produces a total output of 680 watts.
At launch four engines will power the new Audi Q3 – three TFSI and one TDI. Their power outputs range from 150PS to 230PS. All four engines are four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging, and all are fitted with a particulate filter.
The entry-level engine is the 1.5-litre TFSI with 150PS and 250Nm of torque. It uses the cylinder on demand efficiency system, which temporarily switches off two cylinders at low load. Using the new Audi naming convention it will be badged 35 TFSI and will be fitted with a fast-shifting seven-speed S tronic and front-wheel drive at launch – a six-speed manual option will follow later.
The 2.0-litre TFSI unit in the Audi Q3 40 TFSI has 190PS and develops maximum torque of 320Nm. In its uprated form – the Audi Q3 45 TFSI – it has 230PS and 350Nm of torque. Both engines are coupled as standard with the seven-speed S tronic and use quattro permanent all-wheel drive based around the hydraulic multi-plate clutch.
In the diesel engine line-up, the 2.0-litre unit with 150PS and 340Nm of torque is the lead-in version. The Q3 35 TDI is initially available with a manual transmission and quattro drive. A seven-speed S tronic version will be offered in combination with front-wheel drive. Following the market launch, a 2.0 TDI developing 190PS will extend the engine range.