2018 Audi Q3 Review – is this the best small SUV around? | What Car?

2018 Audi Q3 Review – is this the best small SUV around? | What Car?

On the face of it, it appears that this Audi
Q3 has all the right ingredients for success. It has a premium badge, good quality interior
and raised ride height with excellent forward visibility, which is exactly what family buyers
are looking for. And it’s a small SUV which is one of the largest markets around, trouble
is the size of that market means competition is tough. Just 3 of the rivals are BMW X1,
VW Tiguan and Range Rover Evoque. So can the Audi Q3 still cut it or has it lost its day?
To find out we’ll start by taking it on the UK roads. For a small car there’s actually
a big choice of engines available from a small 1.4 litre petrol up to a 2 litre and 2.5 litre
petrol plus a pair of 2 litre diesels. It’s the lower powered diesel option that we’ve
got fitted to this car and if you do any motorway miles it’s the one that we ultimately recommend
because it’s smooth, has enough power delivery to cope with a fully loaded car and is relatively
economical. Even on its standard suspension, the Q3 offers a comfortable ride at all speeds.
In fact, this is the set up to go for because the one fitted to the pricier S line models
is less forgiving. As you might expect, raising the ride height for any car doesn’t do any
favours to its handling. That said, compared with its SUV rivals, the Q3 does pretty well.
It has plenty of grip through the corners and keeps its body well controlled. The petrol
engines are quieter than the diesels and aside from some small vibrations sent back into
the interior, overall refinement is good. Go for the 6 speed manual gearbox and you’ll
enjoy some precise, well weighted changes. While the S tronic automatic we’ve got here
is largely quick and smooth. Like the best Audis, the Q3 has the kind of interior that
oozes quality. Everything you touch feels solid and there are plenty of soft touch materials.
You won’t have any trouble getting comfy either because there’s plenty of adjustment
in this seat and the steering wheel can be moved for reach and rake which is great. And
even the entry level versions have got adjustable lumbar support and you can even alter the
height of the armrest. Although if you’re only 5” 4 & 1/4 , it’s not really that much
good! Every version of the Q3 gets this retractable 6.5” colour screen. You get DAB radio and
bluetooth as standard, Sat Nav is an optional extra. What you can’t get though is Apple
CarPlay smartphone mirroring and Audi’s virtual cockpit instrument display. So let’s
see how easy it is to set a destination in that optional Sat Nav and pair my mobile phone.
Okay, let’s start by setting a destination in the Sat Nav, if we go to address and scroll
up here. Let’s go somewhere in Portsmouth. Okay so we’ve got Portsmouth. Let’s add
a street, let’s go to High Street. High Street. House number, 100, if that exists,
yes it does, excellent. Start route guidance. Your route is being calculated. Well, that
was quite easy to use. Next up let’s pair my mobile phone. Okay, search for new mobile,
make sure my bluetooth is on. Bluetooth, quite a few cars there, might have to have a bit
of a clear out! Find bluetooth devices. Okay, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. Ah, Rebecca’s
Iphone, want that. Hands free, yes. Connection is being established, please wait. Pair, hands
free, yes. Yes, that code matches. Connection is being established. Excellent, we are connected.
Even if you’re tall, you’ll have plenty of space in the front of the Q3 and these
door bins are large enough for a big bottle of water plus you’ve got two cup holders
here. Some more storage here for everyday bits and bobs and a decent sized glove box.
Move back here and it’s not quite so spacious, there’s not much more room than you’d
get in the back of a family hatchback. In fact, a BMW X1 does have more space Although
there’s decent sized door bins, that’s where I’ve put my umbrella and you can reasonably
comfortably sit 2 adults back here but 3 will be a bit of a squeeze. The Q3’s boot is
smaller than that of the Mercedes GLA however in reality it’s the Audi’s boot that’s easier to
live with because it has a wider opening and although this boot floor is non-adjustable,
there is a little bit of storage space underneath. And if you’d like to turn your Audi Q3 into
a van, all you do is press this button here and cue camera trickery. The Audi Q3 is a
premium car, so it does look expensive when compared with the Seat Ateca or Nissan Qashqai,
that said, up against a Mercedes GLA or a BMW X1, it’s priced competitively and with
strong residuals, PCP finance deals are rather tempting. We’d team our recommended 2 litre diesel
engine with SE specification, this may be the entry level trim but it still gets you
everything you’re likely to want including 17” alloy wheels, dual zone climate control
and rear parking sensors and when it comes to safety, the Audi Q3 received a full 5 star
rating when it was tested back in 2011. The Audi Q3 is good to drive, compact and inexpensive
to run. So if you’re looking for a small, comfortable, small SUV with a premium badge, it definitely
deserves to be on your short list and if you are thinking of buying one, head to WhatCar.com
and go to our ‘New car deals section’ where we can save you some money. You’ll
also find our full online review as well as its rivals reviews but before you go anywhere,
hit subscribe and never miss another video.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Same old script. Sat nav and phone pairing so dated and boring. Rebecca please join Matt on car wow . 🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗

  2. tedious review… sat nav and phone pairing makes me want to top myself, best bit about the review is that the car looks good, and also her ass

  3. nah there are much better crossover junk out there for a fraction of the price of that turd, plus the interior looks ancient.

  4. A very poor review indeed. This is a car that is about to be replaced by a totally new one but the age of the car (more than 6!) was not mentioned in the review, not once. The understandably dated interior is described as "oozing quality". At the very least she could have said that it showed its age. Same with the infotainment system.

    With a reasonable pricing the Q3 can still be a worthwhile contender in this segment but a review of it in 2017 has to mention its obvious shortcomings compared to its rivals. Unfortunately Whatcar seems to have preferred a review that sounds promoted by Audi. From now on, I'll skip Whatcar reviews, especially ones by Rebecca, which are, to be honest, not worth my while.

  5. Surprised how complimentary she was about the ageing interior!
    This channel is very odd in that it seems to be reviewing old cars over more newly released ones.

  6. Watching this channel its plainly obvious that this channel is doing a disservice to any consumer considering buying a car on the reviews or recommendations the pressenters give. There is no critique of the car in any real sense. For example if I was going to spend any amount of money on this car I would want someone to say "wait for the new one to come out as this is very dated and have you considered the blah blah blah".

    I have yet to see a presenter say anything negative about an Audi on this channel, yeah they're really "well put together" and "quality blah blah" but man are they boring. Its almost as if they get a lot of money from Audi to 'review' their cars.

    I'm not going to put the boot into Rebecca as I dont think she's really that bad; she not good either. She's just painfully mediocre like this channel.

    I generally would not recommended someone to this channel for buying advice. Only if they were stubborn would I say to come here as it would be just be feeding into what they have already decided. For the undecided I would say check out Carwow or better still HonestJohn.

    For people who like cars I would recommend something else.

    And for those thirsty cellar dwellers who fawn over Rebecca I wouldn't have anything to recommend apart from staying at least 100 ft from her as instructed by court.

  7. Nonsense outdated car: it was first released already with an older platform than A3 at the time… So no modern stuff such as ACC

  8. FANTASTIC REVIEW. I am presently debating purchasing a Q3 and this was very useful.
    I am however a little confused as to why a review of a 2017 model comes out so late this year, instead of a 2018 model.
    I dont even think 2017 model are available any more… At least not in Canada.

  9. I went with the Ateca Excellence 190 and it's awesome on and off road with a bigger boot and quicker 0-60. She argues the Q3 looks more premium, I disagree given the Ateca was only released last year! The Q3 looks very dated and that horrible pop up screen along with no touch screen…painful!

  10. Never forget the banana Rebecca it's the most important thing, this what gives the good vital energy and will keep you young forever.

  11. So what you're saying is that its white hot garbage. $32K Starting price for a car thats about as well equipped as a 2008 Honda CR-V. I think this is a case of Audi Apple'ing it up charging multiple times the price of a similarly capable product due to its branding.

  12. the screen DOES NOT RETRACT. This is a common mistake it seems. Which is horrible. They needed to edit this down big time. She's fun and energetic to watch.

  13. 2019 Audi Q3 is now out & it makes this one look Ancient 🙁
    That's the problem with Mercedes & Audi. After 3years your car is so outdated.
    People hate on BMW because they don't make drastic changes every year But at-least their cars never look old & owners don't feel like they can't keep up.

  14. It’s 2019 and Audi couldn’t get rid of the control panel for the display screen ? It’s so 2015 … sorry Audi u failed !! Boring AF !!

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