Quality counts with Q3

Motoring expert Graham Courtney reviews the Audi Q3…

Fancy a premium badge SUV that oozes quality?

If the answer is yes, you’ll find the pick of the bunch at the Teesside Audi dealership at Preston Farm near Stockton. They have a full selection of Audi Q models ranging from the most compact, the Q2, to the stonking Q7. All of them are hugely appealing.

However, when it comes to choosing the best all-rounder that will suit the majority of folk, the Audi Q3 fits the bill.

£27,610 gets you into the entry level 148bhp 1.4 litre petrol engine model. There’s also a 2.0 litre petrol version. If you prefer the economy provided by diesel power, you can opt for either a 2.0 litre 148bhp TDi or the hunkier 2.0 litre 181bhp version. The more powerful petrol and diesel engines have quattro, 4×4 transmission.

There are three levels of trim: Sport, S-Line and Black Edition. All come with climate control, sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio, central locking, cruise control, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure indicator and sports bodykit. In other words, there’s no need to dip into the options list unless you want to either stand out from the crowd or just add a little bit of added tech to your Audi Q3.

Rock solid build quality and terrific levels of refinement and reliability come as standard.

The 1.4 litre petrol models are front-wheel drive only, but they make sense if you want a smooth engine with good performance (0-60 in 9.2 seconds – top speed 129mph and 51.4mpg) and don’t need all-wheel drive.

The super-economical diesel models start at £28,305 for the front-wheel drive 2.0 TDi which improves your fuel economy to over 62mpg but has almost identical performance figures to the 1.4 litre petrol model.

The 2.0 TDi and 2.0 litre TFSi petrol models are really quick with 0-60 taking a shade over 7 seconds although they feel quicker.

The beauty with Audi is that they have such a large range that you really can find something to suit every taste. If you need some go-anywhere ability to, for example, pull a horse box across a wet field or reverse a boat into a lake, then you can opt for the 4×4 quattro transmission. If you are going to stick to the roads, stick with front wheel drive.

If you want performance, then go for the beefier 2.0 litre TDi diesel or TSFi petrol models.

If you want a mix of performance AND economy, go for the lower powered versions, although you’ll never feel wanting for a bit of oomph because even the 1.4 litre petrol TFSi is spritely and has loads of pulling power.

No matter which one you go for, you have a roomy interior that feels as though it’s been honed from granite. You get a terrifically high level of kit as standard, and there is a mass of safety features that you won’t know are there until you need them. Fancy a more sporty exterior? Go for the S-Line models. They look great.

Every Audi Q3 is terrific to drive. The ride is brilliant and handling utterly predictable. It is the perfect family car, commuter mobile, holiday holdall, school shuttle and long-distance cruiser. No wonder we love ‘em.