2022 Audi Q3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro review - in a quahog shell
Singapore - Audi’s C segment SUV, the Q3, has been given a tiny, but significant update. So this will be quite a quick read.
The Q3 might be popular, but it still faces stiff competition from the likes of the X1 (stay tuned for the new car) and X2 from BMW, the GLA from Mercedes-Benz (and also their respective RS and AMG badged variants here), and for Japanophiles, there is the Lexus UX, with its heavily-touted Takumi finishing.
With the revision of the Q3, Audi had not (yet) included the S-line trim variants in their lineup, which means that you will not get that really nice silver-accented grille and other frosted silver bits.
Interestingly, the ‘Sportback’ moniker is a term used a little loosely by Audi, to describe four-door versions of their coupe cars, slopey slopey-roofed SUVs, and also the hatchback variant of the A3. Over here the Q3 Sportrback, even though is officially termed as a coupe, is still more SUV than coupe.
So with the update, you get the same 2.0 TFSI engine, but with some important tweaks. Its 320Nm of torque may have been retained, but por has been bumped up by 10hp, to 190hp. But more importantly, that 2.0 now qualifies for a neutral VES rating. Previously, the two-litre Q3 suffered from a (money-sucking) C2 VES penalty, which then made the Q3 less attractive than it should have been.
While the Q3 is the heaviest among similar-priced premium SUVs at 1530kg, to be fair, it is the only one in the price range, which is available with AWD.
Compared to Mercedes-Benz’s 1.3-ish four-banger, and BMW’s 500cc-per-barrel three, the Audi’s 2.0 is the smoothest operating one here. The quattro AWD system makes itself felt, especially when taking off from the lights, where the rear wheels also do their part in bringing the small SUV to speed. Since it is an AWD car, there is a certain confidence which the Q3 brings to the table, as cornering feels flatter and more neutral. Furthermore, that 7-speed S-tronic transmission shifts cogs quickly and seamlessly.
However, on the flip side of things, the AWD drivetrain does presents certain drawbacks. At low carpark speeds, you can feel the mechanical bones at the front end acting up. That 7-speed S-tronic, which does a fine job on the go, contributes to the Q3's carpark-crawling roughness, with its inherent low speed hiccups.
2022 Audi Q3 Sportback 2.0T FSI quattro - interior
On the inside, nothing changes here. I know that the saying that there is an “Audi-ness” to the interior is sort of passé, but it is by far the most pleasant of them premium SUV types. From here, it is quite clear that Audi know how to make very good small cars. The infotainment’s interface is very good, and offers connectivity to both Apple and Android phone users, but it pales when compared to the ones from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Sadly though, there is no wireless charger, which has become a current-day must-have.
At the rear, passenger space is near-identical to the non-sportback Q3. Interestingly, Audi had also put in some good effort here in subtly re-working those rear seats, so that the sloping roof would not be of any issue. The 530 litre boot is probably the best here, and the loading area is flat. Interior packaging is also very good really.
I promised it would be a short read. So the Audi Q3 has got plenty going for it. From badge appeal, to its equally appealing styling. While the Sportback might seem the less sensible of the two cars, but both of them are attractive premium offerings.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
2022 Audi Q3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro
Engine 1984cc, inline4 turbocharged
Transmission 7-speed S tronic quattro permanent all-wheel drive
Top Speed 208km/h
Fuel Consumption 5.6l/100km (combined)