What's the news?
Audi has revealed the second-generation version of its Q3 crossover, and this one is bigger. The arrival of the more compact Q2, and the use of Volkswagen Group's flexible MQB architecture, means that Audi's SUV line-up now follows a more logical size progression from Q2 to Q3 to Q5.
The new Q3 looks a good bit sportier and more aggressive than before, with a hint of the new Q8 around the nose, thanks to a huge wide-screen grille and sculpted lights. Those can be had with Matrix LED tech and intelligent lighting if you're willing to spend the extra.
Around the back, there's a fast-raked design, a big boot spoiler and contrast-colour wheelarches down the sides.
Inside, there's clearly a lot of inspiration being drawn from the likes of the Audi Q8 and the A7. Instead of the slightly dowdy A3-style cabin of the outgoing Q3, in comes a high-tech looking interior that majors on touchscreens.
As standard, the Q3 will come with a 10.0-inch digital instrument cluster and, optionally, you can spec it up with the full-fat 12.3-inch 'Virtual Cockpit' instrument pack. The standard screen size for the central infotainment system is 10.1 inches, although the Q3 doesn't copy the larger cars with a double-deck screen layout. Instead, the Q3 gets physical buttons for the climate control.
Needless to say, there is full smarpthone connectivity, and you can spec the sound system up with a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen set-up. There's a wifi hotspot too.
On the tech front, there'll be active cruise control, traffic jam assist and active lane-keeping steering. For parking, there's a full 360-degree surround view camera system and Park Assist if you're feeling lazy, or if the space looks a bit tight.
On the engine front, buyers can choose from three petrol units and just the one diesel. The engines range from 1.5 litres to 2.0 litres, and power outputs go from 150hp to 230hp. Quattro four-wheel drive is, of course, an option, as is the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox. There's also hill descent control and Dynamic Select, which, Audi says, can vary the characteristics of the Q3 depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal needs with six profiles. Sports suspensionand adaptive dampers will be on the options list.
In size terms, the Q3 has most definitely grown up. It's now 4.4 metres long, with a wheelbase that's 77mm longer than before. That means the boot is now a very practical 530 litres, and it can be expanded, by sliding the rear seats, to 625 litres. Fold them flat and you've got 1,525 litres. There's an electric tailgate as an option, and an adjustable boot floor for easy loading.