The new Audi Q3 Sportback on location for Changing Lanes!
The new Audi Q3 Sportback on location for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback.

The Audi Q3 Sportback has arrived in Ireland, the follow-up to last year’s new Audi Q3 SUV. The Sportback inherits much of the Q3’s quality, engineering, design and technology – but with a stylish, coupé-like twist. This is an all-new model for the German brand and goes on sale in Ireland priced from €40,400, carrying a small premium over the Q3 it is based on.

The Q3 Sportback’s coupé notions add instant character, while the latest Audi technology and infotainment features inside. Power comes from a well-proven line-up of petrol and diesel engines.

Let’s rewind a little!

The 2019 launch of the new Audi Q3 was a spectacular hit for the brand in the mid-size SUV segment. The Irish Car of the Year jury rated the Q3 so highly that it went home with the 2020 Continental Tyres Medium SUV of the Year award. Practical, stylish with exceptional good quality and technology in the cabin makes it a car that is very easy to recommend.

Audi has always been one to innovate and in recent years they have delved and dived into new parts of the premium market, to expand their line-up and satisfy customer needs for style and exclusivity. Now they bring more innovation to the mid-size SUV segment with the arrival of the new Audi Q3 Sportback.

The new Q3 Sportback is stylish and practical
The new Q3 Sportback is stylish and practical with a unique SUV-coupé design for the segment

What’s so special about the Audi Q3 Sportback?

The €1000 premium you pay for the Sportback over the Q3 gets you a design that looks cooler, more expressive and interesting. There are two trim levels, SE and S Line, with the latter getting a sportier makeover. The Singleframe grille has a sporty honeycomb-effect design, while trapezoidal air inlets also add presence. LED light technology is standard across the range. SE models have 18″ alloys, while S Line models get 19″ inch alloys, rear privacy glass, and exclusive design for the bumpers, sill trims and diffuser. A roof edge spoiler completes the look.

Compared to the Q3, the Sportback is 16 mm longer, 49 mm lower and 6 mm slimmer. The wheelbase remains the same so there is no compromise in the passenger compartment. The Q3 Sportback will seat five, though the middle seat passenger will have to find their way around the transmission tunnel. There is a 530 litre boot that is easy to load. Audi has done a good job of not sacrificing practicality for style in the design of the Q3 Sportback. The powered tailgate is a premium feature that comes as standard making it super easy to open and close the boot.

The interior of the Audi Q3 Sportback
The interior of the Audi Q3 Sportback

Inside the 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback

Behind the wheel you will find an elevated seating position that makes these crossovers so desirable. The Audi Q3 Sportback interior is beautifully designed to distinguish it from rivals, with superb quality throughout. Technology is a highlight with a stunning looking 10.1″ MMI display in the centre of the dash surrounded by high gloss black trim. Together with the air-conditioning control unit located beneath it, the display is ergonomically tilted towards the driver. Various functions are displayed on the MMI Touch display and in the Audi virtual cockpit with its 10.25-inch screen in the instrument binnacle, which is also standard.

What’s the range like in Ireland?

Buyers can choose from petrol and diesel engines, including the 1.5-litre TFSI petrol with 150 hp (35 TFSI), the 2.0-litre ’45 TFSI’ petrol with 230 hp, and the 2.0-litre ’35 TDI’ diesel with 150 hp. Four wheel drive quattro models are available, though standard variants are front wheel drive. 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic S Tronic gearboxes are available.

The petrol range starts from €40,400, while diesel models kick off from €42,565.

The SE trim level includes 18″ alloys, powered tailgate, 10.1″ MMI display and virtual cockpit, automatic lights and wipers, automatic air conditioning and lumbar support.

The S Line models (from €44,350) add 19″ alloys, full LED headlamps with dynamic indicators, LED interior light pack, S Line styling, front sports seats, stainless steel pedals, illuminated matt brushed aluminium inlays, black headliner and sports suspension.

The Q3 Sportback is available with petrol and diesel engines
The Q3 Sportback is available with petrol and diesel engines

On the road in the Q3 Sportback

My test car was an Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI powered by the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with 150 hp. This engine is a marvel in itself featuring cylinder-on-demand technology, which at low and medium loads deactivates the second and third cylinders to reduce fuel consumption.

When combined with the S tronic automatic transmission, it also now features mild-hybrid technology (MHEV). A 48 volt on-board electrical system reduces fuel consumption by recovering up to 12 kW of power during deceleration via its belt alternator starter and feeding this into a compact lithium-ion battery.

On the road the Audi Q3 Sportback is notably agile and refined. The petrol engine delivers smoothly with plenty of power for swift acceleration and overtaking manoeuvres. Steering is well-judged and the Q3 Sportback covers the road well, even on large wheels and sports suspension fitted to S Line models. There is some lean in corners but it is very composed overall.

Rear seating in the Q3 Sportback
Rear seating in the Q3 Sportback

Did you like it?

The Audi Q3 Sportback is elegant and refined on the road, just like the Audi Q3 SUV. In terms of image and style, it edges ahead for this reviewer with a unique coupé-like look for this segment.

The beauty is that Audi has sacrificed very little practicality for this style. So the Q3 Sportback balances the head and heart with plenty of interior space and a big boot.

Inside, the Sportback has one of the best cabin experiences in the class. Equipment levels are good with plenty of technology coming as standard on the vehicle.

The Audi Q3 Sportback adds even more prestige to the Q3 range in a desirable SUV-coupé format.

The Audi Q3 Sportback is on sale in Ireland priced from €40,400
The Audi Q3 Sportback is on sale in Ireland priced from €40,400

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI S Line S tronic
€46,450 (Range from €40,400)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
150 hp
Torque: 250 Nm
9.6 seconds
Top speed: 204 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP): 6.8-7.2 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 154-162 g/km
Motor Tax:  €280 per year