Our cars: Audi Q3 - March
Week ending March 15
Driven this week 362
Read the full Audi Q3 review
Audi isn’t known for making cars with a cushy ride, but the Q3 is one of the exceptions. Over some of the well torn-up roads around Surrey that I’m very familiar with, it handled sharply and without any serious body wobble while sponging up the usual bumps, creases and cracks in the road with no bother at all.
It’s the ideal balance for a car of this nature. Add in the posh badge and slick (if rather too small) interior, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a common sight on the roads.
Week ending March 8
Driven this week 641
To date, I've only driven our Audi Q3 twice, the first time within days of us taking delivery, and the second this week – not long before we say goodbye to it.
As What Car?'s used car writer, I'm always interested to see how a car's interior is holding up. I've seen some 'nearly new' cars on forecourts with switchgear lying in the centre console and plastics scratched beyond repair – things that really hit resale values.
No such problems in our Audi. After a hard 13,000 miles travelling the UK with our chief photographer John Bradshaw and his kit, the leather is looking fresh and the plastics unscathed.
It feels just as good to drive, too. On a trip to the far side of Dorset it managed a shade less than 40mpg and felt extremely stable on the motorway. My only slight grievance is how tall the gearing is, making overtaking more difficult than it could be. However, when you consider the impressive fuel economy, it's easier to live with.
By Rory White
Week ending March 1
Driven this week 200 miles
A final few miles in the Audi Q3 for me, now that John Bradshaw has returned from the slopes. I've been pretty keen to try his car over longer distances given that it is one of the main rivals for my own car, the Range Rover Evoque.
There's no doubt that the Q3 benefits from having a manual six-speed gearbox instead of the Evoque's six-speed automatic, which isn't the sharpest transmission on the market. It's just easier to maintain relaxed, smooth progress in the Audi - and if you do want to get a lick on, you'll find that the gearbox shifts quickly enough to allow that too.
Of course, Land Rover is now preparing to retaliate with a nine-speed automatic Evoque; it'll be fascinating to see how that compares.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Audi, though, is how well it rides. I used to see 'S line' badges on an Audi and start flicking through my phone looking for my osteopath's contact details, but the Q3 is surprisingly compliant at both low and high speeds. It's a deeply impressive car, in fact.
By John McIlroy