Our cars: Audi Q3 - May
Week ending May 31
Driven this week 40 miles
Read the full Audi Q3 review
The main reason we run long-term test cars at What Car? is to see how they cope with everyday life. A car may drive well at a media event, but will problems start to appear six months into ownership? Is the purchase price reasonable, but dealer costs exorbitant?
Fortunately, with the Audi Q3, we've been spoilt as far as inconveniences go. With the exception of a small metal cover within the boot mechanism coming loose - which was repaired swiftly and for free by our local dealer - the Q3 hasn't put a foot wrong over the last year.
Long-term test cars run by our photographers are constantly being loaded and unloaded with a large amount of equipment, not to mention being driven all over the country to various destinations, often off the beaten track.
The fact that the Q3 has taken this all in its stride, added to the fact that the cabin materials still look showroom fresh, is impressive.
The phrase 'typical German build quality' may now be running through your head, but in fact, the Q3 is built - rather well, it would seem - at Seat's Martorell factory in Spain.
By Ed Callow
Week ending May 17
Driven this week 149 miles
I finally had a chance to drive our long term Audi Q3 this week, days after spending yet more time in a key rival - the Range Rover Evoque.
The design of the Q3 is not as bold as the Evoque's, but it’s far from unattractive. What’s more, beneath Audi’s conservative styling lies a very competent car.
The most impressive part of this car for me is the way it drives. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong and flexible – mated to the six-speed manual, it frankly embarrasses the annoyingly hesitant automatic in the Evoque. The Q3 also rides and handles better than some premium hatchbacks, and can easily play the part of fuel-efficient mile-muncher too.
For me, the mark against the Q3 is its cost. That’s not to say it’s especially expensive compared to its premium rivals – actually, the issue is what else you can buy from Audi for even less cash. The entry point to the Q3 range is about as much as the most expensive version of our Car of the Year, the A3 Sportback, so most buyers will be able to get an even better all-rounder for under £25,000.
By Ed Callow
Week ending May 10
Driven this week 1007 miles
The Audi Q3's time on the long-term test fleet is nearly up, so I've been reflecting on the comments it's received from some colleagues. On the whole, it gets nothing but positive responses to its refinement and all-round ability, although everyone also agrees that its looks and interior are no match for our long-term Range Rover Evoque.
That said, our Q3 does have an everyday trump card over the Evoque, which is the inclusion of an engine stop-start system. This, combined with the slick six-speed manual in our long-termer, means I regularly record 40mpg or more.
My only minor gripe with this system is that it seems to take quite a long time to warm up and activate, so while the stop-start works perfectly on longer trips to photoshoots, my regular commute isn't long enough to kick it into action and gift me a few extra mpg.
Week ending May 3
Driven this week 113 miles
I’m a big Hereford United fan, so the Q3 is often tasked with taking me and my beleaguered family from Twickenham to Edgar Street to watch them (try) to play the beautiful game.
Thankfully, the Audi is much more reliable than my football team, because while 'the Bulls' missed out on a play-off place for promotion to the (proper) football league, the Q3 has so far been a faultless performer.
Still, there’s always next season!