Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Q3 Sportback is keenly priced against some rivals, but it’s far from the bargain of the class. You’ll pay a fair chunk more for an equivalent Range Rover Evoque, but the BMW X2 is quite a bit cheaper, as is the regular Audi Q3.
Officially, our favourite 35 TFSI petrol engine will return up to 47.9 mpg, which is rather more than the 36.7mpg 45 TFSI can manage. The 35 TDI is the most economical, with 49.6mpg promised, but company car users will find the 35 TFSI’s lower CO2 emissions appealing, resulting as it does in the lowest benefit-in-kind tax rating in the lineup.
The Sportback broadly follows the regular Q3 when it comes to trim levels and standard equipment, and entry-level Sport trim is our favourite. It gives you all pretty much all you need, with 18in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and an electric tailgate, plus the aforementioned infotainment system with Virtual Cockpit and manoeuvring aids. S Line brings a more aggressive exterior look that includes 19-inch wheels, but doesn’t add a whole lot more in terms of practical equipment. Edition 1 trim brings huge 20-inch wheels, the bigger Virtual Cockpit screen and a plusher interior, while Vorsprung trim boasts virtually every feature in the Audi catalogue. It’s not cheap, though.
Most importantly, every Q3 Sportback gets automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring, which Audi calls Side Assist. The latter helps by giving you a small indication in your mirror to make you aware of any cars in your blind spot. The Sportback hasn’t been individually tested by Euro NCAP for safety, but we’d expect it to perform similarly to the regular Q3. It received five stars when tested in 2018, its scores a near match for the Evoque, which was tested in 2019.