Audi Q3 estate driving position
Regardless of your size and shape, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a problem with the Q3’s driving position. The steering wheel has a great range of movement up and down as well as in and out. The seat has plenty of adjustment too, but you’ll need to pay extra for adjustable lumbar support on all but Vorsprung trims. They’re supportive when cornering and nicely aligned with the pedals, helping to keep you comfortable on a long journey.
As standard, you get a 10.25in version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instruments, while a 12.3in upgrade is available. They're both excellent, doing more than analogue dials by being highly configurable and able to show lots of useful info just below your sightline. Graphics are sharp and it’s easy to switch views with the steering wheel-mounted controls.
Audi Q3 estate visibility
Even though the Q3 is relatively small by SUV standards, you get the high-up driving position that SUV buyers seek. Therefore, there's a good view of the road ahead, aided by reasonably slim windscreen pillars. That said, you’ll sit even higher in an XC40.
The rearward view isn’t quite so good, because the thick rear pillars obscure over-the-shoulder visibility. However, rear parking sensors come as standard to help mitigate this problem, while a rear view camera is an option on all trims. If you need a little more help, a 360deg camera and a park assist feature are available as options.
Audi Q3 estate infotainment
Audi latest generation of infotainment system swaps a rotary controller for a touchscreen with haptic feedback. It looks slick and follows an industry trend towards minimalist interiors. However, in terms of actual usability, it’s a step backwards.
For a start the touchscreen diverts attention from the road more than using a physical wheel to scroll through menus. And the menus themselves are less intuitive than those in a BMW X1, even if the 10.1in screen is sharp and responds quickly to inputs.
Standard functionality includes sat-nav, a hybrid radio which automatically switches between FM and DAB depending on a stations strength and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while Audi connect (offered on a three-year subscription basis) brings high resolution images of Google Earth, point-of-interest searching and info on parking spaces and filling stations. Wireless charging is also available as an option.
We have yet to sample the standard stereo system, but we can confirm that the optional £995 Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound will please audiophiles. With a total output of 680 watts, not only is it powerful, but it also delivers warm mid tones and crisp high notes.
Audi Q3 estate build quality
As you’d expect from Audi, the interior looks and feels well screwed together, with a fair few soft-touch plastics and pleasing metal-effect trims. The trouble is that you don’t have to look very far to find harder materials, meaning it’s not that much glitzier than the Volkswagen Tiguan’s interior. Optional Alcantara and leather packages lift the ambience, but they’re not cheap.
Additional ambient lighting adds to the sense of occasion at night, but even then, we prefer the XC40’s plusher interior. While most of the traditional controls have been consigned to the bin, replaced with a one-stop-shop touchscreen infotainment system, the dials that do remain (specifically, for the air conditioning) operate with a satisfying click when you rotate them.