The 1.4-litre petrol sounds less strained under hard acceleration than the 2.0-litre engine. Even so, both engines remain smooth when revved hard. While you might expect the RS Q3’s bigger, sportier engine to be a noisy thing, it can be refined, too.
The diesels are slightly more audible, and they send a little more vibration through the steering wheel and pedals. However, when compared with the likes of the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA, the Q3’s diesels are more refined.
At a cruise you can hear the tyres growling a little, particularly on the larger wheels of S line models, but wind noise rarely exceeds a murmur on any model.
The six-speed manual gearbox’s shift has a well-weighted, precise quality, making the Q3 an easy car to drive around town. Similarly, shifts from the automatic S tronic gearbox are quick and smooth.
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