What's the used Audi Q3 estate like?
A branded watch is a nice thing to have; it looks smart and people are often impressed by it, but is it worth paying extra for one when a cheaper, non-branded watch does exactly the same job?
Of course, you can circumnavigate this issue by buying a used one, much like you can with a used car. For example, you could get a premium-badged used Audi Q3 for the same money as a new Nissan Qashqai, or a new Peugeot 3008, or even the Q3's close cousin the Volkswagen Tiguan, and you'd certainly impress the neighbours while doing so.
The engine range of the Q3 is mostly made up of petrol engines, with three supping fuel from the green pump and a couple of diesels drinking from the black one. There's a 148bhp 1.5-litre 35 TFSI, a 187bhp 2.0-litre 40 TFSI and a 227bhp 2.0-litre 45 TFSI for petrol fans, or a 148bhp 2.0-litre 35 TDI for high-mileage diesel users. The other diesel is a 187bhp 40 TDI. The lower-powered petrol and diesel can be had with a manual or automatic gearbox, while the 40 and 45 TFSI petrols and 40 TDI are automatic only. Quattro four-wheel drive is standard on the 40 and 45 TFSI and 40 TDI, but was an option on the 35 TDI.
As for trim levels, there are four to choose from. Entry-level Sport comes with plenty of equipment including 18in alloys, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, an electric tailgate, rear parking sensors and cruise control. S line has larger 19in alloys, privacy glass, Audi’s virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster and sports suspension, while Edition 1 cars have 20in alloys and heated front seats with electric adjustment. Top-of-the-range Vorsprung Q3s have an upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system and adaptive suspension.
Handling, particularly on S line versions with sports suspension fitted, is rather nimble for an SUV, resisting roll and dive under braking better than most of its rivals. The trade-off is a stiff ride that thumps over potholes and fidgets over rough sections of Tarmac. Sport models on smaller wheels and softer standard suspension will be better, while Vorsprung versions with adaptive suspension that can be set to a more supple Comfort mode should be better still.
Interior quality is up to the usual standards in most places, but you will find hard plastics further down, which is more indicative of a Volkswagen than a pricey Audi. Still, space up front is fine and there’s lots of adjustability in the seat and steering wheel for a driver to find a comfortable position.
Those in the back can also adjust both the angle of the seat and the amount of leg room, which is a great feature to have for taller passengers. Ultimately, a Volvo XC40 still has more room and is a better choice if you have children that need child seats. The boot is one of the biggest (on paper) in the class and is improved by a standard adjustable height floor and the added flexibility of a 40:20:40 split-folding mechanism.
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