Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Audi Q3 Sportback review

It's the first compact crossover of the Audi brand and the Q3 completes the model line-up as the halo and design offering in the range. I like the sportiness, practicality and elegance all combined into one. The 'rings of fire' need no introduction really and the Q3 Sportback combines the strong presence and everyday convenience of an SUV, with the sporty elegance and agility. I spent a few days with the Q3.
Audi Q3 Sportback review

Swing low sweet Q3

You will love the low slung look of the Q3, together with a sporty character and an expressive design. The compact SUV coupé stands for strength and precision to an equal degree and reflects this in all design details. The black grille of the octagonal single frame is strongly three-dimensional in design, and this makes it particularly sporty. The coupé-like passenger cabin acts as a contrast to the distinctive attachments, which are painted in contrasting silver and thus emphasise the SUV character. The low roofline gives way to flat D-pillars and ends in a roof edge spoiler.

Above the wheels, strong contours hint at the Quattro drive, which is available on the Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI model. The rear with its sporty bumper is every bit as powerful as the front of the Audi Q3 Sportback and many lights and shadow effects arise on its structure. Audi supplies lighting options in two versions on this model. LED headlights and rear lights are standard on the vehicle with an option to upgrade to Matrix LED technology, whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation.

Colour me bad

A total of ten exterior colours are available for the Audi Q3 Sportback, including the new metallic paint colour called Dew Silver, exclusive to the Q3 Sportback. Audi S line exterior trimmings are standard across the range, this includes prominent aluminium elements around the grille, bumper and air inlets.

Audi Q3 Sportback review
Audi Q3 Sportback review

The standard wheel size is 18-inch with an option to upgrade to a larger 19-inch for a further advanced look. Audi also offers the optional Black Styling Package which ensures an even more dynamic appearance as it makes the body appear even sportier thanks to the inclusion of dark surfaces on the bumpers.

All-terrain drive

The Audi Q3 Sportback offers driving fun on various terrains. In the urban city, on long-haul road trips, or on easy off-road terrain – the compact crossover is a dynamic all-around performer. It features progressive steering as standard, whose gear ratio becomes increasingly direct as the steering angle increases, along with the sport suspension - also standard - coming into play.

What’s under the hood

For the Audi Q3 Sportback, two petrol engines are available on offer in South Africa. These two engine options are also offered across the Audi Q3 model range. The 1.4 TFSI in the Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI delivers 110kW and 250Nm of torque from a four-cylinder direct-injection unit with turbocharging. It uses a six-speed S Tronic transmission and produces a 0-100km claim of 9.3 seconds. The Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro S line is fitted with a 2.0 TFSI engine producing 132kW, 320Nm of torque and a seven-speed S tronic transmission which allows it to sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds.

Spacious five-seater

The Audi Q3 Sportback is one of the most spacious models in its segment. The dimensions emphasize its sporty character: It is 4,500mm long, 1,556mm tall. The sporty design of the exterior is continued in the interior of the Audi Q3 Sportback. The horizontal lines make the interior appear spacious and roomy.

The robust design-look of the door panels reflects the strong character of the SUV coupé. The Audi Q3 Sportback has been designed as a fully-fledged five-seater. It offers comfortable entry, a good overview and a sporty seat position for the driver and front passenger. The rear seats offer space for three people. The volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 530l to 1,400l, depending on how the rear seats are used.

Let’s play footsy

As part of the optionally selected Comfort Package, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened and closed with a foot motion. Included in this package, the front seats – electrically adjustable and heated – offer a sporty position and a high level of comfort. Depending on the equipment, there are sports seats with contrasting stitching and coloured stripes - orange or grey steel are options for colour choices - along the side panels.

The seat upholstery is available in a combination of leather and leatherette as standard. Optionally available is also Alcantara upholstery. The pedal caps and footrest are made of stainless steel. Inlays in dark aluminium and door sill trim with illuminated aluminium inlays emphasise the sporty look.


  • Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI S tronic - R 693,000
  • Audi Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI quattro S tronic - R 737,000

Both models come standard with the five-year/100,000km Audi Freeway Plan, inclusive of all taxes.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

Let's do Biz