The Audi RS Q3 Sportback is a small SUV that packs some punch thanks to the legendary Audi 5-cylinder engine under the bonnet and quattro all-wheel drive. This Sportback’s performance is combined with a coupe-inspired sloping roof line giving it a vibrant character all its own.
This Chronos grey RS Q3 is a 10 Years Edition, but like a fine wine, age has improved this performance SUV. This RS Q3 comes with Edition exclusive 21” alloy wheels in black, gloss turned finish, the black exterior styling package and the Audi rings and badges in black. On the interior this Sportback also gets the RS extended design package with Copper stitching and this includes a black Alcantara steering wheel, selector lever knob in black Alcantara, and black floor mats with the RS logo in the front. Creating a package befitting a performance SUV suited for the consumer who appreciates some excitement in their lives.
The centrepiece of the RS Q3 package is the 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder inline turbo-charged petrol engine with 294kW of power between 5,850 – 7,000rpm and 480Nm of torque between 1,950 – 5,850rpm that will propel the RS Q3 from 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds! The official combined fuel consumption is 8.9L/100km and for my time with the RS Q3 I used 11.9L/100km.
There are six drive modes to select from, Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, RS 1 and RS 2, and both of latter can be configured to your personal preference for the drive system, steering, engine sound, and Quattro. This allows the driver to have one RS mode set for comfort and one for fun and you simply press the RS button on the steering wheel to select either.
When you are in the mood for some fun you really need to push the RS Q3 hard to get the most out of it, this is when it comes alive and reveals its inner sportiness to you. The RS sport exhaust system sounds lumpy and in RS mode its angry, but with no fake pops or bangs when you are on the throttle hard.
The 12.3” driver’s display features a RS-specific design and RS menu with power/torque display, G meter and lap timer. In RS mode you get a race car like straight taco across the top of the driver’s dash and in manual gearbox mode in the 7-speed S tronic transmission the taco goes from green, orange, red and then flashes before you hit the 7,000rpm red line . The only disappointing part of this experience is the plastic wheel-mounted paddle shifters, they really need to be made from metal.
The rest of the interior has a familiar Audi feel and aroma thanks to the RS sport front seats in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb stitching and integrated head restraints with RS embossing. The seats hold you in snuggly thanks to the side bolsters being covered in Dinamica. Both front seats are heated, but only have manual adjustment for recline, forward/back and seat height. I liked the ambient lighting in the Quattro emblem on the dash and that there was no gloss black on the dash or centre console, the matt black is so much easier to keep clean.
The technology in the RS Q3 is also what you would expect from Audi with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay that connects seamlessly with the high-resolution 10.1” infotainment display. Voice control can be used for some controls by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the feminine silhouette on it. The voice control worked well for me for making phone calls, changing the radio station and setting a destination on the sat nav.
The wireless connection/charge pad located in cubby at front of centre console and here there are two USB-C ports with one 12V socket located next to the cup holders. The two cup holders in centre console have grippy sides and one deeper than the other and there are good sized drink bottle storage cubbies in the front doors.
I appreciated that the honeycomb stitching extends to the rear seats, which have adequate leg and head room for me, even with the sloping roof line. There is a strap at the base of the seat that manually adjusts the recline or it can be used to lower the seat fully down if not in use. Rear passengers get two central air vents with manual temperature and air speed control and below these are two USB-C ports and one 12V socket.
For younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seats. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two slim cup holders in it and there are good sized drink bottle storage cubbies in the rear doors. The carbon fibre look on the back of the front seats could be scratched by younger children kicking it, so may need some protection if you find yourself in this situation? Also, the rear floor mats do not extend over the transmission tunnel, so this area may be worn over time.
The boot has gesture open for when your hands are full or you can also open/close using the button under boot lid and in the cabin or open only from the key fob. The boot space is a good size for the weekly shop or a pram and a small shop and if more space is needed the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split fold mechanism. There are four substantial tie down points for the cargo net, two hooks and a light in the boot space with a tyre repair kit located under the boot floor.
The Audi RS Q3 does not have an ANCAP safety rating, but passengers are protected by front airbags for driver and passenger, front side airbags and curtain airbags for front and rear. Active safety includes Audi pre-sense front with Autonomous Emergency Braking that provides collision mitigation from 5km/h up to 85km/h (pedestrians and cyclists), lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic assist, and adaptive cruise control that is set using a stalk behind steering wheel. Parking is a sinch thanks to the 3600 view rear camera and a standard rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors. And for convenience the RS Q3 has auto lights, auto high beam and auto wipers.
All new Audi vehicles sold come with a 5 years/unlimited kilometres manufacturer warranty and Audi Care 24-hour roadside assistance is complimentary for the first 3 years and may be extended if you continue to have your vehicle serviced at an Audi Service Centre. The service interval for the RS Q3 is one year or 15,000kms, whichever occurs first, and you can purchase a five-year service plan upfront currently for $4,010.
The Audi RS Q3 Sportback could well be the pot of gold you have been looking for at the end of the small SUV rainbow, thanks to its performance and unique character. This Audi RS Q3 Sportback Edition 10 Years is priced at $102,900 excluding dealer delivery and on-roads costs. You can shop for an Audi RS Q3 Sportback online or visit your preferred Audi dealer for more information.
|The 5-cylinder inline turbo-charged engine||The plastic paddle shifters|
|The Nappa leather seats with honeycomb stitching||Young children could scratch the back on the front seats|
|No gloss black on the interior||No ANCAP safety rating|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine