The Audi Q3: the best premium small SUV in its class

3rd July 2016 test-drives the ‘small but spacious’ Audi Q3.

If you’ve been pondering over what your next car should be and have so far found it impossible to settle for one that fulfils what could be considered diametrically opposed requirements, don’t despair – Audi might have the right match for you. First and foremost, it must be emphasised that high-end manufacturers like Audi spend millions of euro every year on researching the ever-changing needs of society and ensuring that their line-up is moving with the times. This is why Audi will soon add an SUV that is even smaller than the Q3 to its already impressive line-up – the launch of the Q2 is in fact, imminent. This goes to show that even tweaks in size can help car manufacturers in their sniper approach to meet the very challenging and contrasting demands of modern society. To date, the new Q3 – the car chosen for this test-drive – is the smallest sibling of the impressive Q5 and Q7 within the Audi SUV range.

So how can the Q3 potentially be a match for people who – on paper – might seem to have diametrically opposed requirements for their new car? ‘Small but spacious’ or ‘premium badge and relatively cheap’ might appear as oxymora, but driving the Q3 will help you understand that Audi were very strategic with their positioning of the Q3 in the executive SUV market segment and that their strategy might have given them the upper hand in the small SUV premium market segment.

Small but spacious

So let’s start by assessing whether Audi’s Q3 can really offer a solution to people who are in a dilemma over their next new car. First and foremost, the Q3 is a relatively small SUV, perhaps the smallest (or one of the smallest) SUVs in the ‘premium badge’ range offered by top manufacturers. With parking and traffic increasingly becoming a national tragedy, a lot of drivers are keen to restrain themselves by opting not to buy a car that will not easily fit in parking slots or that is potentially too big to manoeuvre with ease in our maze of narrow roads. The Q3 here does the trick. Externally it is a relatively small SUV, despite being surprisingly spacious internally. Legroom is generous and from within, the Q3 gives a genuine sense of space and openness. Visibility is equally very good.

Small but premium

With no disrespect to other car manufacturers, the small SUV segment has, over the years, been hijacked by models that might do the job but in no means can be described as sophisticated, stylish or executive. The Q3 is evidence that the ‘premium badge’ feel can be offered in small doses. So if you’re after a premium badge and a classy SUV but don’t fancy going large, Audi’s Q3 certainly fits the bill. The Q3 also delivers on another important promise – adequate raised height expected from any decent SUV. The premium and classy feel is immediately apparent both externally and internally. Clearly, Audi delivers on the promise that you will get Audi quality irrespective of how much money you spend or the size of the car.

Premium badge but not expensive

Here, Audi surprises again. It delivers the Q3 with a never-ending list of equipment with a 2.0TDI engine for a starting price of €37,500, including Xenon Plus with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, climate control, front and rear parking aid plus, remote central locking and tailgate release, 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, four-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel, Bluetooth interface, light and rain sensors, and the list goes on and on.

For viewing visit the Audi showroom at Continental Cars Ltd, Testaferrata Street, Ta’ Xbiex. For more information T: 2347 6340; E: [email protected]


16th October 2016

We take the new Suzuki Vitara out for a spin. Our verdict? A truly excellent driving experience.


30th May 2016

The association of car importers Malta (ACIM) believes that the registration tax on imported cars needs to be reduced, to bring it in line with the rest of the EU.


Sarah Micallef - 2nd May 2016

The traffic situation in Malta has come to a head in recent months, with reports of bad infrastructure and congested roads dominating the news and social media.


2nd May 2016 test-drives the stylish new Audi A4, and is very impressed.