Audi Q3 Sportback interior
The Audi Q3 Sportback’s posh cabin has just as many high-tech features as the Q3’s but it doesn’t have the wow-factor of some more dramatic-looking alternatives.
The Audi Q3 Sportback’s cabin comes with plenty of modern design features inspired by the uber-posh Q8. You get a similar multi-layered dashboard design, plenty of shiny metal-effect trims and a sweeping glossy plastic panel that frames the central touchscreen.
Unlike the Q8, the Audi Q3 Sportback comes with a conventional row of switches for the heating and air conditioning on the dashboard. All these are intuitively placed and many of them come with a nice knurled metal-effect finish.
Not everything in the Audi Q3 Sportback’s cabin feels quite so posh, however. Some of the plastics lower down on the doors, on the glovebox lid and beside the centre console feel hard and scratchy and the metal-effect handles on the doors reveal themselves for solid plastic as soon as you touch them.
It’s not all bad news, however – the plastics on the top of the doors, on the dashboard and fitted to the armrests feel lovely and soft and you can get the Q3 Sportback with a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel with a nice perforated leather finish, too.
Pay extra for a mid-range S Line model and the Q3 Sportback comes with partial leather seats as standard, or go the whole hog and fork out for a high-spec Vorsprung car to get leather and suede-like Alcantara sports seats.
If you fancy brightening up your Audi Q3 Sportback’s interior, these cars also come with Alcantara trim on the dashboard and doors in a choice of four colours – including a very vibrant blue.
That said, even these high-spec models are outclassed by the eye-catching interior you get in a Volvo XC40 with its portrait infotainment system and cool driftwood dashboard.
Unlike most SUVs, the Audi Q3 Sportback comes with almost all the infotainment features you’d want as standard – including a gorgeous Virtual Cockpit driver’s display.
The Audi Q3 Sportback comes with the same infotainment system as the standard Q3, so you get a 10-inch touchscreen on the dashboard and a 10-inch digital Virtual Cockpit display that replaces conventional analogue dials.
The central screen on the dashboard is bright and the graphics are nice and sharp, but the menu screens could do with a splash of colour to help you tell one icon from another with just a glance. You don’t get any physical shortcut buttons like in a BMW X2 either, and – unlike in larger Audis – the screen doesn’t come with haptic feedback.
That said, the menus are laid out pretty sensibly, so you won’t have much trouble switching from adjusting the car’s ambient lighting to pairing your phone.
Speaking of phones, you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard in the Audi Q3 Sportback, so you can use your favourite music-streaming and navigation apps through the car’s screen. Unfortunately, it can’t display these apps on the Virtual Cockpit screen.
That’s not a huge problem, because the Audi Q3 Sportback’s standard sat-nav system is plenty good enough. It’s easy to enter an address – either using the on-screen keyboard or by writing letters directly onto the touchscreen – and it displays clear directions overlaid on gorgeous 3D Google maps imagery. This looks especially impressive on the larger 12.3-inch display you get in Edition 1 models.
You can customise the layout of the Virtual Cockpit using buttons on the steering wheel. Cycling through the various menus lets you display a large pair of dials, a widescreen map or a central information readout showing anything from your current fuel economy to what track is playing on the stereo.
On the subject of stereos, the Audi Q3 Sportback comes with a DAB digital radio with six speakers as standard, but high-spec Vorsprung models come with a beefier Bang & Olufsen unit that sounds significantly better.
You don’t have to pay extra for the Audi Q3 Sportback’s Amazon Alexa integration, however. This lets you play music using voice commands and even makes it possible to adjust the temperature of your central heating while you’re on your way home.