Audi RS Q3 Review

The Audi RS Q3 is a fast SUV with a distinctive five-cylinder petrol engine and a lovely interior. The lower, lighter hatchback RS 3 will be even more fun to drive, mind you.

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after extensive testing of the car

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What's not so good

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Overall verdict

Not long ago, hot hatches were the go-to practical performance cars. Now, the fast SUV is becoming a smash hit, and the Audi RS Q3 certainly ticks the performance box.

Unlike its main competition the BMW X2 M35i and Mercedes GLA 45 with their four-cylinder petrol engines, it has a punchy 400hp five-cylinder that emits its trademark warble at high revs. Along with its 480Nm of torque, which is enough to get the car from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds helped by a standard twin-clutch seven-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive.

Top speed (if you pay Audi to remove the 155mph limiter) sits at 174mph. That said, fuel economy is unlikely to better 30mpg.

To ensure the Audi RS Q3 is better to drive than a standard Q3, it gets sports suspension that is 10mm lower and progressive steering. So tighter corners require less steering input at higher speeds.

RS sport suspension with Dynamic Chassis Control is optional – kitting the car out with oil-filled dampers that can prop its body up to cancel out lean in bends but also deliver a butter-smooth ride on bumpy roads.

A couple of things help the Audi RS Q3 stand out amongst performance SUVs - its sharp looks and that characterful five-cylinder engine. It just sounds better than the competition.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Inside, the RS Q3 has enough subtle changes to make it feel more special than a standard Q3.

Sports seats finished in leather and Alcantara come as standard or you can upgrade to softer Nappa leather. You also get a leather sports steering wheel and illuminated door sills.
Want to make your car feel sportier? Then you’ll want the RS design package. That adds contrast stitching – in either red or blue – to the seats, steering wheel, gear shifter and seat belts.

Jazzy bits aside, the RS Q3’s interior is fundamentally the same as any other Q3’s so you get loads of space for four adults and a large 530-litre boot. As well sliding forward and backwards on rails and reclining, the rear seats split 40:20:40 and fold down.

We’ll have a full review of the RS Q3 once we’ve driven it, but for more information, check out our Audi RS Q3 price, specs and release date story. If you’re already sold based on what you’ve seen and read here, head to our Audi deals pages for the very best prices.

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