Audi Q3: Engine & Specification Update

What am I looking at?

The new "S-Line Plus" trim of the Audi Q3 crossover - part of a top & bottom range refresh this month.

So what's new?

There's nothing new per se, but the S-Line Plus is effectively an heavily box-ticked version of the S-Line for only another 2,350.

Going for the Plus will net you an interior upgrade from leather-trimmed cloth to sporty perforated leather and Alcantara. There's also a technology update, with the addition of cruise control, Audi's parking system plus and an SD card-based satellite navigation via the 6.5-inch colour display.

On the outside there's new 19 inch wheels and privacy glass from the B-pillar to the back. Also included is a choice of metallic paint finishes as a no cost option, including a rather spicy Samoa Orange.

What powers it?

The S-Line Plus is available with the existing 2.0 TFSI petrols (170 or 211hp) and 2.0 TDI diesels (140 or 177hp) - but Audi has also introduced a new entry level engine.

Available in SE and S-Line trims, the 150hp 1.4 litre TFSI petrol can be selected with either manual or automatic gearboxes and returns up to 48mpg combined - about the same as the lower output 2.0 diesel. At 137g/km CO2 it's the cheapest Q3 to tax too, sitting in VED band E at 125 annually.

How much will it cost me?

The 1.4 now forms the entry point to the Q3 range at 23,870 in SE specification. Opting for an automatic gearbox adds 1,495, while stepping up to S-Line is a 2,750 premium.

Topping off the range, the S-Line Plus adds 2,350 to existing specifications, priced from 31,835 and rounding out at 34,595 - if you can resist the temptation to tick any more of Audi's legendarily expensive options lists.

Anything else?

While most of the Q3 range is four wheel drive, the 1.4 TFSI is only offered as a front wheel drive car - so if you're planning on buying the Q3 to fill a slot as a winterised workhorse you'll need to take this into account.

Any alternatives?

This mid-sized crossover sector is amongst the hottest battlegrounds you can find in the car industry and you're almost spoiled for choice. The premium gap the S-Line Plus sits in is also occupied by the BMW X3 - which should provide the sternest competition - while the impending Mercedes GLA also looms.

In the cheaper seats the 1.4 TFSI fills, the Q3 has to contend with offerings like the Mazda CX-5 and the brand new Nissan Qashqai - no easy task, though these are brands that don't have quite the same prestige air.

Sitting on both stools, buyer might like to cross shop the Q3 with MINI's Countryman and the VW Tiguan, the latter of which is largely the same car as the Q3 for a little less money.

In a line...

A bit more versatility to give the crossover sector even more choice.

For more information, stats, photos and videos, head over to our Audi Q3 summary page.

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