Audi Q3 Sportback Review logo

Audi Q3 Sportback Review

Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image

1/10

Car image

2/10

Car image

3/10

Car image

4/10

Car image

5/10

Car image

6/10

Car image

7/10

Car image

8/10

Car image

9/10

Car image

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Diesel, Petrol
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Stylish looks in compact package”

Best bits

  • Looks more expensive than it really is
  • The tech-packed interior feels satisfyingly premium
  • Almost as practical as the standard Q3

Not so great

  • Automatic gearbox is hesitant
  • Not as agile as a BMW X2, nor as comfortable as a Volvo XC40
  • Firm ride, particularly with big wheels

Read by

Audi Q3 Sportback Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Audi Q3 Sportback Interior

On the inside

Audi Q3 Sportback Driving

Driving

Audi Q3 Sportback Climate Control

How much does it cost to run

Audi Q3 Sportback Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi Q3

"The Q3 Sportback is far from flawless, with a harsh ride and limited rear headroom compared to the standard model. But we know that many people will live with that for its stylish looks and impressive interior. It’s also cheap to run and, of course, has that Audi badge on the grille..."

Audi Q3 Sportback Exterior Front

Is it any wonder that small, premium SUVs like the BMW X1, Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque are endlessly popular with the great car buying public? They combine the luxury you’d expect from much posher cars without the running costs associated with much posher cars - while still being surprisingly practical.


The Audi Q3 was one of the first cars of this ilk, and it proved so popular that the brand is now extending the range with a niche compact-coupe-SUV-type-model-thing - the Q3 Sportback.


Based on the second-generation Q3, the Sportback has all the features that make the standard car so desirable. A brilliant, well-finished interior and generous levels of standard equipment. It also won’t break the bank, in terms of running or buying costs, either.


All this is packaged in a slightly more aesthetically pleasing exterior, taking a similar approach to the humongous Audi Q8. That means it looks sportier than the standard car, with a rakish rear roofline and slightly longer body.


Of course, that means compromise - but not as much as you might expect. There’s a noticeable drop in rear headroom, although that won’t really matter unless you regularly transport adults in the back. The boot isn’t any smaller, either… slightly shallower, sure, but it can carry up to 530 litres - the same as the standard car.


This is helped by the trick rear seats which can slide backwards and forwards (letting you prioritise between space for luggage or rear passengers) and even recline. So grandma can have a nap.


Those in the front won’t notice much difference between the Q3 and the Q3 Sportback. As one of Audi’s latest models, it’s loaded with the latest technology - including a 10.1-inch media system across the range and Audi’s very cool Virtual Cockpit - this replaces the standard dials with a digital instrument display.


The cabin is extremely well finished, with plenty of plush materials and fancy ambient lighting on all but the entry-level Sport model. Having said that, the standard Sport will have most things you need - including navigation, LED headlights and the aforementioned Virtual Cockpit.


The Q3 Sportback comes with the usual mix of petrol and diesel engines, including 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre TFSI petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI with a variety of power outputs. There’s also two- or four-wheel-drive, although most should stick to the standard front-wheel-drive models.


No matter which engine you choose, the Q3 Sportback is refined and easy to drive, with a high seating position giving you a commanding view of the road ahead. A harsh ride means it’s not as comfortable as the Volvo XC40, though, yet it’s not as sporty as the BMW X2.


If the Q3 Sportback’s flashy appearance has caught your eye, it’s not going to disappoint. Its interior is a masterpiece, while the engines are refined and efficient. And there are some good deals to be had on used examples.


If you're looking for the high performance version, you need our Audi RS Q3 review while if you want the standard model, that's the Audi Q3 review.


Is the Audi Q3 Sportback right for you?

You’ll struggle to find any objective reasons to buy a Q3 Sportback over the standard Audi Q3. But, if you want to stand out, the Sportback is rarer than the regular car and barely any more expensive on the used market. It’s cheap to run - and it’s more practical than you might expect.


Combine that with low running costs and a strong engine line-up (including the 1.5 mild-hybrid petrol), and the Q3 Sportback gets easier to justify. 


Sure, a cheaper alternative like the Volkswagen Tiguan will do the job, but the Q3 Sportback will attract more envious looks from your neighbours. It’s also got a brilliant interior that will keep you comfortable on long journeys and will continue to feel special the longer you spend in it.

What’s the best Audi Q3 Sportback model/engine to choose

We reckon the most affordable engine in the Q3 Sportback is actually the one to go for. The 1.5 TFSI is quick enough for most drivers, cheap to run and available with a manual or S tronic automatic transmission. An automatic gearbox is desirable in a car like this but it can be a bit hesitant, so don’t dismiss the manual.


In terms of trim levels, the Q3 Sportback will look sharper and get more equipment if you opt for one of the pricier models, but the standard Sport model has pretty much everything you could possibly wish for. In typical Audi form, the Q3 Sportback is at its most comfortable on the smallest wheels - the 18-inch alloys fitted to Sport models.

What other cars are similar to the Audi Q3 Sportback?

The BMW X2 is the Q3 Sportback’s main rival - based on the X1 with sleeker looks and a less practical cabin. We’d be very tempted by the Volvo XC40, which is a trendy small SUV with a brilliant interior, while the latest Range Rover Evoque is another solid alternative (although don’t be tempted by the old model, replaced in 2019). 


If practicality’s what you want, look at the standard Audi Q3 instead, or the very similar (but less premium) Volkswagen Tiguan. Then there are left-field alternatives like the Lexus NX and even the bigger DS 7 Crossback.


Learn more

Audi Q3 Sportback Interior

On the inside

Audi Q3 Sportback Driving

Driving

Audi Q3 Sportback Climate Control

How much does it cost to run

Audi Q3 Sportback Boot

Prices, versions and specification