We traveled to Basel with Audi Middle East to test drive the 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback. Arriving in the Middle East early next year and competing with the BMW X2, Mercedes Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40; the Q3 Sportback is part of the brand's growing SUV range.
While all the competitors are currently on sale across the GCC; if you are not in a hurry I suggest you wait until the Q3 Sportback reaches the showrooms since this car will bring some interesting facts to this very competitive segment. If you want to learn more about them, keep reading our first impressions and the story behind the all-new 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback.
While it is said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we can't deny the Q3 Sportback is a very, very good looking car. How we relate to it, might have different angles. For instance, some people say it is a mature Q3 whereas others say its a baby Q8. In my opinion, since it takes most of the Q8's design language, I will say it is closer to be the smaller brother of the brand's flagship SUV; the Audi Q8.
During the drive and as an interesting fact we had the chance to meet the exterior designer responsible for creating it. Sarah Park is the first woman to join Audi's exterior design team and responsible for the entire car. Once the video review is live, you will be able to learn more about the design process and her inspirations for producing it. It was indeed a privilege to meet her and spend an entire day learning how she took this idea from a sketch back into 2014 to a real vehicle in 2019. In case you did not notice, that was literally five years ago. Imagine the excitement she had while seeing her baby on the road. Oh, and by the way; do you remember what you were doing five years ago?
Tell me in the comments below which one looks better in your opinion. I believe the Q3 Sportback has a more aggressive, dynamic and modern look that makes it the best of the lot. With 12 available colors to choose from, my favorite is the black one. As you can see on the grey Q3 Sportback tested, it will also come with black Audi rings on top of a black grille.
Following the design discussion but now addressing it from the interior point of view and going back the grown Q3 VS baby Q8 dilemma, once you sit inside the Q3 Sportback you will not notice there is a difference with the regular Q3. It is designed in a way that looks spacious and sporty without compromising on the details you can expect in the segment. In addition, you can easily access to all the functionalities with an uncluttered center console that features a 10.1-inch screen that is beyond easy to navigate. This screen comes with Audi's acoustic feedback (which in a nutshell is a subtle sound with a small vibration every time you tap) that will make the touch experience a lot more accurate.
Even though it is not an Audi infotainment system story we need to do a break here. From all the cars I have driven it is, by far, the best. The placement and angle is brilliant. The resolution is great. Functionalities are exactly what you need. Connectivity is phenomenal but most importantly the user experience is, again, by far the best.
Alright, back to business.
While we will need to wait until it reaches the Middle East to better understand the features that it will come with, the "advanced" basics will be there. For instance, the 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback will come with a fully packed infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, and a premium Bang & Olufsen Sound System. You will be able to connect your phone and navigate with the maps. In addition, it offers Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto. The Q3 Sportback also comes with Wireless Charging and 2 USB ports.
From driving assistance and safety point of view you will find active lane assist, blind spot assist, 360 camera, adaptative cruise control, parking assist, airbags, among many other things.
From an engine point of view, it will be launched with 2 engines configurations, a 1.5 TFSI and a 2.0 TFSI, both of which are turbocharged. Later on, they will be introducing a mild hybrid system that will be using a 48-volt battery reducing the fuel consumption up to 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers. All of them come with four driving modes: Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency and Off-Road.
So again, and to wrap up, if you are planning to buy a car that falls on this segment give the Audi Q3 Sportback a chance when it hits the Middle Eastern showrooms. It looks good, drives well and comes with great "all you need" tech. How they price it will be essential to capture a respectable portion of a very niche market.
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