Audi RS Q3 vs BMW 330d & Merc A45
Quick, fun, practical and four-wheel-drive? Audi's new RS Q3 isn't quite the niche-buster it might appear...
Posted: 16 Dec 2013
The RS Q3 is the opposite. The more I drive this car, the less it makes sense. It's got four-wheel drive, but on a properly low-mu surface will basically understeer like a bent shopping trolley unless you bung it so hard it feels like it's in danger of tipping over. The road-biased performance tyres don't grip convincingly unless on tarmac, and it rides like a skateboard on granite speed bumps through potholes. It's also got an interior that feels little different to a standard high-spec Q3. But more than that, it's just no fun. It feels cynical and more than a bit pointless. After all, Audi itself makes better cars. An S3 Sportback makes just under 300bhp, hits 62mph in 4.9, does over 40mpg and costs £32,740 - ten grand less. You can get a better-riding, more comprehensible 211bhp TFSI S line Q3 for similar money. Which means the RS Q3 comes last in this group, and by some margin. Audi calls the RS Q3 the RS brand's ‘all-rounder', but it's more jack of all trades and master of none.