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
But there's a problem. The trouble with the A45 and the 330d is that they sit at opposite poles of the world we've created for ourselves. Which is where the Audi comes in. For those of you unfamiliar with the RS Q3, it's a sportified, mid-sized SUV. So AWD, with a 305bhp five-cylinder turbo petrol engine up front, enough for 62mph from rest in five and a half seconds. Think now-defunct RS3 or TT RS with a suspension lift. As with all the others, it has five seats and practical space, though weighs in as the most expensive in terms of basic price: £43,000 without options. So which is best? Time to find some inclement weather and decent roads to find out. Which at this time of year means heading west... quite a long way west.
A couple of hundred miles later, and mid Wales in October is bathed in unseasonably glorious sunshine. Typical. But before I can get my teeth into a decent-weather rant, a cloud tumbles over the valley like a homicidal duvet and brings 60mph winds and heat-seeking rain. Twelve minutes later, sunshine. Then rain. Then sun. Repeat at irregular intervals until even the sheep look confused and grumpy. Personally, a total git; for the purposes of this test, perfect.