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, on the other hand, is more than a bit odd. The ride is bobbly and frenetic. Not crashy but overly stiff, probably to counteract the high centre of gravity. There's little communication through the steering, and the front-biased quattro feels like it just makes the car want to understeer. Lob it at a dry corner, and it's remarkably flat and stable, but there's so little enthusiasm in the way it goes quickly that after a four-hour stint I'm struggling to see the point of it. Really struggling. The best part is undoubtedly the engine, which thrums away contentedly, pushing out slightly more torque than outright power (310lb ft vs 305bhp). There's no lack of punch, but a nagging caveat that bounces along like an infuriating hymn the entire time you drive the RS Q3: it does very well going fast for a small SUV. At which point, you start to question why you'd want this kind of vehicle, because it's a compromise of the worst kind: not satisfyingly sporty or at all comfortable, and the strong engine just tends to highlight the deficiencies.