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The Top Gear car review:Audi Q3
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
It’s all screens now. Not even the base version clings to hardware dials. All models have Audi’s Virtual Cockpit TFT screen ahead of the driver. Occasionally it’s useful to fill most of this screen with a map, but that does leave you with a nano-sized speedo. A head-up display would compensate as on other Audis, but it’s absent here, even as an option.
The central screen looks superb. Its got finer resolution than an electron microscope, and is neatly integrated into the dash rather than perched on top. That leaves the air vents sitting high so they’ll actually aim at your face.
The screen system is cloud-connected as standard, so you get accurate real-time traffic and the like. It uses the same network to set up a wifi hotspot in the car for everyone’s devices.
But it isn’t perfect. Since Audi went to touchscreens, the MMI selector wheel down in the console has been evicted. A pity. It was very well-developed by the end, and good for inputting instructions when the car was bouncing down the road.
On the touchscreen, it’s hard to hit tiny icons with a jiggling finger, however beautifully rendered they may be. So you might well return to using CarPlay or Android Auto. At least the climate control retains actual knobs.
The cabin is good for families, not just because of the wifi hotspot and power outlets, but also because the back is decently roomy. Behind it the boot is hungry-bellied.
The rear seats slide too. Makes sense – when you need lots of boot because you’ve got to deal with a push-chair, your kids won’t need legroom so you can slide them forward. When they grow ganglier, pack more lightly and slide it back.
The trim and upholstery materials can be had in some outré colours and textures. But some of the cabin plastics are off Audi’s usual form. Why do they obsess on a soft-touch dash top, which you never actually touch, and yet fit hard scratchy door pulls which insult your fingers every time you get in?