With the new Audi Q3 TFSI-e it is possible to experience the dynamic combination of an electric drive and a combustion engine. A combined system power output of 245bhp, along with a thumping 400Nm of torque, enables the Q3 TFSI-e to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 7.3-seconds thanks to the availability of an engine boost function. When the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, the electric motor is activated for a brief period thereby providing a boost in power – the availability and repetition of this function depends on various factors, such as the battery’s state of charge, and the temperature of the drive components.
Outstanding Energy Consumption.
With a full charge, the Q3 TFSI-e always starts in all-electric EV mode, using the combustion engine only when needed. Ingeniously, by entering a destination in the navigation system (where fitted) the vehicle will switch to hybrid mode. Using a wealth of route data, the vehicle manages the interplay of the two drives to allow the driver to complete as many trips as possible in all-electric mode. The MMI lets the driver choose from additional driving modes: complete everyday short trips in all-electric EV mode, or use the combustion engine as the primary source of power to conserve battery charge for a future electric drive (Hold mode) or increase it (Charge mode). When used in an optimum manner, it is possible to achieve a combined fuel consumption figure as low as 1.6l/100km (176.5mpg), along with projected power consumption as low as 14.4kWh/100km on a combined driving cycle.
Trim & Bodystyle Options.
Now in its third generation, the new Audi Q3 delivers the usual SUV attributes: taller driving position, better vision around the car, and a higher ‘hip-point’, making it easier to get in and out of than a traditional hatchback. There is a choice of two trim variants: SE and S Line, both of which are powered by a 4-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol/electric plug-in hybrid powerplant (badged 45 TFSI e). Power is supplied to the front wheels via a standard slick-shifting S-tronic automatic transmission that combines the efficiency and sportiness of a conventional manual gearbox with the convenience of a modern automatic. The dual-clutch gearbox enables rapid shifting with almost no noticeable interruption in the power flow. In addition to a traditional SUV bodystyle, the new Q3 is also available in a sporty coupé-styled Sportback variant, both of which offer terrific practicality, outstanding build quality and distinctive style.
Test Car Details.
My Audi Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI-e S Line test car looked very appealing in its Mythos Black metallic paintwork with stylish 19” 5-arm matte black alloy wheels (optional). Standard S Line specification includes LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators, dynamic headlight range control (self-adjusting while driving), sporty S Line-specific bumpers, sports seats in front, cloth and artificial leather upholstery, 3-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel, stainless steel foot pedals and foot rest, ambient lighting, rear spoiler, roof rails in anodised aluminium, dual-zone automatic climate control, Audi virtual cockpit, Audi Connect (infotainment, emergency call & more), Audi Smartphone interface, voice control, cruise control, hill descent control, hold assist, lane departure warning, front & rear parking sensors, Audi drive select, progressive steering, start-stop system with brake recuperation, black headlining material, and sports suspension, along with a host of advanced safety features. Additional packs and individual optional features are available for buyers who wish to tailor the specification to their own personal needs. On the road the Q3 is relatively quiet and refined, with a well-controlled suspension set-up ensuring that road imperfections and speed ramps are tackled with ease. The steering is light, precise, and impressively responsive in its operation, and this makes it easy to manoeuvre the Q3 at low speeds and when parking. The vehicle accelerates smoothly and dynamically, with the S-tronic transmission proving itself to be an ideal match for the punchy 1395cc petrol engine. The Lithium-ion battery that powers the electric motor has a gross capacity of 13kWh, with a 10.4 kWh usable capacity on offer, and this allows the Audi Q3 TFSI-e to drive up to 51kms in all-electric mode while producing zero emissions in the process. As with all offerings from the Audi stable, the interior of the new Q3 is extremely practical, with large door pockets front and rear, and a decent size glovebox too. The Q3 is one of the roomiest vehicles in its market segment, both in terms of back seat space (where there is ample foot room under the front seats) and the cargo area, which offers a class-leading 530-litres of space.
Verdict & Pricing.
Overall, the new Audi Q3 Sportback PHEV is yet another outstanding SUV from the German premium car manufacturer. It is an impressive and well-rounded family SUV, with all of the benefits that come with plug-in hybrid ownership. Pricing for the electrifying new Q3 plug-in hybrid starts at €49,430 (SUV bodystyle) with the Sportback bodystyle priced from €51,365 – both prices include dealer-related delivery charges. Annual road tax is just €140.