REVIEW: Audi Q3 Sportback Hybrid TFSI e

Audi has fully electric cars in their e-tron range, like the Q4 and GT. I had a quick drive in both of them a few months back, but recently I spent a week in the Hybrid version of the impressive Audi Q3.

I have often said on these pages that I will not rely on a fully electric car for a long journey until we see charge points at every crossroad in the country. So it was a relaxing week in the Hybrid version of the Q3 sportback.

With a full tank of petrol the range was 640km and when fully charged there was another 50k available, so no ‘range anxiety’ for me last week. 50km in full electric mode is normal for plug-in hybrids.

My test model came in Mythos Black Metallic, but I have seen pictures of a Tango Red version which looked very bright. But of course colour, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

The Audi Q3 is a neat compact SUV/crossover, ideal for urban driving while also being roomy and robust enough to take the family for a trip to the country or maybe to the seaside or mountains.

Externally it’s a chunky looking car with a coupé look. Inside black is the dominant colour, but there is a touch of grey on the seats, which does brighten the décor.

The seats are very comfortable and the lay-out of the front seats reminded me a bit of the Peugeot 3008 that I drove the previous week. It’s similar to the Peugeot in that the two front seat passengers are separated by a column which contains the electronic hand brake and cubby holes to hold drinks, pens, keys.

In the back there is room for three well-built adults. But the middle person will have sit with one leg either side of the drive ‘tunnel. So it would probably be most comfortable with two people in the back and then they can leave down the divider that will hold two drinks. Audi cars are luxurious and you will feel like you are being chauffeured around with a drink in the back seat.

The boot is huge, but as is normal with most brands nowadays, no spare wheel. In this case the reason there is no room for a spare is that the boot space is taken up by the equipment needed for the Hybrid to work.

I don’t always notice the brand of tyres which are used on press cars. But last week the Bridgestone tyres on the Q3 definitely caught my attention. The attractive 19-inch twin-spoke alloys were topped off with Audi’s famous four interlocking rings logo. There is also plenty of power under the bonnet if it’s speed you are after.

Prices start at €53,910. There is a plethora of standard items and a good few extras available also if you have extra cash to spend. The metallic paint was only two euro short of €900, privacy glass is €513 and adaptive cruise control  €500; these extras brought the price of the car as tested up to €62,507. Road tax is €140.

Car prices like every other commodity, are rising and Audis have never been regarded as inexpensive. I often heard car sales people say that could get a bargain in a second-hand Audi A4. But it might take a while before you can get bargain second hand Q3.