This is the first test of the 2021 Audi Q3 , it is the SUV coupe variant that Audi places in the SUV-C segment, the Audi Q3. This Sportback version has a starting price of 39,220 euros without discounts or promotions.
This starting price applies to the manual 35 TFSI petrol engine, however, on our first contact we have driven the 35 hp 35 TDI diesel engine with S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 2021 Audi Q3 Sportback aims to combine the practicality of an SUV with the most emotional design and dynamic behavior characteristic of coupes. In exchange, it sacrifices some habitability in the rear seats and has a starting price of 3,000 euros higher than an 2021 Audi Q3.
Initially, the Q3 Sportback engine range consists of two diesel and two gasoline engines. In the first place we find the 35 TFSI 150 HP gasoline engine, it has 1.5 liters of cubic capacity and turbo.
It has a 6-speed manual gearbox, although in a few months you can also opt for a 7-speed S Tronic automatic.
The 35 TFSI motor with automatic transmission will be the only motorization, at least for the moment, that has a 48V micro-hybrid system, this will allow it to obtain the DGT’s distant ECO ’environmental mark.
The most powerful gasoline option is also available from launch, it is the 45 TFSI Quattro with 230 HP of power, this can only be associated with the S Tronic 7-speed gearbox. Another feature of this mechanical option is that it has the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
In the diesel mechanics, we find a 2.0 TDI diesel engine that is offered with two power levels, 150 hp for the 35 TDI and 190 hp for the 40 TDI Quattro. Both are associated with an S Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission, the most powerful also have Quattro all-wheel drive.
The visual section is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding in the new 2021 Audi Q3 Sportback and is that although it uses its brother ‘no coupe’ as a base, the truth is that it has its character thanks to several differentiating elements.
The most obvious is undoubtedly the exaggerated drop in the ceiling, which makes us quickly think of another model from the German brand. And it is the Audi managers themselves who do not hesitate to directly link this 2021 Audi Q3 Sportback with the ‘almighty’ Audi Q8.
We can say then that this new Audi model is a scale version of the most representative car that the Inglostad brand currently has on the market. Without a doubt, this is good news for the Q3 Sportback, since it ensures its image and that it has no problem by standing out from the offer of SUV coupes from its main ‘premium’ rivals: BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Regarding the similarities with the 2021 Audi Q3, this Sportback version keeps intact the marked shoulder lines on the wheel arches, which add muscle to the set and make it look bigger than it is.
Audi’s efforts to make this Audi Q3 Sportback a sportier and more dynamic model than its brother are also perceived from the outside in terms of equipment. The standard front bumpers in the entrance finish, called ‘Basic’ are the same ones that the 2021 Audi Q3 S Line mounts, in this way Audi intends to separate both models and justify that over the cost of around € 3,000.
At the rear, we find other significant differences, such as the redesigned tailgate that has a smoother drop and incorporates two spoilers in the middle and upper part. However, the design of the optics is the same as that of the Audi Q3.
The S Line finish allows the incorporation of a plastic trim that simulates a diffuser and that provides a good dose of personality behind, although this aesthetic distinctive is no longer incorporated in the access finish.
Interior and luggage room
The cabin of the Audi Q3 Sportback is very similar to that of the Audi Q3, it has an identical arrangement in the center console, which can be made up of an 8.8 ”screen or optionally a 10.1” one. In both cases, you have to pay 675 euros to make it compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Digital instrumentation is standard.
The front seats hardly change compared to what we can find in an Audi Q3. They are generous and the visibility is good, although the greater inclination of the windshield makes the A-pillar interfere a little more in our visual field. Still, it is not something that affects driving.
However, the rear bench seat itself is affected by the design change of the roofline. According to the brand’s figures, the free height from the ceiling in these places is reduced by approximately 5 centimeters. This implies that passengers with heights around 1.85 meters will see how the head rubs against the ceiling if they sit completely upright.
The legroom is still correct even for tall passengers and is that the battle of the car is the same as that of the Q3, which in this last generation has registered remarkable growth. The width itself is slightly reduced, which affects in the case that three adult passengers travel in the rear seats.
Luckily the boot does not lose capacity and this is something for which we must congratulate the Audi engineers since the cargo space is another point that is usually reduced in the coupe versions, it is not the case of the Audi Q3 Sportback.
It offers a capacity of 530 liters without folding the backrests but with the rear bench seat in its most forward position. It is a very correct figure for a car of these dimensions, thus exceeding many rivals in terms of load capacity.
It is the moment of truth, you have to check if the Audi Q3 Sportback is a more dynamic vehicle, not only by design but also by behavior. Things start well, as standard we have the driving mode selector ‘Audi Drive Select’, sport suspension and progressive hydraulic steering.
What strikes us most is the sports suspension, it is a conventional suspension system that has a somewhat firmer configuration. Completely free of charge, you can also opt for the conventional suspension.
Like the Audi Q3, this Sportback version is agile and capable of driving at happy rates without excessive difficulties. The sports suspension helps to better contain the inertias of the body, but in tight turns, these are still present.
The most recommended option if you want to combine comfort and sportiness is the optional adaptive suspension, which varies the hardness of the cushioning depending on the selected mode, although comfort is more important. It has an extra cost of 950 euros.
The steering with variable gear ratio provides correct precision and above all a lot of comforts when maneuvering or roaming, however, in sporty driving, it can be too assisted since it does not report what happens between the wheels and the asphalt.
The behavior of the 35 TDI S Tronic
Our first contact with the Audi A3 Sportback was brief, but it took place on the twisty roads of the Sierra de Alhama in Granada. This has allowed us to squeeze the 35 TDI input diesel engine to the maximum.
This 150 hp engine offers more than enough performance for normal use of the vehicle, even with it loaded it allows to circulate at high rates without excessive difficulties thanks to the good operation of the automatic transmission.
It is an engine with a characteristic diesel sound, which is quite evident in the cabin if we make strong accelerations, the positive part is that the vibrations are hardly appreciated.
We have not been able to obtain reliable consumption data on such a short and demanding route, but we calculate that the average figure for this engine will fluctuate between 6 liters per 100 kilometers traveled.
There is a more powerful diesel version of this same engine, the 40 TDI with 190 hp, but if the objective is to obtain sporty sensations, the most recommended propellant is the 45 TFSI petrol with 230 hp, which wins in terms of sound and elasticity, although obviously will consume much more.