Audi is giving the Q3 range a spring clean for 2015, with a mild facelift and various updates to the engine range. A similar round of tweaks will also be applied to the hotted-up RS Q3 version.
What’s new on the 2015 Audi Q3, then?
Starting on the outside, a shiny new border for the grille, different bumpers and some new wheel designs. Judging by the pictures Audi has issued, that includes some pretty large diameter options.
The headlights have been altered too, with xenon units and LED daytime running lights standard on entry-level SE models and all-LED lamps fitted to top S line and S line Plus trims. As part of the LED set-up there’s Audi’s latest indicator design, where the turn signals swipe across the lamp rather than winking on and off.
All models in the 2015 Q3 range now have a full body-colour paint finish, making the Q3 look less like an off-roader and more like a giant-wheeled A3.
Updated engine range
All Q3 engines now meet the tougher Euro 6 emissions regs, and the range as a whole has a bit more power and use a bit less fuel.
There’s one new powerplant available: the clever cylinder-on-demand 148bhp 1.4-litre TFSI petrol unit from certain A1 and A3 models. Under low loads it’s able to shut down two of its four cylinders to save fuel, bringing the other two in smoothly when you put your foot down.
In the Q3 it’s front-wheel drive only, with a choice of manual or dual-clutch S-tronic auto. With the manual ’box Audi quotes combined cycle fuel consumption of 50.4mpg.
Elsewhere in the range, the top all-wheel-drive 2.0-litre TFSI petrol gets a power boost from 168bhp to 178bhp.
Nothing too exciting here. A new steering wheel, different seats and some updated safety options including blindspot warning, lane keeping assist (which gently nudges the steering if it detects the car wandering out of lane without indicating, intentionally or otherwise) and traffic sign reminders displayed on the instrument panel.
Audi’s Drive Select system is now fitted throughout the range, so you can play about with steering weight and throttle response to your heart’s content.
What about the Audi RS Q3?
Not particularly short of power before, its 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine has been boosted by 28bhp, taking total output to 335bhp and torque to 332lb ft. It’s now Euro 6 compliant, too.
As before it drives all four wheels via a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, which has been fettled for faster gearchanges as part of the update. Combined with the extra power, that means the 0-62mph time has fallen from 5.2 to 4.8 seconds. Just think about that for a moment: a benchmark sprint faster than many Porsches. On Audi's smallest SUV!
Audi’s engineers have had another go at the brake discs, too, trimming a whole kilogram from their weight.
Prices and equipment for the UK are still to be confirmed, with the updated RS Q3 available to order from January 2015.
Read CAR’s existing Audi RS Q3 review here.
How much does the new Audi Q3 range cost?
Prices kick off from £25,340, topping out at £30,820 for the top 2.0 TDI Quattro. First deliveries to the UK are slated for spring 2015.
The Audi A6 range has undergone similar updates for 2015. We drove the updated Audi A6 Avant Ultra last month: read the review here.