New Audi Q3 Sportback: definitely not a Q4

Published: 24 July 2019

► Audi’s Q3 coupe SUV
► Style-focused variant
► But what about practicality?

This is the all-new Audi Q3 Sportback and, yes, we know what you’re thinking: ‘shouldn’t that be called the Q4?’ Nope. That car already exists – we even saw a concept of it at the 2019 Geneva motor show – and it’s expected to come to market in 2020.

So this Q3 Sportback is merely a variant of the regular Q3. It’s expected in Audi showrooms in autumn 2019, where it’ll provide yet more choice to customers lapping up ever more SUVs from the big German premium brands.

So it’s all about the rear end…

Pretty much. The Sportback’s roofline is lower and sloped for that coupe-inspired look that manufacturers seem hellbent on developing. The dimension changes are tiny, with the Sportback being only 16mm longer and 29mm lower than a regular Q3.

Q3 Sportback front tracking

Headroom in the rear suffers slightly, but the standard Q3 is quite a roomy car regardless. Audi also proudly says the Sportback has the same boot volume as the regular Q3 with the seats up at 530 litres. You can also recline and slide the rear seats fore and aft for bonus flexibility.

Any other interior differences?

It’s the same, neatly laid-out design as the regular Q3 with little touches like coloured ambient lighting that even illuminates the plaque on the passenger side of the dashboard. Virtual Cockpit is standard across the range, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Q3 Sportback interior

Another new feature that Audi has been teasing for years is its new traffic light information system that uses ‘car-to-X’ technology to communicate with infrastructure. The tech displays a traffic light on the digital dials and tells you what speed to maintain to pass through a green light smoothly. It’s limited to ‘selected European cities’ for now, as it requires the necessary transmitters in the city’s infrastructure to work. Amazon Alexa can be integrated into the MMI system, too.

Cool – what about engines and specs?

No different from the regular Q3 either, so there are petrol engines ranging from 148bhp to 227bhp, plus a 148bhp and 187bhp diesel. The 148bhp petrol has 48-volt mild hybrid assistance – a first for that engine, allowing for better coasting and start/stop functions.

Manual and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox options are available, with the higher-end engine outputs also being available with Quattro all-wheel drive.

Q3 Sportback wireless charger

When can I buy one?

From autumn 2019 in Europe, with Sport, S line and Vorsprung trim options. There’s also a new Edition One in a fresh colour – Manhattan grey – for those keen to get an Audi Q3 Sportback first. Expect prices to come in at around £2000 more than a regular Q3.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches