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2023 Audi Q3 Review – Is it the Best SUV?

The Audi Q3 has gained a reputation as a premium SUV that strikes a balance between size, luxury, and performance. In this comprehensive review, we'll explore every aspect of the 2023 Audi Q3 to determine if it truly deserves the title of the best SUV in its class.

The Audi Q3 is not a giant among SUVs, nor is it a tiny compact. Positioned between larger models like the Q5 and Q7 and smaller ones like the Q2, the Q3 offers a sweet spot in terms of size and capabilities. This places it in direct competition with rivals such as the BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque, and Volvo XC40.

Behind the wheel of the Q3, you're immediately greeted by a driving position that feels elevated, providing a sense of being higher up on the road. This is a notable distinction compared to some competitors that might feel more like regular hatchbacks. While the interior quality is undoubtedly premium, Audi's newer interiors have somewhat fallen short of the high standards set by previous models.

Soft-touch materials adorn the dashboard, and the tactile feedback from buttons and dials exudes a sense of craftsmanship. Practicality is also addressed, as the Q3 features physical controls for essential functions like climate settings, avoiding the often frustrating touch screen-only interfaces found in some rivals.

The infotainment system is highlighted by a 10.1-inch touchscreen, which offers wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto compatibility, ensuring seamless connectivity. Audi's virtual cockpit, a configurable digital driver display, is another standout feature that adds to the tech-savvy experience.

Moving to the rear seats, the Q3 continues to impress. With its taller design, both headroom and legroom are generous, ensuring comfort for passengers of varying heights. Additionally, the rear seats can be adjusted for maximum versatility, sliding forwards and backwards, and even altering the backrest angle. This adaptability makes the Q3's rear seating area exceptionally accommodating.

When it comes to cargo space, the Q3 holds its own. The boot offers ample room, and the rear seats can be individually folded down, providing flexible storage solutions. This is particularly beneficial for those who require varying combinations of passenger and cargo space. The plug-in hybrid variant of the Q3 sacrifices a bit of boot space due to the battery placement, but it's still competitive in its class.

Under the hood, the Q3 offers several engine options, including the 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid. With a combined output of 242 brake horsepower, this model delivers brisk acceleration and an electric-only range of around 31 miles. While not the most impressive in terms of electric range, the Q3's performance is noteworthy.

On the road, the Q3 strikes a balance between agility and comfort. Body lean is well controlled, and the overall driving experience is engaging, particularly on twisty roads. However, it's worth noting that ride comfort can be compromised, especially with the sport suspension found in higher trim levels. Opting for the standard suspension setup strikes a better balance between agility and ride quality.

In terms of the best configuration, the entry-level 35 TFSI engine paired with the standard manual gearbox is recommended. While higher trim levels and more powerful engines are available, the sweet spot lies in keeping the price down while still enjoying a refined driving experience.

Ultimately, the 2023 Audi Q3 stands out as a well-rounded SUV with a spacious interior, versatile seating options, and impressive technology. While it faces competition from rivals with superior interior quality and ride comfort, the Q3's blend of attributes makes it a strong contender in the premium compact SUV segment. If you're seeking a vehicle that marries performance, practicality, and luxury, the Audi Q3 is certainly worth considering.

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