I bear in mind driving the first-generation Audi RSQ3 and pondering, ‘this has all of the substances, however it simply doesn’t fairly really feel prefer it has been cooked sufficient’.
It was the primary ever SUV from Audi to put on the RS badge, and it made the sporty arm of the four-ring model’s line-up extra attainable than ever – at that stage, it was the primary sub-$100,000 RS to be offered in Australia.
This RSQ3 Sportback version 10 years doesn’t, nevertheless, slip beneath that pricing barrier – however not like the unique tackle the RSQ3, this can be a well-rounded, fast and wealthy feeling small SUV.
I spent a number of days with it, and I want I didn’t have to provide it again. Learn on to seek out out why.
This celebratory mannequin will set you again $102,900 earlier than on-road prices.
For context, right here’s the RSQ3 line-up pricing:
- Audi RSQ3: $96,100
- Audi RSQ3 Sportback: $99,100
- Audi RSQ3 Sportback version 10 years: $102,900
All costs exclude on-road prices.
This particular mannequin is restricted to simply 555 items worldwide, and Audi Australia has confirmed our market shall be “receiving between 10 and 20 per cent” of that whole manufacturing run.
So, this can be a fairly uncommon factor, and for just some grand greater than the ‘common’ RSQ3 Sportback, it looks like a good selection…
That’s, in fact, if you’re okay with Chronos Gray metallic as the color you get – it comes at not price – or if you’re high-quality to spend $8900 on Dew Silver Matte paint, which is new to the Q3 line.
Do you have to select the traditional model, there’d be metallic choices like Mythos Black, Turbo Blue, Tango Purple, Glacier White, the eye-catching Kyalami Inexperienced status paint, or Daytona Gray pearl or Nardo Gray strong paint.
It provides the standard Audi sensibility by way of design and presentation, nevertheless, with some wonderful and considerate prospers that make this really feel a bit extra particular.
I really like the microfibre steering wheel grip, and there are grippy sections on the seats to maintain you in place.
Between these components you’ll discover quilted leather-based which appears and feels wonderful, and whereas the entrance seats are manually adjustable (at $100,000 plus, that appears tough), they do have wonderful adjustability to them.
There’s a simple to make use of touchscreen media system with buttons and dials beneath the display for local weather management settings, seat heating, fan and extra. There’s additionally a quantity knob, plus a drive choose controller and a hill descent management button – undecided I’d be utilizing that fairly often.
The driving force will get Audi’s Digital Cockpit setup with an enormous display that gives nice usability, and a humorous factor I really like about this era of Q3 embrace the very chunky door handles. I additionally admire the ambient lighting by way of this cabin – on the back and front doorways, and on the dashboard, too – which makes a little bit of a distinction to the wow issue within the cabin.
The dearth of a sunroof may appear a little bit of a priority for patrons purchasing at this degree, however you may choice a panoramic roof for $2700.
On the subject of storage there are massive door pockets with bottle holders, a pair of cupholders between the seats, a wi-fi cellphone charger in entrance of the shifter, and a comparatively small coated centre console.
Again seat occupant house is kind of good, although the sloping roofline of the Sportback mannequin does take some house away.
I managed to suit 4 adults on this automotive. Considered one of them was a 190cm male within the again seat, and he was shocked by how a lot house he had.
Foot room and shoulder house is nice, and the rear seat has a little bit of sculpture to it, so it’s positively going to be extra snug for 2 occupants than three – backing that up is a big transmission tunnel that does eat into foot house down between these seats.
When you plan to make use of it as a household automotive, there are ISOFIX factors within the window seats, plus three top-tether factors as effectively.
Maintaining back-seat riders comfortable are a pair of directional air vents and two USB-C chargers, plus a 12V plug, and storage is fairly effectively sorted with bottle holders within the doorways, a flip down armrest with pop-up cupholders, however one factor you gained’t discover behind his automotive are seat again map pockets – they aren’t on these sports activities bucket seats.
The cargo maintain is fairly beneficiant, with a claimed 530 litres of cargo capability on provide. The sweeping roofline does eat into the house to a level, however fortunately there’s a cargo cowl to forestall any potential harm, and the electrical boot lid will cease itself from closing down on one thing in case you’ve squished an excessive amount of in.
There is no such thing as a spare wheel – you get a tyre restore equipment.
No energy bump for the particular version, however tell us in case you assume it wanted one within the feedback!
As such, it has a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, with 294kW of energy (7000rpm) and 480Nm of torque (1950-5850rpm). These outputs are outrageous as it’s, sufficient for the RSQ3 to assert a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds.
With the intention to be that quick, it makes use of a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission, and has quattro all-wheel drive. Naturally.
Any time I drive a automotive with a five-cylinder engine, I come away with the identical thought: “Why aren’t there extra of those?!”
That’s definitely the case for the RS five-pot within the Q3, which is an absolute delight. It’s easy, linear, and sounds terrific as effectively, particularly beneath laborious throttle. The roll-on acceleration is super, and it’s partaking, enthralling and enthusiastic.
It isn’t good, although – there’s some low-rev lag and, whereas testing out the powertrain in opposition to that claimed 0-100 time, I noticed it get slowed down slightly bit from a standing begin when launching.
For the file, the digital timer on the dashboard that may measure your 0-100, 0-200, quarter mile and lap instances is a good speaking level. And never for the file, the very best I noticed was 5.0sec.
The seven-speed dual-clutch automated can be superb; quick to react and really easy shifting. It provides these telltale ultra-snappy shifts beneath laborious acceleration, with paddle shifters if you wish to take issues into your individual arms. I didn’t try this, I left the automotive in auto within the RS drive mode, and it by no means left me wanting something apart from what it selected.
I did notice, although, that after I cold-started the automotive (winter, Blue Mountains, 7am, so correctly chilly), it had a bent to really feel prefer it was using the clutch in reverse and at low speeds in ahead gears.
I really like the steering on this automotive – it has a pleasant weighting and reactiveness to it, imbuing it with some wonderful dynamism. There’s only a trace of understeer in actually actually tight corners while you’re pushing laborious however in most conditions, it is vitally rewarding and intensely satisfying.
It’s additionally straightforward to park and straightforward to stay with in city driving situations, aided by a high-quality surround-view digital camera system that offers you an awesome view across the automotive, and doesn’t get all fuzzy wanting while you’re parking it at evening, as many others can.
The trip consolation might be the factor that blew me away most from the drive expertise, as a result of it’s using on 21-inch wheels so it arguably doesn’t should be as comfortable or snug as it’s. Adaptive dampers modify the firmness of the trip however even in probably the most assertive modes, it’s by no means too agency or too laborious. It’s supple and managed.
It’s quiet and refined as effectively, making it a possible choice for individuals who perhaps simply need the top-spec mannequin for all the posh perks that it comes with, as a result of hey, who on earth is pondering “I need a small SUV to go to the monitor in!”?
So, in case you don’t want all this energy, you’re nonetheless getting a unbelievable and opulent small SUV that simply occurs to be a weapon as effectively.
For context, these are the modifications you see on the RSQ3 version 10 years over the usual variations of the automotive.
Highlights of the particular version embrace 21-inch gentle double-spoke alloys completed in black, black brake calipers, darkened inside bits on the Matrix LED headlights, and a bunch of gloss black exterior accents.
Inside, there are particular leather-Dinamica RS bucket seats (unique to this spec) with matte carbon shells, a brand new jet black upholstery end, copper top-stitching, matte-finish carbon inlays, and edition-specific illuminated door sill trims that venture a 3D Audi Sport crimson diamond onto the bottom when the doorways are open.
And now, right here’s what that builds upon by way of normal gear for the common RSQ3:
- Audi join plus Navigation & Infotainment providers together with: On-line site visitors info with hazard alert, parking info, climate, gasoline costs, Google Companies
- Audi join plus Safety & Help providers together with: Automotive finder with distant sign, distant lock & unlock, emergency name, on-line roadside help
- 10.1-inch touchscreen
- Wired or wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Wi-fi cellphone charging
- 15-speaker Sonos sound system
- Progressive variable-ratio steering
- RS sport exhaust
- RS-specific Audi drive choose modes
- RS sports activities suspension with adaptive dampers
- RS-specific physique styling
- Black exterior styling package deal
- Energy tailgate
- Keyless entry and push-button begin
- Rear privateness glass
- Auto lights
- Auto wipers
- Darkish headlining
- Tri-zone local weather management
There’s much more, however try our pricing and specs story if you wish to see the lists.
The Audi Q3 vary has a five-star score from ANCAP primarily based on Euro NCAP testing performed in 2018 – however the score doesn’t apply to the RSQ3 mannequin.
Even so, the vary comes as normal with a variety of know-how, akin to:
- Low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (as much as 250km/h) with pedestrian and bike owner detection (5-85km/h)
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Lane departure warning
- Lane holding help
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic help
- Entrance and rear parking sensors
- Entrance, front-side and curtain airbags
There’s an ordinary surround-view digital camera on this grade, too. Plus the RS has the largest brakes of any Audi Q3, so there’s that.
The official mixed cycle gasoline consumption determine for the RSQ3 variants is 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres, and in case you get that regularly, you’re most likely the kind of one that buys the costliest automotive for the standing, somewhat than the pace.
Over a brief mortgage within the version 10 years, I noticed a real-world indicated determine of 9.6L/100km, which I assumed was fairly good contemplating I gave it a little bit of a tough time by way of some flexible bits and examined its acceleration on multiple event.
It requires the costliest 98 RON premium unleaded, and has a 63-litre gasoline tank capability.
As for ongoing concerns, Audi now backs its fashions with a five-year/limitless kilometre guarantee, on par with most luxurious and mainstream rivals.
There’s a capped-price servicing plan of kinds – a pay as you go service pack is out there for a five-year/75,000km period, and it prices $3580. That’s not too unhealthy, contemplating this can be a premium efficiency SUV.
There’s additionally roadside help obtainable for gratis.
It’s laborious to not be enamoured with a automotive just like the Audi RSQ3 version 10 years. One has to marvel how for much longer we are going to see high-performance petrol-powered vehicles like this from the model, not to mention with a five-cylinder engine.
It’s a tremendously enjoyable, purposeful, and fiendishly fancy compact SUV. Australia ought to depend itself fortunate to be in line for such an enormous share of the worldwide output of those particular fashions.
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MORE: Every thing Audi RSQ3