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29 Mar 2023

Facelift (What's New)
1.5-litre mild hybrid engine producing 148bhp and 250Nm of torque
Now offered with the optional 'Black appearance package'

A smaller 1.5-litre engine brings improved fuel efficiency to the pleasing Audi Q3 Sportback.

The Audi Q3 isn't a particularly new car. This current second generation model has been with us since 2020, and since then we've had one facelift and a number of different variants already.

Even in Sportback form, we've seen a total of 3 engine variants - a 148bhp 1.4-litre, a 177bhp 2.0-litre, as well as an uprated 188bhp 2.0-litre when the car was facelifted last year.

Well, now you can add yet one more engine variant to the lineup - this 1.5-litre mild hybrid.

So, it's just an engine change?

The 1.5-litre mild hybrid engine produces a comfortable 148bhp and 250Nm of torque
The most notable change is of course the engine - now a 1.5-litre mild hybrid producing 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. If those numbers look familiar, it is because they should be - this is the same 1.5-litre engine found across a whole range of VW Group products, including cars like the Golf, various SEATs and Skodas and, of course, other Audis like the new A3.

It is less potent than the previous 2.0-litre, but the upside is of course fuel efficiency. Coupled with the mild hybrid system, which assists with start/stops and can also shut the engine off when coasting, the Q3 Sportback is about 16% more efficient, according to Audi's numbers. Real world? I managed 12.2km/L over a weekend of driving.

One benefit of the mild hybrid system is the ability to coast with the engine shut off
Notably, the car is also now front-wheel drive, rather than the quattro of before. As a result, it is lighter - 1,530kg compared to the 1,620kg of the 2.0-litre variant. And it certainly feels that way, especially over bumps where it's a little smoother than before.

On the road, the car is perfectly usable. Driven lightly, it's smooth, quiet, quite refined, and generally pleasing. Is it the most interesting car to drive? Of course not. It's a crossover - cars like this are just all generally not particularly exciting to drive. These are functional, practical vehicles.

Any equipment updates?

The cabin has familiar Audi sleekness and quality, though equipment levels could be better
Beyond these powertrain changes, the rest of the car is completely unchanged. The spec sheet is completely identical to the 2.0-litre model, save for the additional availability of the 'Black appearance package' option now.

It's still a very pleasant car, even if my qualms about overall equipment levels remain unchanged. Quality and comfort is high, but the overall spec does feel slightly low compared to the rest of the competition (no wireless charging in 2023? Come on).

Who's it for?

The Q3 Sportback is a stylish and likeable crossover, but faces stiff competition on the pricing front
Should you buy the Q3 Sportback? It's $8,216 more than the standard Q3, and I would gladly pay that difference for a more interesting-looking (and certainly better looking) crossover.

At $261,661 (as of 28 Mar 2023), should you spend your money on this Audi, though? That's a much trickier question. The X1 and GLA-Class have Cat A options, so there are cheaper alternatives. There's also the XC40 - an older car (though recently facelifted), sure, but with more equipment, more performance, and slightly more affordable too.

So, while the Q3 Sportback is, in isolation, a perfectly likeable and usable crossover made better with this downsized engine, one fears it's up against too much competition just on the pricing front.
Car Information
Audi Q3 Sportback Mild Hybrid 1.5 TFSI S tronic (A)
Rate it


: $261,661

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





110kW (148 bhp) / 6000 rpm



250 Nm / 3500 rpm



7-speed (A) S tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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audi  audi q3  q3  q3 sportback  audi q3 sportback  1.5-litre