AS THE gap between the digital haves and the have-nots narrows, the options available to customers grows with each new model introduced by the car companies.
As the world drives towards automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other disruptions to life as we knew it, the automotive industry has been driving hard to keep pace. The population grabs for convenience, and with brand loyalty not high on the list of priorities, the product had better keep up with trends.
Audi’s first compact class SUV launched its Sportback model with a new familial face and pressed into a form that is pleasing to the eye. While the Q3 has a defined functional purpose, the more athletic looking Q3 Sportback aims to appeal to a different segment with aspirations.
In the Sportback, the large grille with the four rings leads into lines that flow along the body, rising at the A pillars before sloping sharply towards the rear.
The idea of mixing a sporty profile with an utilitarian vehicle helps to get over the initial objections to a chunky car.
Why Choose A Sportback?
Loaded with a 2L engine, the quattro Q3 makes a strong statement about lifestyle choices. Why would you choose this over the regular Q3 which has a smaller, 1.4L powertrain?
Well, when you put them side by side, the Sportback wins hands down in the looks department with its faceted form and racier accessories. But it’s a close fight after that.
From the D steering to the virtual cockpit, the alcantara lining and the leather seats from which you can scroll through and control virtually every feature of convenience and need on the 10.1” touchscreen display, you have to admit the Q3 Sportback is loaded to the gills.
There’s more that could go in, but all that you could possibly need has been stuffed in, so you should be happily motoring along in this Quattro S-Line model, as it charges (theoretically) from 0-100kmh in 7.4 seconds.
Though the sound system could have been improved. The Audi audio system onboard is muddy and muddled in the mid ranges. Might want to check if there’s a better sounding option.
The emphasis on driving is evident from the seating, which is geared towards the front passengers, with anyone else packed snuggly in the rear. An ample boot offers luggage space for a lengthy getaway for 2. Maybe a staycation for now, or a longer escape once all the restrictions are lifted.
The 1,984cc, 4-cylinder engine does a good enough job of hauling you about, and would make for a good set of wheels if you’re heading off the tarmac a fair bit.
But if you’re in a hurry, the transmission seems to ponder its options before getting into action. And you’ve really got to kick it to make it move with some conviction.
The level of connectivity is admirable in the Sportback. Wireless charging, navigation, to touchscreens that provide a variety of external views of the Q3.
At around $200,000 this is still only going to be a niche purchase. The Q3 Sportback falls into that neither here nor there category; too expensive for many, too small for many families and their pets, and up against too many other options for a little more money.