DRIVEN | 2019 Audi Q3 Sportback

<i> Image: Supplied </i>
<i> Image: Supplied </i>

Static photo,,

Image: Supplied

There's a smaller rear window, and to be honest it didn't impede my rear vision too noticeably. It has a pseudo-rear-diffuser that looks cool and that's pretty much all it does. This car is for the style-conscious buyer, and Audi has hit the mark. 

It screams millennial Instagram influencer 'vaaabes' from the outset.

Inside, it benefits from the high-quality finishes found in the regular Q3. All the focus is on the driver and you'll find the optional MMI touch display unit that offers a high-resolution screen that's ergonomically brilliant to use. 

A nice touch is the optional alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests, it brings together a nuance of sportiness and sophistication. 


Image: Supplied

Is it less practical? 

Nope, it's as spacious inside as the Q3. And while the Sportback is 29mm lower than the Q3 it measures in at 16mm longer, resulting in a slightly extended boot floor.

It's also 16mm narrower than the Q3 which initially played with my eyes because it looks stockier, meaner and squatter than its brother.

The boot size remains the same at 530 litres. I found myself very comfortable behind the wheel with enough all-round despite my 1.89m frame.

Which models will we get in SA?

Two models have been earmarked for local introduction, the 35 TFSI with 110kW and 250Nm, powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a six-speed S-Tronic gearbox.

The drive is through the front wheels and Audi reckons top speed is 204km with a 0-100km sprint time of just below 8.9 seconds.

While I drove the 45 TFSI model with 169kW with 350Nm (more on that later) the flagship model, for now, is the 40 TFSI with 132kW and 320Nm powered by a de-tuned version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic.

The 40 TFSI will feature quattro all-wheel drive and Audi claim a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.6 seconds.

Which model I drove, and is it any good?

I sampled the top of the range 45 TFSI in Edition One spec which can be told apart by being festooned with black badges and in the hue pictured looks particularly bad-ass. 

It's a pity the only model I drove at launch isn't coming to SA, however, I was impressed by how the Sportback tackled the twisty German roads that formed part of the launch. 

The engine output might shout GTI performance, but in this guise, it offers more relaxed propulsion than its performance hatchback cousin. Changing gears via the paddle shifts was fun and adds to the car's sporty looks, and I enjoyed the steering input that made the car feel more agile than I expected. 

So, it's good to drive, looks fantastic and offers a unique proposition in the Ingolstadt's SUV arsenal. All I want now is an RSQ3 Sportback. 

When is it coming to SA? 

Audi SA says it likely introduce the Q3 Sportback in March or April 2020 with the two aforementioned models to be introduced as part of the local range when it arrives. As for pricing, more details will be revealed closer to the local launch. 

Static photo,

Image: Supplied 

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