Audi Q3 Sportback price starts at ₹ 51.43 Lakhs .
Audi Q3 is one of the best SUV offerings from the company in India - relatively affordable compared to its elder siblings and yet with plenty of style and panache to take on similarly priced and kitted rivals. In fact, despite the company bringing in the Q2 as a glimpse into its world for first-time luxury car buyers, the Q3 remained the generous window to what Audi has on offer. Yet, it took quite a while for the updated model to touch down in our shores. The refreshed Q3 finally came calling in 2022 but just because it hit the ground running doesn't mean there cannot be a burst in momentum. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together then for the Q3 Sportback - the dashing twin that is also the extrovert in the family.
The coupe-SUV styling that has highlighted many of Audi's more premium Q SUVs permeates down to the Q3 Sportback and while there are five body colours to choose from, this Turbo Blue shade really steals the attention like few others. But it will take more than just a hue to convince potential buyers to consider the Q3 Sportback instead of the Q3 or many of its indirect rivals.
Buying a Q3 - or its rivals - alone is no guarantee of heads turning in admiring awe. The expanding luxury car market in the country has meant that at least in big metropolitan cities, a luxury SUV at around ₹50 lakhs is a recurring sight. And that is where the Q3 Sportback strolls in to make quite the statement. Our test unit in the S-Line trim largely - and obviously - retained the form factor of the Q3 but the updates like a more pronounced bumper on the front and the back - complete with silver trim inserts, black mesh grille, sportier alloy wheel design and even the side skirts come together to add quite the flavour.
Then there is the sloping roofline itself that gives this SUV its name and credit to the designers for pulling it off on a body that is of such proportions. Overall, it can be quite difficult to say if this Audi looks better standing still or on the move.
Step inside the Audi Q3 Sportback and there is the typically generous use of plush materials and doses of practical features. The layout of the dashboard and much of the front portion is picked straight from the standard Q3 and plonked here - a three-spoke steering wheel, driver-angled 10-inch infotainment screen, a driver-angled 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit, physical dials for HVAC controls and plenty of storage spaces.
The feature list also boasts of a 10-speaker system, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The cushioning on all seats is what you would expect in an Audi and there is enough space for four even if the back-seat passengers may have to cower down a bit due to the sloping roof. But while all of this is great, Audi is missing out on wowing potential buyers with the 'wow' factor. The cabin overall is understated and while that may work for many, it sure can do with a shot of flash - whether colour scheme or dashboard design or even the interface on the infotainment screen that is now yesterday.
A large majority of Audi Q3 SUVs are self-driven. And the new Q3 Sportback deserves the person who paid for it to be plonked in the control seat to experience it in its truest best. There is a 2.0-litre turbo petrol under the hood - and no, for the millionth time, there is no diesel from Audi India any longer. But who needs diesel engines anyway when the Q3 Sportback can churn out 190 bhp and offer a satiating 320 Nm of torque from an engine that is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission box. AWD is standard.
On the move, the Audi Q3's biggest strength is its predictable drive nature - unfazed but hardly uninterested. What the SUV lacks in terms of sheer exhilaration, it more than makes up for in terms of refinement. It is only when you really push the vehicle hard that the engine gives up a bit of grunt but for all other purposes, here is a happy mile-muncher that basks in a well-weighted steering wheel and a transmission unit that clicks the right numbers at the right time regardless of the drive mode selected.
Take an Audi Q3 and add a generous dose of flamboyance and you'll get the Audi Q3 Sportback. It has all the positives of the former - a refined drive trait and a well-appointed cabin, plus confident style updates.
For anyone looking at options in the entry-level luxury SUV segment but with an earnest desire to stand out from the crowd, the Audi Q3 Sportback makes a solid case for itself.