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Audi’s Q3 premium compact SUV back in the market brings more value despite its higher price.

Audi latest Q3 SUV arrived before Xmas promising a new experience in the premium compact SUV class and already its running neck and neck with BMW’s popular X1 for the bestseller title. Smart new styling with some subtle elements has given the Audi Q3 some real eye appeal – I tested the entry 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder six-speed dual-clutch automatic Q3 35 TFSI two-wheel drive – not inexpensive at $46,400, the test car with metallic paint another $47,650. Once inside the Q3 feels very premium in an interior that’s spacious with excellent shoulder room for a compact SUV as well as substantial load space.

Standout’s include a wireless phone charger, a great 10.1 inch touch screen with an 10.25 inch widescreen instrument cluster and sat nav display, very comfortable leather trim, a power tailgate and front and rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera. And of course, it has all the active and passive safety elements you expect in a premium SUV. Audi have thankfully dropped idle stop on this latest Q3.  I managed 8.4L/100km in mainly urban driving – the performance relaxed with max torque of 250Nm very usable, achieved between 1,500 and 3,500 revs where you do most of your driving. Warranty, normally three years/unlimited has been extended by Audi to five years for sales to June 30. Ride quality borders on firm while my only other disappointment is the high cost of options.

I’m David Berthon

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