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Audi Q3 interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

First impressions are really strong – the Audi Q3’s cabin feels posh and premium. It’s definitely a couple of levels above cheaper rivals without such fancy badges. A highlight is the metal-effect trim piece across the dash, which splits around the touchscreen. There’s some lovely soft-touch stuff over the top, and some silver elements here and there, but it’s a little disappointing that the door pulls feel scratchy and cheap.

The touchscreen might be the main focus of the interior, but Audi’s retained proper physical climate controls. Not only are they really easy to use, but they feel reassuringly solid as well. Much better than the sliders in the Volkswagen Tiguan, for instance.

Most Q3s get cloth seats, which might come as a bit of a surprise, but they should stand the test of time and won’t get searingly hot in summer – as leather seats often do. Mind you, you won’t get hot in winter either, as heated seats are only available as an optional extra.

So’s a reversing camera, annoyingly. While the Q3 isn’t any harder to place than its nearest rivals, it might put you off the Q3 if you’ve become accustomed to having a camera.

Standard equipment

Luckily, plenty of standard equipment still features. The now-discontinued Technik trim used to start the range, and gets 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a lane-departure warning system, an electronic tailgate, two-zone climate control, LED headlights and traffic sign recognition.

With chrome trim, upgraded headlights and bigger wheels, the Sport trim looks a bit more upmarket than the Technik trim, which looks a little dour to our eyes. You also get ambient lighting and other touches to jazz up the interior a little.

The popular S Line trim sits on 19-inch alloy wheels and gets a reprofiled body kit for a sportier look. There’s also sports suspension, which is a little firmer over bumps than the standard setup, part-leather upholstery, privacy glass and a feast of little S Line badges. Black Edition adds even bigger wheels and lots of moody black trim pieces.

Infotainment and audio

Audi’s MMI infotainment system is one of our favourites – it’s quick to load, responsive, it looks super-sharp and it’s easy to figure out how to use its main functions. The black background helps contrast and readability, especially at night. Sat nav comes as standard, as does DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so all your connectivity and navigation requirements are nicely covered off.

A lot of the information that can be shown on the touchscreen can also be displayed on the digital dials behind the steering wheel. The Virtual Cockpit comes as standard on the Q3 and can be configured in a number of different ways, allowing you to quickly see the displays that are important to you with just a couple of clicks of the steering wheel buttons. It can even be a near-full-width map display if you want.

Audi’s six-speaker audio system has the range and quality to suit the vast majority of buyers, but choosing the Technology Pack – which also includes the heated seats and reversing camera – nets you an upgraded Sonos sound system.

Rear seat space

Your passengers should be pretty comfortable in the back of a Q3. The SUV ride height makes it easy to get in and out, and there’s plenty of legroom unless you’re freakishly tall. Headroom is also fine – we’d recommend choosing the boxier normal Q3 over the sleeker Q3 Sportback if adults are regularly going to be in the back seats.

The middle seat is perched and firm and, coupled with the centre console and the large transmission tunnel, the fifth seat is really only to be used in a pinch. Whoever’s sitting in the middle won’t want to be there for anything more than a short hop across town.

Rear-seat occupants get air vents, big door pockets and cupholders hidden away in the central armrest, but it’s disappointing that map pockets are only fitted on cars with the Storage Pack – a £210 optional extra that should be standard in our eyes, and which also includes a light, a storage net and a 12V socket for the boot.

It’s really easy to get child seats in and out, not to mention sleeping toddlers, and there’s a third set of Isofix points on the front passenger seat. The solid seatback should stand up really well to years of kids kicking them.

Boot space

The Audi Q3’s 530-litre boot is one of the biggest in its class, beating the Mercedes GLC, the last-shape BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque. It’s also more than the Audi A4 Avant offers. The Q3’s space is a little wider but not quite as tall as the X1’s, with the Q3’s boot floor being ever so slightly higher.

Both the Q3 and Q3 Sportback offer the same amount of boot space when measured to the parcel shelf, although clearly the Q3 Sportback won’t take as much stuff as the regular Q3 if you need to load to the roof.

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