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2022 Audi Q3 Sportback Mild Hybrid Singapore Review - 1.5 TFSI S tronic

The 2022 Audi Q3 Sportback 1.5 is the mild hybrid, front wheel drive replacement for the Q3 Sportback 2.0 Quattro that was previously sold in Singapore. Though the car loses its Quattro all wheel drive capabilities, Q3 Sportback 1.5 retains the same sloping roofline and Audi MMI setup, along with the same rear passenger space, and the same 410 litre boot space.

Effortlessly Good Looking

Coupe styled SUVs have been on the market for some time now and they are generally very well received, as they add a dimension of stylish sportiness to the SUV template which can sometimes look a little utilitarian. However, not all brands execute this in the same way. While some brands over-style the rear and give the car the appearance of a dog taking a dump, Audi is one of those brands that do this very tastefully across its range, and produce a car that looks stylish and coherent.

If you believe that pretty things come in small sizes, then the Q3 Sportback is arguably one of the better looking coupe styled SUVs in the Audi range, and exudes a very attentive and perky demeanour that I think fits very well with its target market.

Another interesting thing to note is that while many coupe styled SUVs come equipped with extremely large and sporty wheels to fit the intended persona of the car, the stock wheels on our test car were a mere 18 inches, which initially feels small for an SUV. However, after spending some time with it and taking numerous photos of the car, the car actually looks fine - and in fact looks like it doesn't try too hard to look like a performance vehicle. In that way, the Q3 Sportback is less pretentious, more enduring, and effortlessly good looking.

Frugal Yet Adventurous

Mild hybridisation has been employed to different extents across the Audi range and while the common goal is to attain a higher level of fuel efficiency, it is in Audi's smaller vehicles that this really seems to make a difference. In the Q3 Sportback's 1.5L turbocharged setup, which comes with cylinder deactivation during coasting, the car is actually remarkably frugal for an SUV. That said, if you are the type of driver to constantly feather the throttle, you're not going to get much out of the system. However, if you can maximise the cylinder deactivation component during your drive, the idea that you are saving fuel while coasting is actually quite rewarding. In fact, during our test of the car, we were able to get the car to coast even within city driving conditions.

What is particularly nice about the Q3 Sportback is that while fuel economy is a strong selling point, the car isn't dialled back to the extent that it compromises drivability. Running the show is a 7 speed dual clutch transmission, which is quick shifting, and will allow for some spirited driving should you desire and demand it. In other words, the car is capable of being sporty when you need it, and frugal when you need it - making it a very compelling choice against other hybrids that are perhaps a tad too economy-focussed.

Built to Last

If you're the type of person who hates sticky buttons, rattling noises, and things falling apart - you'll be glad to know that the Q3 Sportback, despite being quite entry level within the Audi hierarchy, is still very well built and possess build quality that will match even higher tier cars in the market. What is a little lacking though, is the use of premium materials and stylish bits, which are more apparent in competitors like a Jaguar E-Pace or a BMW X1. In general, the interior of the Q3 Sportback is a little more utilitarian than I would like, and isn't quite able to mask its Volkswagen Group underpinnings. That said - have you ever seen an old Volkswagen on the COE market? Those things age very well and the interior holds up quite spectacularly. So perhaps, the Q3 Sportback's utilitarian interior is a good thing after all.

Who Will it Appeal to?

Overall, I like the Q3 Sportback very much, as it finds a way to be stylish, without pretending to be a car it isn't. In that sense, I feel that it will appeal to like-minded consumers who desire an elevated level of design in their SUV, but aren't really too interested in the flashiness of a sports car. In this segment of cars, the Q3 Sportback does very well to exude that level of success - it looks like a premium vehicle on the exterior. This will definitely sit well with young affluent families who want to enjoy decent fuel economy, and have a nice and able car for longer road trips with their children.


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