2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years review

Five cylinders’ worth of glorious fury makes the RS Q3 still just as appealing 10 years after this hi-po small SUV first arrived.


What we love
  • Torque, noise and responsiveness from the five-cylinder engine
  • Still sounds great despite the particulate filter
  • Well-behaved small SUV yet hugely capable through corners

What we don’t
  • Not as outright potent as the RS3 sedan
  • Lacking electric seat adjustment
  • Need to be in manual mode to really wring its neck

2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years

When the fastest cars in the world – in a straight line at least – are increasingly electric, the appeal of our remaining internal-combustion options takes on a different hue. Instead of scrutinising 0–100km/h times like a bragging spreadsheet, we can instead look closely at the character and experience of driving; the engagement and feel of driving a sports car fuelled by dinosaur bones.

Someone better call Dennis Denuto, because if the vibe is important, this 2023 Audi RS Q3 absolutely wins.

Hitting triple digits in 4.5 seconds is not slow in anybody’s book, and the combination of Quattro all-wheel drive and the classic engineering that comes with the RS badging means this small SUV is incredibly potent through the bends.

However, this RS Q3 provides a truly evocative driving experience that is impossible not to love, and very difficult to compare against other vehicles.

If you think the terms ‘SUV’ and ‘sports car’ cannot be possibly shared by the same vehicle, I challenge you to have a steer of this car and keep that sentiment.

And as far as brand ideology, few things tug at the heartstrings as strongly as a four-ring badge, four driven wheels, and five turbocharged cylinders.

How much does the Audi RS Q3 cost in Australia?

Any RS car is special, but this example we have here is even more so. Celebrating 10 years of its hardcore small SUV is this limited-edition model. The full name is 2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years, and is limited to a run of 555 models globally.

On the outside, there are unique design 21-inch alloy wheels for this model, along with black badging and red brake callipers. However, there isn’t any additional badging on this model that is commensurate with the limited-edition run.

Inside, there are some glorious Sabelt racing-style bucket seats, along with Alcantara wraps for the dashboard and steering wheel to separate this from the regular RS Q3, which can be had as either a swoopy Sportback or more upright regular SUV shape. For the 10 Years edition, Audi has opted to pair the special equipment with the Sportback only.

The powertrain remains unchanged here, not that it really could be seen as dragging the chain. Now equipped with a petrol particulate filter, the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine continues a story that began for Audi way back in 1976. It makes 294kW and 480Nm – solid improvements compared to previous years, but the amount of available twist is a shade less than the sedan sibling RS3.

Key details 2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years
Price $101,639 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Chronos Grey
Options None
Price as tested $101,639 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $116,251 (NSW)
Rivals BMW X1 M35i | Mercedes-AMG GLA45

How much space does the Audi RS Q3 have inside?

Small SUVs are often a lesson in compromises, especially when you start throwing terms like ‘sportback’ in the mix. And at 4.5m long, this RS Q3 isn’t huge on the inside. That being said, the interior of this car is well executed overall, and offers a decent amount of space and practicality for the segment.

This Sportback specification trims back the roof line by 11mm, with the raked silhouette accentuated further by different bumper designs.

Get a great deal today

Interested in this car? Provide your details and we’ll connect you to a member of the Drive team.

A regular test of mine, squeezing two forward-facing child seats in the boot, yielded a surprisingly positive result: they fit and the boot lid closed without drama. Even with the raked tailgate, boot capacity of 530L certainly isn’t too bad, and it’s likely to be big enough for most needs.

Up front, it’s all about those Sabelt seats. They look brilliant, with honeycomb-stitched leather seats and a bold RS logo on the front. And from the back, you’ll see a full carbon wrapping that is equally as impressive.

The seats themselves have heating and manual adjustment, and what could be described as aggressive bolstering. I was a little worried about myself (and my love handles) fitting into these seats, but after a couple of five-plus-hour sessions behind the wheel, I can attest to these being quite comfortable on the long haul. And as you’d expect, they are a grippy and stable companion for dynamic driving.

Other Alcantara finishes around the dashboard and on the steering wheel help to separate and elevate this model from the regular range, with some additional spurts of suede-like material on the seats, shifter and doors.

In terms of everyday livability, there are two USB-C power outlets up front, along with a generously sized wireless charging pad that can also house stuff like your wallet and keys. A 12V plug lives down by the twin cupholders, and even the centre console is reasonably sized. So for the daily grind, the RS Q3 doesn’t feel like it short-changes you on the practical stuff.

A smaller detail I found on the longer trips: the centre console can be slid forward and angled up, working nicely as a spot to rest your elbow.

In the back seats, you’ll notice that the racing-style bucket seats up front do go some way to limit overall forward visibility. But in terms of legroom and headroom, the RS Q3 is okay without feeling overly spacious. It’s comfortable and well finished, with similar materials as you’d find up front. The addition of USB-C power outlets, air vents and a pop-down armrest (with cupholders) helps as well.

2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years
Seats Five
Boot volume 530L seats up
1400L seats folded
Length 4507mm
Width 1853mm
Height 1548mm
Wheelbase 2678mm

Does the Audi RS Q3 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

A 10.1-inch infotainment display is a good (if not huge) size, and it’s backed up by a good quality operating system with all of the important bells and whistles accounted for. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both work with a wired and wireless connection, and there is also digital radio, native navigation, and an easy-to-use operating system to dig into.

Being an RS model, there are some extra bits to play with in here beyond the usual stuff, like driving modes, powertrain monitoring and performance tracking. There’s a fair bit of that in the digital instrument cluster as well, which measures in at 12.3 inches. One can go full map screen here, as well as timing your acceleration and measuring G forces. But for me, the big tachometer in Dynamic mode was the best.

Is the Audi RS Q3 a safe car?

Unlike the rest of the Q3 range, the Audi RS Q3 misses out on an ANCAP safety rating. This is unfortunately a common thing for performance vehicles, where significant changes to the powertrain and chassis mean more testing or data would be needed to get a proper score. And often the lower volume of sales means carmakers don’t go to the extra effort.

For what it’s worth, the current range of Audi Q3 models (apart from the RS Q3) gets a five-star rating.

2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years
ANCAP rating Unrated

What safety technology does the Audi RS Q3 have?

While there is no ANCAP safety rating for the RS Q3, there is a good suite of active safety technology available. This includes autonomous emergency braking, which covers pedestrians and cyclists but doesn’t have junction detection listed.

There is also adaptive cruise control, which includes lane centring and stop/go functionality, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assistance, a crisp 360-degree camera, rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitoring and lane-change monitoring (Audi talk for blind-spot monitoring).

The matrix LED headlights are bright and effective, allowing you to use powerful high beams while masking out oncoming traffic so as not to dazzle other drivers. Tyre pressure monitoring is another nice inclusion, which also includes temperature monitoring.

How much does the Audi RS Q3 cost to maintain?

Service costs for a performance car are always going to be a bit chunkier than the average vehicle, and Audi’s offer of pre-paid servicing brings an average of $802 per year for the first five years. This is a starting point, don’t forget. Regular hard driving will likely see increased costs of service and maintenance as needed.

Insurance costs $3018.84 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $4010 (5 years)

Is the Audi RS Q3 fuel-efficient?

Against a claim of 8.9 litres per 100 kilometres, we saw an overall average of 10.0L/100km in our time with the car. This included some longer stints on the highway, but also included some time where fuel economy was the least of my concern. Outright urban driving would likely see a higher consumption figure, but on the other hand, we did see as low as 8.0L/100km on a pure motorway run.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 8.9L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 10.0L/100km
Fuel type 98-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 63L

What is the Audi RS Q3 like to drive?

The core appeal of this vehicle boils down to the engine. One cylinder might not sound particularly interesting or important in isolation, but it makes a world of difference in this car.

While the introduction of a particulate filter in the exhaust system has no doubt quietened down the exhaust system, it’s still a great-sounding engine. It’s missing the full-pitch barks and bangs, but the raspy growl of the engine is delightful both at idle and under full load halfway up a deserted mountain road.

A single turbocharger – wedged in between the aluminium block and firewall – delivers up to 20psi of compressed air into this wonderful engine, mixing with a combination of direct and port fuel injection, as well as an irregular 1-2-4-5-3 firing order. This is intentionally done to increase the rhythmic character and noise of the engine, giving it a distinctly different emotion to a four or six-cylinder elsewhere. The firing order mixes between close and distant cylinders, making for that angry warble through a dual-branch bi-modal exhaust system.

Nearly 300kW (400hp) is an impressive number, and 7000rpm isn’t too shabby for a turbocharged motor. But look at the revs at which peak torque is available: just about everywhere. It gives the engine huge levels of response and explosive rolling acceleration.

One gets the sense that power is limited in first gear, and only when the drivetrain is properly warmed through – and you’re rifling from second to third (and beyond) – that you get to really experience what this special engine has to offer.

Feeding in big doses of throttle between corners brings a near violent response; something utterly addictive to revisit ad nauseam.

Running the engine out to redline is equally enjoyable, with an enviable soundtrack matching the big rev counter (complete with shift lights) in the digital cluster to signal the next sharp upshift. There is a petrol particulate filter included in the exhaust system these days, but there is still a great soundtrack.

A large part of this driving joy comes from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which offers sharp and responsive shift times. However, it does a good job of not disrupting low-speed manoeuvres at the same time. And let me tell you, this isn’t always the case.

When pedalling hard, we found even in the full-on Dynamic mode the gearbox was upshifting too early on a trailing or lifted throttle (between a series of tight corners, for example), and selecting manual mode did get the absolute most out of the car. Using the paddle shifters, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox provides sharp and responsive gear changes, giving you access to all parts of that sonorous 7000rpm rev range.

And there’s no part of the rev range that isn’t intoxicating.

In combination with a highly adept Quattro-branded all-wheel-drive system, there’s a huge level of grip on display as you turn in and hold your line on sharp corners. Get your eye on, and you’re tempted to get back onto the gas earlier and earlier as you exit. The car had more cojones than me in the end, but the combination of sharply tuned steering, steadfast grip and a neutral balance between front and rear made for a highly rewarding exploration on the right piece of road.

And while one might still yearn for an R8 or RS6 over this, there is something to be said for a small footprint overall when threading your way through tight corners at pace.

Sometimes, a car with high levels of dynamic ability can be a bit of a pig for daily usage. Not so much through the powertrain these days; technology fuel injection, trick valve timing, and (mostly) automatic gearboxes mean even a top-tier supercar can be a doddle to drive around town.

Everyday ride quality can really suffer, however, as overt stiffness and body control can leave a sports car feeling tight, stiff, and too compromised for day-to-day use.

That’s not the case here. While the RS Q3 does certainly have a firmness in the ride that talks to the intentions of the vehicle, it’s not so bad as to feel unlivable. Perhaps it’s the increased ride height of this mini SUV, but even the firmer Dynamic mode doesn’t overly spoil the feeling on daily runs. This is surprising, particularly considering the 21-inch wheels.

Key details 2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years
Engine 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 294kW @ 7000rpm
Torque 480Nm @ 1950–5850rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 161.9kW/t
Weight (tare) 1815kg
Spare tyre type Tyre repair kit
Tow rating 1900kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.8m

Should I buy an Audi RS Q3?

When a cheaper, four-cylinder Audi S3 ( or Volkswagen Golf R, for that matter) offers a similar sub-five-second 0–100km/h dash with all-wheel-drive performance, you could ask yourself why it’s worth stepping up into the next level. Either option is significantly cheaper and almost as fast after all. But this is absolutely a next-level offering in this form.

After stepping out of an S3 sedan a little while ago, I remember asking myself that exact question. “This is plenty of car, do you really need to step up into the RS range?”

Nobody needs to, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Going from four to five cylinders makes it an entirely different beast, and one that puts the RS Q3 in a small, happy playing field of its own.

The closest competitor would be the Mercedes-AMG GLA45, which has more power and torque from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. However, there’s not the same broad range of torque, and there’s not the same charm. The vibe of the thing.

The RS3 offers more torque, as well as a lower ride height and a trick rear differential. However, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a compelling option. It’s a joy to drive on the right bit of road, but also doubles as a well-mannered, premium, and smartly executed small SUV in the meantime.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years Sportback

7.9/ 10

Infotainment & Connectivity

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Sam Purcell

Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.

Read more about Sam PurcellLinkIcon

Source link

Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.