2021 Audi Q3 45 TFSIe review: price, specs and release date

Audi Q3 Sportback TFSI e, driving side

What’s it like to drive?

The 45 TFSIe defaults to full-electric mode when you set off, so the biggest difference from other Audi Q3s is the lack of engine noise.

Fortunately, the electric motor delivers more than enough power on its own to let you keep up with traffic in town. Indeed, it feels more responsive than the 35 TFSI petrol when that’s fitted with an automatic gearbox, especially as you set off from stationary.

The only trouble is that it’s quite easy to spin the hybrid’s front wheels in slippery conditions, much as it is in the XC40 T5 Recharge, because both models send all of their power to that end of the car. That’s not an issue in the X1 xDrive25e and Range Rover Evoque P300e thanks to the extra traction provided by their four-wheel drive systems.

Audi Q3 Sportback TFSI e, charging socket

Even when you switch to Hybrid mode, the Q3’s petrol engine is rarely called upon for assistance in town. It generally only kicks in as you start building up towards 40mph and above.

The 0-62mph sprint takes 7.3sec, which is brisk enough for most needs, although if you ask for a sudden burst of pace when the engine is off, the system does pause noticeably while it calculates how best to respond.

The Q3 has always felt safe and composed to drive and the added weight of the hybrid tech only adds to that feeling when cruising on the motorway. True, it also means that the 45 TFSIe feels less agile than its petrol siblings in fast corners, but the margins are small.

Audi Q3 Sportback TFSI e, driving rear

What has suffered is ride comfort, with the S line model we tried feeling noticeably firmer than the petrol equivalent. We spent time in a Vorsprung car too, and the problem is far less pronounced in this range-topping trim, which brings adaptive suspension. That increases the price significantly, though.

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