THE AUDI Q3 compact crossover has had a makeover for 2015. It may not be quite as dramatic as a Trinny & Susannah restyle, but there are a host of subtle improvements for the BMW X3 rival, most notable of which is a power hike for the RS Q3 performance variant, to 335bhp.
The standard Q3 range will also soon be offered with the 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine from the A1 and A3 hatchbacks, which use cylinder-on-demand technology to improve fuel economy at cruising speeds.
The existing 2-litre TFSI engine gets a minor 8bhp power increase, as does the diesel unit that is now available in either 148bhp or 181bhp forms. Lower-powered diesel models now return 61.4mpg and bring CO2 levels down to 119g/km.
On the outside, the updated Q3 range receives a new 3D effect single frame grille, revised bumpers and a new range of alloy wheels.
Audi’s Drive Select adaptive dynamics system, which allows drivers to tweak steering weighting and throttle response, is now standard across the range, whilst adaptive dampers are optional.
Inside, there’s a revised sat nav system, tinted windows, perforated leather, cruise control and a parking guidance system.
The red-hot RS Q3 version receives the most drastic changes, with an extra 29bhp for the 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine. The result is a compact crossover than can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds (0.4 seconds quicker than the 2014 model).
Prices for the Q3 range start at £25,340 for SE trim models and rise to £30,820 for top-flight versions. Audi is yet to release pricing details for the RS Q3. Expect to see new models on the road in January.