Simply offering an SUV is no longer enough to win over new customers. Currently there are more specialties like the B MW X2 in coupé look very popular. It goes without saying that Audi is now following suit and is not shaping the Q3 into the Q4 - which would be logical - but rather giving it the addition of Sportback. Instead of trying to explain this strategy, we prefer to look at the most important differences between the two Q3 models: The Sportback is three centimeters flatter, has wide wheel arches and a side line with a rear in the style of the Q8.
Thanks to the unchanged wheelbase (2.68 meters), people up to 1.80 meters in length can also sit comfortably on the rear bench seat, which can be slid by 13 centimeters with a variable backrest. If you are taller, you don't just have to duck your head when getting in and out - but that's typical for the coupé-like body shape.
On the other hand, what is untypical is that the Sportback offers very decent storage space: 530 liters are 60 liters more than the BMW X2 with its steeper standing rear window. In addition, the flap on the Audi Q3 swings open even further via a kick sensor. The luggage only needs to be lifted over a small loading edge, whereby the large opening makes loading easier. If you want to exhaust the maximum 1,400 liters volume (45 liters more than in the BMW X2), you have to unlock and fold the three-part backrest from the rear, as in the BMW. However, only in the Audi Q3 does the large parcel shelf disappear under the height-adjustable loading floor to save space.
BMW X2: smaller, but not finer
In the BMW X2 only the underbody compartment is significantly larger, also because it does not have to accommodate a subwoofer there. Otherwise, in direct comparison, it looks half a size smaller inside and out, because it lacks 14 centimeters in length and a few centimeters in width and height. It compensates for this on the one hand with the more combinable roof line and the low seating position, on the other hand with an almost identical wheelbase, which creates a similar amount of leg room in the rear. In the front, the driver and front passenger sit on sporty M-seats and enjoy the easy-to-read round instruments and thewonderfully simple logic of infotainment. The iDrive can be operated intuitively via touch screen, voice or rotary push button.
The Audi Q3 is limited to touch and voice input for infotainment. With its 10.25-inch central screen, it looks more technocratic, although it also has classic rotary controls for climate control. Thanks to Amazon Alexa integration, the MMI system now masters over 80,000 functions including smart home applications. The virtual cockpit display has an independent, but somewhat confusing look. On the other hand, the Sportback has a better quality than the BMW X2 and, thanks to the optional combination of leather, Alcantara and aluminum, more elegant.
Audi Q3: bigger, but more expensive
At the market launch in October, the the Sportback two petrol and one diesel to choose from. The 40 TDI with 190 hp is to follow in autumn, and a particularly sporty RS variant is also in preparation. The entry-level Q3 as a 35 TFSI with 150 PS costs at least 36,000 euros, so the Sportback surcharge is 1,400 euros including the sports suspension as a free option. Emergency brake assist and lane departure and change warning systems are standard. In addition, Audi offers even more safety extras such as the traffic light assistant and cross traffic warning.
The BMW X2 has to fit with a The base price of 34,050 euros is not a bargain either. With comparable equipment there is an advantage of around 3,000 euros, but here as there the prices can almost be doubled with a more powerful engine and a generous selection of extras. Audi is charging just under 60,000 euros for the 45 TFSI as Edition One with standard matrix LED light and 20-inch rims.
Classic role allocation
We'll grab the currently most powerful Sportback . The two-liter turbo gasoline engine with 230 hp and 350 Newton meters of torque sets off with a lot of pressure from the low revs, but does not always agree with the dual-clutch gearbox which gear is the right one for sporty driving. On the narrow, winding Black Forest roads around Freiburg, the Audi Q3 precisely follows the commands of the standard progressive steering, which, however, feels a bit too smooth for a sporty SUV. That hardly changes in the different driving modes, which also influence the engine and transmission characteristics as well as the damper control.
The sportier ESP set-up enables more cornering dynamics: In combination with the high-grip tires, the Sportback feels much more agile than the conventional Audi Q3, which is specifically designed for driving safety. Thanks to the variable Quattro drive including off-road mode, it finds enough traction even on loose surfaces, and despite the large wheels it bounces very well with the optional adaptive chassis even on poor road surfaces.
In contrast, comfort is not a strength of the X2, even in the mode of the same name, which alwaysTight suspension typical of BMW. However, he willingly gives in and gives the driver more feedback. That's why the more powerful Audi Q3 doesn't leave it behind so quickly, at least on this winding terrain. In addition, the two-liter turbo gasoline engine of the BMW X2 hangs similarly well on the gas and harmonizes more smoothly with its eight-speed automatic converter, which makes manual intervention practically superfluous.
The BMW X2 can keep up with its driving dynamics. Overall, however, it has to admit defeat to the more comfortable and spacious Audi Q3 Sportback. At least until the first real comparison test.