The Q3 has been an absolute phenomenon for Audi, selling more than 1.1 million since it went on sale in 2011.
Its combination of a premium SUV feel, compact dimensions and upmarket looks won armies of fans.
Since it was launched, a phalanx of rivals has sprung up, and the Q3 now has to contend with the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40.
This all new second generation model looks to move the game forward again. The original Q3 was beautifully proportioned but its soft looks have slowly begun to date. This new model has a similar overall shape but sharpens up edges and adds contours, making for a more purposeful overall appearance.
The interior has been updated too, with a cleaner look and more technology.
Audi isn’t one of the manufacturers ditching diesel, and the Q3 can be had with a range of petrol and diesel options with power outputs ranging from 147bhp to 223bhp. There’s front or Quattro four-wheel drive and six speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. Prices start at a little over £30,000 and I drove a 1.5 litre automatic petrol S tronic model, costing £33,260 excluding options. Taking 9.2 seconds to complete the 0-62mph sprint, the petrol engine is zippy enough. It’s also very quiet, doing its bit towards creating a very refined car indeed.
Driving north out of Dundee on the A90, the Q3 was whisper quiet at 70mph. The previous model was already better than decent in this regard but the latest version notches refinement up another level.
Tackling some country lanes north of Forfar, the Q3 proved itself an agile beast. It’s no MX-5 of course, but it’s far and away one of the better handling SUVs on the market.
There’s plenty of passenger space and a surprisingly roomy boot. Audi also show why they’re known for making the best interiors in the business. A touchscreen flows seamlessly into the dashboard and is subtly angled towards the driver. All Q3s get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, a screen behind the steering wheel that replaces old fashioned analogue dials.
The only fly in the ointment is Audi has abandoned its excellent and intuitive rotary controller, which has fallen victim to the craze for touchscreens.
That aside, the new Q3’s impressive all round and looks like it will continue to be a sales juggernaut for Audi.