2021 Audi Q3 plug-in hybrid SUV: specs, prices and details

Both the standard Q3 and Q3 Sportback SUVs are are available with TFSI e petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrains, with prices start from £38,335

Audi Q3 hybrid

The Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportback SUVs are the latest models in the German brand’s range to be offered with its TFSI e plug-in hybrid powertrains. The others include the latest generations of the A3 hatchback, the A6, A7 and A8 executive cars and the Q5, Q7 and Q8 SUVs.

The Q3 TFSI e stands as a direct rival to several of the more premium compact plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market, including the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Range Rover Evoque, Lexus UX and Volvo XC40.

Audi Q3 TFSI e engine, battery, range, power and charging

All Q3 hybrid versions and trim levels use the '45 TFSI e' drivetrain, which combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine making 148bhp with a 114bhp electric motor for a total output of 242bhp. It's essentially the same hardware seen in the Cupra Leon e-Hybrid, Skoda Octavia vRS iV and Volkswagen Golf GTE, as well as the Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid, SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid and Cupra Formentor e-Hybrid SUVs.

Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds in the electrified Q3 and top speed is 130mph. Audi claims the plug-in Q3 can return up to 173mpg and emits 36g/km of CO2 in entry-level Technik trim, but all other versions of both the SUV and coupe-SUV emit a slightly higher 44g/km of CO2 and return up to 141mpg economy.

In both the standard and Sportback versions of the car, a 13kWh battery stores enough energy for up to 31 miles of electric running. Like most other plug-in hybrids, thanks to its electric range and lower CO2 emissions than its petrol and diesel counterparts, the Q3 TFSI e attracts a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rate of 11%. That means 20% earners will only pay £842 a year to run one as a company car, compared to £1,999 for the entry-level petrol Q3.

Using a home wallbox, Audi says the Q3 TFSI e's battery can be recharged in three hours and 45 minutes, with remote monitoring of charging (and remote activation of climate control) possible using the myAudi phone app.

Interior and practicality

All versions of the Q3 TFSI e come with a 10.1-inch central infotainment touchscreen and a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display featuring the latest version of Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ system – the same setup you’ll find in the fully electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV. 

In terms of practicality, both the Q3 and Q3 Sportback plug-ins can hold 380 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place, compared to 530 for their non-hybrid equivalents. With the seats dropped, the standard SUV can swallow 1,375 litres and the Sportback 1,250 litres; that compares to 1,525 and 1,400 litres for the non-hybrid.

Price, equipment and specifications

The Q3 45 TFSI e (above right) is available in Technik, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels, while the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e (above left) range starts with S line and also includes Black Edition and Vorsprung versions.

Prices for the plug-in Q3 in entry-level Technik trim start from £38,335. For that, you get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, safety systems like pedestrian and cyclist detection and a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen and 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

Upgrade to S line trim and you get 19-inch alloys, as well as sportier exterior styling, privacy glass, front sports seats and ambient lighting. The Q3 TFSI e in S line trim starts from £41,785, while the Sportback version starts from £43,510.

Black Edition versions of the Q3 cost £43,135, while the Q3 Sportback in this trim costs £44,860 and up. For that, you get upgraded 19-inch alloys, black exterior styling, piano-black inlays and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

It’s worth noting that all models except the Vorsprung come with 'comfort' suspension as standard, which Audi says "provides suppleness and absorbency for smooth, serene electric-only travel but also a good degree of agility for more press-on driving".

The range-topping Vorsprung versions of both the Q3 and Q3 Sportback, meanwhile, get an electronically controlled suspension setup with adapting damping, promising to "smooth surfaces and straighten out corners even more impressively".

Vorsprung versions of the electrified Q3 also get Matrix LED headlights, twin leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, a SONOS premium sound system and additional safety features as part of the ‘Driver Assistance’ pack. Prices start from £51,500 for Sportback models and £49,775 for the conventional Q3.