If Quattro GmbH had resolved, by fair means or foul, to give the RS Q3 the lateral grip, steering response and roll control of an RS3 hatchback – and in a car with a relatively compact footprint, it must have been tempting – there would have been a big price to pay.
Thankfully, the outfit recognised the importance of finding the sweet middle ground with this car – of adding sporting purpose without adversely affecting the everyday usability that characterises all good SUVs. And we’ve driven plenty of fast SUVs lately that missed that mark.
The RS Q3, like so many Audi RS models, is an easy car to drive quickly. The various Audi Drive Select modes – Auto, Comfort and Dynamic – don’t affect the basic suspension tune.
After all, there are no adaptive dampers here. But the passive ones make for a dynamic compromise that suits most journeys, not allowing excessive or sudden body movements, yet not so stiff that the ride quality suffers out of all proportion.
Audi's RS Q3 is fairly firm, but it isn’t so firm that it fails to settle on the motorway or is without the required compliance to soak up a badly surfaced back road. It produces some road roar – particularly on the optional 20-inch alloy wheels – but not an intrusive amount.