The RS Q3 is one of eight Quattro-developed RS Audis that you can currently buy. That it doesn’t feel like a model too many is partly because of the rarity of go-faster 4x4s of this size, but it’s also credit to Audi’s execution of the concept.

It has at its heart that fusion of qualities which has driven every Audi RS since the original RS2: performance blended with everyday-use luxury, refinement and space.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
It’s throwing punches, no question. But the turbocharged RS Q3 is in need of cleverer footwork.

So this is an effective and true RS, but not such an impressive performance 4x4 in the broader sense.

Despite its excellent engine, and like some of its RS range-mates, the RS Q3 trades too much driver involvement in pursuit of ease of operation and usability for our tastes, and it doesn’t have quite enough dynamic fun factor to maintain the driver’s interest.

But within a young niche class, it’s certainly a ranking contender for now, and only the likes of Alpina's XD3 Biturbo and the more evocative Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 shade it.

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