Inside, a high-class sporting ambience is laid on by Nappa-clad RS Sport seats with honeycomb stitching. The RS sport leather steering wheel is flattened on the bottom in racing style and has shift paddles.
Special RS displays provide information on tyre pressure, power output, lap times and g-forces.
The standard spec sheet is well stocked but one has to dip into the options catalogue to buy extra features like adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charger, lane change assist and the dark styling package pictured here (including the striking black wheels).
The RS Q3 is a likable mix of sporting prowess and practicality. Whether or not one is sentimental about the historical significance of five cylinders and quattro drive, this sports SUV bundles those numbers together in an appealing way, including a price tag that undercuts the competition.
Type: Five-cylinder petrol turbo
Type: Seven-speed S tronic auto
Type: Quattro all-wheel drive
Top speed: 250km/h
0-100km/h: 4.5 seconds (claimed); 4.9 seconds (as tested)
Fuel Consumption: 9.0l/100km (claimed), 10.5l / 100km (as tested)
Leather RS sport seats, touchscreen infotainment system, USB ports front and rear, navigation, electric windows, electric mirrors, smart keyless entry, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, climate control, six airbags, ABS brakes, stability control, sports suspension, Matrix LED headlights, rain sensor wipers, cruise control, hill-descent control, parking aid with rear camera, Audi virtual cockpit digital instrument panel
Warranty: One year/unlimited km
Maintenance plan: Five years/100,000km
Lease*: R24,528 a month
* at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit
Audi RS Q3 Sportback quattro
We like: Performance, ride, styling
We dislike: High cost of options
Verdict: Swift, stylish and sensible sports SUV
Motor News star rating
****Value For Money
BMW X4 M40i, 285kW/500Nm — R1,515,042
Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe 4Matic, 287kW/520Nm — R1,453,400
Porsche Macan S, 289kW/520Nm — R1,271,000