Next-gen Audi Q3 to be built on MQB, gain plug-in hybrid variant

Of all the small, shopping mall parking lot-cruising premium crossovers, the current Audi Q3 is by far and away the oldest. In fact, it’s platform is still the old platform on which the MkV Volkswagen Golf was built. So, needless to say, it’s a bit dated in a class filled with much more modern vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and BMW X1 are far newer entries that are both better than the Q3. In fact, we did a head-to-head test with both the Q3 and X1 and the BMW was the far better car.

So, it’s no surprise that Audi needs to update the Q3 and quickly. In doing so, the Q3 will move from its ancient Golf platform to the new MQB platform that underpins all transverse-engine cars under the VW Group. It’s the same platform that the Audi A3, Q2 and TT are built on, as well.

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This platform change will give the next-gen Q3 significant advantages over the car it replaces. It will be lighter, stiffer, sharper and more dynamic. All of that will give the Audi Q3 some much needed driving dynamics and performance improvements, as the current car’s biggest downfall is how boring it is to drive.

Audi Q3

It should also look significantly better. The current Q3 looks a bit bland, like a swollen Audi A3. However, the new car should borrow much of its looks from Audi’s newer models, such as the Q5. This will give it a more upscale and premium look. The interior should be much improved as well, with the same horizontal vent layout as Audi’s newer models and will get the brilliant Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster as an option.

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As far as engines go, the second-gen Audi Q3 will get Audi’s typical suite of new engines. That means a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine should be standard in most markets, but a 2.0 liter TFSI engine will be optional, as well as a few of Audi’s usual diesel engines. There will also likely be a plug-in hybrid option, or maybe even just a pure EV option, to round out the model line. Audi could borrow the powertrain from the Volkswagen eGolf, as well.

Overall, the Audi Q3 should become a far better car than it is now. Which can’t come soon enough.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.