We’ve enjoyed towing with Audi’s Q3 in the past, but the 1.4 TFSI model doesn’t live up to the standards set by diesel versions we’ve tested.

It’s not the engine’s fault – at least not directly. The high-tech 1.4-litre turbocharged engine uses cylinder cut-off technology to reduce fuel consumption, returning 50.4mpg. It’s not sluggish, either, pulling a Swift caravan weighted to 85% of its kerbweight from 30-60mph in 13 seconds.

However, the petrol is much lighter than any of the diesel models, and it’s front-wheel-drive, which also cuts down on heft. Perhaps that’s why this Q3 just doesn’t feel as stable as others we’ve towed with, needing steering corrections in a gentle breeze at 60mph. Data from the Al-Ko ATC system shows some instability when slowing down from high speeds, too. The Q3 didn’t particularly enjoy the hill-start test, either, spinning the front wheel and sounding strained and laboured.

It’s a shame, because without a caravan to pull, the Q3 is a very fine car. The ride is controlled and supple, and at motorway speeds the car stays hushed and quiet.

Space in the back of the car is relatively tight, but anyone travelling in the front two seats has plenty of room and the cabin is well put together.

The small boot is another downside to living with a Q3 – we couldn’t come close to finding room for a full load of holiday luggage. On the plus side, Audi considers the space-saver spare wheel to be suitable if you have a puncture while towing.

Audis aren’t cheap, but this model is better value than most.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.