November 16, 2018

Audi Q3 Review & First Drive

Audi Q3 Overview

Five years is a long time in the life of any model, so you have to hand it to the team at Audi for doing their bit to keep their small SUV, the Q3, fresh and relevant over the years. What you see here are two of the three new versions of the refreshed Audi Q3 line-up. The one in red is the all-new 30TFSI (Rs 32.2 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) that uses a 150hp, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol. The engine is the one you’d find under the hood of the A4 and the refreshed A3, but, unlike the smaller of the two sedans, there’s no cylinder-on-demand tech here. This new petrol Q3 features a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox but is front-wheel drive only. For information on contact details of Audi car dealers in Bangalore

Check for Audi Q3 On Road Price in Ahmedabad

The blue Audi Q3 is the range-topping 35TDI (Rs 37.2- 41.2 lakh). As before, it is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine but power is up four percent, taking the final figure to a stronger 184hp. The engine comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Also, importantly, this is the only version of the Q3 that gets Quattro all-wheel drive.The third Audi Q3, the 30TDI (Rs 34.2 lakh), slots in between the above two in terms of price. It runs the aforementioned 2.0 diesel, albeit in lower 150hp tune, and is front-wheel-drive only. However, this one too features a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; there’s no manual Q3 in the refreshed line-up.

Audi Q3 Exterior

The Audi Q3  is christened “S” but then it is the most basic Q range SUV sold in India. The famous LED lights and washers are not present and also you won’t find a panoramic sun roof but then this baby SUV is not boring at all instead it has its share of funk.It all begins with the cherry red paintjob which gives the S tag some meaning. It looks as dynamic and strong as a normal Q3. There are some angles where the S also manages to make its elder sibling look dull. Reading no LEDs on the Q3 S makes it loose it sheen but when you see it in skin, the Mustang inspired multi layered headlights are gorgeous to look at.

The S gets a generous chrome surround on the radiator grille along with the glittering vertical slats. There is an aluminium finished front bash plate which makes this SUV look rugged. The media car came in with Pirelli Scorpion tyres which are of 235 / 55 R17. These look super stylish especially the black glossy wheels paired with the spicy red paint-job makes it look very racy.The wheel flares are subtle and the fenders are finished in matte plastic cladding and so are the side running board. The longish nose of the bonnet and the silhouette of the C-Pillar gradually flowing to the rear makes the Q3 look very dynamic. The roof gets Al finished roof rails too.

The tail lights don’t blink as quickly as the LEDs but I am still not complaining because even the conventional set looks very impressive. The different cells of the tail light make it look as aggressive and edgy as that on the Q3. There is no separate S badging on the car which does not distinguish it from the standard Q3.

Audi Q3 Interior

Like the outside, the inside of the revamped Q3 crossover also looks exquisite. The dashboard looks seamless with the usage of premium quality plastics and unique designing. In addition, the company has intelligently placed a big foldable MMI Display in the centre of the dashboard that gives it a unique stance from inside. No matter where you are or how long the journey is, Audi has bestowed this luxury crossover with Bluetooth interface and entertainment bliss of Audi music interface to connect your iPod or MP3 player. Plus the sky view through the Panoramic glass roof is another engaging feature of this car.

Despite falling in the compact crossover category the car maker has wisely created adequate space inside. Both the front and rear cabins offer sufficient legroom, headroom and shoulder width to accommodate comfortably. Added to this, the front row seats are offered with height adjustment feature which ensure better road visibility and premium level comforts. Space for luggage storage is also in abundance as the company has offered it with a boot space of 460 litres which can be further increased by folding the rear seats. Moreover, leather wrapped seats and leather covered steering wheel in the 4-spoke design are additional luxury factors of the Q3.

Refurbished Audi Q3 is this time loaded with many fresh features for raised up comforts and easy manoeuvring such as Power lumbar support, Auto drive select and Hill decent control.The instrument console is also a much watch element of this car that looks sober in terms style and is contemporary in terms of functionality. It gets the inbuilt Colour Driver’s Information System (DIS) with a 7 inches colour display that avails information from the driver assistance system. To add on, technology is further exposed by the installation of features such as MMI Navigation Plus and Audi parking system with rear reversing camera.

Audi Q3 Gearbox

Leaving price out of the equation, for buyers primarily interested in the petrol Audi Q3 for the promise of better refinement over the diesel, there is good news. The 1.4 petrol is quiet, smooth and vibe-free in typical driving, and resultantly, the cabin remains nice and hushed for the most part. The engine does tend to sound gravelly in the mid-range, but you’ll rarely hear the engine over any music streaming through the car’s speakers. What’s more, performance is also good. Sure, 150hp is not a shining figure for a car of this class and at this price point but you’d rarely find the engine lacking in power. There’s enough poke throughout the rev range for a quick overtake, but go all out and you’d find the mid-range is where it’s at, with the engine revving quite readily to the 6,000rpm limiter. The quick-shifting six-speed gearbox helps bring out the best of the engine – the short first three gears ensure brisk initial acceleration. The Audi Q3 petrol posted a respectable 9.37 second 0-100kph time. On offer are four drive modes (including an Auto mode) that alter engine, gearbox and steering characteristics – Efficiency is okay for the rush-hour slog, Comfort is good for easy going while Dynamic does bring out the sportier side of the powertrain. Paddle shifters would have been nice but manual inputs via the gear lever are good too, with the quick shifts adding some spice to the driving experience. Unfortunately, the petrol Q3’s steering, though light and nice for city use, doesn’t offer enough of a connect at higher speeds. And that’s a shame because the Q3 is an agile handler in general. We also found that the petrol Q3 doesn’t feel as sure-footed at high speeds as the diesel, which weighs about 100kg more.

Coming to the diesel, as mentioned, the 35TDI makes four percent more power but from behind the wheel you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. That’s not an issue in the least because the engine is punchy as ever and remains a relatively quick-revving unit. Again, the quick shifting seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox remains ever on call to keep the engine spinning right where you’d want it to in the rev range. Our test figures reveal the added power and updated gearbox has made the Q3 35TDI marginally faster to 100kph (8.13s versus the old 35TDI’s 8.35s time) but the performance gains are more notable in kick-down acceleration, say from 20-80kph and 40-100kph. It goes without saying the engine gives its best in Dynamic, but Comfort (and Auto) work well enough too. Do note that the Q3’s 2.0-litre diesel engine isn’t the quietest of the diesel engines around. There is a bit of drone in the mid-range and the engine also tends to get a bit buzzy in the top end. That said, the TDI unit is still quieter than the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA’s diesels.

Audi Q3 Driving

The Q3 is a tremendous performer on roads and showcases extreme performance when run on the highways. The company has loaded it with a tried and tested diesel engine that generates sufficient power both in the Quattro as well as the S Edition variants. Acceleration of this compact SUV is quite appreciable although not as good as the rivals or elder siblings.The Quattro variant can cross speed slot of 0 – 100 kmph in just 8.2 seconds with the top speed of 212 kmph, while the S Edition variant has the potential to cover 0 – 100 in mere 9.9 seconds with the top speed of 202 kmph.

While driving, the Audi Drive Select feature is another speciality of this car which allows the car to run on any of the three modes i.e. Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. Usually, the drivers would love to drive on the Comfort mode which makes the steering wheel light and softens the suspension set up. For those who look for speedy expeditions and race tracks, the Dynamic drive select will does its best. Not to forget that suspension system of this SUV is highly responsible and soaks all the bumps and pot holes efficiently. Furthermore, the gearbox is very light to handle and offers gear shuffling effortlessly and when used with the paddle shifters there is no time lag. While driving on high speed on the Dynamic drive select the body roll is minimal that makes this compact SUV a great machine to drive.

Audi Q3 Safety

Audi Q3 is equipped with plenty of braking and safety features for driving control and passenger protection. The primary braking of the wheels is operated by the Ventilated Disc front and Solid disc rear brakes. Moreover, this luxury compact SUV is also equipped with advanced braking features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electric Braking System (EBS), Traction Control and Electronic Stability Programme.Furthermore, for the first time, the Q3 compact SUV comes equipped by a Hill Decent Control for additional control while driving on terrain conditions. For passenger care and car security, it also comes loaded with features such as Airbags (Driver frontal airbag, Driver side airbag, Front passenger frontal airbag, Front passenger head airbag, Front passenger side airbag and Rear passenger side airbags), Child proof locks, 3-point inertia-reel seat belts for all seats, Seat belt reminder and Side-on collision protection.

Audi Q3 Cost in Chennai

Audi Q3 Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 32,48,000/- (Q3 30 TFSI Premium AT FWD) to 40,60,750/- (Q3 35 TDI Quattro Technology). Get best offers for Audi Q3 from Audi Dealers in Chennai. Check for Audi Q3 price in Chennai at Carzprice

Audi Q3 Conclusion

The Q3S competes with SUVs like Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva and Honda CRV. With its premium badge, Audi wants to entice aspiring D segment customers to enter the premium SUV bandwagon. The Fortuner and Captiva may be higher on features and performance but then as a brand they do not come close to Audi.It is the most affordable SUV in the Q range. Many features have been reduced in this version and the Q3S is cheaper by Rs.5 Lakhs than the Q3 Quattro version. The price difference is substantial but then the customer needs to choose between features rich or a premium brand SUV.

The Q3 S with its racy looks and basic core performance will attract many young buyers. The S edition is a great way to enter the niche SUV club. Comparing it with normal SUVs is not a fair comparison reason being not that it has and off-roading potential nor does it haul maximum passengers in the segment. The Q3S is a compact premium SUV for the young and restless.

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