• Auto
  • October 25, 2019

Audi Q3 Hatchback First Look Review

Audi Q3 Test Drive in Mumbai

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. View offers on Audi Q3 in Chennai at Autozhop.

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 & Style

Visually, the Q3 hasn’t changed much since it saw the light back in 2012. A facelift in 2015 gave it a new grill and headlights but this update is much harder to spot. The all-LED headlights and tail lamps are now joined by a mildly redesigned bumper and some new plastic cladding. And there’s also the new dynamic turn indicators that are working their way into the entire Audi range. And that’s really it as far as the cosmetic changes are concerned this time around.

What should make more of a difference are the two new engines in the range. The new 1.4-litre 150PS TFSI engine from the A3 and the A4 has found its way into the Q3. It should be interesting to see how this petrol behaves in the larger, heavier Q3. Although all these are front wheel drive machines, the Q3 uses a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox, whereas its siblings use a seven-speed unit. The diesel Q3 is offered in two variants: one 150PS tune driving only the front wheels, while the other, more powerful 184PS tune will sport Audi’s famed Quattro badge and four wheel drive. It is this 35 TDI version of the diesel burner that we had on test along with the petrol 30 TFSI. To know more information on Audi Q3 check Kmindia

Audi Q3 Interior & Space

The interiors remain unchanged and that’s not a bad thing at all. The cabin layout is ergonomic with every switch and button falling at hand, with ease. The new Q3 also gets dual-zone climate control as standard.The seats are firm and quite supportive, especially the ones at the front, and there is ample space for four adults. That said, the sloping roofline eats into the headroom for rear passengers.The 35 TDI Quattro Technology’s dual-tone beige and black interiors looks far more premium than the black only interior in the petrol Q3The 35 TDI Quattro Technology’s dual-tone beige and black interiors looks far more premium than the black only interior in the petrol Q3

The fit and finish is as expected in a German luxury car, and overall the cabin has a sense of premiumness, despite being an entry-level Q model. The Q3 30 TFSI and 30 TDI are only available in the Premium trim whereas the 35 TDI can be selected in either the Premium Plus or Technology trims. The Premium variants feature an all-black interior, with dark wood finish inserts along the dashboard. The seats are electrically adjustable, and there’s also a panoramic sunroof, a feature that’s one of my personal favourites.

The Premium Plus model gets aluminium inserts instead of wood, which looks far better, in my books. The range-topping 35 TDI Technology also gets dual-tone beige and black interiors, paddle shifters and a reverse camera.The screen resolution of the infotainment system-cum-MMI display is crisper too, and you also get a full-colour MIFD screen, located in between the rev and speedo dials on the instrument panel.That said, the infotainment system does not get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay which is a downer, and the glaring omission of keyless entry and push-button start on a vehicle system is simply beyond me.

Audi Q3 Engine & 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.

The Audi Q3 deals with bumps at low speeds well, but of the two Q3s, it’s the diesel that has the better overall ride. It drives with a bit more heft and moves around less too, and this translates into more confidence at speed. The diesel also has the marginally more feelsome steering but it’s still no great shakes with a degree of looseness you’d be happier without. Quattro all-wheel drive does add in a degree of grip and off-road ability but few owners are likely to put their prized possessions through muck.Check car loan for Audi Q3 at Fincarz.

Audi Q3 Driving Dynamics

The ride quality of the Q3 is on the firmer side when compared to its silky smooth Q brethren – the Q5 and the Q7. That said it’s still perfectly composed over any obstacle you will encounter in town. From small to large bumps you remain quite isolated and comfortable. There is also very little vertical or lateral movement from uneven surfaces too. There are some differences in the way the petrol and diesel behave on the road and out on the highway the petrol tends to feel a little flighty, due to some unnerving bouncy vertical movement at high speed, and this may be down to its lighter kerb weight; the diesel on the other hand with a heavier kerb weight and four wheel drive is unsurprisingly more planted on the highway.

The steering is quite light and this is excellent when navigating through city traffic and parking in tight spaces, but when you up the pace through a set of corners you’ll soon find it lacks any feedback. The chassis is quite nice when pushed, with the suspension handling any challenge our bumpy roads care to throw its way. There is a little bit of body roll when you push the car but this too is controlled and soon you can learn to trust the front and let the suspension handle the rest. The petrol engine with its gruff rumble and desire to rev is quite nice when your evil twin shows up behind the wheel, but it’s again let down by the lack of pedals that would have allowed better use of the gearbox while keeping both hands on the wheel. The diesel with its smooth spread of 380Nm of torque is again the more fun of the two even when you’re hooning around.

Audi Q3 Safety & Security

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 Price in Chennai

Audi Q3 On Road Price is 42,16,222/- and Ex-showroom Price is 34,73,000/- in Chennai. Audi Q3 comes in 6 colours, namely Utopia Blue,Mythos Black,Tundra Brown,Florett Silver,Cortinia White,Misano Red. Audi Q3 comes with FWD with 1395 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 148 bhp@5000-6000 rpm and Peak Torque 250 Nm@1500-3500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 8.9 seconds . Audi Q3 comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .

Audi Q3 Verdict

Audi Q3 face-lift comes with relaxing interiors, stylish exteriors and refined motor that makes it a great car in the luxury compact SUV segment.Moreover, even at high speed of over 100 kmph the diesel engine remains silent. The Audi’s advanced technology has further enabled it to perform admirably with the minimal fuel consumption. Plus the introduction of few fresh and much needed features makes it a good compact SUV to consider. However, prior buying a road test of the rivals is much obligatory.


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