Audi Q3 Review & First Look


Audi Q3 Overview

When the Q3 first landed on Indian shores back in 2012, it was a runaway success for the Ingolstadt-based brand. The mini-SUV looks paired with the bragging rights of the four-ringed badge meant that the Q3 was quickly lapped up. But, it always had it’s share of negatives – it wasn’t all that involving to drive, the equipment list seemed sparse for the money and it wasn’t as flamboyant as its rivals.

While the first update for the SUV (in 2015) focussed purely on aesthetics, the changes are mechanical this time round. The diesel engine is a notch more powerful, and, more importantly, there’s finally a petrol engine under the bonnet. Have the updates plugged all the gaps in the Q3’s formula? We sampled the petrol as well as the diesel avatar of Audi’s entry-level SUV to find out just that!

A lot of optional kit is now standard across the range, costs for which are included in the asking price. To answer our first question, no – the Audi Q3’s gaps have not be plugged. The only noteworthy upgrade is the new petrol motor.The petrol Q3 serves as a nice stepping stone into the world of Audi, as it remains a sensible all-rounder that gives you a healthy blend of familiarity, good quality, space for four and some snob value. Yes, the engine isn’t too much fun to drive, but we always have the diesel all-wheel drive version to make up for it.

Audi Q3 Style

The outside of Audi Q3 looks majestic with skilfully carved out slight creases all across the profile and subtle alterations. The built quality justifies the robust image of Audi cars and the athletic design certainly gives it a unique stance. Compared to the predecessor, the Q3 is offered with some fresh features such as 3D radiator front grille, Optional LED headlights and Chrome plated tailpipe. Despite being an entry level crossover in the Audi’s stable, the Q3 comes with exteriors that house premium features like Xenon plus headlamps, Chrome surrounding front grille along with Chrome badge, Front fog lights, Aluminium alloy wheels, ORVMs with Power adjustable + Heated + Power folding and Auto Dimming ORVMs with LED turn indicators,

Panoramic roof and Chrome surrounding windows. Added to this, the extended and curvy hood with creases at the edges and delicate bulges at the wheel arcs make it a sophisticated urban crossover. The Q3 35 TDI Quattro variant is equipped by 17 inches Cast aluminium alloy wheels surrounded by 235/55 R17 size of tubeless tyres, while the Q3 30 TDI S Edition variant gets 16 inches alloy wheels encircled by 215/65 R16 size of tubeless tyres. These broad tyres not only augment the cosmetic charm of the car but also ensure fine road grip even while driving at high speed. Furthermore, the exterior of this compact SUV is also blessed with fine quality paint to give it a premium look. The auto-maker has offered this luxury crossover in different colour shades that include – Cornea white, Floret Silver, Mythos black, Misano Red, Utopia blue and Tundra Brown.

The Q3 is not as big as its elder siblings, but still its appearance on roads looks gigantic. The designers have tried to make it possibly large despite of its limited dimensions. The car measures 4388 mm in length, 2019 mm in width and 1608 mm in height. It also gets a sufficiently large wheelbase of 2603 mm and has ground clearance of 170 mm as well. Besides, this sturdy machine carries kerb weight of 1660 kilograms.

Audi Q3 Space

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

Before getting the Q3 S, ran a quick look at the specs and they looked very less compared the standard Q3 Quattro. The displacement of the engines remains same but the Q3 S has been detuned. The company has killed close to 30 Horses from the 2.0 TDI Quattro and also reduced the torque by 60Nm. The racing red Q3 S arrived and the black wheels and Pirelli Tyres got me totally hooked on to it. Previously, I had mentioned about the goodies being absent in this cost constraint model but then all of that was distant vague memory. The absence of LEDs does not make this car look bare but instead gives it a different character.

After being floored with its impressive exteriors, it was time to step in and start our drive experience. Realization struck when the Start/Stop system was missing. Got the engine cranked and the grunty diesel engine started revving.The star attraction of the Q3S is its manual transmission. I had always wondered about the feeling of driving an expensive premium manual car and the Q3 S was close enough. The plush auto stick has been ditched for a stubby 6 speed manual gear stick. Without the auto gear stick, climate controls and other luxuries it was an Audi sans pampering.

All this changed when the vehicle was in motion. The engine picks up speed in a very short time. The power and torque figures are comparatively less but then even the weight of the Q3S has been dropped considerably. The 4 Cylinder in-line TDI engine produces 140 Hp at 4200 rpm and 320Nm of torque at 1750 to 2500 rpm. The 7-Speed S-Tronic transmission has been substituted by a 6 Speed manual gearbox.

The engine feels rev friendly and holds on to the torque delivery for a very long time. Even on 3rd gear, the engine keeps pulling till the red line limit. The gear shifts are very impressive and smooth. They are very short in nature and precisely downshift and upshift as and when needed. The clutch however does not feel in tandem with the gearbox as it takes some efforts and in city traffic the clutch is too tedious to go through.The wide tyres took the road decently and the suspension setup took the undulations very easily. When we took it on rough roads, the Q3S was confident and its tall ground clearance and big wheels encourages us to push this baby SUV even more.

It is nice to see that even though the Q3 S is a base model, Audi still offers Electronic Stability Programme on it but then this is not a Quattro so the confidence on traction is not as much which is evident while cornering at high speeds. It takes some time to regain its original position. The Q3 S delivered an impressive mileage at 15 – 16Kmpl during our test run. To know for more information on Audi Q3 check Kokoliko

Audi Q3 Driving

Inside the city, the Q3’s ride will give you next to no reason to complain. Broken road surfaces are dismissed with a muted thud. More importantly, the cabin doesn’t get upset too easily while dealing with potholes. What’s not so good is that the tyres are slightly noisy. The sound intrudes into the cabin, which does dampen the premium experience a bit.The suspension does have a bias for comfort, which becomes apparent once you start getting up to triple digit speeds. The cabin has a ‘floaty’ feeling, as it exhibits some vertical bobbing. This is particularly apparent in the petrol version, the diesel does fare slightly better. But the bumpiness felt amplified on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway where, in the Q3’s defence, the concrete surface isn’t in the best of shapes to begin with.

In case you’re looking for some driving pleasure, we’d recommend you look elsewhere. The steering (in typical Audi fashion) feels too light and lacklustre. It is clearly set up for convenience and not fun. What we liked is the super light-weight wheel inside the city. It takes next to no effort to manoeuvre the Q3 in traffic, and parking is a no-stress affair. We would have liked the steering to weigh up a bit more as the speeds climbed.

It’s a similar story around a set of winding roads. You have to keep guessing what the front wheels are up to. This, in effect, means you have to correct the steering input constantly to make the Q3 corner like you want it to. Being a tall SUV, there’s some body roll as well. It won’t upset the occupants if you go around corners at low speed. However, speed up a bit and the Q3 will cause passengers to reach for the grab handles to stay seated where they are.For the twisties, it’s the Quattro-equipped diesel that we’d pick. It feels more planted, holds its line and the all-wheel drive gives you enough grip to throttle out a lot faster from the corner.

Audi Q3 Safety

The Q3 features a total of six airbags that are standard across the range. Also standard are anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Other safety tech includes electronic stability program (ESP), hill-descent control and traction control (ASR). The top-spec Technology variant additionally features a rear parking camera over the standard rear parking sensors.

Audi Q3 Price in Bangalore

Audi Q3 On Road Price is 43,40,900/- and Ex-showroom Price is 34,73,000/- in Bangalore. 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 .Check for Audi Q3 price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Audi Q3 Final Thought

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. What do we think about 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.