Audi Q3 Overview

When it was launched in 2012 the Q3 was Audi’s shift in focus from distinguishing itself in a new market to boosting its sale numbers and targeting a new, younger customer over your regular 45+ something Indian millionaire/billionaire. At just a couple of lakhs over the price of the entry level A3 sedan, the Q3 still isn’t far away from the entry ticket (A3 sedan) into the Ingolstadt marque’s luxury club. It’s been facing some stiff competition from the BMW X1 and the GLA of late and the next generation update is still about a year away. Can a new frugal petrol engine, and an also new, frugal and more powerful diesel mill encourage you to put your money on the four-ringed contender? Audi Q3 On road price starts from 33,40,000/-. Check for price details of Audi Q3 in CarzPrice

Audi Q3 Design

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 Cabin

The interiors have remained largely unchanged since its debut in 2012. Step inside the Audi Q3 and the age of the design immediately comes to the fore. In today’s age of big central touchscreens that control practically everything, Audi’s old-school dash looks cluttered. The rotary knobs for the dual-zone climate control and the tiny multi-information display wedged between the speedo and tacho don’t look all that premium anymore. However, compare that to the A4’s touch-sensitive climate control interface and the virtual cockpit, and you know the Q3 is due for a generation leap.But, ignore that for a bit and it comes across as thoroughly practical and usable. The electric seats (now standard across the range) offer a healthy range of travel for reach and height, and the tilt-telescopic adjust on the steering only makes it easier to slip into a comfortable driving position. All doors house a sizeable bottle holder, and there’s a generous 420-litre boot as well.

The rear bench isn’t particularly roomy, but there’s enough space for the average Indian. The Q3 is a strict four-seater in our books. The transmission tunnel that runs through the spine of the floor is quite high which eats into foot room for the middle occupant, and the rear air-conditioning takes up crucial millimetres of knee room. Use it as a car for four, and it doesn’t disappoint. The massive panoramic sunroof adds a sense of space to the cabin.Again, the basics are in place – the ergonomics are right, the build quality is upmarket and there’s enough space for four and their luggage. It lacks the wow factor that the GLA’s cabin has, but makes up for it by offering practicality.

Infotainment duties on the top-spec Technology variant are handled by Audi’s ‘MMI Navigation High’ system, paired to an 180W 10-speaker setup. The 6.5-inch screen acts as the command centre and can be controlled using the dial and buttons on the centre console. It isn’t a touchscreen interface, but the upside to that is you can use it on the go without taking your eyes off the road.

While it is easy to get used to, the graphics and the interface does seem dated. Also, what’s particularly surprising is the lack of a USB port. Naturally, there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on offer either. This means you need to pair your phone via Bluetooth for the music and the calls, and rely on the car’s navigation system. This also forces you to use the 12V socket that’s placed inside the central armrest. Not very convenient. That aside, the infotainment unit does feature an in-built 20GB hard-drive (that can be used to store songs via the Audi ‘Jukebox’) and SD card-based navigation.

Audi Q3 Engine

The new 1395cc petrol engine in the Q3 throws up a few questions. The most obvious of which is one of perception. Could a 1.4-litre engine more commonly seen in small sedans power an SUV? The simple short answer is ‘Yes, it can.’ The longer answer is that, having spent a number of kilometers behind the wheel, we’ve come to realise that it does have some faults but you never feel that it’s underpowered, so to speak. It’s also hard to call a 150PS engine ‘underpowered,’ so we won’t, but it’s the way it delivers that turning power that’s not altogether pleasant. It’s not the most linear engine and the bump up in torque when the turbo kicks in really gives it a diesel-like character. Pottering around town, everything is fine but you do feel the lack of punch below 2000rpm. It’s much happier over 2500rpm with the real sweet spot around the 3000rpm mark. Audi haven’t equipped this Q3 with paddle gear shifts and we think this is a miss. The petrol is really happy chasing revs when on the move and the paddle shifters would really have helped keeping the engine in its sweet spot. It’s also quite audible in the cabin at idle and this thrummy note increases as the revs rise. It’s never unbearable but is not something you’d expect from a petrol engine in a luxury SUV.As can be expected it’s not the quickest and in our 0-100 test run it clocked a ho-hum 10.91s. The flip side of that coin is that despite not featuring the more efficient cylinder deactivation technology that’s present in the A3 and A4, it still manages very competitive mileage figures. In the city we managed 10.24kmpl and out on the highway we managed 14.56kmpl.

This is the engine and transmission combination you should put your money on. The diesel mill feels both more refined and linear than its petrol counterpart. There’s loads of usable torque at low revs and it’s delivered consistently in a linear fashion. It feels quite similar to the old engine and that’s not exactly a bad thing as the previous 2.0-litre was quite nice too. It’s also similarly efficient as well, delivering numbers of 12.48kmpl in the city and 18.5kmpl on the highway. Audi has equipped the more expensive 4×4 35TDI with paddle shifters for its 7-speed S tronic gearbox and while they are a nice addition, this engine with its broad spread of torque hardly needs them. We didn’t use them in town or in our drives on the highway and we even didn’t use them on our performance run, for which Sport was enough. In said performance test the diesel completed the sprint to 100kmph in 8.26 seconds, completely overshadowing its petrol counterpart.

Audi has equipped both cars with its ‘Drive Select’ mode button with ‘comfort’, ‘auto’ and ‘dynamic’. These modes change the throttle and steering response and the gearbox responsiveness. The changes are quite subtle though, and mostly the only thing you will notice in Comfort mode is that the steering is a little lighter than in Dynamic mode. Comfort leaves the steering even lighter and though this makes maneuvering in traffic or parking really easy, we prefered the slightly firmer Dynamic mode.

Audi Q3 Rideing

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.

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 Programe. Further more, 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. View offers on Audi Cars from Audi dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Audi Q3 Price

Audi Q3 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 33,40,000/- (Q3 30 TFSI Premium AT FWD) to 41,54,250/- (Q3 35 TDI Quattro Technology). Get best offers for Audi Q3 from Audi Dealers in India

Audi Q3 Verdict

With the introduction of the new petrol engine and by skimping on some features like a reverse parking camera, paddle shifters and the higher resolution instrument cluster screen, Audi has managed to keep the low entry price for the Q3 range similar in the hopes of attracting a few more buyers. But really the pick of the bunch is the new diesel. It’s a much more pleasant driving experience, is quattro equipped and also doesn’t skimp out on features that the petrol misses. If you feel that the badge on the car is worth sacrificing some creature comforts for, and you’re sure you will never feel the urge to mash that throttle pedal, and with no one wiser that your pride and joy is slightly lacking in displacement, the petrol (five lakhs cheaper than the diesel) may make enough sense.

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