Audi Q3 Overview
The SUV segment has grown very impressively in the Indian market. It has encouraged many car makers to offer new models in this segment. Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva and Honda CR-V are some of the D segment SUVs sold in India.Premium car makers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz are trying hard to make their entry level cars easily accessible to the D segment consumers. The X1 crossover and A Class are offered by BMW and Mercedes Benz respectively. The Q3 S is Audi’s answer to affordable yet premium SUVs in India. It does miss out on many goodies seen on the more premium variant like the LEDs, Quattro – all wheel drive and the seven-speed S-tronic transmission. The Q3 instead has detuned performance characteristics with a 6 speed manual transmission. We review this latest Q offering in our detailed review. Request a test drive for Audi Q3 in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive
Audi Q3 Exterior & 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 Interior & Space
There are no major changes to report in the cabin. The Audi Q3 carries forward with the same neat dashboard and generally user-friendly interior. Quality is up there with more expensive Audis and though the seats are not real leather but leatherette, the ambience inside is what you’d expect in a premium SUV. You sit reasonably high up in a Q3, the front seats are generous in size and support and even the rear seat is spacious enough for two adults to sit in comfort.With the update, Audi has streamlined the variants on offer. The 30TFSI and 30TDI can only be had in Premium trim while the 35TDI is available in Premium Plus and Technology trim too. What is nice is that even the Premium variants get much wanted goodies like a panoramic sunroof and electrically adjustable front seats. The Premium Plus trim doesn’t get more features but adds in richer aluminium-look inlays. The top-spec Technology variant is pricey but your money does get you paddle shifters, SD card-based navigation, a reverse camera and a colour multi-info display in the instruments binnacle among other features.
The Q3 runs Audi’s MMI infotainment system. It is easy enough to use but the interface doesn’t look as slick as that in the newer Audis and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support either.
Audi Q3 Engine & Gearbox
Before getting the Audi Q3 , 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.
Audi Q3 Driving Dynamics
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.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 Braking & 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 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.