& Photography: Rahul Kapoor
2.0 litre 4 cylinder TDI with Energy Recovery System
7-speed S-tronic dual clutch with paddle shifters
177bhp @ 4200rpm
380Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Top speed (Kmph)
McPherson struts with aluminium lower wishbones,
tubular anti-roll bar
Four-link with separate spring/shock absorber,
tubular anti-roll bar
Ventilated front and slid rear disc Dual-Circuit
Kerb Weight (Kgs)
Quattro all wheel drive
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
always been something about Audi cars that would give me a sense of happiness,
a sense of excitement, agility, power and acceleration. The Audis also provide
an immense ease of drivability, whether it is a 2 litre diesel powered family car
or one that produces 500bhp.
I had driven
sports cars from Audi, RS models and their regular sedans, but I had never
taken a swing at an Audi SUV, be it the Q3, Q5 or even the Q7. So the new Q3
was the first impression I received of an SUV from Ingolstadt.
say that Audis are boring because they look the same and uninteresting, but for
me the attention to detail on Audis always drew me closer and closer into
liking them. The more I looked, the more
I was intrigued. I will admit that the previous Q3 was also a decent car to
look at but now Audi has decided not just to update the cars, but to change the
perception of the people about it.
The new Q3 is
now a pretty charming young fellow. What really caught my eye was the new
sculpted single frame front grille finished in my favourite brushed aluminium,
chiselled in a 3-dimensional shape with sharp edged cuts. The grille changes
everything about the car. The new squinty head lights with the LED DRLs make it
look aggressive compared to its predecessor. Thanks to the new technology head
lamps, the Q3 doesn’t require fog lamps anymore thus giving an uncluttered
front face to the baby SUV.
hasn’t been fiddled with much in terms of styling, but the tail lights have
been updated with my favourite and classy dynamic turn signals which illuminate
from the inside out in the direction you want to turn.
wise, the updated Q3 remains similar to its predecessor with subtle changes
that change everything for the better. The passenger side dash now has an
aluminium weave fibre-ish panel with an unsmooth brushed aluminium finish with
Quattro written in bold letters replacing the old wooden panel. The chrome
inlays around the dash have been now replaced with less blingy brushed
aluminium inlays which improve the overall look of the interior immensely.
the new Q3 will spoil you with things like LED interior lights, power adjusted
seats, Audi MMI Navigation System and parking sensors with rear view camera
integrated with the banging Audi Sound System, infotainment system which includes
Audi music interface, 20GB Jukebox, 2 SD card slots and Bluetooth. Under the
arm rest at the front, a mobile cradle with a USB input to charge your phone
and use it as a USB device is also screwed into the car. Through the
infotainment system, there are 3 driving modes available to select from
Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. And for the first time paddle shifters behind the
steering wheel get a sportier shifting feel.
So my first
impressions of driving a Q3, or the first time an SUV from Audi, what was it
like? Well for starters, I set off with the car in comfort, all things set to
lazy pot belly man mode and tried it out for a few kilometres. Let’s talk about
the suspension, in Goa, you don’t find many pot holed roads but you can find
quite a bit of rocky rough stuff to try out the suspension and the all wheel
drive system. In comfort, the car is so softly sprung, though my eyes told me
that there is a pot hole, my bottom begged to differ. Speed breakers do nothing
to unsettle the car even at around 30-40kmph; the chassis has been tuned for a
better ride and it shows. The steering input and the throttle are a bit lazy
and so is the transmission, but it’s a small SUV not a sports saloon. It’s
meant to be a little lazy, though anything above 3000rpm, all the sluggishness
is thrown out of the window. In Dynamic mode however, from the get go, the
sluggishness is reduced significantly; the ride stiffens up, but is still
massively comfortable. Shove the transmission into ‘S’ and this little 2.0litre
diesel takes off like a rocket. The acceleration from a standstill to 100kmph
is 8.2 seconds, on the move if you press the right buttons; it feels a lot like
4-5 seconds. The steering in twisty windy roads feels so agile and nimble in
dynamic and when you need the power, it’s almost always there. If you need it a
little bit quicker than what the onboard computer feels, just a flip down shift
with the paddles and you’re good to go. I would have liked the paddles to be
slightly pushed outwards so I don’t have to reach back behind the steering
wheel every time I want to change gear bit that’s just being silly. Auto mode
is quite a smart chap, if you want the power, it’s there, if you want a slimy
suspension, it’s there. I would also like to mention that I hate electric power
steering because of the lack of any amount of feedback but the electronic
steering wheel in the Q3 surprisingly good, I actually quite liked it, it
wasn’t too much wooden as other EPAS systems that you get from other cars,
there is enough feedback to give the confidence the driver needs while driving
on and off road.
detail is everywhere around the car with tiny little things that matter a lot.
The boot is giant, the rear seats are comfortable, leg room a decent even with
the front seats halfway back, and tiny little hooks in the boot and in the
front foot well and six airbags if you encounter any of the many lunatics on
Indian roads. The previous Q3 TDI was priced at around Rs. 27 lakh and we
expect the new Q3 to be priced around that. At that price level, for the kit
you get and the drivability, the overall package is just so perfect. It’s worth
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