New Audi Q3 – Quality Without Compromise.
Distinctive, and unmistakable, the new Audi Q3 is an SUV that competes with the likes of the BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Range Rover Evoque, and MINI Countryman. From its sharp lights – with a distinctive lighting signature – to its coupé-like silhouette, the new Audi Q3 is an ambassador of a revolutionary design language, while carrying classic ‘Quattro’ genes through its blood line at the same time.
The Audi Q3 is the smaller sibling of the wonderful Q5, and the luxuriously appointed Q7 & Q8 SUV’s, and is available in 2WD or 4WD (Quattro) drivetrains – depending on the model chosen. The original Q3 went on sale in 2011, and more than 600,000 examples have found homes worldwide since then. As a result, when creating the new model, the German premium-car manufacturer had to take a cautious approach in many respects.
Strong Road Presence;
The new Audi Q3 holds a strong road presence via its upstanding front end with a single wide-frame grille, and a sculpted rear end. A new daytime-running-light design, full colour-coded bumpers and wheel arches also make their debut in this latest model. Specially designed headlights beam out from underneath the impressive bonnet, flanked at the sides by powerful sills. The result is a look that promises pure dynamics, rounded off with breathtaking performance. This approach allows drivers to enjoy un- compromising sportiness, without sacrificing comfort or efficiency.
Cabin Quality & Boot Space;
The striking exterior of the new Audi Q3 is complimented by an upmarket, ergonomically designed, and well-built interior, with space for five adults and their luggage. With plenty of solid materials used – and with controls logically placed to prevent the driver from taking their eyes off the road unnecessarily – the Audi Q3 really does feel like it is built to last a lifetime, and is one of the main reasons why the Q3 depreciates in value so slowly. The new Q3 is 18mm wider and 97mm longer than its predecessor, which enabled Audi’s designers to create more cabin space, especially for rear seat occupants. Boot space on offer in the new Q3 is a class-leading 530-litres with the rear seats in place, and up to 1,525-litres with the rear seats folded flat. In terms of safety, it is no surprise that Audi have achieved a full 5-star rating in the latest Euro NCAP crash tests with an array of safety features fitted to the Q3 as standard.
Trim, Engine & Transmission Options;
The new Audi Q3 model line-up consists of 2 generously-equipped specification levels – SE, and S Line, with technologically-advanced petrol and diesel engines available across the range. A 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine (with cylinder-on-demand technology) produces 150bhp (badged 35 TFSI), and is available with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, or a slick 7-speed automatic (S-Tronic). A 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is available in two states of tune – 190bhp (badged 40 TFSI), and 230bhp (badged 45 TFSI), and is available only in S-Tronic guise, with Quattro (All-Wheel Drive) as standard. A 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine completes the line-up, with 150bhp (badged 35 TDI) and 190bhp (badged 40 TDI) on offer. The lower powered diesel engine can be mated to either a manual, or automatic gearbox, with the higher powered engine only available with the automatic transmission. Both diesel engines come with the awe-inspiring Quattro drivetrain as standard.
My test car was an Audi Q3 ‘35’ TFSI S Line S-Tronic, and was finished in dynamic Turbo Blue solid paintwork. Producing 150bhp and a healthy 250Nm of torque, the petrol engine in my test car is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 9.2-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 211km/h. Based on strict new WLTP testing procedures, fuel consumption as low as 7.4l/100km is achievable on a combined driving cycle, while annual road tax is just €280. Standard features across the range include Audi’s brilliant Virtual Cockpit digital dash, alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth with voice control, Audi Connect navigation & infotainment, cruise control with speed limiter, LED headlights, auto lights & wipers, rear spoiler, lane departure warning with lane change assist, hill descent control, hill hold assist, front & rear parking sensors, and numerous airbags, while S Line trim adds 19” dynamic alloy wheels, exclusive S Line interior and exterior highlights, sports front seats, stainless steel pedals, matt brushed aluminium inlays, black headlining cloth, sports suspension, full LED headlamps with dynamic rear indicators, and an LED interior pack.
Poise & Precision;
On the road, the new Q3 handles with terrific poise and precision, with excellent damping at each wheel preventing unwanted noises entering the cabin. The S-tronic gearbox combines the efficiency and sportiness of a conventional manual gearbox with the convenience of a modern automatic. There is almost no noticeable interruption in the car’s power flow during gear shifts, while the car remains composed, and sure-footed, on a variety of road surfaces. Audi’s team of dedicated engineers have ensured that the new Q3 drives every bit as well as it looks, and have endowed the car with levels of comfort, and luxury, unforseen in this class of car before.
The new Audi Q3 is priced from €38,600 (ex-works) in petrol engine guise, with diesel-engined models starting at €42,300. Oozing passion at first glance, the new Audi Q3 is a genuinely terrific premium SUV in every respect.
Visit www.audi.ie for further information.