New design and technology, more spacious and more mature - this new German SUV is all set to take the idea of comfort to the next level.
The all-new Audi Q3 is here, and not only is it more aggressive but it feels like a completely different car from behind the wheel. Usually, you’d expect a new Audi to have some sort of resemblance to the model it replaces. But, surprisingly, the new Q3 feels completely new – which is a refreshing change indeed. If at all it reminds you of any car from Audi’s range, it’s got to be the brand new Q8. And that’s really a compliment for a small SUV like the Q3.
Take the new grille for instance, it’s quite similar to the one on the Q8. The interior furthers this relationship, with its all-digital dash. Honestly, with a lot more controls and additional equipment than its predecessor, the new Q3 can be a little intimidating at first. However, with time, it all becomes as natural as driving itself.
Speaking of features, it now comes with a smart voice command system that responds quite effectively to your requests. For instance, if you say ‘I am hungry,’ the system will display the nearest food outlets. Also, there’s now more space in the cabin and the sliding rear bench can be adjusted by 150mm – adding to the spaciousness of the cabin.
Only diesel for now
As soon as you get in the driver’s seat, you immediately notice that the seat, pedals and steering wheel have assumed a sporty character. Unlike the old car’s tall-boy driving ergonomics, you sit a little lower, but not so much that you compromise on the excellent visibility – part of which is thanks to the slimmer A-pillars. As for how it drives, the new adjustable suspension allows the Q3 to be more balanced and confident around corners. We test-drove the S line trim, which is currently available only with a 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel motor paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine leaves a you a little underwhelmed though – it’s not as lively as you want in a car of this size. With heavy loads and passengers at the back, this motor would have a hard time lugging around this already heavy – at 1,700kgs – SUV, irrespective of the fact that the body is mostly aluminium. The manual transmission is precise, with a light action and short throws. The first two gears have short ratios, while the others are taller. This means it tends to lose momentum on fast hairpin bends. But to make things better, a 188bhp 2.0-litre TDI mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox is in the works.
The interior of the new Q3 has no traces whatsoever of its predecessor. The air conditioning vents are now at the top of the dashboard, while the Audi MMI screen, with a glossy-black finish bezel, sits just below – all of which is inclined 10-degrees towards the driver. The second-gen Q3 also bids farewell to the traditional analogue instrumentation, as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display is now standard across the range. The octagonal shape of the chrome frame mimics the front single-frame grille. And, the rear bench slides back-and-forth by 150mm, giving you the flexibility of space.
- Audi Q3 35 TDI Quattro
Engine: 1,968cc / 4 Cylinders / Turbocharged
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual / Four-Wheel Drive
Power: 148bhp @ 3,500rpm
Torque: 340Nm @ 1,750 - 3,000rpm
Top Speed: 211km/h
Acceleration: 0-100km/h – 9.3s
Dimensions and Weight :Wheelbase – 2,680mm Length – 4,480mm Width – 1,860mm Height – 1,620mm Weight – 1,625kgs
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