The Audi Q3 gets another update before the launch of its next-gen model in 2018. And this time around it gets a gasoline motor too.
Audi first introduced the smallest offering in its Q line-up, the Q3, in 2012. And this baby Q has been one of the best-selling models for Audi right from the get-go. It’s quite remarkable in fact that it continues to lead the sales charts at Audi even five years on. Full credit to Audi for the way they’ve managed to keep the scoreboard ticking by giving the Q3 timely updates. This time around they’ve plonked a new petrol motor under the hood.
The 2017 Audi Q3 petrol gets the same 1.4-litre TFSI motor that also does duty in the A3 and the A4 sedans. While, on paper, 148bhp may sound inadequate – especially considering its 1,660kg weight – on the road it performs quite well. The 250Nm of torque kicks in as low as 1,500rpm. Flex your right foot and you do feel a bit of turbo lag. But, once you get past it, there’s plenty of punch. The car feels best when kept in its mid-range. Push beyond that and it starts to get a bit noisy inside the cabin – and it also starts running out of breath close to its 6,000rpm redline.
The Q3 30 TFSI comes mated to a butter-smooth 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. For those who like to take control of the gearshifts, it does get an ‘M’ mode – but, sadly, no paddle shifters. The 2017 Q3 comes with four driving modes – Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic and Auto – and each mode alters how the steering, engine and gearbox behave.
The set-up of the 2017 Q3 petrol is a little on the stiffer side – which means, of course, that it does feel very surefooted around corners. That being said, this set-up does have an adverse effect on ride quality. It has a rather unsettling ride over rough roads, especially for passengers at the back. The light steering, meanwhile, makes it a boon to drive in the city – but the lack of feedback does rob some of the fun of cornering.
Aside from the new engine, Audi has also made some minor cosmetic changes to the 2017 Q3. Although it retains the same overall silhouette, it does get some additional plastic cladding on the sides of the doors. The 2017 Q3 also gets a reshaped front bumper with a larger air dam. In typical Audi fashion, it also gets LED headlamps and tail lamps with dynamic directional turn indicators.
On the inside, the 2017 Q3 carries forward the same dashboard layout and four-spoke steering wheel. Considering the petrol is only on sale in Premium trim, it gets wood inserts on the dashboard and centre console – the top-spec technology variants get more premium-looking brushed aluminium accents. Build quality is on par with what you’d expect from a brand like Audi, but the price is a little steep – especially given that this segment is seeing a lot of action at the moment. The front seats are electrically adjustable, which makes it easy to find a comfortable seating posture. Space at the back, meanwhile, is good enough for two average-sized adults.
As far as features are concerned, the 2017 Audi Q3 comes loaded with climate control, cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, Audi’s MMI infotainment system, a colour display for the driver information system, and more. In terms of safety, the Q3 gets six airbags, ABS, EBD, BA and lots of other such acronyms.
Audi has priced the Q3 1.4 TFSI at Rs.32.2 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). At that price point, the biggest challenge Audi will face is the number of options available in the market. However, it’s important to understand that this updated Q3’s purpose is to serve as a stopgap till such time as the new model arrives. Sure, it’s not as energetic as the 2.0 TFSI motor of old, but it does now give you the option of getting a petrol-powered Q3 – and one that’s quite enjoyable from behind the wheel.
- Audi Q3 30 TFSI
Transmission: 6-Speed DSG / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 148bhp @ 5,000rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1,500rpm
Price: Rs.32.2 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
X-Factor: Five years on and the baby Q feels all grown up… and this petrol motor certainly punches above its weight.