Apart from it being the only all-wheel drive SUV in the segment, the Audi Q3 Dynamic now gets adjustable suspension. So, does this make it the king of the luxury compact crossovers? We take a look and do our Audi Q3 Dynamic.
The battle in the high-end SUV segment has just gotten more intense with Audi launching its range-topping variant – the Audi Q3 Dynamic – to retain its position as the top luxury carmaker in India. A year after overtaking BMW as the number one luxury automaker, Audi hasn’t shown any signs of stepping off the gas pedal. And the Audi Q3 Dynamic has been unleashed to ward off the newcomer, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, and keep the pressure on the BMW X1. A storm is brewing in the luxury compact SUV segment, and the Germans aren’t shying away from taking each other on head-on.
So, why is Audi making a song and dance over a new variant? Is it really ‘dynamic’ or is this just another catchy name for a tacky nip-and-tuck job? Honestly, even we were a bit sceptical about the Audi Q3 Dynamic initially. So, the best way to answer these questions was to take a spin in it and find out for ourselves whether the hype was justified?
For starters, yes, Audi has made some cosmetic changes. For instance, the bumpers have been slightly re-designed and beefed up to give it a more rugged look, the rear LED lamps now come in clear lenses – and the jury is still out on whether its an eye sore or snazzy to look at. It also gets a new set of five-spoke 17-inch ‘Trias’ design alloy wheels and the ‘Bavarian beard’ grille is now finished in chrome. This new variant also comes fitted with under-body protection skid plates in the front and the rear as a standard feature. Thankfully, Audi, as felt by us during our Audi Q3 Dynamic, has stayed away from gimmicky Dynamic badging on the exteriors. The market leader wants the subtle changes to speak for themselves, rather than overselling its name – and we can’t agree more with this philosophy.
The cabin looks familiar with the retractable multi-functional MMI screen being the centre of attention. The walnut coloured interiors make the cabin feel airy, and this is more evident with the panoramic sunroof. The interiors are slowly ageing, but the quality, fit-and-finish are top class. The front seats are electrically adjustable, and come with four-way adjustable lumbar support. But there’s no parking camera on board, which is disappointing because it’s now found on cars with much lesser price tags.
What makes this Audi Q3 Dynamic SUV is Audi’s Drive Select, which gives you the liberty to choose suspension set up according to the road conditions or your driving style. This feature is not as complex as the one available in the more expensive Audis, but it still is a class-leading feature in this segment. Drive Select gives you an option of three driving modes – Comfort, Auto, and, of course, Dynamic.
Comfort is basically the default setting, which swallows most of the bumps and dips in the road – but body-roll kicks in during hard cornering. This mode is perfect for commuting in the city. Dynamic, or the bad boy setup, is where the Audi Q3 dynamic transforms into a driver’s machine that holds its line to the T. Though the suspension stiffens up, the ride quality doesn’t suffer too much – unless you drive straight through some of the harshest potholes in the road. Auto mode is like driving on autopilot, as the computer decides what’s best for the vehicle.
The Dynamic version is powered by the ever-reliable 2-litre diesel engine, with 174bhp, which is mated to the precise and efficient 7-speed DSG transmission. Though this variant is only available in diesel, the icing on the cake is the all-wheel drive (Quattro), which makes it the only SUV in its class to actually have off-roading capabilities.
At Rs. 38.40 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Audi Q3 dynamic is a total package for those who really want to drive their SUV rather than just sit in the rear. Apart from being an SUV for all driving conditions, it feels spacious from the inside – especially for the rear passengers, which is a boon in this segment. At the end of our Audi Q3 Dynamic, let’s just say that Audi is making sure that the brand new Mercedes-Benz GLA doesn’t have it all its own way!
- Audi Q3 Dynamic
Transmission: 7-speed automatic / All-wheel drive
Power: 174bhp @ 4,200rpm
Torque: 380Nm @ 1,750 - 2,500rpm
Price: Rs. 38.40 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)