Audi Q3 Facelift Review & First Drive

Audi Q3 Overview

Further updating its 2017 line-up, Audi India today launched the facelifted 2017 Audi Q3 in the country starting at Rs 34.2 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This is Audi’s third launch for the year 2017 after the A3 Cabriolet facelift and the new-gen A4 diesel, both of which went on sale in India last month. As for the new Audi Q3 facelift, the crossover-SUV comes with better styling, new features and a pair of new 2.0 litre TDI engines in different states of tune – 138 bhp and 174 bhp. The latter comes with Audi’s quattro system and a price tag of Rs 37.2 lakh (Both ex-showroom, Delhi)

Expanding the petrol line-up for the domestic market, the 2017 Audi Q3 SUV has been launched with the 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine priced at Rs 32.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new petrol version of the SUV joins the 2017 Q3 2.0 litre TDI diesel that was introduced in the country few weeks ago and comes with a subtle facelift and several upgrades for the new model year. Unlike the 2017 Q3 diesel, which is available in both Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and Quattro options, the new petrol version is only offered in the FWD setup. View offers on Audi Cars from Audi dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Audi Q3 Style

The outside of Audi Q3 looks majestic with skilfully carved out slight creases all across the profile and subtle alterations. The built quality justifies the robust image of Audi cars and the athletic design certainly gives it a unique stance. Compared to the predecessor, the Q3 is offered with some fresh features such as 3D radiator front grille, Optional LED headlights and Chrome plated tailpipe. Despite being an entry level crossover in the Audi’s stable, the Q3 comes with exteriors that house premium features like Xenon plus headlamps, Chrome surrounding front grille along with Chrome badge, Front fog lights, Aluminium alloy wheels, ORVMs with Power adjustable + Heated + Power folding and Auto Dimming ORVMs with LED turn indicators, Panoramic roof and Chrome surrounding windows. Added to this, the extended and curvy hood with creases at the edges and delicate bulges at the wheel arcs make it a sophisticated urban crossover.

The Q3 35 TDI Quattro variant is equipped by 17 inches Cast aluminium alloy wheels surrounded by 235/55 R17 size of tubeless tyres, while the Q3 30 TDI S Edition variant gets 16 inches alloy wheels encircled by 215/65 R16 size of tubeless tyres. These broad tyres not only augment the cosmetic charm of the car but also ensure fine road grip even while driving at high speed. Furthermore, the exterior of this compact SUV is also blessed with fine quality paint to give it a premium look. The auto-maker has offered this luxury crossover in different colour shades that include – Cornea white, Floret Silver, Mythos black, Misano Red, Utopia blue and Tundra Brown.The Q3 is not as big as its elder siblings, but still its appearance on roads looks gigantic. The designers have tried to make it possibly large despite of its limited dimensions. The car measures 4388 mm in length, 2019 mm in width and 1608 mm in height. It also gets a sufficiently large wheelbase of 2603 mm and has ground clearance of 170 mm as well. Besides, this sturdy machine carries kerb weight of 1660 kilograms.

Audi Q3 Space

The interiors see no change, with Audi waiting for the full update to make major changes to the Q3. Despite that the Q3 still feels properly rich and lavish in terms of materials and build. But the design is starting to show its age, especially so when you compare it to its siblings. On some fronts where Audi has led the charge earlier, the age is hard to miss. For instance, the display screen on the top of the dash feels small. We also noticed that the resolution of the small information screen in the centre of the instrument cluster in the lower specced 30 TFSI is also from a time long past. We’re also now used to the new circular air con vents that are part of the new Audi look, and the old rectangular black slats also add to the ‘been there seen that’ feeling.

The aging looks aside, the space is well thought out and practical and actually features the largest boot in its class. You pay for this extra boot space with passenger space. While the Q3’s rear bench is easily usable for two adults, it won’t feel ultra-spacious.The high transmission tunnel also makes the Q3 better at dealing with four adults rather than five. While space is at a premium the luxury can’t be questioned, with leather seats and electronic adjust for reach and height on all trim levels. The front seats are comfortable and supportive up front but a little on the firmer side on the rear bench.

Audi Q3 Engine

The smooth, 1.4-litre TFSI petrol motor in the Q3 develops 150PS at 5,000-6,000rpm and 250Nm between 1,500-3,500rpm. While the figures may seem paltry for the price of an SUV, it’s a pleasant surprise to discover that the petrol Q3 never feels as if it’s run out of breath. This is evident in the 9.5s it took to cover the 0-100kmph dash. The 6-speed, dual-clutch transmission also does a brilliant job of keeping the Q3 in the power band at all times. The Q3 gets four driving modes – Efficiency, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic, each altering the steering, acceleration and shift points. Comfort and Auto is ideal for commutes in the city, but if you are in the mood for some fun, the Dynamic mode offers quicker acceleration as the shift points moves to the redline, making full use of the engine’s power.

Efficiency, as the name suggests, optimises the aforementioned parameters to deliver the best possible fuel economy. The gearbox, in this mode, shifts to the next gear just under 2,000rpm and if you lift off to coast, the revs drop to 800rpm, thereby saving every drop of fuel. Which is why there’s no surprise that petrol Q3 returned 10.7kmpl in the city and 15.8kmpl on the highway, which is actually quite impressive. The figure, however, I presume, could have been even better if Audi would’ve not skipped the 1.4 TFSI’s Cylinder On Demand feature. The system shuts off two cylinders while cruising between 90-125kmph or at low speeds (25-40kmph) and this feature is available in the 2017 A3 sedan.

While the petrol is really good, the 35 TDI engine is the one that takes the cake. What hits you first is the sheer refinement of this motor, and the way the tacho needle races to the redline.And then there’s the performance. The 184PS, 380Nm engine propels the Q3 from 0-100kmph in just 8.1 seconds, and our tests revealed that in-gear acceleration too is quicker than the petrol Q3. While performance has improved, fuel efficiency surprisingly remains pretty much the same as what the previous Q3 returned. At 12.9kmpl in the city and 18.1kmpl on the highway, the diesel Q3’s efficiency is also at par with its segment rivals.

Audi Q3 Driving

The ride quality of the Q3 is on the firmer side when compared to its silky smooth Q brethren – the Q5 and the Q7. That said it’s still perfectly composed over any obstacle you will encounter in town. From small to large bumps you remain quite isolated and comfortable. There is also very little vertical or lateral movement from uneven surfaces too. There are some differences in the way the petrol and diesel behave on the road and out on the highway the petrol tends to feel a little flighty, due to some unnerving bouncy vertical movement at high speed, and this may be down to its lighter kerb weight; the diesel on the other hand with a heavier kerb weight and four wheel drive is unsurprisingly more planted on the highway.

The steering is quite light and this is excellent when navigating through city traffic and parking in tight spaces, but when you up the pace through a set of corners you’ll soon find it lacks any feedback. The chassis is quite nice when pushed, with the suspension handling any challenge our bumpy roads care to throw its way. There is a little bit of body roll when you push the car but this too is controlled and soon you can learn to trust the front and let the suspension handle the rest. The petrol engine with its gruff rumble and desire to rev is quite nice when your evil twin shows up behind the wheel, but it’s again let down by the lack of pedals that would have allowed better use of the gearbox while keeping both hands on the wheel. The diesel with its smooth spread of 380Nm of torque is again the more fun of the two even when you’re hooning around.

Audi Q3 Safety

Audi Q3 is equipped with plenty of braking and safety features for driving control and passenger protection. The primary braking of the wheels is operated by the Ventilated Disc front and Solid disc rear brakes. Moreover, this luxury compact SUV is also equipped with advanced braking features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electric Braking System (EBS), Traction Control and Electronic Stability Programme.Furthermore, for the first time, the Q3 compact SUV comes equipped by a Hill Decent Control for additional control while driving on terrain conditions. For passenger care and car security, it also comes loaded with features such as Airbags (Driver frontal airbag, Driver side airbag, Front passenger frontal airbag, Front passenger head airbag, Front passenger side airbag and Rear passenger side airbags), Child proof locks, 3-point inertia-reel seat belts for all seats, Seat belt reminder and Side-on collision protection.

Audi Q3 Cost in Hyderabad

Audi Q3 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 33,40,000/- (Q3 30 TFSI Premium AT FWD) to 41,54,250/- (Q3 35 TDI Quattro Technology). Get best offers for Audi Q3 from Audi Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Q3 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Audi Q3 Conclusion

With the introduction of the new petrol engine and by skimping on some features like a reverse parking camera, paddle shifters and the higher resolution instrument cluster screen, Audi has managed to keep the low entry price for the Q3 range similar in the hopes of attracting a few more buyers. But really the pick of the bunch is the new diesel. It’s a much more pleasant driving experience, is quattro equipped and also doesn’t skimp out on features that the petrol misses. If you feel that the badge on the car is worth sacrificing some creature comforts for, and you’re sure you will never feel the urge to mash that throttle pedal, and with no one wiser that your pride and joy is slightly lacking in displacement, the petrol (five lakhs cheaper than the diesel) may make enough sense.

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