Home / Features / QUTE 3 – AUDI Q3 2.0 TDI QUATTRO

 

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The latest addition to the Audi family is smart and beautiful. When it landed in India, we caught up with this cuteQ3 to discover how it is

The interlocking four rings have always been the symbol of a perfect blend of luxury and technology the world over. in india the brand is renowned for its ‘Q’ suvs along with its exquisite line-up of feature-rich sedans.recently, audi decided to enhance their line-up by adding another exquisite product. Yes, the audi Q3, a young and lively compact suv waiting to bring you under its thraldom.

A few years ago audi decided to bring into the market a compact suv. the result is the Q3. it was commercially made available to the europeans last year and, in 2012, we indians get to treat ourselves to it. i say treat, because it is a joy par excellence to drive this cute little ‘Q’ suv. it might be the youngest member of the audi clan, but it boasts of the same lavishness exhibited by the entire family. With a very promising diesel heart mated to a technical marvel that is the dual-clutch transmission and the rather enticing price of about rs 31.5 lakh (otr, Pune), which will soon dip once audi being assembling this car here in india, the Q3 lets you feel and live opulence at a reasonable cost.

AH4_2012_QUTE-35AH4_2012_QUTE-36AH4_2012_QUTE-37Audi are known for their excellent engineering, robust build quality and luxury and all of their products easily prove these. the Q3, even though the cheapest audi today in india, is loaded with aforementioned qualities. Walk around this little Q and you soon realise that it oozes quality and solidity from every corner. its distinctive styling is reminiscent of its elder siblings, the Q5 and Q7, but its dimensions make you think otherwise. Besides, the Q3 features audi’s latest design language with a striking single-piece grille adorned by the four rings and angular headlamps that are sharply finished at the edges, making for an eye-catching feature on this compact suv.

Not only from the front, this suv looks adorable from any angle. its flowing roof-line seamlessly blends into the D-pillar, giving the Q3 a coupé-like stance. the understated wheel-arches with black cladding look very subtle, yet the side profile appears classy. the rear end looks simply gorgeous. touch the sheet metal body work, striking paint job, the plastic bits and you realise how good the quality is. overall, a great looking mini suv displaying the brilliant build quality and finishing that are always expected of audi.

The interior of the Q3 ably lives up to its exterior. the cabin instantly testifies to immaculate quality and excellent fit-and-finish. the neatly laid-out two-tone dashboard with the centre console tilted towards the driver looks and feels rich. the pop-up display integrated into the dashboard is an upmarket touch that will be appreciated by many. the simple instrument console with an information display in the centre is as easy to read as it can get.

The plush leather seats that support you perfectly are designed so well that there are hardly any traces of stress even after hours of sitting in them. Ample legroom in the front and generous knee-room in the rear never let you realise that this compact SUV is just over four metres long. The remarkable thing is that you still have enough luggage space for a couple of decent-sized suitcases. As a matter of fact, Audi have made sure that the customers buying the Q3 get more than enough goodies, leaving them with no cause for complaint.


AH4_2012_QUTE-38AH4_2012_QUTE-39AH4_2012_QUTE-310There can be no two opinions about the fact that what make or break the deal in respect of a car are its driveability and performance. I simply loved the captivating drive of this cute little SUV. The motor of choice for this little baby is the trusted 2.0-litre TDI engine, which also serves the A6 and Q5. It retains the fine refinement that has now become an integral part of almost all Audi diesel engines. And that’s not all, Audi have thrown in their dual-clutch transmission and quattro system, making the Q3 drive an engaging experience. The moment you slot the S Tronic’s stick into the ‘D’ mode and start driving, you realise the brilliance of the dual-clutch transmission: there are virtually no gear shift jerks, as experienced in conventional auto ‘boxes, from the transmission while shifting. It’s so freaking seamless! And you can notice the true nature of this gearbox + engine + quattro combo when you nail the accelerator hard. The speedo needle reacts quickly and, before you realise it, you’re already cruising at well over 100 km/h, thanks to the superior shift timings of the S Tronic box, smooth power delivery and immense torque of the 2.0-litre diesel motor.

The well-weighted and sharp steering with oodles of feedback lets you go crazy without any hassle. The bucket-loads of grip supplied by the quattro inspires enough confidence to push hard through corners without the fear of losing control. Morevoer, the Q3’s superb suspension set-up and short overall height eliminate much of body-roll, thus making the ride comfortable and enjoyable. The short overhangs aid in the already excellent handling. Eight airbags, ABS and ESP ensure safety, letting you concentrate more on having fun rather than worrying about your well-being.

This little offering from Germany is definitely a fun-to-drive proposition because of its ride quality, which is simply great. This is because of the excellent suspension set-up and higher profile tyres that suit the Indian conditions better. It also features great driveability, excellent handling, superb suspension, great ergonomics, a steering that literally talks to you, perfect transmission and engine combo and tons of braking power. The Q3 proved to us that it not only looks great, but drives well too, just like any Audi product.

So the Q3 looks great, drives good and has a superb price tag to go along. It is a compact SUV with good driveability that allows an experienced driver to handle it like a hot hatch. Besides, its decent fuel efficiency of 13.5 km per litre (overall) is simply great.

AH4_2012_QUTE-311The Q3 is loaded to the gills with everything one could expect from Audi. Features such as S Tronic gearbox, four-wheel drive, eight airbags, ABS, ESP, disc brakes on all four sides, parking sensors, alloy wheels, day-time running lights and much more on the exterior coupled with convenience features such as a proper audio system with SD card input, navigation system, vehicle information like tyre pressure monitor, service intervals and lights adjustments, iPhone/iPad/iPod connector, air-conditioning with dual climate control and rear vents, electronic seat adjustments and a huge sunroof make the Rs 31.5-lakh Q3 a deal hard to let go of. And all of this is backed by Audi’s legendary  reliability. We surely recommend this baby Q to people who want to start their luxury experience with Audi.Providing seamless gearshift in the Q3 is this – the seven speed ‘S Tronic’ Transmissionc

Story: Ravi Chandnani
Photography: Rommel Albuquerque, Sanjay Raikar and Aspi Bhathena

 

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