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The 2022 Audi Q3 is now official in India. This all-new luxury SUV comes with a starting price of Rs 44.89 lakh (ex-showroom) for the Premium Plus variant. We take a close look.

Story: Kurt Morris
Photography: Apurva Ambep

Car-makers have enjoyed their sales results in the post-pandemic era as the sector regains its lost vigour. One of those manufacturers, Audi, is having a terrific run with about 700 more units sold in the first nine months of 2022 than in the corresponding period the year before.

The 2,947 units sold in the first nine months of 2022 result in a 29 per cent year-on-year rise in sales, which will be supported further by the third quarter. The Q3 as the entry-level vehicle for buying an Audi, the premium SUV, has historically played a significant role in the brand’s sales statistics. In the first nine months of 2022, the company’s pre-owned business experienced a 73 per cent growth.

The new Audi Q3 has arrived in India thanks to Audi India. The business introduced the Premium Plus and Technology variants. The second generation of the new Audi Q3 is currently available. The Q3 has more room and some more advanced technological features. The new vehicle has a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine and quattro all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

The exterior of the new Audi Q3 is influenced by that of its elder brother, the Q8. As a result, it presents as modern look as other Audi vehicles. After an absence of more than two years, the Q3, along with the Q5 and Q7 SUVs, was re-introduced in India as part of the changeover to the BS6 emission standards. The new Q3 is a larger SUV than the outgoing model; it has a slightly longer length, wider width, and a longer wheelbase. Regarding appearance, it is obvious that the larger Q7 served as inspiration. With thinner LED headlamps, a big octagonal grille, and sharp bumper creases, it has a much more streamlined appearance compared to the preceding model’s softer curves. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the India-spec Q3 are available in five exterior paint colours: Pulse Orange, Glacier White, Chronos Grey, Mythos Black, and Navarra Blue. In addition, the new Q3 has expanded slightly, continuing on the MQB architecture.

The Q3 has a very high level of technology and is all-class in terms of features. It does not disappoint, whether it is with special features like the adjustable ambient coloured lighting or with the overall tech set-up. The screens and control knob designs are incredibly practical and user-friendly.

The inside features high-end materials throughout and the seating is incredibly cosy. Another thoughtful addition that improves the driving experience is the panoramic moonroof.

The new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is now integrated into the dashboard, unlike the outgoing Q3’s free-floating infotainment screen, according to Audi, who claim that space is significantly enhanced as compared to the outgoing model. Additionally, the dashboard and door-pads include decorative aluminium inserts to add contrast. Thankfully, Audi have kept the traditional dials and buttons for the climate control system, unlike their pricier vehicles. Also, one has to give credit to Audi for retaining the volume knob in most of their cars.

A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, two-zone climate control, park assist with a reverse camera, 30-colour ambient lighting, six airbags, and other standout features are just a few of the Q3’s highlights. Overall, it is a very technologically advanced car. The infotainment system in the Audi Q3 is excellent at handling music, directions, phone calls, and other functions. If you do not want to use the system that is included with the vehicle, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both common and excellent options. Voice instructions work successfully almost always if you stick with what they tell you. Only on a few occasions did I need to reiterate myself. The Q3’s three-dimensional map arrangement is also first-rate; it appears as exquisite and complicated as any navigation system I’ve ever seen.

The map can also be seen on the screen directly in front of the driver and zooming in and out is controlled by a dial on the steering wheel. The Q3 also offers a competitive product in terms of safety. You are given a five-star safety rating to start, so you know you will be adequately covered in the event of an accident.

And there are other safety features that make it considerably simpler to keep oneself safe on the road. The 360-degree camera system, which offers a top-down view of the car and its surroundings, was my favourite feature.

Audi only offer one engine for the Q3: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol with 190 hp and 320 Nm of torque. When coupled with a seven-speed S tronic transmission, this has a top speed of 222 km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 7.3 seconds. The car comes standard with numerous drive modes and also includes Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. Coming to the fuel efficiency of this Audi, on our test route it returned an average figure of nine km/l in the city and on the highway stretch we saw 12 km/l, which is quite good for a petrol-powered luxury SUV.

Although the Q3’s launch speeds won’t blow you away, its pure agility and handling as well as its capacity to accelerate quickly once rolling more than make up for it. It can be really exciting to find yourself effortlessly slicing through traffic with ease and fluidity every time.

Even while travelling on rough roads, the Q3’s suspension keeps the cabin largely silent and prevents you from feeling the hits. You can select your preferred drive mode with Audi Drive Select; for optimum performance, select Dynamic.

There are many excellent options available to luxury SUV buyers nowadays, but one brand that consistently comes up is Audi. The German car-maker has been producing high-quality automobiles that can compete with the finest that its rivals like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Volvo have to offer for decades.

The tiny Q3 is now the smallest SUV model available from Audi. It stands out in this class in many ways because of its sophisticated appearance, responsive handling, and tech-savvy set-up. It gives high-end vehicle buyers an opportunity to enter the segment without having to fork over the significant sum of money necessary to purchase one of the more expensive, larger Audi SUV choices.

Overall, however, I would unquestionably classify the 2022 Audi Q3 as a strong rival in the very competitive luxury compact crossover market. It is an epitome of luxury, in my opinion, in a sleek, comfortable vehicle that asks nothing of the driver.



About the author: Kurt Morris



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