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We took the smallest SUV in Audi’s Q line-up to the highest motorable road. Read on to see what adventures we faced in the mighty mountains

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Saurabh Botre


The call of the mountains isn’t one you can easily ignore, especially if you are an automotive enthusiast or just an adventure lover. The lure of the mountains was too strong, so we answered the call, and headed up there in the Audi Q3. We had the top-end petrol, front-wheel-drive variant of the car, and while that may not sound ideal for a trip known for its treacherous terrain, we were confident in the little Q’s abilities. Starting from Chandigarh, we drove to Manali in one day, where we rested for the night, before driving straight up to Leh.


A journey that people typically break into 2-3 parts, and one that the Q3 did in one shot, no problem. Its powerful 1.4-litre TFSI engine and silky smooth 7-speed S tronic gearbox, coupled with its oodles of ground clearance allowed me to push much further than everyone around me. The following morning, it was up to Khardung La. Despite the fact that it didn’t have Audi’s proprietary quattro four-wheel-drive, or even off-road tyres, the Q3 took on mud paths, rocky bits, and even freshly fallen snow without a single hitch.


On the way back out of Leh, we took a slightly different, choosing to go to Tso Moriri instead. The road leading to the lake was basically non-existent for near 70% of the distance. The Q3’s suspension really shone through in this section, and allowed me to traverse these broken path without ending up with a broken back! Watching the sun rise over the lake was in itself well worth the journey though, and one of the highlights of the drive.

Our abridged account of this journey into the Himalayas in the Q3 ends here. However, you can catch the story in its entirety in the October issue of Car India Magazine, which is on stands now



About the author: Harket Suchde



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