June 18, 2015: Audi India has launched the facelift version of Q3 compact luxury SUV at Rs. 28.99 lac (Ex-Showroom New Delhi). The 2015 model year vehicle is coming with added features, aesthetic uplift along with no mechanical changes. The SUV gets a new single-frame grille, Audi calls it '3D-effect Singleframe' grille. The new grille is finished in satin chrome and merges with the headlamps (LED headlamps are optional). It is pulled by the same 2.0-liter 35 TDI 4-cylinder oil burner. The engine musters out 174 bhp @ 4200 rpm and 380 Nm of max torque extracted in-between 1750-2500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Moreover, with this facelift Audi has offered paddle shifters with the Q3.
| 30 TDI S Edition
1968 cc, Manual, Diesel, 17.32 kmpl
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| 35 TDI Quattro Premium
1968 cc, Automatic, Diesel, 15.73 kmpl
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| 35 TDI Quattro Premium Plus
1968 cc, Automatic, Diesel, 15.73 kmpl
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|Variants||Fuel Type||Mileage (kmpl)||Transmission||Engine Description||Power|
|30 TDI S Edition||Diesel||14.25||17.32||Manual||1968cc
||138.13bhp @ 4200rpm|
|35 TDI Quattro Premium||12.0||15.73||Automatic||1968cc
||174.33bhp @ 4200rpm|
|35 TDI Quattro Premium Plus||12.0||15.73||Automatic||1968cc
||174.33bhp @ 4200rpm|
The Audi Q3 has been on the Indian roads for quite a while now and has also seen a few updates, the most recent once being rolled out in mid-2015. It has been one of Audi’s best-selling models in India and understandably so, considering the craze for affordable compact SUVs even in the higher end of the market. It was initially bought to compete with its German rivals in the luxury segment, but ended up dominating it. Let’s see what makes this premium SUV so successful and what has been added to it in its latest avatar.
1. The quality of interiors is top notch as is expected from a vehicle in this segment.
2. Reliable and time-tested engine.
3. Paddle shifters have been added to the automatic variants. Need we say more?
1. There is still lack of a few creature comforts like a touchscreen, central armrest at the rear which should have been included.
2. The cabin space in the rear can get quite cramped for three people.
3. In terms of handling it does not do much to outdo its competitors, the GLA and the X1.
Stand Out Features
1. The newly offered ‘Technology Pack’ for the top end variant gives a plethora of features like Satellite Navigation, 20GB onboard hard drive, a new sound system and so on.
2. There is a holder for your cellphone below the central armrest. Placing the phone here lets its use the car’s antenna to receive signals, which in turn helps conserve the phone’s battery life. That’s some rocket science right there.
The Audi Q3 mainly aims to attract the young buyers with this entry level model in its SUV lineup. It has been doing well so far, and the facelift only makes things better with some minor tweaks. The engine is still the 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI diesel that has two different states of tune. Soon, another car in the segment, the BMW X1 will be available in a refreshed version while the Mercedes Benz has not made any announcements regarding the GLA’s update (it has entered only recently). The Q3 however, has been packed to the gills with the latest update and should have no problem competing against them.
The Q3 maintains an aggressive stance while looking the part of a premium vehicle. It looks subtle and mature in terms of its design lines. Some may interpret this as boring, but it gives an overall aura of function over form. The overall appearance is a bit like a coupe, which gives it a feel of compactness. Comparing it to the X1 and GLA, it misses out on being the highest just by a few millimetres but length and width-wise it is the lowest. It neither pales nor dominates when compared, but is just good enough to compete.
The new Q3 does not mark that much of a radical departure from its earlier designs. But wherever there are changes, they feel refreshing. On the front, the major overhaul is seen in the form of a redesigned grille. It still retains the iconic hexagonal shape, but the grille is now made of brushed aluminium and extends till the headlights giving the vehicle a feel of understated elegance. This is being called the ‘3D Grille’ by Audi and is the new grille design for the whole ‘Q’ lineup of vehicles. Two creases run along the length of the hood, from roughly the middle of the headlamps to the A-pillars and give it a slightly muscular feel. The front bumper has also been redesigned a bit. There are parking sensors in the place of fog lamps and the shape of the black inserts in the bumper has also changed. The bottom lip of the bumper is slightly more angular with the refreshed skidplate complementing it. All this contributes to the overall look of ruggedness that the car exudes.
On inspecting closely, we can see an internal rearrangement of the LED lights though the overall headlamp housing looks the same as the previous iteration from afar. The fog lights missing in the bumper have been integrated here.
From the side too, the matured look is evident from the simple character lines that run across the car. The wheels have been redesigned from the previous iteration and frankly, these look a lot better. The window sill gets a chrome finish. The ORVMs can be auto-dimmed on the driver’s side. The wheels are 16 inches for the S Edition variant and 17 inches for the Quattro variants. Accordingly, the tire sizes also vary, with the 215mm (215/65) tyres being used for the 16 inch wheels and 235mm (235/55) tyres being used for the 17 inch ones.
Coming to the rear, we see the changes from one generation to the next become even more subtle. The overall shape of the rear fascia and taillights remains the same. The taillights have a wraparound design and a triangular shape giving them a sharp look. The bottom lip of the bumper again has a high stance along with a slightly redesigned diffuser. The exhaust have been given a chrome finish for a touch of elegance.
The indicators in the rear taillights have a mechanism where they swipe in the direction in which the car is turning.
The roof of the car has a panoramic glass roof that opens in two sections. Go ahead. Stick your head out. There are also a pair of chrome roof rails along the edges. This however, comes as standard only for the top-end variant.
Boot space is a class leading 460 litres, far higher than the 420 litres that X1 and 421 litres that the GLA offers.
Interiors are of paramount importance for the overall image of the car, more so in the premium segment of the market. Interiors come in two colour options - all black and black and beige. Personally, we at Cardekho feel the all-black interiors look better. The seats come in black and beige colour options, draped in either leather or leatherette. They provide 4-way lumbar support for that plush seating experience. There is an adjustable armrest between the two front seats below which there is a cradle for a phone along with a USB port. Further below that, there is a storage space and the Audi music interface port at the bottom of it. Both front seats come with the complete electric adjustment but lack memory options. There are some smartly placed Aluminium inserts in the dashboard and the doors, which further enhance their appearance. The rear seat backrests can be folded in a 40:60 ratio or fully, for extra storage space.
The steering wheel is the same as the outgoing model. One significant addition to it are the column-mounted paddle shifters that come for the automatic gearboxes. Apart from that, it has buttons. Lots of buttons. The center console has all the different options for media that you might require. There is also buttons for selecting drive mode and engaging Hill Descent Control. The console also has drinks holders. An illuminated glove compartment can be found below the dash on the passenger side, though a chilled option would have been appreciated.
The Instrument cluster now comes with a small screen in the center that gives the information from the MMI module. It also gives turn by turn navigation in the top variant, eliminating the need to completely look away from the road while following directions.
There is an MMI screen that pops up from the dashboard over the center console. It is a high resolution 7” colour screen with high quality map view. It gives detailed route information on a splits creen. It also works as a parking assist rear camera with guidance lines changing in the direction of car motion, but only on the topmost variant you get this assist as well as the navigation option.
The rear can get a bit cramped for three full adults, and the lack of an armrest here also feels dissatisfactory. Additional storage spaces inside the vehicle come in the form of a few pockets which are present on all the doors and mesh pockets present behind the front seats. A 1.5L bottle can conveniently fit in the door pockets.
The Q3 comes with the turbocharged 2.0L 4 cylinder diesel TDI engine from the previous generation in two different states of tune. The emissions comply with Euro IV norms.
The base 30 TDI S Edition variant gets a tune that gives out 138.13bhp or power at 4200rpm and 320Nm of torque at 1750-2500rpm. This is mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox. It gives a mileage of 14.25kmpl in the city and 17.32kmpl on the highways.
The remaining two variants, called 35 TDI Quattro Premium and 35 TDI Quattro Premium Plus, get a differently tuned engine that gives 174.33bhp at 4200rpm and 380Nm of torque at 1750-2500rpm. This is mated to a 7 speed S tronic gearbox. It gives a mileage of 12.0kmpl in the city and 15.73kmpl on the highways. As the names indicate, both these variants have an All-Wheel Drive whereas the S edition is in Front-Wheel Drive configuration.
Both these engines beat the power output of the Diesel variant of the GLA, but pale in front of the 190bhp output churned out by the X1. The X1 is also mated to the tried and tested ZF automatic 8 speed gearbox, which is usually considered a more exciting proposition from a driver’s perspective. The Q3’s engine however is considered to be most refined and when the engine-transmission package is considered as a whole the Q3 consistently emerges as the better car among the three.
RIDE AND HANDLING:
The suspension system consist of a McPherson spring strut type axle at front with lower wishbones and with 4-link rear axle with separate spring/damper arrangement. It has anti-roll bars both at the front and back. The ride is quite good at low and medium speeds and even on the highway. The different drive modes on offer are not that noticeably different for the average driver. The ride overall however, is quite comfortable. Unless the bumps are too large, they are hardly noticeable. The steering does not give the greatest feedback, but does well in terms of overall precision. The vehicle does not give the ‘sporty’ response that one might get from the X1, but it does feel well planted. The All-Wheel variants have the signature Quattro drivetrain that does help with the acceleration available on tap. There might be some body roll due to it being quite tall. When you factor in the presence of the paddle shifts and AWD, it should make attacking some corners a little exciting although that is not what might have been on top priority for this vehicle’s engineering team.
The disc brakes are ventilated at the front and solid at the rear, and both are 16’’ in diameter. It does have Hydraulic Brake Assist, EBD and ABS as standard over all variants, which is quite obvious.
In terms of safety, Audi has a track record of consistently achieving 5-star rating in NCAP test of its vehicles. So, it is a given that the passengers of the vehicle are quite safe (unless they are sticking out of the sunroof mentioned earlier.) There are no side airbags at the rear but there are a host of safety systems installed in the car which include ABS, Xenon Headlamps, EBD, Anti-theft alarm, Child safety locks and so on. Even the wheels on the car are fitted with Anti-theft bolts that can be unlocked only by the adapters that Audi provides. So, it takes care of both the passengers AND itself. If that doesn’t spell safety, what does?
The SUV, as mentioned earlier, is offered in 3 variants and all of them run on diesel. The main difference between the variants will be the Drivetrain and the Engine output.
The base S Edition variant is a FWD and misses out on Automatic Climate Control, and the automatic gearbox offered on higher variants. Considering the fact that both the X1 and the GLA get an automatic gearbox with and AWD drivetrain in the base variants, the Q3 does not make for a very convincing choice.
The Premium and Premium Plus variants get AWD with the Quattro drivetrain and an automatic gearbox. Paddles are mounted on the steering for both variants, and this is one of the most significant additions to the new model. Other knick knacks like the Navigation system, Rear camera and an extra SD card slot are available only on the top variant. The lack of a navigation system in the mid-level variant is the only concrete reason to go for the top-level version. The other add-ons do not justify the price gap very much.
The Audi Q3 was already very successful in its segment and gets a much needed boost to keep things that way. The diesel engine has lingered around for a while, but there is not exactly anything wrong with it to warrant a replacement. The design touches make it subtler and mature. If you are someone who is chauffeur-driven and wants one of the best all-rounder entry level SUVs in the luxury segment, this car is for you! You can take it out for a fun spin on the weekends too!
|Variants||New Delhi||Bangalore||Mumbai||Chennai||Pune||Hyderabad||Kolkata||Find On Road Price in Your City|
|30 TDI S Edition |
|35 TDI Quattro Premium |
|35 TDI Quattro Premium Plus |
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