The past couple of months have been nothing short of a superlative experience, I have been tremendously blessed with opportunities to test a number of the best vehicles in their respective segments, Audi has been one of the manufacturers I have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with, and the affair has been nothing but a sweet experience, first with the exclusive Q8, the premium A1 and lastly the versatile, Q3, these vehicles have conjured up several memories that other manufacturers should strive to emulate, Audi’s product offerings are what I call, the benchmark, shrouded in a cloud of panache and superimposed with a cloth of premium, it is only natural that other manufacturers follow suit in order to rival some if not all of Audi’s vast solutions.
The new Audi Q3 is the greatest leap forward within the group’s product offering, the Q3 was first introduced in 2011 and it brought the fight to manufacturers such as the Range Rover, Mazda, Lexus and BMW, just to name a few. The Q3’s presence overshadows its rivals due to its more modern look. It is extremely attractive and you’ll find it luring you into a continuous gaze. The sleek body lines entail a slightly aggressive design with an athletic presence whilst providing you with the archon appeal. The test mule I had was wrapped in what is known as Turbo Blue, the dazzling colour propels the Q3’s aesthetic appeal and it manages to accentuate its handsome, yet soft lines.
The interior can be classified as plush, sophisticated and contemporary, the vehicle is equipped with a 10.1-inch central touchscreen that hosts the superb MMI navigation plus infotainment system, Audi has managed angle the display towards the driver which enables ease of access whilst driving, a dawdle. The touch screen grants occupants access to various features such as the drive select, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a host of other features. Included in the entertainment sphere are the four USB ports which include a very rare yet futureproof Type-C charging port.
My experiences with products from the Audi brand are nothing short of being, the benchmark, attention to detail is far superior to any other manufacturer I have had the pleasure of experiencing. The Q3’s interior is arguably as good as the Q8. The Q3 is highly practical and offers loads of cargo space, with the rear seats in the normal position you have a loading capacity of 530 litres, an additional feature the Q3 has is the sliding rear seats, this gives you an additional loading capacity of 145 litres giving you a total of 675 litres.
Economy and Performance.
In 35 TFSI guise, the Q3 is powered by a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine that produces 110 kW and a punchy torque figure of 250 Nm, those figures will provide you with more than enough shove to glide past any dawdling traffic, however, don’t expect to keep up with the hot hatches, that experience is reserved for the upcoming RS Q3 which promises to fill the performance gap. Don’t get me wrong, the Q3 is more than capable of showing many cars a thing or two, and most surprisingly, it is very comfortable at tackling the tight and twisty roads we are privileged to have, it also excels over long and dreary highways, soft gravel and pothole plagued roads.
During my test tenure, I managed to return a fuel consumption figure of 8.0 L/100 km’s, this is more than decent, especially when you note that the Q3 tips the scales at over the 1.5-tonne mark. Audi claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.9 L/ 100km, I was extremely far from that which is understandable, I do tend to wring out every single horse an engine has to offer, more often than not I do it on more than one occasion, this deviates from any attempts at achieving the lowest consumption figures. A full tank should at least, return 500 km’s with ease, especially when you keep your right foot in check, another contributing factor to the Q3’s economy is the slick 6-speed automatic transmission, changes are seamless, quiet and often unnoticeable.
It is very seldom that a manufacturer can produce a comprehensive product that caters to all spheres of a family’s mode of transport, there isn’t an instance where the Q3 is mediocre, it goes by about its business with ease and I believe that the competition will struggle to keep up with this SUV from Audi.
The Q3 managed to generate a smile and not for its performance credentials but rather its versatility, one can only but wonder how the RS performance iterations are going to dominate this segment, the men in white lab coats have shoehorned the sonorous 2.5 Litre turbocharged motor found in the RS 3, however, it generates slightly more power, 294 kW and 480 Nm to be exact, the RS Q3 is capable of producing performance rivalling Supercars of old, it will gladly blast you to the 100 km/h mark in an estimated 4.5 seconds, it leaves me salivating at the prospect of getting my hands on the capable RS version.
If performance is of great concern then I would hold off on purchasing the 35TFSI, it will leave you a bit on the unsatisfied side, but, if you are looking for an extremely capable all-rounder that ticks all the boxes then you are looking at the perfect companion until the next iteration is introduced.
8.5 / 10
Price as standard:
- S-Line package.
- Audi Virtual Cockpit.
- MMI® Navigation plus with Audi connect.
- Hill descent control downhill brake control.
- Sports suspension.
- LED lights with high beam assist.
- 5 year or 1000 000 km Audi Freeway Plan is included as standard on all new Audi vehicles.
- Audi assist.
- 1 year / unlimited distance vehicle warranty.