Audi’s up to date small SUV makes for a classy, secure and spacious metropolis runabout, even when a few of its non-compulsory extras or omissions actually ought to be customary.
- Appears to be like incredible
- Spacious, sensible inside
- No extra fidgety idle cease
- Compact physique and security suite make for wonderful metropolis driving
- Some costly non-compulsory extras actually ought to be customary
- Fiddly inside door handles
- No head-up show
- A firmer journey than one would possibly anticipate from an SUV
What do we wish? Engaging compact SUVs! When do we wish them? Like, yesterday!
It is arduous to pinpoint a category of automobile that is extra aggressive, quicker rising or suffering from choices than the crossover phase. Plus, head towards the pricier finish of the spectrum and you will find a few of the most tasty, coveted automobiles on the street – the Audi Q3 chief amongst them.
Aimed squarely at image-conscious, city-dwelling house owners with a bit extra money to spend and some extra passengers to suit, the new-generation Q3 small SUV landed in late 2019, bringing the promise of extra room, higher gas economic system and an general improved driving expertise.
In base spec, the Q3 begins at $46,400 plus on-road prices, however the one I drove was kitted out with the ‘Consolation Bundle’ ($2600) and metallic paint ($1250), which introduced the as-tested worth to a hefty $50,250 plus ORCs. For that further $2600, you may successfully get seat heaters, folding facet mirrors, electrical entrance seats and adaptive cruise help with emergency help.
That worth is not low-cost by anybody’s requirements, however for these with a German-friendly price range, it is arguably a manageable entry level for a automobile of this dimension. For comparability, opponents just like the Volvo XC40, BMW X2, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA (which has a new-gen model on the best way) supply base fashions that vary from $44,450 for the UX, as much as $46,400 for the X2, with the others someplace in between.
As such, the Q3 may be thought-about proper on the cash. Plus, it seems costly. Which, let’s be trustworthy, actually counts for one thing.
Below the bonnet of the Q3 you may discover a 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine able to 110kW and 250Nm paired to a six-speed twin-clutch computerized transmission driving the entrance wheels. It is an actual breeze to drive – fast to reply, with agency brakes and a steering wheel that requires little or no enter to elicit the specified response. The automobile feels mild, nimble and simple. These craving a robust, sporty driving expertise would possibly discover the Q3 considerably missing, however most common metropolis and freeway drivers will discover it greater than suits the invoice.
Whereas this seems like an SUV, I would argue the journey is extra akin to a hatchback – it actually does not take in tough roads in addition to different SUVs, which really feel like they’ve a bit extra padding. I would not say the Q3 is a tough journey, only one that is not as cushioned as you would possibly anticipate from one thing calling itself an SUV. Regardless, I wasn’t bothered by the occasional bumps and jolts.
The place the Q3 actually stands out for me is on the design entrance. It seems contemporary, elegant and prefer it’s not making an attempt too arduous, and I feel will date effectively. I cherished little particulars like how the tail-lights flash horizontally while you lock or unlock the automobile (in a method that jogs my memory of basic ’80s flick Tron), or the diamond stitching sample on the leather-based seats. It feels trendy with out being too futuristic – a advantageous line loads of automobile firms wrestle to stroll.
Inside, the silver accents throughout the black sprint make the inside really feel mild and brilliant, to not point out forgiving for fingerprints and filth. The 10.1-inch central touchscreen is much less forgiving of fingerprints, however extremely useful and user-friendly. The truth is, I used to be grateful for the clear, intuitive format of the complete sprint – the necessities had been all there, however I did not really feel overwhelmed by the choices.
The one options I discovered irritating had been the hockey-stick door handles, which seem to prioritise type over operate. They open again in direction of you at an odd angle to understand and really feel too flimsy to assist the burden of the doorways.
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I would recommend the automobile key might additionally do with an replace, given it lacks a standard ignition through which to stay the older-style fold-out key blade. It is there as a backup for the mechanical door lock ought to keyless entry fail for any cause, when you had been questioning, however there are higher methods to cover it in a ‘premium’ automobile.
The remainder of the Q3’s inside does not sacrifice practicality for magnificence – there are many smart storage choices all through and sufficient room for all 5 occupants. Head clearance within the automobile is ample, whereas rear leg room is enough. My six-foot-three husband had his knees proper as much as the again of my driver’s seat, and mentioned he might fortunately handle a one-and-a-half-hour street journey however not rather more. Given the backs of the entrance seats are arduous, tough plastic, taller passengers would possibly discover their knees feeling a little bit sore on the finish of a protracted journey.
Again-seat occupants get two air vents, plus a big centre armrest with pop-up cupholders, two USB-C ports, and two unusually formed facet bins positioned by the door, just under the hip level. Once I contemplated aloud what they might presumably accommodate (too slender for water bottles, too deep and lengthy for knick-knacks), my colleague identified they had been completely sized for a lady’s clutch bag. He isn’t flawed.
I used to be impressed by the Q3’s boot dimension – which is a considerable 530L to 675L relying on how the rear seats are positioned when upright, or 1525L with the seats folded – and may be accessed through the automobile’s energy tailgate, which boasts foot-activated keyless entry. The automobile’s keyless locking system was, for me, a little bit extra temperamental than the keyless entry, though I appreciated the automobile mirrors stowing away upon locking (a part of the $2600 Consolation Bundle I discussed earlier).
Nervous Nancys like me will respect that the Q3 is a really secure automobile. It will get a five-star ANCAP score and scores autonomous emergency braking together with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keep help as customary.
Additionally customary are the reverse digital camera, rear cross-traffic alert and entrance and rear parking sensors – all of which work in concord to make sure the Q3 is the quintessential metropolis automobile, capable of navigate squeezy CBD streets with out incomes any unlucky scrapes. An non-compulsory parking package deal provides a 360-degree digital camera and park help know-how – I would argue the previous ought to be customary.
Different highlights included the presence of wi-fi Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto as customary, a wi-fi cellphone charger, a fantastically high-res, detailed satellite tv for pc navigation show and, lastly, wonderful adaptive cruise management. The latter is, sadly, additionally a part of the Consolation Bundle.
A couple of issues had been notably absent from the Q3. The primary was a head-up show, which I observed as a result of the speedometer tended to get visually misplaced amongst the expansive 10.25-inch instrument show. I might have additionally favored the electrical parking brake to auto apply and launch, however that is me being choosy.
One other notable omission is the dearth of an idle-stop system within the Q3. This was discontinued as of the new-generation Q3. Anecdotally, a member of the family of mine bought the last-gen Q3 and traded it in after six months as a result of they could not stand the clunkiness of the idle-stop system and the actual fact you could not flip it off completely. Minimize ahead a yr later and Audi has dropped it altogether, given the automobile remains to be capable of meet emissions targets with out it (quoted CO2 emissions are 164g/km). In all probability a superb name.
With out this idle-stop system in place, gas economic system can creep up. My private finest was 10.7L/100km, whereas my highest studying was 11.3L/100km. The promised mixed gas economic system is 7.2L/100km, however I wasn’t precisely driving like a demon and it struggled to return near this quantity. Nonetheless, my week of standard freeway and metropolis driving barely made a dint on the gas tank.
Total, I would recommend the Q3 is extra of a roomy hatchback than a full-blown SUV expertise on the subject of behind-the-wheel really feel. Nonetheless, households might be effectively served with its expansive cabin and boot, and strong listing of security options, whereas youthful patrons will really feel it has sufficient X-factor to warrant splashing some money.
For me, the check of a superb automobile is forgetting that it’s not mine. I grew instantly snug with the Audi Q3 – it is an eminently driveable automobile that seamlessly blended into my on a regular basis life-style. Once I first discovered the worth, I used to be pleasantly shocked given it seems and looks like a way more costly automobile. Nevertheless, discovering out sure key options weren’t customary (adaptive cruise, heated seats, a 360-degree digital camera, folding facet mirrors, parking help, and so on) made me really feel rather less enthused.
Nonetheless, I would recommend the Q3 is a logical entry level for many who desire a trendy, useful German automobile, so long as they’re keen to choose out of some driver-assist comforts. Positive, for this worth, automobiles from mass-market producers will throw the whole lot however the kitchen sink at you, however will they appear this good? And can they bear the Audi badge?
That is a no to each, and I would recommend that is a deal-breaker for this class of purchaser.