Looking for new adventures all over town, but can't seem to find a fitting experience? Strangely, it has everything to do with your mode of travel and daily commute. Our guess is, you are perhaps tired of your once favorite premium car's outdated design and fancy features.
Maybe what you need to experience is a bit of sunshine through a panoramic sunroof, the Quattro grip and the dual-zone automatic climate control to get you all cozy before you set out for a drive. We assure you, this experience, you will remember every time you steer a compact luxury SUV.
The all-new 2015 Q3 slotting beneath the Q5 is believed to tick all the boxes when it comes to technology, including nimble performance and versatile cargo carrying capability. However, major changes on the 2015 model are cosmetic and feature-related. Let's find out more on what the new Q3 has to offer, shall we?
Model Tested: 2015 Audi Q3 35 TDI Quattro
Fuel Type: Diesel
Drivetrain: Permanent all-wheel-drive
Road Test Location: Goa
~ On-road Price: INR 39.82 lakh
Design and Styling
The exceptional front fascia feature is the single-frame grille with the four-ringed badge. The Q3's grille now blends into the headlamps with a silver trim between the grille and headlamps.
The Q3's redesigned xenon headlamps are now offered with LED daytime running lights, which are quite aesthetically pleasing. At the same time, these headlamps provide additional security by helping make you more visible to others, when you are making your way in or out of someplace.
The rear of the vehicle boasts of dynamic LED turn signals that sweep across the light cluster. The turn signals work by activating each LED sequentially and in blocks, so that the taillight moves in the direction the driver intends to turn [watch our video review to understand how the dynamic turn signals function].
The 17-inch 10-spoke alloys, chrome finished exhaust tips, sharper and sportier rear bumper design ups the styling ante.
Visually, the 2015 Q3 exudes an air of confidence with clean flowing lines and a smartly tapered roofline providing a balance of impressive luxury and functionality.
The design and feel of the Q3 is top-notch. The Q3 has a well laid out soft-touch dashboard with a pop-up Multi Media Interface (MMI) system. The interior layout and features isn't groundbreaking, and unintentionally reveals its age when compared to the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The leather seating surfaces makes your drive feel luxurious, while the driver and passenger space is more than adequate. At the rear, there is space for four adults, however, the low hanging sunroof leads to a tad bit reduced headroom for taller rear-seat occupants.
The Q3's boot can hold 460-litres, which is slightly bigger compared to the 420-litre boot in a BMW X1.
– Audi Q3: 460-litres
– Mercedes GLA: 421-litres
– BMW X1: 420-litres
– Volvo V40 CC: 324-litres
Engine and Transmission
The Q3 is offered with 2.0 TDI diesel engine. Sufficient power is generated from the 2-litre, turbocharged diesel engine, which is mated to a dual-clutch 7-speed S tronic transmission and the famous permanent all-wheel-drive Quattro system.
The Q3 is not the quickest on the block when compared to its competition, but manages a decent 0 – 100 kph in 8.2 seconds with a top speed of 212 kph.
– BMW X1: 184 hp / 380 Nm torque
– Audi Q3: 177 hp / 380 Nm torque
– Volvo V40 CC: 150 hp / 350 Nm torque
– Mercedes GLA: 136 hp / 300 Nm torque
The S tronic transmission allows the driver to choose fully automatic modes with the programme D (Drive) or S (Sport). With the normal D mode, drive changes are auctioned by the computer, while S mode allows for quicker shifts. You can also change the gear manually with the selector lever or with the paddle shifters just behind the steering wheel. What is the preferred choice? Honestly, it really is up to individual preferences. I found manually shifting with the paddle shifters to be a better option.
A drive select option allows you to adjust driving configurations to match your preferred driving style at all times.
The Q3 comes with three distinct driving modes — Comfort, Auto and Dynamic.
With the comfort mode, the steering gets more assist in low and high speeds. Throttle response is dampened and suspension damping gets softer, allowing for a smooth ride in stop-and-go traffic. With the auto mode, your driving style is monitored and the SUV's performance is continuously adjusted depending on the driving situation. Of the three, the dynamic mode allows for maximum performance. The dynamic mode adjusts components of the SUV to provide maximum performance in handling and power.
The new Audi Q3 boasts of several features such as, as the MMI Navigation System, power-adjustable front seats, LED interior lighting package and Parking System Plus with Rear View Camera. The Q3 is also equipped with the Audi Sound System. The infotainment system includes Audi Music Interface, a 20 GB Jukebox, 2 SDHC slots, Bluetooth Connectivity and Streaming.
The mirrors (Exterior and Interior) feature automatic anti-glare action for safe driving at nights. Other safety features include a flat tyre indicator and six airbags.
As always, competition pushes you to do better. The Q3 competition comes from the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and Volvo V40 Cross Country. For now, we feel the Q3 has an upper hand compared to its competitors in terms of value for money.
Mileage & Price war:
– Audi Q3: 15.73 kmpl [ARAI]
– INR 39,82,413 ~ on-road price
– BMW X1: 17.05 kmpl [ARAI]
– INR 41,91,277 ~ on-road price
– Mercedes GLA: 17.9 kmpl [ARAI]
– INR 42,18,793 ~ on-road price
– Volvo V40 CC: 16.81 kmpl [ARAI]
– INR 39,39,638 ~ on-road price
– Elevated driving position
– Standard panoramic sunroof
– Composed ride and sharp handling
– Feature-laden [20GB hard drive for music storage]
– Quattro all-wheel-drive system provides superior grip in slippery conditions
– Sluggish acceleration
– Awkwardly placed controls [climate control]
Value for money
Rating 4 out of 5 (5 being the highest value for money and 1 being the least)
At a glance: The new Audi Q3
Engine and drivetrain
– 35 TDI (177 horsepower) with seven-speed S tronic transmission
– S tronic with freewheel function (with Audi Drive Select)
– Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive
– MMI navigation
– Audi Sound System
– Voice Dialogue System
– Audi Parking System Plus with Rear View Camera
– Deluxe Automatic Air Conditioner with sun position
– Multifunction Steering wheel with Gear Shift Paddles
– Exterior mirrors, electrically adjustable, heated and folding, with automatic anti-glare action on driver's side
– LED headlights with dynamic turn indicators
– Inlays in Aluminium Tangent silver
– Six Airbags
Concept, design and body
– 4.39 meters in length
– New paint colors [Misano Red, Utopia Blue and Tundra Brown]
– LED headlights and dynamic turn signals in the LED taillights
– Electromechanical power steering
– Four-link rear suspension
– Audi Drive Select
– New electronic stabilization control (ESC)
DriveSpark travels to Goa for the facelifted Audi Q3 test drive review. Jobo Kuruvilla gets behind the wheel of the 2015 Audi Q3.
Watch the video to discover how the Q3 drives, exterior styling, interior design, features, and verdict.
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YouTube Video: 2015 Audi Q3 Review — Striking A Fine Balance