First Drive: Audi Q3 35 TDI Quattro Dynamic—Packs A Punch

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Audi has always held a reputation of being a creator of class and style as opposed to a follower. While that belief still holds true, Audi has introduced a top of the line Q3. Sound familiar? An educated guess says that the all-new Q3 Dynamic with Audi Drive Select (ADS) has been launched in India to take on Mercedes's latest offering—the GLA-CLass. Let the sales begin!

On-paper, the Q3 Dynamic, is a ball of fire, and is arguably the most stylish compact premium SUV.

So how does this premium compact SUV fair in real world conditions? Its time to crack the book open and find out what you're likely to love and what you probably won't.

The story continues in the next section. Click through the slides for more on Audi Q3 Dynamic design, performance, pricing, specifications, and verdict.

Model Tested: Audi Q3 35 TDI Quattro Dynamic
Fuel Type: Diesel
Drivetrain: Permanent all-wheel drive
Road Test Location: Kari Motor Speedway [Coimbatore]
Price: INR 38 lakh [Ex-showroom]


The Audi Q3 compact premium SUV is currently offered in petrol and diesel models in India.

Audi Q3 Diesel Factsheet

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain:

  • 2.0-litre, 138 bhp, 6-speed manual transmission [front-wheel drive]
  • 2.0-litre, 175 bhp, dynamic 7-speed tronic transmission [permanent all-wheel drive]

Audi Q3 Petrol Factsheet

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain:

  • 2.0-litre, 211 bhp, dynamic 7-speed tronic transmission [permanent all-wheel drive]


The Audi Q3 is known for it's visual presence. The front fascia of the Q3 Dynamic has a pure clear cut design. The hood shut lines neatly flow from the inside edge of the A-pillar, and the front grille now shows-off more chrome.

The LED daytime running lights and chrome-ringed fog lamps give the Q3 a focused and determined look.

When viewed from other angles, the Q3's elegant design reminds you of why it falls in the category of the most stylish compact premium SUV.

Let's find out more...

When viewed from the side, the Q3's styling is powerful and striking with great an obvious sculptural feel.

The elegant eye-catching contours, short rear overhang, sharply sloped D-pillar, and steeply raked windscreen end up giving this compact premium SUV a forward leaning motion.

Our favorite design element is the roofline. Look closely and you will notice the dynamic slope of the roofline giving this SUV a sporty coupe-like character.

The rear now sports a clear lens LED tail lamp. This new edition fits well into the Q graphics. Also new is the silver skid plate, which is now housed in the underbody cladding.

Overall, the surface language of the Audi Q3 Dynamic is captivating. For luxury car owners and enthusiasts who pay grave attention to design details, the Q3 is sure to win your heart.

The interiors on the all-new Audi Q3 Dynamic is pretty similar to the top of the line Q3 premium+ model.

The usage of high quality material, sober tone interiors, electrically adjustable front seats, rear AC vents, and panoramic sunroof will urge you to take a spin to explore the surrounding landscapes and coastal regions.

One major change in the interior is the drive select controller knob at the center console, which allows you to select the desired driving mode. [*Drive Select explained in detail on slides 8 and 9 ].

Driveability and Mileage

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is very generous with offering torque. With the quattro drive technology [permanent all-wheel drive], the Q3 is able to vary the torque on every axle from 0 to 100 kph, taking on challenging off-road sections, hilly regions or every day city use. In translation, the Q3 dynamic is a breeze to drive. Not convinced? Let the photo speak for itself.


  • Engine: 2.0-litre TDI
  • Max power: 175 bhp
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Mileage: 15.73 kmpl [ARAI]
  • Transmission: 7-speed tronic transmission with drive select modes [comfort, auto and dynamic]

*Majority of our test time was on the Kari Motor Speedway race track and on an off roading section, which was developed to test and understand the permanent all-wheel drive quattro system.

Standout Features

Audi Drive Select (ADS) allows you to adjust driving configurations to match your preferred driving style at all times. By default, the ADS is adjusted to auto mode once the engine is started.

The Q3 Dynamic comes with three distinct driving modes:

  • Comfort: In this 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.
  • Auto: This mode monitors your driving style and continuously adjusts the SUV's performance depending on the driving situation.
  • Dynamic mode: This is the mode to choose if you want maximum performance. The dynamic mode adjusts components of the SUV to provide maximum performance in handling and power.


ADS (contd.)

Each mode provides an unique configuration of four driving characteristics.

  • Dynamic steering: Adapts the level of steering assist and steering ratio in lower and higher speeds.
  • Suspension damping: The system adjusts the damper settings several times per second at each wheel to maximise the body control in any mode setting.
  • Transmission: The gear shifts are executed based on the modes. Under the comfort mode, the shifts are smoothly executed, whereas, in a dynamic mode, the engine revs higher and the gears shift quicker, allowing you to utilise the complete powerband of the engine.
  • Throttle mapping: Throttle inputs are adjusted based on modes. In comfort mode, throttle responses are dampened to allow smooth starts from traffic lights or stop-and-go traffic. In dynamic mode, the throttle is more responsive and the engine accelerates based on pedal inputs.

LED tail lamps

The Q3 Dynamic's clear lens LED tail lamps radiates sharp luminosity.

The Q3's tail lamps are aesthetically pleasing, and are recognizable at a glance not only during the day but at night too.

Each Audi comes with its own personality in terms of lighting. The tail lamp has become an important styling element, and the Q3 packs a very characteristic personality indeed.

Alloy wheel

Alloy wheels help to improve the appearance and stance of a vehicle.
While good design is key, great design is a rare find. Audi impresses with a 17" 5-spoke alloy wheel, which resembles a crab claw design.

LED headlamps

The headlights on the Q3 Dynamic are equipped with daytime running lights and automatic-dynamic headlight range control, preventing oncoming traffic from being dazzled.

This means that the Audi Q3 is not only attractive to look at, it also ensures a high level of safety.

Panoramic sunroof

Sunroofs are getting bigger! (and better?)

The Q3's panoramic sunroof covers 70 percent of the roof area, allowing extra light and fresh air into the cabin without having to crack the windows open.

Note to reader:

Panoramic sunroof is a tinted or clear large sunroof that covers the entire roof of a vehicle, or majority of it. Panoramic sunroofs are featured on many top-end vehicles, and is significantly larger than a traditional sunroof.

Main competitors

Competition brings out the best in everyone, and in the auto market, it is serious business. The Q3's competition comes from the all-new Mercedes-benz GLA. And while most of us favour our Mercs to no end, this time, we felt the Q3 may have an upper hand with the GLA currently on offer only as a front wheel drive. The Q3 Dynamic is offered with the quattro drive system, [permanent all-wheel drive], which is far more superior technology, if you intend to take your Q3 off-road.

Price war:

Audi Q3 Dynamic 35 TDI Quattro
On Road Price (Delhi) INR 44,94,731

Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 CDI
On Road Price (Delhi) INR 42,57,284



  • Premium-feel interior
  • Easy-to-drive in city
  • Tackles off-road conditions with ease [Quattro technology]
  • Smooth and quick-shifting dual-clutch 7 speed gearbox
  • Loaded with features and safety equipment


  • Limited rear space
  • Firm ride on uneven roads
  • Steering feedback (lacking in feel)
  • Audi Drive select (ADS) has its limits when it comes to suspension damping

The only premium compact SUV in the segment currently being offered with an all-wheel drive system.

Value for money

Rating 4 out of 5
(5 being the highest value for money and 1 being the least)

Did You Know

The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that entered an agreement to create Audi's predecessor company, Auto Union.

After the merger in 1932, Auto Union became the second biggest car company in Germany after Mercedes-Benz. Each of the companies were allocated a market segment-Horch would build high-end luxury cars, Audi focused on deluxe mid-size cars, Wanderer was put in charge of standard mid-size cars, and DKW was tasked with small cars and motorcycles.

The official name became Audi AG in 1985, ending Auto Union. Now Audi is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group.

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Story first published: Friday, October 24, 2014, 18:52 [IST]
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