Audi Q3 Dynamic Review
My all original quote “The small can leave the biggest impact” finds its relevance in the Audi Q3. Touted as the smallest and the most compact SUV from Audi, the Q3 has created a unique niche for itself in the last 2 years.
The factors which worked in its favour are very simple. It is a full-spec SUV and not a crossover or a macho hatch. Its comes with the characteristic Quattro-all wheel drive technology making it a premium yet tough vehicle and then the class leading features offered. Indians simply loved it and Audi couldn’t have asked for more as the Q3 went ahead to be the segment leader.
To up the ante even further, they have tweaked the Q3 with some razzle-dazzle updates. What makes the new Q3 feel ‘Dynamic’ in true sense is the addition of Drive Select mode system. All about it and more in our first impression report.
Very much like its elder siblings, the Q3 too gets strong bulges and muscles throughout its design. The Q3 with its compact dimensions and stance looks impressive. It does not confuse you for any other body type.
There is a new radiator grille with an all chrome finish which looks smart. It also gets a small Quattro badge. Since this one is the top of the line version, it gets the premium Xenon plus headlights with LED day time running lights. This feature has become synonymous with all premium Audi models. Personally, I prefer the one in Q3S with the Mustang inspired multi layered headlights. There are aluminium finished bash plates under the front and rear bumpers. More than being functional, they have a rugged appeal.
The new Q3 is offered in three colour shades which include Floret Silver, Monsoon Grey and Mythos Black. My favourite remains the one in Red and Grey. This one also gets new 17 inch ‘Trias’ alloys with high profile Pirelli Scorpion 235 / 55 R17 tyres. They look saucy for sure and also promise to take on the tarmac with great ease.
More distinguishing from other variants are the clear lens tail lamps. There is a new large bash plate under the rear bumper with chrome tipped exhaust pipes. They have already started using the new nomenclature of variant naming and the Q3 gets it too.
The interiors have been left unaltered. Its design and appeal will have subjective opinions but something which all would unanimously vote for is its spacious cabin. The newly launched GLA feels a bit cramped whereas the Q3 gives enough room to breathe. Its taller design gives way for greater headroom.
It gets an all black trim with faux wooden veneer running around along its length. The four spoke steering wheel has controls to operate the multi information display as well as navigation system. Cruise control can be activated with the help of a lever stacked behind the steering wheel.
What better than a panoramic sunroof to lighten up things inside the cabin! During the daytime, the cabin actually feels more spacious with the large panoramic sunroof. Both row occupants can be seated comfortably with great ease. There is generous knee room and shoulder room, something which I missed while driving its closest rival.
Being the flagship version, it is loaded with features which include a 5.8 inch retractable MMI interface screen, 10 speaker stereo, electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support adjustment, USB AUX-in and Bluetooth connectivity and rear parking sensors.
I am a big fan of track driving but had never imagined myself driving an SUV on a race track, which Audi made possible with the Q3 Dynamic. It was a brief drive experience for us to feel the newness in this variant and the location chosen for the same was Kari Speedway in Coimbatore, home of famous motorcycle and car races.
The 2.0L TDI engine produces 177PS of power and 380Nm of torque. These figures remain the same as the other Q3s. We have already witnessed the enthusiastic nature of this engine paired with its 7-speed S-tronic transmission. The big difference in the Dynamic variant is the introduction of Audi Drive Select mode, which makes it stand in league of more expensive Q range SUVs.
Drive Mode selector surely sounds more promising but it does not juice up the engine, steering and suspension as one would normally expect from this system. Instead, it tweaks the suspension for the desired driving style and road condition. This is a smart move indeed by Audi as they have intentionally chosen only suspension setting as a priority ensuring the Quattro gets a full spec backup without too many complications.
The 1968cc diesel motor in the Q3 feels a lot peppier than its rivals. It has a top speed of 212km/h with an official claimed 0 to 100 km/h acceleration timing of 8.2s. While the Q3 is an SUV in a real sense with all its off-road friendly technology, the drive mode selector compliments this setup with its functionality. Ideally, premium SUV customers aren’t very keen to do any level of mud bashing with their esteemed rides but the Q3 is capable of doing decent rounds of off-roading. It was a surprise to see the custom off-road track that Audi designed to showcase the true potential of this lil SUV.
Since high end torque of 380Nm is easily available at a considerably lower engine speed of 1750rpm, there wasn’t any need to push the throttle while climbing terrains. A gentle push was enough to make this Q crawl on surfaces. High profile Pirellis seemed eager to climb and descend on various types of rocky terrains. There were instances when the Q dipped inside giant craters with its one wheel dangling in air even then it managed to crawl up without any hesitation with the help of Hill Assist and Auto hold.
The Audi Drive Select system gives an option of choosing between three different driving modes Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. The comfort mode is more of a default setting which is mainly to take on minor undulations on road. The suspensions are adjusted for a softer ride. In Dynamic mode, the suspensions are stiffer than normal making the vehicle feel more agile. While driving at higher speeds on the Kari Speedway, it felt firmer while tackling corners. This has also brought down the body roll which was evident earlier. We, however, expected the steering to give more feedback. Auto mode combines the positives of both modes with a right balance of ride and handling.
|Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai)||Rs. 3,840,000|
|Variant||2.0 TDI quattro Dynamic|
|Power in PS/RPM||174 / 4200|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||380 / 1750|
|Wheel base mm||2603|
|Fuel tank capacity L||64|
|Tyre Spec||215 / 65 R16|
|Mileage Claimed Kmpl||15.77|
|Features||Audi Q3 Dynamic|
|Deluxe automatic air conditioning||Yes|
|7 Speed S tronic||Yes|
|Xenon Plus with LED DRLS||Yes|
|LED Tail lamps||Yes|
|Auto Headlight range adjustment||Yes|
|17" Alloy wheels 'Trias' Design||Yes|
|Audi drive select||Yes|
|High gloss package||Yes|
|Electrically Adjustable front seats||Yes|
|Auto Release Function||Yes|
|Driver information system with colour display||Yes|
|Inlays, walnut balasmic brown||Yes|
|Audi Sound System (180 watts output, 10 speakers)||Yes|
|Parking aid plus||Yes|
|Tyre pressure monitoring display||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||2.0 TDI quattro Dynamic||sDrive20d Sport Line||GLA200CDI|
|Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai)||Rs. 3,840,000||Rs. 3,600,000||Rs. 3,690,000|
|Power in PS/RPM||174 / 4200||184 / 4000||135.96 / 3600-4400|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||380 / 1750||350 / 1750||300 / 1600-3000|
|Wheel base mm||2603||2760||2699|
|Fuel tank capacity L||64||63||NA|
|Tyre Spec||235 / 55 R17||225 / 50 R17||235/50 R18|
|Mileage Claimed Kmpl||15.77||15.06||17.9|
The Q3 is bound to be compared with the recently launched Mercedes Benz GLA on the basis of its sheer price point and resemblance of body types. However, the GLA is more of a Crossover than a full potential SUV. In terms of performance, the Q3 has a clear edge with a smaller displacement more powerful engine also producing more torque. Audi’s TDI is a very well crafted unit. Also, joining the list of merits is the famous Quattro, which makes the Q3 a more realistic option.
Audi has a justified grin on its face being the only premium car maker to offer a full spec four wheel drive compact SUV. Arguably, the Q3 is the only off-road capable vehicle available in the segment. The addition of Audi Drive Select mode does not make a world of a difference in the otherwise highly selling popular SUV. The Q3 Dynamic with a price tag of Rs.38.40 lakhs (Ex-Showroom Mumbai) sits way above other variants and feels a bit more premium in comparison. In terms of equipment level and features, the Dynamic variant feels better packaged with its all-rounder benefits.