First Drive: Audi's luxury Q3

Sean Parker traveled to the beautiful North Eastern part of Italy to sample what Audi has in their SUV arsenal: the new Q3.

28 September 2018 | Motors

Sean Parker, Motoring Journalist - “Introduced to Southern Africa in 2012, the Q3 is a luxury compact crossover that in 2018 has more rivals than a premier league football team.”

Sean Parker - The small town of Bolzano looks like a slice of heaven on earth. Houses perched precariously on luscious green mountains gaze down onto the highways.

This region of Italy also has some stunning roads, most are in great condition and are more twisty than a contortionist on speed.

Those roads might be better suited for sportscars but such is the confidence of Audi that it used for the launch of the Q3.

Introduced to Southern Africa in 2012, the Q3 is a luxury compact crossover that in 2018 has more rivals than a premier league football team.

The second-generation has grown in every way and features the new octagon grille, the new ‘face’ of Audi Q cars. It looks like a mini Q8, Ingolstadt’s new flagship SUV due next year.

To make the car more practical, the rear bench seat can be moved by 150mm forward and backwards to create a bigger boot area. FYI, the standard boot size is 530 litres.

While the local engine line-up isn’t confirmed at the time of publishing it seems likely that we’ll receive the 2.0-litre turbocharged powered model, albeit in 132 kW form.

Claimed figures suggest 169 kW and 350 Nm, but it feels quicker. It’s a punchy powertrain that even revs quite high if driven in the car’s sportiest configuration. The gearbox is a 7-speed dual clutch which felt bulletproof.

Damn, SUVs drive well these days

The twisty asphalt was the perfect litmus test for the Q3 which felt composed, thanks to the sure-footedness of the all-wheel drive.

I was most impressed by the light, nimble steering feels and coupled to that with a low driving position the new Q3 has the hallmarks of feeling more hatchback than a crossover.

It has good straight-line acceleration and the optional paddle-shifts provide a driving experience more akin to GTI than a crossover.

During a second stint of driving it started raining and instead of coming down a few clicks, I pushed the front end more aggressively into the tight corners of the brilliant roads. The result? It felt composed with very little understeer.

The optional adaptive damping, which is most likely to also be offered on models sold in Southern Africa, did a good job of ironing out any bumps or ruts the surface threw at it.

Features such as progressive steering, adaptive damping, drive select, and hill descent control are optional.

Leaving the best for last

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better interior in any new car. The Q3 now features the automaker’s ‘virtual cockpit’ 31cm screen display which provides visuals of important information in different views including a full map when navigation is selected.

If you don’t have enough cash to splurge on the virtual cockpit, the standard 25 cm touchscreen located on the dashboard offers access to the infotainment settings. There’s inevitably an app for your phone that connects to the car that allows certain vehicle functions to be done from a distance.

Everything in the front end of the cabin is designed and tilted towards the driver. There has been special attention to things like the door handle and the opening mechanism. The use of materials is excellent, and you’ll find Audi has dipped into the more expensive parts basket for interior trim. A definite win for Q3 drivers.

S Line trimmed cars feature sports seats as standard and you can choose Alcantara surfaces on parts of the dash and seats. Feeling in the mood for a change of colour? Choose from a 30-colour light palette (standard on the design selection trim option).

When is it coming?

Audi South Africa says we’ll see the new model in the second quarter of 2019. And while the Q3 will clash heads with the BMW X2, Volvo’s XC40, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA, Jaguar’s E-Pace and Lexus’ UX, all those models will have to come with a free moon to match the Q3’s interior.

Oh, it helps that in 45 TSFI Quattro specification it offers a formidable package in the lux-crossover segment. It's a pity we'll only see it locally next year.

Audi SA said: Customers can expect the arrival of the new Q3 in quarter two next year (2019). The model line is still to be confirmed, but the German automaker is looking at introducing an entry model 1.4 TFSI 110kW engine with a possible 2.0TFSI 132kW and 2.0 TDI 110kW engine as well.

Pricing is not yet confirmed at this stage.-Wheels24

Similar News

 

Hino Indongo shows off revamped 300-Series

3 days ago - 16 September 2021 | Motors

Yochanaan CoetzeeChoosing a commercial vehicle is a key consideration for any business. You need a cost-effective, reliable and comfortable vehicle, which suits your specific needs...

Ultimate arctic adventures on ice

6 days ago - 13 September 2021 | Motors

Jaguar and Land Rover are delivering pure exhilaration at the Jaguar Land Rover Ice Academy on the edge of the Arctic Circle, combining invaluable winter...

Common Car Warning Lights

1 week ago - 09 September 2021 | Motors

Staff ReporterWe often take for granted how little we know about the world around us, much more so when it come to the technical and...

The Haval P-Series Interior: Elegant and Intelligent

2 weeks ago - 02 September 2021 | Motors

Staff ReporterThe P-Series has caused quite a stir since its launch in 2020. So, much so that the initial inventory in SA flew out of...

Benefits of Maintaining Your Car

3 weeks ago - 27 August 2021 | Motors

>#$$< #Comment >< /Comment >Staff ReporterLongevityYou’ve probably seen a car that is older than Dracula but surprisingly, it doesn’t look like...

The new BT-50 breaks cover

1 month - 12 August 2021 | Motors

Yochanaan CoetzeeThe new Mazda BT-50 has been launched globally and this latest iteration looks to punch far above its weight-class, with an upmarket interior approach,...

Five electric vehicle terms you’ve never heard of

1 month - 26 July 2021 | Motors

With the advent of electric vehicles in the mainstream, and the inevitable rise of EV population on South African roads comes some confusing terminology even...

Nissan launches the all-new Note Aura

3 months ago - 16 June 2021 | Motors

Nissan this week launched the all-new Note Aura premium compact car in Japan, with sales planned to start in autumn.The all-new Note Aura comes exclusively...

Introducing the new Kia Pegas

3 months ago - 15 June 2021 | Motors

The new Kia Pegas offers value-seeking families and first-time buyers the perfect combination of technology and space to inspire and enable mobility, progress and freedom....

Begin your SUV life with the all-new Kia Sonet

4 months ago - 14 May 2021 | Motors

Manufactured to the highest quality standards at Kia’s state-of-the-art production facility at Anantapur, India, the Sonet is Kia’s all-new smart urban compact SUV, marking the...

Latest News

How to save with confidence

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Others

Neville Vries Everyone can save something. Having a goal is the first step. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you...

Relief from the price monster...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUStatistics released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicated that on a monthly basis, inflation decreased by 0.2% in August 2021 compared to an...

Unam dogged by fraud claims

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Education

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK The University of Namibia (Unam) is facing criticism from its staffers for allegedly refusing to...

Kennedy Hamutenya - NAMDIA CEO

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring differently to the table of your career? I served as chairperson and deputy chairperson of Debmarine Namibia, director...

Calista Schwartz CEO,NYC (Treasurer)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your...

Business and Intellectual Property Authority...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I have had the privilege to work in both the public and private...

Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

On 03 June 2021, the 6th annual general meeting of the Public Enterprise Chief Executive Officers Forum (PE CEOs’ Forum), a new PE CEOs’ Forum...

NAMCOR MD, Immanuel Mulunga (Chairperson)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What unique attributes do you bring to the SOE CEO Forum?I bring a dynamic and transformational leadership to the table...

Maria Nangolo – ED NIPAM,...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I am a result driven, leader, strategist and...

Load More