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    Audi Q3 40 TFSI Technology: 1000km test

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    Vikrant Singh

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    Introduction

    Right Front Three Quarter

    We had the Audi Q3 with us for a couple of months. The period wasn’t long enough to induct it into our long-term fleet, but it was enough for us to explore its capabilities beyond our regular road test. In this report, we will fill you in on what’s good and what’s not about living with the Q3.

    Now, there’s no denying that Audi is doing better than it has in previous years in terms of sales. But it’s also clear that this growth is fuelled - even if in part - by the substantial discounts available on its line-up. We mention this because the Q3, at Rs 62 lakh on the road for this 40 TFSI Technology trim, is an expensive proposition for what it offers. But, factor in the discounts, and it begins to make more sense.

    Now, before we tell you what’s good and what’s not about the Q3, let’s take a look at some figures that matter.

    Left Side View

    The figures

    The Q3 is powered by a two-litre, four-cylinder, direct-injection, turbo-petrol. It makes almost 200bhp, and with 320Nm of torque, the Q3 feels light and eager on the move. It is a refined engine, and when driven with a light foot it can be decently efficient too.

    Engine Shot

    In our tests, the Q3 completed the 0-100kmph run in 7.14 seconds. And it was quick in kickdown acceleration tests as well. It went from 20-80kmph in a whisker under five seconds with the throttle mashed to the floor, and the 40-100kmph acceleration barely took a second more.

    In our fuel runs, the Audi returned 9.7kmpl in the city and 18.6kmpl on the highway when driven around 80kmph with a light foot. On my daily commute, the fuel economy stayed close to our city-run figures. It only dropped to 9.2kmpl once when we found ourselves trapped in an unusually long jam. With facts out of the way, let’s tell you what we liked about living with the Q3.

    What’s good

    Dashboard

    Solid build. The quality, fit and finish of the Q3’s interior feels Germanic, even though it might lack the opulent look and feel one expects at this price point. It has a no-nonsense cabin. Everything you operate - buttons, dials, and switches - feels tactile. The cabin is ergonomically sound. And not once did we have an issue with the car in the time we had it. It had clocked over 12,000km when it came to us.

    Instrument Cluster

    Easy. The other big positive for the Q3 is how effortless it is to drive and live with. It is not a big car, so finding parking and squeezing into gaps in chock-o-block traffic comes easy. It also has light controls and a positively peppy engine. As a result, be it highway trips wherein one has to stick to hugely conservative speed limits or the home run in peak hour traffic, we never found ourselves shying away from using the Audi.

    Comfortable. Besides being easy to drive, the Q3 is plush. We liked the taut ride quality over undulating and broken roads. There isn’t a lot of body movement. Not much of the road filters into the cabin. And unless you hit a square-edged bump or pothole, it almost feels cosseting. Moreover, the cabin is quiet, the seats are roomy, and there's enough space for four and their weekend luggage. Now, to the shortcomings.

    Wheel

    What’s not good

    360-Degree Camera Control

    Features. Or the lack thereof. This is a problem when considering both the Q3's asking price and the competition at hand. Plus, it’s not just the lack of equipment per se; even the offered feel-good features lack the wow factor. Take the MMI system, the reversing camera, or even the design of the dash, steering or controls all over them; these feel dated and not as upmarket as the competition.

    Finally, the look and feel of plastic in some places needed to be more premium to go along with its hefty price tag.

    Pedals/Foot Controls

    To buy or not to buy

    Right Side View

    As is obvious, the Audi Q3 has more positives than negatives. And the latter - for the most part - is more a reflection of how much money Audi wants for the Q3. Yes, there’s no denying that the Q3’s interior needs a proper revamp. And once a leader in the MMI and virtual cockpit space, Audi is currently struggling to keep pace with the segment.

    That said, the discounts on the Q3 can range over Rs 10 lakh. And this ups its value proposition significantly. Now, barring the feature list and the feel-good luxury co-efficient, the Q3 is a nice car to drive and live with. Factor in the discount, and buying an Audi Q3 might not be that bad an idea.

    Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi

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