Audi has updated its entry-level SUV in India, the Q3. Since it is an update, there are hardly any changes to the outside, but inside, the equipment list has got a booster. It now gets panoramic sunroof, 17-inch alloys and LED headlamps as standard along with some other features. For its price tag, it competes with a few other premium SUVs like the Mercedes GLA, the BMW X1, the Volvo XC60 and the Mini Countryman. So let us check how the top-spec Audi Q3 fares against its rivals.
The Audi Q3 is large in size for an entry-level SUV and it certainly dwarfs the Mercedes GLA. The Mercedes is more of a crossover while the Q3 with its high stance looks more of an SUV. The new Audi 2.0-litre TDI makes sure it doesn’t ring the emission bell and develop 184bhp for the AWD cars and 150bhp for the front-wheel drive ones. The Mercedes also falls short on power with 168bhp and 134bhp setups for AWD and FWD options respectively. Add the Audi’s standard panoramic sunroof and LED headlamps for almost Rs 2 lakh cheaper than the Mercedes.
The new BMW X1 that has been introduced last year is bigger than its predecessor and matches the Audi both in terms of brain and brawn. IN fact the BMW is slightly more powerful than the Audi and gets AWD as well but the Quattro seems to be the better of the two when it comes to performance. The Audi Q3 is a generation older car and it shows when you compare the interior and the equipment with the new BMW X1. But then the BMW is almost 10 per cent more expensive as well.
This is the second contender from the BMW group – the Mini Countryman. While it is the biggest Mini, it might be the smallest SUV amongst the premium ones. But then it is chic and does score much higher on the style quotient. If you need something for the regular mostly-city-sometimes-highway chores, it is the best choice because then the puny dimensions work in your favour to weave out of the congested roads. But it does not get all-wheel-drive nor the butch.
If anything in the world is as safe as it claims, it has to be a Volvo car. Despite being a decade-old car the XC60 is practical and the largest of them all. It also has the biggest engine and the highest power output. The looks are dated though and it costs almost one-and-a-half times the Audi Q3. But you might get big chunky discounts and sweetened maintenance deals to make sure the dealer gets one off his head before the new XC60 comes in next year.