Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Audi Q3

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to own an Audi Q3, but I couldn’t afford one. I still want to own one, but still can’t afford one. It has always been a fuss-free, easy-driving, good looking compact SUV and the second generation Q3 has just taken things to a new level of desire for me.

STOP STARING

The previous generation, although I thought was good looking, now in hindsight, looked a bit ‘blobbish.’ This new Audi Q3, however, is all chiselled and angled. It has grown up and I absolutely love the look of it. The blue paint finish will certainly be a popular, but I just see splattered Smurfs. What do you think?

New Audi Q3

PRACTICAL AF

This second generation Audi Q3 is bigger in every way than the first generation. Audi has moved the front and rear tyres further a part and so rear passengers will now enjoy more legroom. What’s more is that the rear seats can move forward and back. It means you can get up to 670-litres of boot space. That is huge! It generally sits at 540-litres which is still bigger than some of its rivals such as the Volvo XC40 (still my favourite?) or the Jaguar E-Pace. With the backrests folded down the figure rises to 1 525 litres which can come in very handy. The loading floor can be adjusted by up to three levels and if the parcel shelf is not needed, it can be stowed under the loading floor.

Audi has thought hard about the practicality this car offers and I think they have nailed it. It will be easy to load things such as prams or luggage in to the wide boot. And if you need more storage space, you can opt for the storage and luggage compartment package as an option or part of the comfort package. Besides nets on the backs of the front seats and a storage compartment under the front passenger seat, it includes a luggage compartment net as well as LED spotlights in the tailgate to provide illumination whatever the vehicle is carrying. I wish the electric tailgate was standard, but you can get it as an option if you like. I am just greedy like that, I want everything standard. But who doesn’t?

UP-TO-DATE

The modern interior of the new Audi Q3 is everything you’d want it to be. The standard 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system looks gorgeous integrated in to the dash. You can upgrade to the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit which takes the interior to an even higher level of sophistication.

Audi has decided to keep things really simple with its offering. You can choose between three trim levels; Standard, Advanced or S-Line, and then instead of the longest list in history of optional extras, Audi has made bundles for you. These are Comfort, Technology, Sport, Parking, S line interior and Black styling. But there are still a few stand alone options you can choose.

New Audi Q3

I am not going to list the standard features because it is extensive and will take up too much room on this page. You will be able to find it on Audi’s website though.

I have one gripe and that is with the doors and the placement of the door handles. I hate it when they are placed too far forward and not in the middle of the door. It makes it harder to close. Every time I closed the driver’s door, I had to open and slam it closed again as it didn’t close properly. That would drive me over the edge! Perhaps I need to work on these guns?

LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE

At this moment there is only one engine available. It is the 35 TFSI powertrain which hosts a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit delivering 110 kW and 250 N.m. It is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It is certainly not the most powerful engine and I am hopeful we will see a few more engine options hit our shores soon. With that said, I don’t think you will be left disappointed by this powertrain. What it lacks in power is made up in overall refinement.

On the launch we did a lot of driving, both on and off-road. The highway driving was just glorious. It is comfortable, quiet (despite a tiny bit of wind noise) and relaxing. I was truly impressed with the ride. Pop it in to off-road mode and you will be equally impressed with how this little SUV handles the dirt. It even has hill descent control as standard. I really pushed it on the gravel and was overjoyed at the grip. I was able to have quite a bit of fun with this car…if you know what I mean!? (Head out of the gutter please).

MY FINAL SAY

There is so much to love about this car. I wish I had more time and space to tell you more about it, but as you know, I prefer visual representation (in the form of my amazing videos) and so as soon as I get this new Audi Q3 on test I will be able to show you more.

You might want to wait for the range to expand, but then you might be waiting a while. We don’t know if and when other engine options will be made available in SA. If you are not that bothered by punchier engines, then this model will be perfect for you. It offers everything you want from a compact SUV; space, practicality, refinement, and good looks.

If you are in the market for such a car, take this beauty for a test drive. I hate to admit it, but I would be in a pickle if I had to choose between this and the XC40. Yoh, can you believe I just said that? You must know then just how good this new Q3 is.

PRICING OF THE NEW AUDI Q3

  • Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic at R 565 000
  • Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic Advanced at R 585 000
  • Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic S line at R 599 000
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