Test Audi Q3 45 TFSI quattro S tronic Black Line
The Audi Q3 is one of the best-selling premium compact SUVs in its segment. However, the arrival of the new BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA jeopardized their place. In addition, in recent years, this market niche has grown exponentially, integrating rivals as varied as the Lexus UX or Volvo XC40 . For this reason, when developing the second generation, those responsible for Audi have worked "full".
Thus, we come to a Audi Q3 that has nothing to do with its predecessor, because the jump between one and the other is very big. From the outset, it is based on the modern and reliable modular platform MQB of the Volkswagen Group. Thanks to her, the overall tact takes him to a higher segment, although we should not forget that his rivals border at a great height. If you want to know all its secrets, read on, because you'll like it as much as we do.
Exterior design made in Audi: muscle and sportsmanship
The exterior design of the new Audi Q3 radically changes to resemble its big brother , the Q8 . In it, the most recognizable is frontal with the grid Singleframe octagonal with eight vertical slats and a wide frame. At the ends are the optical groups with LED technology as standard (they can be Matrix LED optionally). The changes are completed by a bumper with a new invoice with large air intakes.
The lateral view also gains in packaging, as it abandons the shape of the previous Q3 to receive more muscular lines. It highlights the marked wheel arches which, together with the waistline that links the previous optical groups with the later, highlight its width. The descending roof line next to a Pillar "C" and the spoiler top raise the feeling of sportsmanship and dynamism.
Finally, we give way to the behind > This area of the new Audi Q3 is divided into two parts. In the upper one we have optical groups with LED technology and inverted "L" shaped design. The gate gains in width, especially thanks to the use of horizontal lines, confirming the sensation transmitted by its rear wheel steps. In the bumper we find a diffuser and two exhaust outlets located in the corners.
This design evolution is crowned by different types of alloy wheels and eleven new shades to wear the body of the Q3. Next to them we find three lines of equipment (Standard, Advanced and S line) for the customization of the exterior. In addition, the "Edition One" is available as a special launch edition with the orange tones Pulso or Cronos gray and exclusive equipment.
Quality interior and high technological level
Inside the renovated Audi Q3, nothing remembers its predecessor. The most striking is the evolution that has suffered the infotainment system .Before him we find a steering wheel inherited from the Q5 with excellent thickness and tact. In addition, in the versions with automatic transmission S tronic , it has cams.
Passing to the dashboard , it is composed of horizontal lines that divide it in three areas. The upper one locates the air vents and some inserts that, optionally, can be Alcántara (Brown Amber, Orange or Steel Gray). In the middle area we find the Black Panel design inspired by the Singleframe grid. In it, the touch screen of the MMI Touch system is integrated 8.8 inches, or optionally 10.1 inches.
The lower zone contains several groups of controls. First of all the air conditioning system . Here Audi, without the touch screen that include the A7 Sportback or Q8. Its handling is simple and intuitive, especially until we control the technological possibilities it offers. Under these are the start button and the controls of the Audi Drive Select , the Start & Stop or traction and stability controls. Finally, we found a gap for the Qi inductive charging system and the USB auxiliary sockets.
The piano black likes, but you should not abuse it
Overall, the quality of execution of the new Audi Q3 is at a great height. However, there are some materials that could convey a superior feeling. The most "striking" is the piano black that we found in the Black Panel . This surface is well finished, but it is a focus for dirt, fingerprints and dust that tarnish the whole. Finally, some plastics on the doors and low areas are noted of inferior quality, although it is something that occurs in almost all models of the market.
Generous habitability with ingenious ideas
Thanks to the use of the MQB modular platform , the Audi Q3 increases its interior comfort. On the outside, compared to its predecessor, it has grown 9.7 centimeters to stand at 4.48 meters. This growth has not only had an impact on the overhangs, but the wheelbase is now at 2.68 meters . This gain of 7.7 centimeters is noticeable, especially in the rear seats and space dedicated to the trunk.
The habitability in the front seats is generous. The driving position has extensive adjustments, allowing drivers of any size to accommodate without any problem. By width, the available space is first level, allowing driver and passenger to travel comfortably. In addition, the free height to the ceiling has grown by 3.3 centimeters , increasing the sense of space.
If we go to the second row , the free space between the sidewalk anterior and posterior has grown in 4.2 centimeters . Thanks to this, passengers of up to 1.85 meters can sit without their legs suffer. The elevation in height also improves, since it adds 7 centimeters, allowing a greater relief. However, the problem is in the width .Its volume varies between 530 liters and 1,525 liters, depending on the position of the seats. The seats are divided into sections 40:20:40 and have inclination in seven positions . In addition, the stool can move longitudinally up to 15 centimeters. Meanwhile, the loading edge has been placed at 74.8 centimeters, that is, 3.3 centimeters less than before. Finally, the access door can be electric hands-free optionally.
Just a couple of details would make it substantially improve
The front seats , as we mentioned above, have extensive set-up. However, we miss that there is no possibility of configuring the lumbar area . To this we must add that the regulation of the headrest could be less harsh. If we go to the second row, the central square could have a softer sidewalk and more "sweet" support, facilitating the reception of a third occupant. However, although the console and tunnel are bulky, we should thank the ventilation vents .
Noble and very safe behavior
The Driving dynamics is another point where the new Audi Q3 distances exponentially from its predecessor. Thanks to the increase in dimensions, mainly in track width and wheelbase, its behavior is very noble and safe. We can see this in compromised situations such as attacking turns of a certain difficulty or evasive maneuvers or avoiding maneuvers.
At the contact, we had the opportunity to try the 45 TFSI quattro version with 230 hp and S tronic automatic transmission. The route that Audi had prepared for us was made up of a section of motorway and mountain roads of a certain complexity. In the first case, the aplomb and stability of the Q3 are beyond doubt, with a filtering of suspensions greater, without this agility is compromised. p>
However, where greater character shows the Q3 is in complicated stretches. The set-up of the chassis, steering, suspension and brakes is at a high level. Among them, the progressive direction and the three different types of suspension stand out. In addition, the Audi Drive Select has 6 different driving modes, allowing the personality of the Q3 to move from "Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde" .
As for the binomial engine-transmission , we had mixed feelings. The 2.0-liter TFSI 230-hp block seemed to misunderstand the S tronic box. At less than 2,000 revolutions it seemed that it was lacking in strength, however, from there its response became explosive and forceful . This feeling may be due to the low number of kilometers of our unit or the level of driving demand. In any case, we can better verify this situation in a more in-depth test.
Good on the road, but more limited in the field
Despite having a good compromise of suspensions, inertias can not be disguised. The Audi Q3 weighs 1,600 kilos and in strong supports you can see the work of the suspensions to counteract the balancing of the bodywork.On the route through the Sierra de Béjar we were able to drive along some poorly paved roads. His performance was good, but 14 centimeters of free height do not go far. It is not its natural habitat, although the quattro all-wheel drive allows it to circulate with solvency.
Audi Q3 range
The range of the Audi Q3 consists of three petrol versions TFSI and two diesel TDI , two gearboxes and single or full quattro traction. Open the offer 35 TFSI which corresponds to the block 1.5 TFSI COD of 150 HP of power and 250 Nm of maximum torque. Its power reaches the ground through the front axle and mounts 6-speed manual gearbox or optionally a S tronic with 7 inserts.
In the middle zone is the > 40 TFSI born thanks to the 2.0 TFSI block with 190 HP and 320 Nm of maximum torque. It is exclusively associated with the quattro all-wheel drive system and the S tronic automatic transmission. Finally, until the arrival of the RS Q3 , we find the version 45 TFSI from the engine 2.0 TFSI of 230 HP and 350 Nm of maximum torque. Its power is managed through the quattro system and the S tronic transmission.
In diesel the offer revolves around the 2.0 liter TDI block. The 35 TDI version yields 150 HP and 340 Nm of maximum torque. It is available with the quattro all-wheel drive system and 6-speed manual gearbox. In addition, we can also choose the S tronic automatic transmission linked exclusively to the simple traction. The second option corresponds to the 40 TDI that delivers 190 HP and 400 Nm of torque. In this case, the power reaches the ground through the four wheels (quattro drive) managed through the S tronic box.
As a general rule, when a model change of generation, usually experience a qualitative and quantitative leap palpable. However, with the new Audi Q3 the given jump is not linear, but exponential. We can see this at your level of quality , driving feel or mechanical range. In addition, we can not ignore the high level of technology it incorporates, present in its active driving aids .
However, the segment C-SUV premium is becoming more competitive and his rivals are not going to make things easy for him. Compared with them, the new Q3 is halfway between the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA and significantly exceeds the rest.