Audi Q3 review


What is?

There are times when Audi, with much fanfare, launches a new car and you look at it or even drive it and say “new, huh, really?” This is not one of those times.

The body of the second generation Q3 is 10 cm larger, better proportioned and much more spacious than the previous one. It really had to grow, just to drive a wedge between it and Q2, which came late in the old Q3’s life and made it largely redundant.

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Also, since the release of the first Q3, the entire “premium compact crossover class” has become very prominent and coalesced around a fairly fixed size band and mechanical design. See the BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-Pace. The Lexus UX and the second generations of the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes GLA are also channeled into the same model. Virtually none of these existed when the first Q3 was born.

So what’s up?

For the new Q3, another twist on Audi’s creepy, gothic LED eye makeup lies outside of a large eight-sided grille surround and more angular front “entrances” (most are actually white). The metallic body structure is shaped like a set of sharp creases, further amplified by a dose of Ur-Quattro on the front and rear fenders. It’s German, so of course the base wheels, in this case 18’s, look worn and you’ll want to go up an inch.

Inside, the infotainment switches to a touchscreen. No more dials for the driver: each model has the TFT ‘Virtual Cockpit’ screen.

But it’s been Volkswagen-ified under, right?

Under the body, another radical change. To no one’s surprise, it now uses the VW Group’s MQB platform. It has the same wheelbase as the VW Tiguan. Autoasked the project manager if there were any fundamental chassis differences between the two. He was frank. ” No. Well… the wheels. »

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That said, the Audi feels surprisingly snappier than the VW, due to its different setup: springs, dampers, bushings, etc. And also because you sit 4 cm lower in the Audi.

Tell me about the engines.

In the spirit of the times, there are more gasoline engines than diesel. In fact, there is only one diesel, the familiar 2.0 TDI with 148 hp or 197 hp. The gasolines are the 1.5 liters with up to 148 CV, or the 2.0 liters of power with 187 or 242 CV. A plug-in hybrid option hit the lineup in 2021: It matches the power of range-topping quattros by combining a 1.4-litre petrol with an electric motor.

All 2.0 liters have a quattro. But many Q3s will be used entirely for light daily rides, as opposed to actual sports use (hey, that’s a word because we say it’s a word). So, for obvious reasons, the base gasoline engine is equipped with front-wheel drive.

And I guess all badges have a meaning?

Say oh! Audi’s new engine power badges were introduced in the Q3. Thus, the low consumption engines are called 35 TFSI and 35 TDI, the 187 hp gasoline ones are 40 TFSI and the 242 hp gasoline ones are 45 TFSI. The plug-in hybrid uses the same badge, but gains an “e” to differentiate its hybridity. Audi provided us with a one-page document describing this new scheme. But nowhere is it said how they got to these numbers, or more prominently, why.

Our choice of the range.

Audi Q3 Test Drive
35 TDI Quattro Sport 5 doors

What’s the verdict?

A very competitive classy crossover, but it loses some of Audi’s traditional strengths.

Crossovers of this size are pretty much the default family car these days, and even the most premium of them can’t just get away from the mundane question of practicality. Of course, the Q3 does well for space and versatility. It’s also well equipped and even reasonably generous in its prices. You don’t expect that in an Audi.

Its chassis is competitive and perhaps more agile than most rivals. But he still doesn’t get behind the wheel, which is a normal situation for an Audi. Rivals except the Jaguar E-Pace have the same problem.

Still, overall you can trust Audi to deliver a great infotainment interface, impeccable cabin quality, and refined powertrains. To a greater or lesser extent, the Q3 failed on all three.

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Audi Q3 frontAudi Q3 rearAudi Q3 charging cable bag

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