As an owner of the Audi Q5 I was very interested to drive the new generation Q3, as we actually had the previous generation, before we purchased the said, Q5. It looks much different, bigger and more sporty for sure, and it features a digital cockpit, with a large MMI screen as well. It has a lot of new support systems to help the driver.
Looking at the styling, it has an aggressive front end, with the Singleframe grille and large side air inlets making it look that way. It has narrow headlights that run inwards with a wedge shape, and they use LED technology. The side view is good, with the lines of the car giving it a forward thrust type of look. It also has options for sport upgrade, with contrasting paint finish for the bottom section, with S Line accents for bumpers, sills and diffusers.
Into the cockpit we go, and the Q3 carries much of the DNA of it’s bigger siblings, with taut lines and three-dimensional styled elements. The cockpit looks quite high-tech, with an instrument panel that splits into two, with the air vents on the top, and the black panel on the bottom.
Audi has two options over and above the standard version, namely the S Line, and the sports package. The interior ambient lighting is particularly comprehensive, with over thirty colours, that illuminate the area under the storage panel as well as the Audi logo above the glove compartment. It also has standard two-zone air con, and a panoramic sunroof.
Space is at a premium, with the Q3 being bigger across the board. It has fully adjustable seats in different variations, and a 530 L luggage area, which can be extended with fold-down options. This was enjoyable, as the previous model was fairly limited with space.
The navigation operates in real time, so traffic info is up to date.The Audi phone box links the drivers smartphone to the vehicles antenna, and charges the phone inductively. It supports both Apple Carplay and Android technology.
The sound system is top notch, with an optional Bang & Olufsen system.
The safety systems have received a big boost, with lane departure warning, which arguably is not everyone’s cup of tea. Basically it either beeps at you or literally nudges the car back into it’s lane if indicators are not used. For someone inexperienced, this can be problematic.
Park assist is another great innovation with proximity to pavements and the like setting off beeping, and camera assist is visual.
The Q3 only comes with one engine locally namely- the 1.4L petrol engine in front wheel drive. It offers 110kw & 250Nm of torque, which in my opinion, is slightly light. It is mated to a 6-speed S tronic auto gearbox.
The power is very adequate, but I like a bit of oomph. You can engage sport mode for a bit extra.
The Audi Q3 comes with the standard Audi Freeway pan which is 5 years/100 000km
Audi Q3 35 TFSI Tronic R585 000.00
Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Tronic Sline R599 000.00
We enjoyed the drive in the Q3 as it is more spacious and feels more substantial as an SUV. It has a serious look about it now, that makes it stand in line with it’s siblings.