The 2nd generation Audi Q3, bigger, but is it better?

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Bigger isn’t always better but in the car world, each generation of cars seems to be superseded by a larger and faster version of its predecessor. There is obviously a strategy in play. In Audi’s case, the brand is developing a “range of SUV vehicles”. Currently, Audi has seven Q models. The previous Q3, the little bubble that looked like an inflated A1, was joined by a Q2 which at the time of the Q2’s introduction was similar in size to the Q3, presumably making it challenging for customers to choose between them.

Let’s get things straight, the Q2 is a compact crossover and the new, bigger Q3 is a mid-sized SUV. For now, until the Sportback version of the Q3 arrives along with the larger 2.0 T variant, we have one model, the 1.4 T (110 kW/250 N.m), badged 35 TFSI – confusing I know – I’m still trying to figure out what the 30, 35, 40 and 45 stand for? This engine offers adequate performance – sprints to 100km/h in just under 10 seconds with a top speed of 204km/h.  Your choice of gearbox is limited to a 6-speed S Tronic automatic. Oddly enough this example didn’t seam as flawlessly mated to the engine as others I’ve driven for Audi – it would hold on to its gear for a second too long and respond a second too late during acceleration attempts.

Audi re-enters the crowd, of several competitors, with the new Q3. Like before it is best pitched as a young family vehicle. The car’s strong points are increased space, practicality, reassured road holding and a tiny turning circle that makes parking as effortless as making a cup of tea.

Additional highlights - an all-electronic digital display and touchscreen infotainment system. Audi has replaced its rotator switch that operated its infotainment system in the past. Now the new system follows the same glossy system as found in the Q8, A1 and A8 and will continue to roll out into the rest of the Audi range. It is very easy to use, modern and a nice leap forward over the older system. However, keep a polishing cloth in the glovebox to wipe clean the greasy finger marks. Audi’s digital instrumentation is now well established. Analogue is gone. Digital is now here to stay. The system is operated via the steering wheel controls and customisable.

Plus +

  • Matured and bigger.
  • Practical. 
  • Tiny turning circle.

 

Minus –

  • Only one engine for now.

 

The Competition

BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace, Jeep Renegade/Compass, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC 40, MINI Countryman and Peugeot 3008

 

Pricing

Q3 35TFSI R565 00

Q3 35TFSI Advanced R585 00

Q3 35TFSI S Line R599 00

 

Service and warranty

5 year/100 000 km maintenance plan

www.audi.co.za/za

 

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