Recently facelifted, the entry-level Q3 feels even more like its larger Q5 sibling.
WHEN the Q3 was first launched here in 2012, it was off ered in two variants, both powered by 2-litre turbo engines. The diff erences between them are their equipment levels and power outputs – the entry-level model has 170bhp, while the range-topping one has 211bhp. Three years later, the entry- level Q3 is now the Q3 1.4, which is not only less expensive, but more effi cient, too. The topend Q3 model (also facelifted) is still the 211bhp Q3 2.0.
The Q3’s cockpit has great build quality, but the high dashboard will make petite drivers feel even smaller.
Apart from sporting a redesigned front bumper, the Q3’s overall design hasn’t changed. There are four new paint hues to choose from, and to emphasise the Q3’s premium-ness, the units sold by offi cial agent Premium Automobiles now have LED headlights as standard. The prefacelift Q3s were “only” equipped with Xenon headlamps. The new tail-lamps are now lit by LEDs as well. This compact crossover now also comes with dynamic turn signals (first seen on the brand’s flagship A8 limo), which illuminate sequentially towards the driver’s intended turning direction.
The Q3’s turbocharged 1.4-litre unit produces 150bhp and a healthy 250Nm, figures that are 20bhp and 30Nm less than the previous Q3 2.0. However, the 1.4-litre motor is not only peppy, but quite willing, too. Compared to rivals such as the BMW X1 (see page 54), which has sharp handling, the Q3 leans around corners. This is because instead of stiff ening the suspension, Audi engineers actually made it more pliant, thus improving ride comfort over the pre-facelift model. Better equipped and more refined than the older model, this “little big Q” might just appeal to suburbanites who want the feel of Audi’s larger SUV off erings, without the heftier price tag.