Pleasant surprises await during your introduction to the new Audi Q3. It’s a humbling reminder that in this world of “go faster”, some SUVs are not completely obsessed with growing large and then cramming in kws to make that beast speedy.
The Q3 joins the Audi family filling the premium compact SUV segment where the BMW X1 lives. On Twitter during the launch, loads of @FHMMotoring followers also insisted that the Q3 will be competing with the Range Rover Evoque, but with more than R100 000 separating the two, I don’t think that’s the case.
The Q3 is the smallest of Audi’s “Q” range, and therefore also the most coupe looking of the lot. A lightweight body, sporty lines and a flat-set rear window make sure of that.
In the engine department there are 3 familiar Audi’s to choose from, the 2-litre TFSI’s at 125kw and 155kws and the TDi’s at 103kw and 130kw. Both diesel and petrol are available in manual and automatic.
I can’t say I loved either of the petrol engines. The 125kw was a bit too sluggish in a car that doesn’t tip the scales north of 1 500kgs and the 155kw was too jittery and unsure on pull off. This is not the derivative you want to be challenging trucks with at a country-road stop sign.
The diesel though was completely brilliant. Just the right amount of pull off when you needed it and no lag to talk of. Like most diesels these days, they’re normally the better drive.
Thankfully, that’s the worst of it. The ride from the dynamic chassis and suspension was more comfortable than Mugabe’s new Ballito mansion. We did do a stretch of dust road on the launch and steering is effortless.
So, the only fear you’ll have owning the Audi Q3 is that your teenage son will steal it one night and NOT crash it into a tree.
Q3 2.0 TDI 103 kW man R 370,000
Q3 2.0 TDI 130 kW quattro S tronic R 431,500
Q3 2.0T FSI 125 kW quattro man R 404,500
Q3 2.0T FSI 125 kW quattro S tronic R 421,500
Q3 2.0T FSI 155 kW quattro S tronic R 467,000