The newly released Audi Q3 coupe crossover on sale at UK’s top new and used Audi dealer
The five-door coupe crossover Audi Q3 is aimed as more of a lifestyle/sports car, rather than for the family/off-road market its larger Q5 & Q7 siblings aim for. The Q3 is a slot above the proposed Audi Q1. But while the Q5 and the Q7 both have longitudinal engines, the Q3 is based on a layout with a transverse mounted powerplant. In fact, its platform is shared with a number of VW models, as well as the Audi A3. While the Q5 shares its architecture with the A4 (and the next-generation A6), think of the Q3 as the sister model of the VW Tiguan. But unlike the Tiguan, off-road capability was not on the list of Audi’s engineering targets for the Q3. Sportiness was, though, making the company’s move to offer Quattro all-wheel drive as standard a sound decision.
The car uses the Volkswagen Group A5 (PQ35) platform of the Volkswagen Golf Mk5, the same as the Volkswagen Tiguan/SEAT Tribu small SUVs. It joins the similarly-sized but competitive BMW X1 launched in 1911, and will be similar to the 2009-10 launch of the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and Audi Q5 during the same model year.
The Audi Q3 weights 3,307 lbs and measures 4.39 meters in 14.4 ft, 6.0 ft in width, and 5.25 ft in height, while the luggage compartment offers 16.24 to 48.2 cu ft of capacity. The Q3 will be available with all the latest technologies, including the MMI navigation plus – a hard drive navigation system – and the Bose surround sound system, with handsomely illuminated woofers up front.
Customers will have the chance to choose from three engines: one TDI and two TFSI units, with power ranging from 140 HP to 211 HP. A new diesel engine will be offered at a later date and will deliver an impressive fuel economy of 45.23 US mpg.
The new Audi Q3 comes with a sportier and a more progressive design. The single-frame grille features tapered upper corners and continues with a dynamic curve of the engine hood. The front is dominated by wedge-shaped headlights available as a xenon plus version including LED daytime running lights and large air inlets. On the side the Q3 gets dynamic lines and muscular wheels, while the D-posts resemble those of a coupe.
Customers will have the possibility to choose from twelve different colors, including a full paint finish or color-contrasting add-on parts in anthracite gray for the underbody guard and wheel arches. Customers who want a more sportier look will have the possibility to opt for the S-Line package. The entry level models will be offered with 16-inch lightweight alloy wheels fitted with 215/65 tires;while the top-of-the-line engines are available with 17-inch wheels
Audi Q3 Interior
The interior is defined by the same sporty lines as the exterior, but is also all about luxury. The driver and the front-seat passenger are encapsulates by the now famous brand’s large curve, while the dashboard with its horizontal layout comes with an optional color display (as large as seven inches diagonally) on the instrument panel is a first in the Q series.
Customers will have the possibility to choose from five interior colors: black, gray, beige, and two shades of brown. With regard to upholstery, there are three fabric designs and three leather designs. For the inlays, there are four optional versions – including open-pored larch inlays and new silvery aluminum inlays with supplementary wire mesh and a 3D look. The S line sports package offers an additional inlay and bathes the entire interior in a cool black color.
The list of standard equipments includes an on-board computer with efficiency program, an ambient lighting package with a great many LEDs, a panoramic glass roof, a storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable and heated seats, a convenience key for entering the vehicle and starting the engine at the touch of a button, two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, tinted rear windows, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel in a new Q-specific look.
Engine and performance
At its launch the Q3 will be offered with three engines: two gasoline engines and one TDI engine will be offered; a second TDI engine will appear a little later. All of them will be four-cylinder engines, with a displacement of 2 liters, and all combined with direct fuel injection, turbocharging, the start-stop system, and the energy recovery system.
The 2.0 TFSI will be offered in either 170 HP or 211 HP versions and will sprint the Q3 from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while top speed will be 142 mph. The first diesel version will deliver 177 HP, and it will be followed by a 140 HP one, with an average fuel economy of 45.23 US mpg, when paired with a front-wheel drive system.
Audi Q3 Competitors
The new Q3 it’s going to have its hands full against a number of competitors, including the BMW X1, the Land Rover Evoque, and ironically enough, the upcoming Mercedes-Benz BLK-Class. But of course the company’s main target will be to hit the same sales numbers as the X1, a model that is on sale for about a year now. In Europe customers will have to choose from four different engines – one gasoline and three diesels – and comes in both rear-wheel drive and xDrive all-wheel drive configurations. For the X1, power ranges from 143 to 258 HP, almost similar to the Q3. However, despite the fact that the X1 is offering a more powerful version, we believe that the Q3 has the advantage of offering a more fresh design that will also attract younger buyers.
As for the upcoming Mercedes BLK things are a bit uncertain. It is known that it will be placed under the GLK and that it will be offered with four-cylinder direct-injection gas and diesel engines, sized between 1.6-liters and 2.2-liters. We expect to see the new model in the next two years.