By Amanda Mfuphi
Recently we had the opportunity of spending time with the all-new Audi Q3 TSFI S Tronic S Line. To make the mission sweeter, this coincided with a shotleft to the beautiful province of Limpopo. Now in its second generation, one can immediately notice that the Q3 has grown and is set to capture the hearts and minds of many South African consumers.
The Audi Q3 attracts a lot of attention and those we interacted with were quite pleased with the aesthetics of the vehicle. In terms of looks, the Audi Q3 adequately represents Audi’s contemporary design language as it resembles its older brother, the Audi Q8 flagship which has set out the new generation Audi SUV design language with a reworked radiator grille and prominent shoulder lines. The Audi Q3 looks sleek, sexy, refreshing, modern and distinctive, and all those other adjectives to describe a beautiful car. We were particularly fond of the Hainan Blue colour that came with our test Q3 as it gave the vehicle a good youthful look. Our Q3 came with 19-inch five-spoke wheels, a large black gloss grille with large air vents, a panoramic sunroof and LED daytime running lights. Being the S Line, our Q3 also had distinctive S Line bumpers, an S Line spoiler, door sills with aluminium inserts illuminated with S lettering in front and S Line emblem on the outer fenders.
The Q3 looks deceivingly compact from the outside, however, space has expanded from the previous generation and it is quite spacious both in the front the rear. The minimum luggage capacity of the Audi Q3 stands at 530 litres but it increases to 1,525 litres when the rear bench has been folded down. The Audi Q3 is equipped with Audi’s all-new infotainment system, which has also been introduced in the new A1 and Q8. The infotainment system has a smart touchscreen that is modern and intuitive, with crisp graphics across the screen. The infotainment touchscreen comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility as well as Bluetooth and USB functionality. The Audi Q3 also features Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster as standard feature. Other technological features of include front and rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, navigation system and the Audi Virtual Cockpit as standard features.
Being the S Line version, our Audi Q3 came standard with The Audi Q3 S Line also came with a flat-bottomed S Line multifunction leather steering wheel, Bang & Olusfen sound system and the wireless charging pad.
We found the interior to be comfortable during our 4.5-hour drive to Limpopo with the S Line bucket seats providing enough padding and support for the duration of the drive. We honestly felt like we could drive for longer after our trip. Taken as a whole, we found the interior layout of the Q3 to be simple, elegant and easy to understand.
Power and drive
The Q3 is powered by a 1.4 litre turbopetrol engine which pushes out 110 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission (S tronic) with selectable Dynamic, Comfort, Off-Road and Individual modes which alter the driving performance accordingly. We found the engine to punch way about its weight and it was able to carry the vehicle’s body very well. At no point did we struggle for power both in city driving and highway driving.
We found the ride quality of the Audi Q3 to be quite refined and it supresses engine noise and vibration remarkably. The cabin is also well insulated with hardly any exterior noise making its way inside the cabin. On our road trip to Limpopo we encountered a 14km stretch of gravel road and we selected the off-road driving mode. This allowed the car to remain comfortable and soak up bumps om the gravel road. Our trip to the Limpopo Province stretched over approximately 756km and we managed to average 8.3L/100km which was a bit higher than the claimed 5.9/100km/h.
Pricing The second-generation Audi Q3 retails from R585,000.00. The Audi Q3 comes with a standard 5 year / 100,000km Audi Freeway Plan (which absorbs all maintenance and service costs for the duration).
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