Cars - Audi

Road tests and reviews of the latest Audi models available in South Africa

2016 Audi Q3

2016 Audi Q3

By Franky Johnson

As Audi's most compact Q model, the Audi Q3 offers all the inherent Q-DNA, but in a more exciting and dynamic package. Since introduction in 2012, the Q3 has sold in excess of 5,000 units locally, making it a top performer in the compact premium SUV segment. With the introduction of the refreshed Audi Q3 range, greater performance, more equipment and a more aggressive design is offered.

A new 1.4-litre 110kW entry model is now available for the Q3 with a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed S tronic transmission. Both models offer front wheel drive. As the first Audi model to feature the new Q-inspired design cues which will be rolled out to future Q models, the new Audi Q3 features a more imposing 3D-design front grille, revised bumpers and headlights. The rear features new bumpers and taillight design.

Full LED headlights are offered as an option for the first time on this model and are particularly bright and energy-efficient. Audi offers them in combination with the dynamic turn signals integrated into the likewise redesigned LED taillights. These intuitive turn signals illuminate sequentially within two-tenths of a second from the inside out in the direction the driver intends to turn.

The base model of the new Audi Q3 has a curb weight of just 1,385 kilograms, with the dimensions relatively unchanged from the previous model. It measures 4.39 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and 1.59 metres high while the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2.60 metres.

The Audi Q3 offers plenty of space at all five seating positions. In its base configuration, the cargo compartment of the Audi Q3 has a capacity of 460 litres; by folding down the split rear seatbacks, this can be increased to 1,365 litres. Roof rails and a new, extensible luggage compartment cover are standard.

The two TFSI and one TDI engine boast higher output combined with reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced by as much as 17 percent. The first of the petrol engines is a new 1.4T FSI now available for the first time in the Audi Q3. It produces 110 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque and will be available locally in both manual and S tronic guise.

The second petrol engine on offer is a 2.0T four-cylinder unit producing 132 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. This model features Audi's legendary quattro system and will only be available in S tronic transmission.

On the diesel front, there will be a 2.0 TDI engine offering 135 kW of power and 380Nm of torque. It will be available in July 2015 and will feature the quattro system and S tronic transmission as standard. A 2.0 TDI 110 kW front wheel drive S tronic model will be available in 2016.

The chassis of the redesigned Audi Q3 combines agile handling with supreme safety, and comprehensive fine-tuning has enhanced comfort even further. Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust key technology modules to suit his or her personal preferences. Wheels range in size from 16 to 19 inches in diameter, and the suspension has been tuned for high rolling comfort.

The new Audi Q3 features a generous list of standard equipment. With respect to driver assistance systems, the secondary collision brake assist is standard and a host of other systems available as options. With Audi side assist, a yellow LED indicator illuminates in the housing of the outside mirror if another vehicle is in the blind spot or is approaching rapidly from the rear. Audi active lane assist works with video cameras that detect the lane markings. It gently intervenes in the steering to help the driver return to the lane if he or she comes too close to a line without indicating.

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