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Second-generation Audi Q3 Review: Little SUV, big fight

Right from when you get behind the wheel, the Q3 feels posh and reminiscent of other much bigger Audis. The space is generous and the light upholstery contrasts well.

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Second-generation Audi Q3 Review: Little SUV, big fight

The second-generation Audi Q3 is every bit aggressive as it is subdued. It is essentially and typically Audi, despite being the brand’s entry offering for the Indian market. At an ex-showroom price of Rs 50.4 lakh for this fully kitted-out Technology variant, it is Rs 5 lakh more expensive than the top variant of the Volvo XC40 and the BMW X1. Even though it might not be an ideal value for money buy, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. 

2022 Audi Q3 India Review: Design 

Second Generation Audi Q3 Review, First Drive: The second-gen Q3 is well-proportioned and is now 96mm longer than before, and the wheelbase is up by 77mm.

The new Q3 is far removed from the previous generation with sharper and more contemporary styling. The face is downright recognisable and a standalone point with the typical Audi octagonal grille with vertical slats which suits the SUV quite a lot. What also works for its otherwise subdued silhouette is the overhung rear. The rear lights aren’t the travelling matrix lights Audi is famous for but regular LEDs. The silver accents all around are a plus and so is the shiny blue colour that reminds you in less than half a day why people buy white coloured cars. The paint job is sublime but it catches and reflects dust quite easily but that’s just nitpicking

The second-gen Q3 is well-proportioned and is now 96mm longer than before, and the wheelbase is up by 77mm. It is wider too, by 18mm and all of this doesn’t make too much of a difference on the outside but should made it a little more spacious inside.

 2022 Audi Q3 India Review: Interiors and features

Second Generation Audi Q3 Review, First Drive: It only takes a few seconds to notice that the centre console is slightly tilted towards the driver and that’s neat.

Right from when you get behind the wheel, the Q3 feels posh and reminiscent of other much bigger Audis. The space is generous and the light upholstery contrasts well. It only takes a few seconds to notice that the centre console is slightly tilted towards the driver and that’s neat! It gets physical dials! Right below the first HVAC for controls and the dials have a knurled finish that looks perfectly contemporary. Although it gets a panoramic sunroof, two-zone climate control and a wireless phone charger, it misses out on wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and ventilated seats. 

The seat comfort is generous all around but the driver’s seat could’ve used better side bolstering for sure as the Q3 loves to throw you around the cabin. Even though the Q3 is marginally wider than the previous-gen, it is best suited for two in the rear seat, since there is a transmission tunnel for the AWD system that gobbles up a lot of foot space. 

2022 Audi Q3 India Review: Engine and performance

Second Generation Audi Q3 Review, First Drive: It loves to embrace the redline and there’s never a dull moment, especially in the dynamic mode when it gets a little louder.

The Audi Q3 gets a very familiar 2-litre TFSI engine that does duty on a lot of other cars from the Skoda and Audi family. Although the beloved TDI engine fails to comply with Audi’s petrol-only portfolio, the petrol AWD didn’t make me miss it a lot. It’s refined and quiet, always in composure, but a hard step on the throttle and it doesn’t disappoint. It loves to embrace the redline and there’s never a dull moment, especially in the dynamic mode when it gets a little louder. The efficiency ride mode returned around 10kmpl in city driving and yes, with such cars, it is never about the mileage but it always helps. The 7-speed DCT transmission and Quattro is a match made in heaven.

Second-gen Audi Q3 ride and handling

One of Audi’s strong suits is ride quality. Based on the MQB platform, the Q3 aptly fills the shoes of the bigger Q7 and Q5. It glides over broken roads and potholes easily and it is only the deep ones that are felt in the cabin. It is a tall car with steel springs and nondynamic dampers, but it handles surprisingly well. 

Second-gen Audi Q3 verdict 

As a whole, the Audi Q3 makes for a well-rounded package that’s not all just about its looks but very engaging to drive as well. The SUV is impressive and feels like an all-rounder.  Sure, it asks quite a lot for it, but behaves like a much more expensive car. 

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First published on: 09-01-2023 at 07:02 IST