New 2013 Audi Q3 S review, test drive

    Entry into the luxury segment is becoming more affordable. But while most are launching premium hatches, Audi answers with a pared down Q3 SUV.

    Published on Aug 08, 2013 04:49:00 PM


    The Audi Q3 S we got is a test mule and has fabric upholstery, manual seat adjustment and all-black interiors, but the company says the final car will have all the trappings that customers will expect from an Audi, and that means leather seats, climate control and the optional sunroof. What it won’t have, and what might matter to owners, are Audi’s signature LED headlamps, which were just too expensive to leave on the Sport’s standard equipment list.

    The front-wheel-drive Audi Q3 comes with a lower powered 140bhp 2.0-litre engine, identical to the one in the A4. Audi knows that for buyers of entry-level luxury cars, the badge is more important than the engine. They don’t want best-in-class performance as long as they are not left wanting. That’s exactly the case with this Q3. Press down on the light clutch, engage first gear and you’ll discover a smooth clutch action. The Q3’s engine makes a healthy 32.6kgm from as low as 1750rpm and torque stays healthy till 2500rpm.

    The Audi Q3 S is quite enjoyable to drive – the gearbox is slick, light and positive and you will often find yourself shifting gears just to revel in the shift action. This Q3, despite its lower power (the Quattro comes with 177bhp), never feels slow. This is partly due to the fact that this car, at 1445kg, weighs a considerable 140kg less than its all-wheel-drive sibling.


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