Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic (170bhp) Review
Sizing it up

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
16 Sep 2012
 

Audi downsizes the Q5 to give us a true competitor to the BMW X1. Raymond Lai tries the entry-level Q3 for size.

Introduction, styling

When it comes to premium compact SUVs that is around the size of a family hatchback like the Golf, the BMW X1 has mostly had its own way since it was introduced about two years ago. As soon as the X1 was introduced to the market though, news filtered that one of BMW’s closest competitors, Audi was readying a rival to the X1 in the form of the Q3.

Without any imminent introduction of any other similarly sized premium SUV models from rival manufacturers on the horizon, the Q3 and X1 will be in a class of their own in the coming years. We’ve already tested the X1 in base form back when it was launched two years back but what about the Q3? The compact model that Audi calls an urban SUV is finally here and it’s finally time for us to put through its paces.

The Q3’s basic formula is simple enough – put the Q5 onto a copier machine, select 90 percent, add some sporty styling touches for it to appeal more to the younger set and the Q3 is born. For Singapore, the Q3 is available in two variants, both powered by the same 2.0 TFSI motor but in different states of tune – 170bhp and 211bhp.

At 4385mm in length, the Q3 is a noticeable 244mm shorter than its Q5 sibling. It is also 63mm lower and has a 204mm shorter wheelbase. From some angles, the Q3 does look like a more compact version of the Q5 but with a more steeply raked rear tailgate treatment and a lower roofline. Other styling detail differences from the Q5 include the more pronounced wedge shape of the head and tail lamps on the Q3.

The 170bhp model tested here comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels while the 211bhp model can be marked out by its larger 18-inch alloys and standard S line aero kit. The 170bhp model tested here though, has been kitted up with the $7,257 19-inch 5-segment spoke design alloy wheels and the superb looking $8,622 offroad styling package that gives the Q3 a significantly more purposeful and menacing stance overall.  


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 170bhp @ 4300rpm
Torque 280Nm @ 1700rpm
Power to Weight 109.3 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 212 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission with electrohydraulic control, synchromesh on all gears
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4385 x 1831 x 1590) mm
Wheelbase 2603 mm
Turning Circle 5,900 metres
Kerb Weight 1555 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 64 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs