The Audi Q3S is the cut price version of the Q3 SUV and has come out with a price tag of Rs. 24.99 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). Where Mercedes Benz and BMW have brought in expensive luxury vehicles in the market, Audi has switched gear towards the affordable side. This cut price version seems to gel well with the booming SUV Indian market as the taste of opulence is now offered at an affordable mouth-watering price.
In order to cut the price, Audi had to do away with the Quattro four wheel drive system and incorporated front wheel drive option. The panoramic sunroof, daytime running lights and Xenon headlights have also gone off-board along with the DRLs. The package of Audi Q3 S SUV is still hefty even after the non-availability of the aforementioned features.
Safety equipment like cruise control, ABS, ESP along with six airbags, Hill start assist, electromechanical power braking along with rear parking aid, power adjustable driver seat and the driver infotainment system comes as standard features in the Audi Q3S SUV. Also, the posh vehicle tag has been maintained with leather seats, voice dialog system, climate control, MMI with Bluetooth connectivity and 18-inch alloy wheels amongst others.
The engine equipped in the Audi Q3S is the lower powered 2.0L engine, identical to the one doing duty in the Audi A4. The company knows very well that when it comes to the entry level offering of a luxury vehicle, the customers don’t look for the engine and its power output; rather, the badge is what matters, since it defines status quo. The buyers don’t want best-in-class performance as long as they are not left wanting and that’s the card Audi has played.
The 2.0L gasoline engine equipped in the sporty version of Q3 SUV makes a healthy 174.3bhp from as low as 4200rpm and torque stays healthy till 2500rpm. Press down on the light clutch; engage first gear and you’ll discover a smooth clutch action. The Q3 S ride is enjoyable with the slick gear which is light and positive; the shifting of gears revel in the shift action.
The most unprecedented feature in the new Audi is the 2.0L engine which comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and not with the automatic gearbox. That translates into the sprint capability from standstill to reach the figure of 100kmph speed in 9.9 seconds against the Quattro’s 8.3 second timing. The ARAI-certified fuel efficiency figure of the Audi Q3S 2.0L is pretty decent at 17.3kmpl.
The cabin area feels a little cramped around the rear bench especially and the headroom and legroom space are decent. The leather seat covers definitely add lushness and the seats are cushioned properly to offer a nice comfortable upright stance in the long journey. When compared to the Mercedes Benz A- Class, the Audi Q3S is way more practical and spacious but when it comes to styling, the Q3 loses ground as the designing is too generic and minimalistic. The price tag can definitely sway the buyers who are in the market for other soft-roaders like the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Captiva.
Audi has launched an online booking process with the launch of Audi Q3S which will allow buyers to book vehicles without stepping into the showroom. The German company has 27 dealerships in the country as of now and is mulling to expand that to a score of 34 by the end of this year. Audi Q3 S is a realistically capacious, practical and well-equipped soft-roader which is sure to lure the broader spectrum of people than its intended competition. The SUV wins hearts with the refined diesel engine, easy-to-use manual gearbox and a luxury insignia – Audi, which definitely is a sales-turner.