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Review: Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI
Driven February 2013
It’s a known fact that an SUV with a petrol engine isn’t the ideal configuration for India. Whether entry-level or luxury, customers are more inclined towards diesel-powered SUVs, not leaving much scope for a petrol model to do well. But petrol engines have their own appeal - they are smoother, refined, offer better acceleration, and are definitely more fun to drive.
So what happens when these characteristics are added to a car that’s already a segment-topper? An irresistible package. And that’s exactly what the new Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI is attempting to be. It comes with a 1984cc, 4-cylinder, direct injection turbo-charged petrol motor that’s good for 208bhp and 300Nm of torque. Sounds awesome!
We couldn’t resist getting behind the wheel, so we left the exteriors for the inquisitive onlookers to gawk at and quickly leaped into the cabin. Start the engine and you instantly realise how smooth and refined the four-cylinder motor is. It comes mated to a brilliant seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox that reacts aptly to what the situation demands. On the road, it feels nimble and there is no hesitation in power delivery, with the motor swiftly pulling to its 7000rpm redline. And just for the record, the Q3 2.0 TFSI takes 7.18 seconds for a 0-100kph sprint as compared to 7.94 seconds for the 2.0 TDI.
Driving in the D mode should take care of your daily roundabouts and the motor feels pretty relaxed here. It upshifts promptly in the interests of fuel economy, but the flipside is that at most times, the engine runs in a higher gear and it takes a while to downshift. It isn’t alarming though. If you wish to reach your destination faster then the ‘S’ or Manual mode would be your best bet. However, within city limits the ’box feels a bit jerky, especially in ‘S’.
We aren’t big fans of Audi’s electromechanical steering system, it’s a bit too light for our liking and it lacks feedback. The steering wheel, although quite direct and weighs up with increase in speed, feels quite artificial and this somewhat hampers the Q3’s excellent handling capabilities. Chuck the Q3 into a fast corner and it holds on to the line without creating any drama. The quattro all-wheel drive system helps the Q3 maintain its composure even in the trickiest of corners and at times you feel the urge of pushing the Q3 harder, only to be let down by that light steering wheel.
The Q3 has a comfortable ride with the setup slightly on the firmer side. It absorbs most of the road irregularities with only bigger bumps filtering in to the cabin. On the economy front, the Q3 2.0 TFSI returned a neat 8.25kpl in combined driving cycle with some assistance from its start-stop mechanism.
The Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI is quick and more fun to drive than its diesel cousin. It retains all its positives and takes the fun quotient to the next level. If you do not mind paying that extra buck every time you visit a fuel pump then this is one entry-level luxury SUV you don’t want to miss.
1984cc, in-line-four petrol, direct injection and turbo-charged petrol, 208bhp, 300Nm, 7A S-tronic dual-clutch, 0-100kph in 7.18s, 30-50kph in 1.73s, 50-70kph in 1.77sec, 8.25kpl, 230kph* (claimed)
Rs 27.37 - 32.66 lakh (ex-showroom, Maharashtra)