If you’re caught in a car on a bumpy road, chances are it doesn’t have Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive technology, which Audi automobiles are known for. They not only have a greater ability to combat any surface, but they also have the best and most current features to make everyday driving a memorable experience.
Audi is doing exceptionally well financially in India, thanks to its expanding dealership network and a diverse vehicle lineup that includes sedans, SUVs, and high-performance sports cars. Among them, the Q series of SUVs has been a big hit with Indian buyers, with the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift being the best-selling model and the small SUV segment leader.
The brand new Mercedes Benz GLA made a lot of noise when it first arrived in the compact SUV market, but it couldn’t compete with the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift. Audi recently offered the Q3 a redesign as well as an interior upgrade to ensure that this fight has a spicy garnish. What’s the true storey here? In our review, we reveal.
This small wee SUV hasn’t altered much, as it still appears more manly than the Mercedes Benz GLA and surely more energetic than the BMW X1. Audi has given it a mid-life update, so it now has some modern features while still maintaining its charm.
A three-dimensional single frame radiator grille with new edges surrounding its shape and a contrasting brushed aluminium finish can be found up front. The sleek headlights perfectly obstruct this arrangement. The fog lamp pockets have also been redesigned, with one exception: they no longer have fog lights because the headlamp cluster now has LED daytime running lamps. The front creases and contours make it appear wider than before.
Aside from the new 5 spoke 17 inch alloy wheels, everything else is the same as before. In comparison to the previous wheels, these keep the edgy vibe and seem clean. The side skirts are changed somewhat, while the rest of the characteristics and attributes remain the same. The Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift has always been more appealing than its competitors because it is not a phoney SUV with phoney muscular features; rather, its overall design and proportions are appropriately scaled down from larger SUVs such as the Q5 and even the Q7.
At the back, there are new LED tail lamps that illuminate within two-tenths of a second, similar to the ones seen in the company’s premium luxury and sport models. With a diffuser and chrome layered dual exhaust pipes, the rear bumper gets a new shape. The new Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift is also available in three exciting new colours.
The interiors have been updated to make it feel more posh than before. The basic layout stays the same, but the interior trims are more appealing thanks to the use of new materials and colour schemes.
Again, the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift outperforms its competitors because the cabin is more airy and spacious. Optional dual tone beige and black or all black trim is available for the interiors. 3D Aluminium tangent silver finished inlays have replaced the hardwood inlays. A brushed aluminium surround surrounds the automated gear shift as well. The same thing can be seen around air conditioning vents.
The seats are embroidered in good quality leather with adequate all-around support to make it feel as comfortable as previously. It performs admirably in all areas, whether it’s the lumbar support or the under-thigh support. The front passengers, as well as the back passengers, have plenty of knee room. The electrically adjustable front row seats may be adjusted to the ideal position for maximum comfort.
It is more well-equipped, as Audi has introduced additional equipment to both the premium Technology line and the cheaper models. There’s also a new Audi sound system with a 20 GB jukebox that can store up to 4000 songs, which adds to the fun. A new MMI Navigation System, which can be viewed on the popup 5.8-inch infotainment screen, is available to assist you when driving in unfamiliar areas. It has to be manually tucked inside the dashboard, as opposed to the A3’s cooler auto descending one. It also has two SDHC slots as well as Bluetooth for phone and entertainment.
The Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift features numerous storage possibilities throughout the cabin, making it quite useful. Under the central armrest, there is a smartphone cradle that uses the car’s antenna to improve the phone’s signal, which is really clever. Subtle changes to the multi-information display and infotainment screen have improved the overall experience.
Driven by Results
The 2.0L TDI diesel engine has been fine-tuned to provide a more engaging driving experience, making it an enjoyable SUV to drive. It has 177 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque, which is higher than the GLA crossover. Paddle shifters are nicely positioned below the steering wheel to aid frequent shifts and also to give it an excited feel to the self-driven class.
Unlike most other motors, there is no normal clatter at the very crank, which is a positive feature. When you move your thumb around the freshly installed paddle shifters, the motor obeys your orders. The best thing about this TDI engine is that it doesn’t need to be whipped on its buttocks to start prancing; instead, a little press on the throttle will enough.
Audi Drive Select, which has three settings, is also available on the new Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift. The comfort option uses softer settings to handle regular, less-than-ideal roads with undulations and uneven surfaces, whereas the auto mode does a smooth job of adapting itself based on the conditions. It’s the dynamic mode, which is my personal favourite, where you can ditch the well-behaved outfit for a more spirited driving style, with the steering and throttle becoming tighter and forceful to tackle twists and turns in the most efficient manner possible.
When you open the panoramic sunroof, the cabin is bathed in natural light, and the soft beige furnishings make it the perfect place to be. Your knees, too, will like the open vibe, especially if you’re in a coupeish crossover posing as an SUV. With its right posture and a large front screen, the driver’s seat provides an accurate assessment of the surroundings. Parking plus with reverse camera is included as standard to further improve manoeuvrability.
Another feature that facilitates comfortable driving in the city is the mild steering. Many have criticised this feature; nevertheless, I support it because an SUV with mild steering is exactly what one needs to rapidly manoeuvre around that hatchback or car parked irresponsibly in a lane. Shift it to dynamic mode on highways for greater feel, and you’re good to go for both conditions.
Another striking feature of the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift is how well it handles rough terrain. When a pothole is noticed in a rival crossover, you might close your eyes, but the Q3’s suspensions flex to take on whatever is thrown at it. The Q3’s dominant stance in such situations is incredible. I wish I had more opportunities to grill the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift because Goa has fewer of such and more of good roads. It was pure joy to select Dynamic mode with thumbs on shifter pedals. The shell and chassis move in lockstep without causing any unpleasant movement, and the smooth diesel engine and 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission round out the package.
So, what exactly are we dealing with here? A new SUV is a fantastic thing, even if it isn’t brand new in many ways. The new design language, alloy wheels, sequential turn lights, panoramic sunroof, modern interiors, and navigation system are all enough to convince you to consider the new Q3. In terms of the not-so-new bits, they haven’t changed the handling, ride quality, or suspensions, and it still has that fantastic 2.0L TDI engine.
To put it plainly, if you’re looking for a premium line range starter ‘SUV,’ the Audi Q3 35 TDI Facelift is the only vehicle that fits the bill. The GLA is unquestionably more stylish, but it can’t rise beyond its crossover category, whereas the current-generation BMW X1 is more powerful but lacks the raw appeal of an SUV.