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Audi Q3 compact SUV for Indian luxury auto market and why their Start Young campaign will work: Review and Photos

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Demand for Sports Utility Vehicles in different parts of the world is high. It’s least surprising why the auto market is witnessing a sea change. SUVs are spacious, comfortable, powerful and ideal for varied road conditions. A few years back fuel efficiency enthusiasts were not happy because of petrol and diesel consumption of large vehicles. However with auto manufacturers coming up with advanced engine technology fuel guzzling is no more an issue. One is spoilt for choice considering the variety of CUVs/SUVs produced by car manufacturers.

Although there are many off roaders on offer in the SUV segment, only a few make an impression, one of them has got to be the new Audi Q3. More of a lifestyle automobile, the Q3 is not an overly large vehicle. Its size, aesthetics and functionality seems to have caught everybody’s fancy. Standing at a height and length of 1.6 meters and 4.39 meters, the 5 seater offers 460 litres of luggage space that can be increased to 1,635 litres once the split rear seat backs are folded down.

Layout in the cabin is visually stunning. Audi has opted for the choicest cabin décor that has a calming effect on the mind. You feel relaxed and comfortable when you are seated in Audi’s Q3. The exterior styling of the SUV is worth a mention. The tail lamps, side lines, front grille and headlamps contribute towards the Q3s unique identity. And, no, this vehicle is not just styling and aesthetics, it scores high in the power department too.

Audi India has two engine options for Q3, a 2.0 TDI diesel with 177 hp or 2.0 liter TFSI petrol with 211 hp. For the Indian auto market, it’s the 2.0 TDI diesel that will make its entry first. This feature packed off-roader is a winner in its Quattro all wheel drive (AWD) avatar and hydraulic multi plate clutch. Using a 7 speed S tronic, the fast shifting dual clutch transmission compact SUV comes with optional shift paddles on the electromechanical power steering.

Audi has marked this sporty vehicle when it comes to starting young. Effectively, what this will do is not just mark their entry in a new market segment in India, but essentially the Audi Q3 luxury SUV is earmarking a particular buyer pool. More than 50% of India’s population is below 25 years of age, and more than 65% hasn’t crossed the 35 year threshold. This makes India a young country, and what better way to celebrate than allocating a SUV especially for this growing group of buyers.

Being smaller than most offerings in the SUV segment has its own advantages. For the new Q3, size is an added factor that will attract a huge share of the fairer sex and there are customization options galore. It’s a known fact the women globally are not too fond of driving large vehicles. Women are safer drivers than men, but only when they are driving smaller vehicles. Majority of women seem reluctant to get behind the wheel of an SUV. Audi have played their cards well considering the size of the Q3. Needless to say the off-roader will charm ladies. The Q3 is light, spacious, and has a high up seating position that offers excellent vision for the drive. Considering its size, this vehicle offers a lot of leg room for passengers. You’ve got to applaud the Audi team for design and aesthetics of interiors.

Q1 of 2012 saw Audi India surpass Mercedes Benz India sales figures having sold 1002 luxury vehicles in March 2012. Introduction of the Audi Q3 will further strengthen their sales growth story. All of this reasoning does point to price of the luxury SUV. Keeping in mind, current SUV price structure across segments, anything that hovers around the Rs 28 lakh mark inclusive of taxes sounds like a good price.