Introduction: First launched in 2011, Audi Q3 soon came to India in 2012, as a CBU. Launched only with one engine option in 2012, Audi realized its potential and launched two more variants in 2013, to capture the rising demand. These new variants were – 2.0 TFSI petrol and a detuned 2.0l TDI in 2013. Audi also began local assembly of Q3 in India in 2013. In India, Audi Q3 competes directly with BMW X1, and to some extent with the likes of Mercedes A Class, B Class, and Volvo V40 (if you consider the premium entry level segment). Now, with Mercedes getting ready to launch their first compact SUV in India, the GLA Class, Audi India has added yet another variant to the Q3 line-up, in the form of Q3 Dynamic.
Exteriors: To look at, the Q3 Dynamic is no different than other Q3’s on offer in India. But, there are a few changes, which will tell the top of the line Q3 Dynamic apart from other Q3 variants. The most easy to tell of the few differences is its front grille. Instead of chrome garnish only on the border, Q3 Dynamic also gets chrome finish on its vertical frame (like Q5 and Q7).
Fog lamp encasing is also a bit different, side is same, while rear gets a set of new LED tail lights. Rear features Audi’s new naming system, instead of 2.0 TDI badging, it has 35 TDI. Front and rear bumpers also get silver skid plates at lower ends, just as seen in higher Q variants. You also get three new colour options with the Q3 Dynamic – Florett Silver, Mythos Black and Monsoon Grey. Alloy design stays the same, with 17 inch wheels.
Interiors: Audi Q3 Dynamic features the same interior design as seen in other Q3’s. The same four spoke steering wheel, centre console, instrument control, gear lever, seat fabric, 5.8 inch colour screen integrated with Audi MMI technology, etc. Q3 is offered with both, all black interiors and a dual tone finish. Both front seats are electronically adjustable, and offer good support, including four way lumbar support. At the rear, though there is space for three, it will not be comfortable for the centre passenger during long journeys.
For rear passengers, there are AC vents and 12V charging point, though a centre armrest at this price point should have been added. Another missing feature is the absence of rear camera for park assist. Though there are proximity sensors on the front and rear, at a price of almost Rs 40 lakhs, this feature should have been included.
Being a compact SUV, once inside, the Q3 gives an impression of being a much larger car, thanks to the Audi Space Frame (and the huge panoramic sunroof). AC easily cools the cabin within minutes. Even in hot Coimbatore whether, while racing on track (Kari Motor Speedway), and off-roading, the cabin maintained its cool, keeping us unaware of the heat outside. To keep you entertained, Audi Q3 comes with a 10 speaker music system and a sub woofer. Doors offer ample space for storing water bottles and other small things. Storage place is aplenty at 460 litres, with rear seats folded, this space grows to 1365 litres.
The only change you will notice inside of Q3 Dynamic, is the presence of walnut brown wood inlay on dashboard. Apart from this, you will also find a new button on centre console – Drive Select. Yes, this is the feature which separates Q3 Dynamic from the rest.
Engine performance and Mileage: Offered only in 2.0 TDI diesel engine generating 177 hp power @4,200 rpm and a peak torque of 380 Nm at 1,750-2,500 rpm. This is the same engine which is also seen in other Audi, VW, and Skoda cars in India. In Q3 Dynamic, this engine delivers a top speed of 212 kmph and a 0-100 kmph acceleration time of 8.2 seconds. Mileage claimed by Audi is 15.73 kmpl, while driving on the track, and during off-road venture (see image gallery), we got a mileage of 10 kmpl. Transmission is via 7 Speed S tronic, delivering power to all four wheels using Audi’s quattro technology.
Driving and Handling: The combination of a world class engine and transmission results in a butter smooth drive. Even though a SUV by structure, the Q3 not only picks up speed effortlessly, but also maintains its posture while on the track. The gearbox offers three modes Drive, Sport and Manual. In Drive mode, the transmission changes gears as to offer you best possible mileage and power output combination. In Sport mode, gears change at a higher rpm, thus giving a rush of adrenaline. In Manual mode, you have the control to change gears, though once you hit its limit, the gearbox will change the gear automatically.
Audi Q3 is easy to manoeuvre, be it highways, ghats, or traffic. On highways, Q3 overtakes other cars with breeze, on ghats, you will be surprised at its low bodyroll and its ability to stick to the road without, and in traffic, you can always relax and enjoy its easy drive, bumper to bumper, in its quiet cabin, listening to some good music. The suspensions on Q3 too are adequately set for Indian road conditions, giving ample comfort while travelling through bumpy terrain or pothole ridden city roads.
We also had chance to do some extensive off-roading with the new Q3, as you can see in the image gallery below. When sitting in its driver’s seat, and about to start for off-road venture, you will not be sure of whether the Q3 will be able to manage or not. But, it does, effortlessly. The quattro technology in tandem with traction control sends power to the right set of wheels.
Coming to Audi Q3 Dynamic’s Drive Select Mode, it is the only compact SUV in India to offer such a feature. With this, you can select either Comfort, Auto or Dynamic mode. What these do is change its suspension setting (it does not affect steering or engine, as in Q5 and Q7). In Comfort mode, you will get default car suspension setting. In Dynamic mode, suspensions get stiffer, making it ideal for track conditions, while in Auto mode, its intelligent system detects the terrain and adjusts suspension accordingly.
Verdict: Audi Q3 is India’s best selling compact luxury SUV. Offered in three trims, two transmissions, and two engine options (petrol 2.0l is discontinued), Audi Q3 range comes at price bracket of Rs 25-39 lakhs, attracting a wide range of customer base. With the addition of Q3 Dynamic, Audi has added yet another unique feature to the Q3 line-up – Drive Select (in addition to the existing AWD quattro technology). This certainly gives Audi Q3 Dynamic an edge over rivals, exactly what the affluent buyers in this segment are looking for.
Why would you buy Audi Q3 Dynamic
Why would you not buy Audi Q3 Dynamic
– Rear camera missing