Audi Q3 Turbo Petrol Driving Automatic
Powering the Audi Q3 is a powerful 2.0-litre (40 TFSI) turbocharged petrol engine that produces 187 bhp and 320 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch S Tronic transmission with Audi’s Quattro AWD system:
This 187 bhp tuned 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine is shared with the Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb, Audi A4, etc. The same engine is available in higher tunings (241 bhp and 370 bhp). Nm) internationally, and a lot of owners will appreciate the powerful tune in the Q3. But for now, we should do well with 187 bhp. The performance of this engine is strong and with torque available from low revs, the 2.0 is very smooth and enjoyable at all speeds. That said, it is disappointing that Audi has not made its durable, efficient and powerful 2.0 TDI engine BS6 compliant. This puts the Q3 at a disadvantage as there are many diesel lovers in the premium segment. Plus, that 2.0 diesel was a workhorse for high-mileage customers in a way the 2.0 TFSI never could be. It is important to note that the line-up of cars in direct competition (BMW X1 and Mercedes Benz GLA) have diesel engines.
In the city, the healthy bottom end of the 2.0 motor helps you move smoothly. The throttle response is good and the Q3 steers smoothly. Also, the direct injection and turbocharger ensure that the engine does not idle at low rpm. There’s always more than enough power on tap to accelerate or overtake quickly. The minimal turbo lag makes it more responsive. While the dual-clutch S Tronic gearbox is super smooth 99% of the time, it can be jerky at crawling speeds in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Drive with a light foot and the gearbox shifts up the ratios quickly. It’s eager to reach the higher gears and you’ll notice it revving up under 2,000 rpm. Impressively though, you won’t feel these changes as the transition is so smooth. The Q3’s steering is light at city speeds and the car shrinks further in size when driving. You will enjoy driving it in the city.
That’s when things take a turn for the better on the highway! You’ll find yourself addicted to dropping the throttle to the floor whenever there’s an empty spot on the road. Outright performance is excellent and the strong mid-range takes care of all the overtaking you do. Downshifts are quick and the gearbox responds well to throttle inputs, especially in “Dynamic” mode. The engine revs beautifully at ~6,200 rpm and importantly looks lovely and sporty while doing so. While it is enjoyable, we would have liked to have played with 6,500 – 6,700 rpm as this rpm level is too low (some diesel rev up to 5,500 rpm!). In terms of crushability, the Q3 can run at triple-digit speeds all day long without breaking a sweat. The engine comfortably spins at 100 km/h at ~1,700 rpm and 120 km/h at ~2,000 rpm. And Touring You Must Do – This car is made for long-distance road trips. In short, the 2.0 TFSI is a jewel of a motor that will keep you happy in the low revs and high revs and in the city as well as on the highway.
The Q3 uses a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and has a wet clutch setup. We have our doubts about the long-term reliability of any VW/Skoda/Audi dual-clutch and strongly recommend getting that extended warranty. The first 500 customers of the Audi Q3 are being offered a 5-year extended warranty and a comprehensive service package of 3 years/50,000 km.
When moving in D mode, you will not even know about the gear shift. They are very smooth. Kick-down response time is quick and you never feel like the gearbox is looking for gear. It is in the right proportion almost all the time. When you are in the mood to drive the car aggressively – turn on the ‘Dynamic’ mode. This puts the car in ‘high alert’ mode and he loses his senses. The dual-clutch transmission tends to stay in gear for a long time before upshifting and you’ll also notice that the gearbox is eager to downshift at the slightest throttle input. Those with heavy feet will surely love the S mode. However, in a city with heavy traffic, S mode can be jerky.
Paddle shifters have been provided and you will enjoy using them with this turbo-petrol. The response time is quick and they are fun to use on a twisty stretch of road. Tap the left paddle to downshift and you’ll notice the ECU blip the throttle to match the revs, which is quite satisfying and addictive. A good amount of engine braking is also available. But then again, with a combination like that, the paddle shifters would have been a lot more fun if the engine offered 500 – 1,000 more revs to play with.
The Q3’s dual-clutch S Tronic has an “S” mode that changes the gearbox’s shift points. The gearbox also stays in gear for a long time. Manual mode can be activated by moving the gear lever to the Tiptronic gate on the left, or by clicking on any of the plastic pedals. Tiptronic operates in both “D” and “S” modes. in response time
The Tiptronic is decent and the Astronic holds onto the gears. This mode can be used to keep the engine in its powerband, which can be useful for overtaking.
In addition to the gearbox’s “S” mode, the Q3 has multiple driving modes, which change parameters of the engine, gearbox, steering, ESP and air-con. There are a total of five drive modes to choose from: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Offroad. The Q3 gets a dedicated ‘drive select’ button below the gear lever to select the drive mode.
Comfort Mode: As the name suggests, in this mode everything is in the most comfortable setting – engine map and steering. Use it for everyday driving in your city.
Dynamic Mode: Engage Dynamic Mode and the gearbox also shifts to ‘S’ mode. Downshifts are very quick, and you’ll feel the throttle pounding. The engine definitely feels more responsive in Dynamic mode. This is the mode when you are in the ‘mood’ for fun. For regular urban driving, this mode can feel extreme. The steering feels heavy compared to the other modes.
Efficiency Mode: The climate control doesn’t work as hard in Efficiency Mode – although it still cools the cabin adequately. Power delivery is lazy, throttle response a bit sluggish. Overall, because the engine is reasonably powerful, the efficiency mode is still usable. It doesn’t feel too sluggish and has enough grunt on tap to keep you cruising at high speeds. When it comes to quick overtaking, you will need Dynamic or Comfort mode.
Auto Mode: This is the mode where you let the car decide what’s best for you. It will adjust the characteristics based on your throttle input.
Off Road: As the name suggests, this should be applied when you are not on the road. This provides better accelerator sensitivity in these situations. Also, traction control is disabled when this mode is activated.
Audi has equipped the Q3 with its well-known quattro all-wheel-drive system. As is usually the case with such crossovers, under normal conditions, the system only sends power to the front wheels. If road conditions require more traction, it will send the required amount of torque to the rear wheels. The system monitors which of the four wheels has the most traction and is able to send torque to those wheels. If slippery roads cause one wheel to lose traction, the system applies the brakes to that wheel and transfers the remaining power to the other wheels. AWD will help you travel through remote parts of the country and through the likes of slush, muck and sand. However, this is not a hardcore off roader.
Noise, Vibration and Hoarseness (NVH)
As you would expect in a premium SUV like this, the refinement levels are satisfactory overall. The engine idles slowly and you will hardly notice it when driving comfortably. rev 2.0 TFSI and a nice, sporty note is audible in the cabin. Wind noise is well controlled even when driving at 120 km/h.
Mileage and Fuel Economy
We would expect 7-9 kmpl in the city depending on the traffic density. You get an idling stop/start system which helps save some fuel at traffic signals. Note that turbo-petrol cars are very sensitive to throttle input and if you drive it hard (which you will), the fuel gauge will drop very quickly and you’ll see 5 – 6 km/l. The Q3’s fuel tank capacity is 62.4 litres.
The Q3 uses MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. The suspension feels firm for Indian conditions; As you would expect in a luxury car. But unlike the Tiguan, this suspension tune is not too uncomfortable and is quite livable. At low speeds, the Q3 absorbs small bumps well and much of it is not felt in the cabin. You have to be careful with large potholes as you will hear a noticeable ‘thud’. On a rough stretch of road, there will be a lot of side-to-side movement in the cabin.
Ride quality is also good on the highway. On a smooth expressway road, you and your co-passengers will be eating up the miles in relative ease. Vertical movement is well controlled i.e., the suspension is firm enough to prevent the body from bouncing too much on undulating roads. However, road imperfections and even rumble streaks are sharply felt in the cabin.
Note that the Q3 doesn’t get adaptive dampers like the Skoda Kodiaq. What you do get is ‘Comfort Suspension’ from Audi. And while it does a decent job, having ‘dynamic’ dampers (adjustable firmness according to drive mode) would have added extra flexibility to the Q3’s ride comfort.
The recommended tire pressure is 33 PSI and is perfect for day to day driving. Not to forget that this is a luxury car and you cannot drive on rough roads like you would say in a Duster. It has typical German car characteristics and the suspension tune has an inherent layer of firmness to it. But first-time luxury car buyers will appreciate the ride comfort in the third quarter.
Handling and maneuverability
The good thing about this suspension tune is its high-speed behavior.
The car’s high-speed stability is excellent, and it feels composed at triple-digit speeds. The Q3 masks the silly motion with ease.
When you’re on some twisty roads, you’ll appreciate the grip you get from the quattro all-wheel-drive system. You can hold the line quite easily and have more speed in the corner. The Michelin Primacy 4 tires on our test car performed well while cornering hard. You can change direction from turn to turn without much drama and the car feels calm throughout. There is some body roll felt under hard cornering, but it’s never excessive. Having adaptive dampers will make some difference in ‘Dynamic’ mode here. Overall, the dynamics of the car is typically German and complements the 2.0 TFSI engine very well.
While the electric power steering is precise and bears weight at highway speeds (though not as much as enthusiasts would like), it offers little feel and feedback. On the positive side, it’s light at city and parking speeds. It also comes with something called Progressive Steering which will be greatly appreciated at parking speeds. What happens is that the steering ratio becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle. In simple words, the car understands that you are going to lock in the parking lot and reduces the number of turns. You can go from full left lock to full right lock in just 2 turns of the steering wheel! Super clever and efficient too. This, along with the delightfully smooth gearshift, short turning radius and relatively urban-friendly dimensions make the Q3 easy to drive in the city.
Disc brakes are pretty standard in this segment. Brakes are top class. The car had no problem stopping in a straight line, even when we slammed on the brake pedal at speed. However, I did find that the brakes are very sensitive to pedal pressure and it might take some getting used to.