The 2019 Audi Q3 may be based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, however, everything above that is completely different
Audi is officially back in Malaysia, and not just with the Audi Q3. In fact, the whole model range is available if you wish to drive one of Ingolstadt’s finest. And the Audi Q3 advanced 1.4 TFSI S tronic you read and see in this review is the brand’s latest premium compact crossover SUV offering.
What is the Audi Q3?
Comparing to the previous 8U generation, the F3 Audi Q3 is 97 mm longer and 25 mm wider, while lower by 5mm. However, with the upsize, the weight has gone down; the F3 weighs at 1,435 kg as opposed to the first-generation 8U’s 1,480 kg. Styling-wise, Audi’s current crop of cars as of late are the nicest looking its design studio has come up with. The Audi Q3’s styling follows many of the cues first seen on the all-electric e-tron SUV, even the octagonal grille design is a cut from the same cloth.
That said, the F3 Q3’s design is more chiselled and grown-up than the outgoing model, a lot less bulbous too. The LED headlamps and rear combination lamps come with Audi’s new diagonal stripe signature lighting feature. This is part of the brand’s new design language which can be seen on their newest models.
Likewise, the interior design is a step forward. Audi has done away with the retractable screen replacing it with the seamlessly integrated the 10.1-inch Multi Media Interface (MMI) Touch Display TFT screen. Having that said, the dashboard is much neater and organised which makes the operation of the vehicle’s functions intuitive. What’s more, the Audi Q3 comes with 30-colour ambient lighting as standard.
The latest MMI user interface is easy to use. Pairing your smartphone via Bluetooth only takes three steps. Moreover, with its concise graphic elements with big square buttons enable quick and easy access through the menu levels with just a quick glance. Also, the MMI UI elements provide short cuts into a function’s advanced settings. For instance, you can access the advanced audio settings beside the volume slider.
The buttons and dials provide a premium feel when turning the dials or when operating the steering wheel control buttons. The 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit in the Q3 is customisable with three but not overly distinct designs. ‘Classic’ and ‘Sport’ feature twin dials, while the ‘Dynamic’ displays horizontal gauges with graphical geometrical hands. The latter provides a wider view of navigation map if the driver opts to view the MMI navigation map with only gear position and travelling speed on display.
The MMI system is connected online via LTE and with the Google-powered navigation system, the MMI navigation is able to receive real-time traffic information which does inform the driver of the traffic situation ahead and able to change routes when needed. However, you’ll need to get another sim card for this car.
With the larger dimensions, the interior space is increased along as well. The roomy interior is great for drivers who don’t like small spaces. And there’s enough room to wedge a handbag between driver and the door. The 8-way power-adjustable front seats are wide and provide adequate lateral support, as well as adjustability for drivers and occupants of many sizes.
While at the rear, three adults can sit comfortably with extra cubbies available to the rear occupants to use. As expected, the rear boot space measures in at 675-litres and folding the 40:20:40 rear seats flat increases that number to 1,525-litres. Speaking of which, the rear seats can slide backwards or forwards to allow more legroom or boot space if needed. In addition, the rear seatbacks are adjustable as well.
The Audi Q3 is typical with many Volkswagen Group cars; the view outside is clear and unobstructed, while the buttons, dials, toggles and screen is within the driver’s reach. Ingress and egress is not an issue thanks to the Q3’s wide door apertures.
Powering the Audi Q3 is a 1.4-litre TSI engine which makes 148 bhp at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 1,500 to 3,500 rpm. The direct fuel injection and turbocharged inline-four provide linear power delivery, while the dual-clutch six-speed S tronic transmission sends power to its two front wheels seamlessly.
Moreover, the 1.4-litre engine is impressively frugal; as tested, the Audi Q3 clocked:
- Highway: 5.6 L/100 Km (15.3 km/l)
- Urban: 8.5 L/100 Km ( 12.4 km/l)
- Combined: 6.3 L/100 Km (15.8 km/l)
When driven frugally, the 60-litre fuel tank can — in theory — take you up to 900 km, which the Q3 rewards frugal and mindful driving.
Speaking of which, the Audi Q3 is an accommodating compact crossover. With clear visibility outside, the Q3 is easy to place on the road be it on highways or navigating through parking lots. The ride is comfortable thanks to its 16-inch wheel and tyre combination. And when climbing up hills, the 1.4-litre engine does it effortlessly. The ride quality is above average which the Q3 offers adequate isolation with the lack of road and wind noise.
When driven spiritedly, the Audi Q3 feels light on its toes and does have a good footing on the road. The Bridgestone Alenza tyres are a good match with the Q3’s dynamics when driven within their limits. The adaptive dampers provide taut body control in its firmest setting. And the quick-ratio steering rack is one of the key contributors to the Q3’s agile handling characteristics.
Should I buy the Audi Q3?
You can consider getting one because now there is an official channel in Malaysia, where a 5-year unlimited warranty and customer-centric perks will be bundled in if you opt for the Audi Q3. As for the car itself, the Audi Q3 fared well in terms of practicality, ergonomics, refinement, styling and space are worthwhile attributes.
Tester’s Note: We give the Audi Q3 4.5 out of 5 stars for its all-round abilities and value-added features.
2019 Audi Q3 advanced 1.4 TFSI S tronic (CBU)
Price From RM 269,900 (OTR without insurance)
On sale Now
Engine 1,395cc, in-line 4 cylinder, direct fuel injection, turbocharged
Power 148 bhp @ 5,000 – 6,000 rpm
Torque 250 Nm @ 1,500 – 3,500 rpm
Gearbox 6-spd S tronic dual-clutch transmission
Kerb weight 1,435 kg (kerb)
Top speed 207 km/h (Audi)
0-100km/h 8.9 seconds (Audi)
Combined Fuel Consumption 6.3 L/100 Km (Tested)