Right on Q... the Audi with Range Rover in its sights

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - AUDI Q3 QUAT­TRO

Keith Ward IN the Audi range the Q3 sits in size be­low the Q5 and Q7 as a high-rid­ing, com­pact SUV ver­sion of the A3, lean­ing heav­ily on its sib­ling com­pa­nies in the VW group. So it sports the same me­chan­i­cals as the VW Tiguan and is built at Seat’s Mar­torell plant in Spain.

The Q3 chal­lenges what has be­come the run­away suc­cess in this sec­tor, the Range Rover Evoque, like­wise of­fered in two or four-wheel-drive. In five­door guise, the Evoque is 20mm shorter than the Q3 but 134mm wider.

Where the Q3 scores is in the trans­verse mount­ing of its en­gines which, within its mod­est foot­print, leaves more space for peo­ple and pack­ages. The boot of a min­i­mum 460 litres is de­cently long, if fairly shal­low. The rear seat­backs drop for­ward into a slop­ing, ex­tended floor. Rear legroom is gen­er­ous for this class. But some school-run mums may find the high-open­ing tail­gate a reach too far, even to its lower, re­cessed han­dle.

At prices nom­i­nally be­tween £26,200 and £31,715, there’s a choice of front-drive or, at just £1,170 ex­tra, quat­tro four-wheel-drive, cou­pled to man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, de­pend­ing upon ver­sion, and four en­gines – 170 PS or 211 PS petrol and diesels of 177 PS or the “econ­omy” 140 PS in our hands.

Per­for­mance from the 2.0 TDI diesel is not what you would call dash­ing, and there’s a harsh note when pushed, but it gives plea­sure at the pumps. Even with per­ma­nent 4WD it was re­turn­ing near 50mpg over­all, as in­di­cated by its trip com­puter, and on some long jour­neys 56-plus, so un­usu­ally near-match­ing or even ex­ceed­ing its of­fi­cial com­bined rat­ing.

Early on, the pushre­lease fuel filler flap jammed shut (another fiendish aid to fuel sav­ing?) Dur­ing my hour’s wait in a pot­ted­palmed Audi deal­er­ship, where I could have been awash with the cups of cof­fee re­peat­edly of­fered, it was re­ported by my per­sonal ser­vice re­cep­tion­ist as a failed “ac­tu­a­tor” and duly fixed.

Of two trim lev­els, the lower SE tested here brings as stan­dard 17in al­loys, dual zone cli­mate con­trol, “con­cert” au­dio with 6.5in colour dis­play screen, Blue­tooth in­ter­face, roof rails, rear park­ing sen­sors and au­to­matic lights and wipers.

An up­grade to S-line would add 18in al­loys, styling bits and xenon head­lamps with those dis­tinc­tive day­time run­ning lights and LED tail lamps. Such good­ies as self-park­ing as well as nav­i­ga­tion with 3D map­ping and Google Earth con­nec­tion come ex­tra again. Our SE was hung with a host of ex­tra­cost op­tions, no­tably heated and leather-clad seats (£1,510), up­graded – al­beit dial-up rather than touch-screen – nav­i­ga­tion (£1,495) and those Xenon lights (£1,150). So a listed price of un­der £26,000 jumped to nearly £34,000.

On road the quat­tro felt typ­i­cally sure-footed, swoop­ing around North Wales and the Pen­nines, in dry or wet.

This Q, to con­tinue the James Bond anal­ogy, is not for be­ing shaken or stirred.

MOV­ING EX­PE­RI­ENCE: The Audi Q3 Quat­tro feels typ­i­cally sure­footed in the dry or wet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.