Did you know the new Audi Q3 is ALL-new?
Aside from the nameplate of course. We review Audi's latest generation Q3 SUV in NZ
In English, the ‘rule of three’ or ‘power of three’ is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things meaning that the reader or audience of this form of text is also thereby more likely to remember the information.
For example, when describing the all-new Audi Q3 and just using two descriptors ‘big and bold’ doesn’t sound as strong as saying it’s ‘big, bold and beautiful’. As it turns out, the new Q3 has even more ‘power of three’ relevance, and Audi took us on a trip up to Te Whai Bay Winery to tell us why.
First of all, the all-new Audi Q3 is available in New Zealand in three different variants, the 35 TFSI Advanced 1.4L 110kW/250Nm engine with 18“ alloys as standard, the 45 TFSI quattro Advanced 2L 169kW/250Nm engine with 18“ alloys as standard and the 45 TFSI quattro S Line 2L 169kW with 19“ alloys as standard.
For the three or so hour journey out of Auckland, we nabbed a black 35 first, it may be deemed the entry-level Q3, but it still had LED head and rearlights, hi-beam assist and directional rear indicators on the outside with wireless charging, Audi smartphone interface (Apple and Android) and an 8.8” MMI colour display screen.
As I said before, the All-new generation Q3 has a bigger, bolder more traditional SUV look about it and it’s has grown in virtually all proportions, 96.52mm longer and 17.78mm wider than its predecessor.
Upfront, the motorsport-inspired Singleframe Grille is more sportier looking, with vertical bars and a 3D appearance thanks to its border. Quattro Blisters (flared guards to non ’Audi-Rally’ buffs) take centre stage of the SUVs profile while the rear includes a roofline spoiler, two subtle exhaust tips (one clean) and a kicker tailgate.
Extra length equates to +70L of Extra luggage space (530L) and this goes up to 1,525L with seats flat. Also, the removable parcel shelf can be stowed under the floor so you don’t lose it (or forget where you left it). Plus there’s more cabin space particularly in the rear as the seats move 150mm on rails.
The rest of the Interior is Audi premium all the way, with links to the like of Audi’s A6 and Q8. It’s clean and modern, featuring a single screen MMI touch (non-haptic) and a digital instrument cluster. The finishing is tactile, smart and inviting with wireless charging and USB/USBC ports for faster charging and quicker data transfer.
We decided in our infinite wisdom, to head North West out of Audi NZ’s HQ in Grey Lynn (Auckland) and took as many back roads as possible to get to our late lunch venue. The 1.4L revved well and felt responsive under acceleration. With ‘Dynamic’ drive mode engaged, the steering was alive, giving tarmac feedback and a confident, agile, nimble even turn in.
From a driver’s point of view, the cabin layout is rather intuitive and the ride is very non-SUV like, which in my opinion is a great thing.
Press information and questions in the Winery’s ‘greenhouse’ was informative, enlightening and well, hot. It filled in the blanks that surrounded the Q3’s target audience (broader appeal), where they’ll come from (older Q3’s and conquest) and the expected top seller (2L/Quattro), then we had a glimpse of what Audi had in store for the next 12-month - they are going to be busy.
For the ‘mainly motorway’ drive back, we hopped into the 2L and it’s fair to say that it was my preference. The engine feels more mature and who can go past Audi’s sure-footed Quattro-ness.
The day’s launch excursion was but a 3-hour taste of what the all-new Q3 had on offer and I look forward to a follow-up drive, but summing up, the Q3 is a powerful, more masculine, and more connected SUV, it’s bigger than ever and yet still easy to drive, it’s sure to be popular. Big, bold and beautiful, the power of three, Q3.