Lifestyle, Motoring

Rise Of A Phoenix — Second Coming of Audi’s iconic Q3

Rise Of A Phoenix — Second Coming of Audi’s iconic Q3

When a specific car model sells very well, it means the desirability, formula of style and substance works. However, Audi feels otherwise. After pushing out more than a million units since its launch in 2011, the Audi Q3 is due for a change.

With the demanding standards of the compact luxury crossover category increasing, Audi goes back to the drawing board for an all-new second- generation Q3, armed with an SUV design and engine overhaul to dominate that particular automotive segment.

Audi describes the new design as “strength and presence”. At first glance, the new Q3 seems to bear some resemblance to its predecessor, but it has grown 97mm longer and 18mm wider with its wheelbase stretched by almost 80mm. SUV buyers expect a pavement statement these days, so the second incarnation obliges with a taller profile, boxy flared wheel arches, a less rakish bonnet, and a more upright windscreen.

A flatter roofline boasts a sporty appearance with the striking Audi shoulders clearly visible from the rear. Taking cues from the Q8’s handsome looks, the Singleframe with an octagonal design and eight vertical bars add an aggressive stance to the car while the Matrix LED headlights make the mean machine more noticeable.

The same narrative applies to the interior. Everything that has been recently introduced in the Q8 is also featured in the new Q3 – digital landscape in the cockpit with large MMI touch display and navigation are some. Impeccable interior fittings like leather trims on the steering wheel, sunroof, and LED bands around the lights are unmissable.

The passenger compartment is more welcoming and modern than that of the previous model – boasting a refined style as well as accurate finishes and precise assembly. In addition, it comes with all the best in-car technology one can expect from Audi to provide an upscale daily driving experience.

The rivals, BMW X1 and Jaguar F-Pace, have shown that it is possible to achieve sharp handling in an SUV while the Volvo XC40 has significantly raised customer expectations on ride quality. As for Audi, it claims the new Q3 delivers significant improvements in both areas.

Hit the drive button, and it gets up, goes, and stops with effortless handling. One can cycle through the five driving modes – auto, dynamic (a fancy term for sports), individual, comfort, and the new off-road. Drivers will want to leave it on auto most of the time where the SUV glides comfortably through, soaking bumps on the road while delivering competent acceleration.

If he wants to kick things up a notch, the dynamic mode adds stronger acceleration, but just as importantly, it also refines the handling with great turning. The speed-crazed will be happy to note that the 1.4 TFSI gasoline engine has punch – sprinting from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds.

The new Audi Q3 is clearly designed for premium everyday driving and injects excitement to defend its territory in this increasingly crowded segment. Starting from $168,800, one will be comforted to know he is paying good money to slide into one of the best SUVs in the market.

This story first appeared in the December/January ’20 issue of Men’s Folio Singapore.