New Audi Q3 moves up and gets smart
With the Q2 snapping at its heels, the Q3 had to move up the ladder in the Audi line-up. That’s exactly what the second-generation model is doing – both in terms of dimensions and product substance. The compact crossover gains access to technologies until now the privilege of the A6.
The new Q3 looks a lot beefier than its predecessor and sits on a new platform, making it nearly 10 cm longer and 2.5 cm wider. The elongated wheelbase results in significantly more legroom in the rear. The rear seats can be moved over a distance of 150 mm and have backrests that can be tilted in seven stages.
Depending in the position of the rear seats, the luggage compartment capacity totals 530 or 675 litres. With the backrests folded down, the volume rises to 1,525 litres.
Entirely digital and connected
Audi has done away with the analogue instruments. Even with the standard MMI radio there is a digital instrument cluster with a 10.25 inch screen diagonal. If you order the optional navigation, the display also includes the navigation map. The driver can configure the display according to their needs and has all the data in their direct field of view.
The high-end MMI Navigation Plus in the Audi Q3 offers the same features as in the higher segments class. For instance, it recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable route suggestions. The route is calculated – in parallel to the planning in the car – on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic situation.
The optional Audi Connect Navigation & Infotainment Plus add-on package also features Google Earth. Using high-resolution satellite images it provides a more lifelike display, making it easier for drivers to find their way around.
The Audi Connect services come standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system. An integrated, permanently installed SIM card enables continuous data communication and provides traffic information online, point-of-interest search as well as information on parking spaces and filling stations, which appear directly on the navigation map.
The Audi Q3 uses the fleet’s swarm intelligence as part of these functions: suitably equipped vehicles report moving into and out of parking spaces so that forecasts on the availability of roadside parking space appear in selected towns and cities. The cars from this swarm also warn each other of hazardous spots such as fog or black ice, and report current speed limits.
The Q3 definitely sets the tone in the infotainment and connectivity department, but less so in the driver assistance department. It offers adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, active lane assist, a 360-degree camera, automated parking, rear cross traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking – called Audi Pre Sense. Comprehensive, but not impressive for a premium SUV.
Power comes from a choice of three petrol engines and one diesel, with outputs ranging from 150 to 230 PS. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox come standard, Quattro and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission are optional. The Q3 can be found at an Audi dealer near you in a few months’ time.
Picture copyright: Audi, 2018