Audi Q3 finally arrives in South Africa with three models

Audi SA media

Audi has finally introduced its second-generation Q3 crossover to the local market.

After its international launch in September of 2018, local followers of the Ingolstadt automotive brand finally have option on three different variants of the Q3 from South African dealers.

Technologically this Q3 is a huge improvement on its predecessor. The new crossover is built on VW’s sophisticated MQB platform.

A bold design sits atop this advanced new chassis, with the Q3 having grown 97mm nose-to-tail and 25mm across. It is a touch shorter in height than its predecessor, measuring 5mm lower in overall stance.

Standard features which apply to all variants of the three derivative-strong Q3 range are dual-zone climate control, a multi-function steering wheel and automated LED headlights.

Inside you’ll also get an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and leather upholstery as factory fitted items. The options list, though, is tantalisingly long.

Some of the more desirable items you might want to add to your Q3 build include a surround view camera system, high-beam assist headlights (a crucial South African long-distance driving feature at night) and a powered tailgate.

Audi’s impressive virtual cockpit, with ambient lighting and aluminium trim details, is available as an option too. It also includes comprehensive SatNav.

Looks the part

As with most Audis, there is a choice of a trim package with this new Q3. The S Line upgrade adds 18-inch alloy wheels, slightly altered bumpers and side sills.

You also gain the optional sports suspension as a standard fitment with any S line Q3, which adds revised spring and dampers rates, balanced by more progressively geared steering assistance.

Despite the adventurous appearance, the new Q3 is very much an urban crossover in its South African market specification. One engine option powers the entire range and there are no quattro all-wheel drive derivatives.

The Audi 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine boosts 110kW and 250Nm and transfers all power to the front wheels only. A six-speed S tronic transmission controls the Q3’s pace and it is credibly swift, capable or running 0-100kph in only 8.9 seconds.

As with any crossover, the question is whether this Q3 is sufficiently practical compared to an A3 Sportback sibling.

Featuring a clever sliding rear bench seat, which has up to 150mm of adjustment, the Q3 has a luggage capacity rating of between 530- and 675-litres, which is impressive for a vehicle of its size.

Price positioning for Audi’s new Q3 starts at R565 000 for a base 35 TFSI model, followed by the same grade, in Advanced trim, at R585 000.

The Q3 range peaks with an S line variant, priced at R599 000.

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