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Old 24th February 2014, 00:53   #1
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Default Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

Hello All.

Here's my detailed initial ownership review for my new Audi Q3 premium plus - Cobalt Blue. I have completed about 800kms so far. And I think now I understand the car better - how it behaves, what it does like cakewalk, what I need to watch out for while driving, etc. etc. This is a review and detailed explanation of a couple of features in the car.

When I was researching, I did not find a single Audi Q3 review on the forum apart from the Official Review. I also felt that one or two test drives is not sufficient. Hence I am taking the time here for you fellow would-be Q3/Q5 owners to understand the car. All the details below are of the Q3 Premium Plus edition. Some features will not be applicable for Premium edition. Enjoy !!

I bought my car on Jan 16th 2014 and since then, the start of the day (drive to office) and evening (drive back home) got a new meaning. I have a blurry vision of everything that happens in between

You can take a look at my test drive report here Test Drive Q3 vs X1 (Audi Q3 : Official Review) and my buying experience with Audi Bangalore at Audi comes home (Audi Q3 : Official Review)

First - some pictures of my car. The cobalt blue color almost passes as black when the car is indoors or in shade but the true color shows up when the car is outside. The metallic color looks very good when outside. It goes very well with the chrome accents and the DRL lights.

Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-0intro.jpg

Engine details
Here are the details about the engine. There aren’t many options to choose from but what I have is Quattro Diesel variant, just taken from the website.
2.0 TDI Quattro
Engine Type : Inline 4
Max Power : 130 kW /177hp@ 4200 rpm
Max Torque : 380 nm @1750 – 2500 rpm
Transmission : 7 Speed S tronic®

Drive Experience
Numbers aside, I find this car very smooth. I came from Honda Civic 1.8L MT and hence to me the torque of this car is too much and it instantly brings a smile on my face as I press the accelerator. If you are waiting on a signal and it turns green, the normal nominal effort to raise the car gets you to 60-80kmph in absolutely no time. One look in the center mirror and you see cars behind - too behind as if you would have jumped the signal. This is all relativity and this is how I am comparing against my previous car - your results may vary.

Driving in M mode - The gear ratios are very difficult to understand. I almost see that it does 5kmph-20kmph: 2nd gear, 20-30kmph: 3rd gear, 30-40kmph: 4th gear and so on. When you are not in the right gear, the Driver information system gives you an indication to shift up and thats where I have this above observation. As you lower the speed, the car shifts down automatically.

Driving in S mode - Called Sport mode, but I called it Spirited mode . This just delays the upshifts so you get your speeds even more faster. You do hear the engine sound only then but thats because you are shifting up close to redline in each gear, in Spirited mode.

Turbo lag:
Yes, this car/soft roader does have turbo lag. Coming from Civic iVtech I did feel it a little more. But my friends told me that this is common with turbo charged engines. Its been about 800 kms now and I think I have learnt to deal with it and minimize it. The car does take 1 second to react when you push the acc peddle down. If you push it more - floor it - it is more evident and the torque rush is more evident once the lag is over. So I learnt to press the peddle slowly and after a 1second then press it like I love it. This minimizes the lag effect. And for speed, don’t feel that it compromises the pickup speed - No. Like I said, within seconds you are at 70-80kmph and seeing your traffic in the center mirror. I say 70-80 because in bangalore you would be luckily to go past it before you brake.

But yes, if you have the habit of flooring the peddle, then you will see a sudden rush as if you are pushed once you overpower the lag and the engine shows its true colors. So be a little soft on the peddle and you will see and awesome response from the engine. After that 1 sec, the engine responds literally in split second to your feet command. Also note - the 7 speed S tronic is really really soft. You can only get to know the gear changes looking at RPM needle or the driver information system which shows the gear. No jerks, no cut in motion nothing. I did a small trip to Nandi hills and drove through the ghat section. Even with my AC on, I did not feel the gears shifting with the hair pin bends. If you get over the turbo lag, I’d say rest is a smooth journey - minus the potholes

Ambient noise levels:
I take my telecons from the integrated bluetooth handsfree from the car in morning and evening office commute. So this explains it all. The outside noise is subdued the engine noise is practically none if you are not stretching the engine. The sport mode or manual mode makes you go to high RPMs and thats when you hear the noise. Coming from Honda Civic petrol, the engine noise is really the same inside. When you open the door, thats a different story. You then know its a diesel engine.

Exterior Highlights
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-2_drls.jpg

I got the premium plus variant so it comes with Bi-Xenons and the signature Audi DRLs. This version also comes with all LED tail lights and all LED interior lights and ambient lighting system. This greatly greatly increases the look of the car both inside and outside. Some pictures above.
Q3 and Q5 has the strips and Q7 has the pearl LEDs. All look very good.

The Grill sports Quattro on its left side but unlike Q5 or Q7, it doesn’t have the all chrome grill. I think this is okay since too much of chrome eats into the DRL lights in day time. The fog lamps also do not have chrome coverings though you can get those from amazon.

Interior details
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-3_interiors.jpg

The interiors is the main thing that appealed me in this car. I was considering X1 as my other shortlisted car and when I saw Audi, it just won hands down. There wasn’t much to think. One look and you know - even without touching and feeling the interiors. Everything here is tiptop and no hard plastics. You get a good feel once you sit in. The space at the back was okay but not as much as my Civic. Having said that, we are short heighted family and hence this is not a big deal at all. 6feeters need to probably do some trials I guess. The MMI screen is a push to open and not automated or integrated like Q5. The rear guys get their own AC vents.

Lets go through the controls in detail.

Lights
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-4_lights.jpg

Like I said, this is the most important head-turner factor in the car. You will see people looking at the car, then the lights and then you !!
This car is built in Europe so complies with Xenon light regulations below:

1) Headlight washers - The headlights come with washers. When you use the lever to wash the windscreen, the headlights washer activates and sprays water on the headlight just like water is sprayed on the windscreen. The headlights do not have wipers but it dries off almost in seconds due to the heat of the xenons.

2) Auto leveling headlights - When you start the car, the headlights level goes down, computes the load of the car (its CG) and then levels the headlights to the optimum level. Notice in the picture that their is only brightness level for dashboard and no control for 0-1-2-3 for headlamp adjustment. It all happens automatically.

The O in the level (12oclock position) only activates the DRLs. Auto - does what it needs to do when it needs to do, headlights, taillights etc. Next is just parking lights. Next is manual forced low beam on. When in 3rd and 4th position you can pull it out to activate the front and rear fog lamps. NOTE: Auto does not activate the fog lamps.

High Beam - The high beam is quite bad for the incoming traffic. If you have the tendency to flash high beams, keep in mind that it does blind others. But bangalore traffic requires you to do so. I notice when I do it, bikes, rickshaws stop there and do not stick their nose inside due to blinding effect. Once or twice I saw the guy stretching and rubbing his eyes as I was passing by so felt guilty. But hey - people from bangalore will understand, what I am talking about.

Lastly - these are bi-zenons. One single light serves the purpose. Light is more than sufficient, too bright and I like it without any guilt when on dippers. I feel it morally incorrect to keep these kind of high beams on when you have on-coming traffic.

Panoramic Sun Roof and ALL LED interior Lights
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-5_sunroof.jpg

There is not much to say here, but to be seen and felt. The Panoramic sunroof is gorgeous and just keeps going on and on. About 80% of the roof opens up. I normally drive this way as it brings in natural light in the car. The top glass is heavily tinted so blocks maximum sunlight. You can also tilt the roof or open the roof glass to let air come on. I don’t do that though in city ! you know why

You can see the all LED interior lights. There are 4 bright white LEDs at the front and 3 at the back. At night it looks really good - all white soft light. The LEDs dim as required. Apart from this there are about 20 low powered LEDs which bring in the ambient light at the right spots as a part of LED interior package which is a standard on Premium Plus edition. Using the MMI, you can reduce the brightness of the ambient lights to your taste.

Driver Information System and MMI
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-6_inst_mmi.jpg

The premium plus edition gets color DIS - Driver information system which has lots of functionality. There are several computations and you can tailor everything to how you like it and in which ever format you like. Notice - I like to see my speed in MPH, outside temperature in deg F but then the mileage and distance in Km/l and KM respectively. You can do all this - whatever you like. It took me about 4-5 hours in the car to understand the system and to tailor it how I need. I finally had to shut down since my wife got angry

Notice the satellite symbol left of clock. All it can do is it can automatically take the timezone of your paired iPhone here. Atomic timekeeping works but isn’t supported here. Well we don’t have timezones to worry about while driving so we are good here.

The MMI screen is shown on right. You can control the MMI screen using the Audi Concert Radio and Audi Multimedia explained later. All the controls that you see on the steering wheel are used to control the settings on DIS. Everything that you can do on the MMI screen can be done in the DIS - all of it. So you can manage everything without leaving your hands off the steering. The Audi Multmedia and Concert Radio are mostly for your wife to override that great Metallica number that you are playing with her STUFF. Basically its an interface built to allow wife/GF to override what you like - lets just keep it there. :(

One interesting thing on the steering is the Voice commands. It takes a little time and you might have to train the lady to understand our accent but once done, it works with a 95% hit rate. Compared to X1, the horn is easy to press with just the thumb. X1 literally needs your full palm and and effort to press the horn. Well - not that I encourage horns but we need it at times to express our irritation on the Volvo busses.
Again, the MMI screen will take another episode of few hours to understand and configure it - but this time, I bought some time from my wife so I was good there, almost.

Audi MMI and Audi Concert Radio
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-7_mmi_ac.jpg

This is the main MMI interface. Well Q3 being the entry level Qseries, it does not have the great stuff that other higher variants have. But all in all its still loaded.

The first picture shows all what you can do with the MMI. Next is the Audi multimedia and Concert Radio interface. Notice that Q3 in India does not sell with Navigation Plus (with HDD). Hence when they introduce Navigation, it will be available via SD cards so one of your 2 SD card slots will go for navigation. The navigation is not yet enabled on Q3 - this is my single most thumbs down in the car. When I upgraded from Civic, I had an 8inch Honda installed touch interface which did Navigation. This is such a great car, feels solid, drives like you are cutting butter has great sound and all but doesn’t have navigation yet. See the far picture - thats what you see when you press the Nav button today. I am told that it will be a future upgrade available but will cost me to buy the upgrade.

Sound System:
The sound system in this car is truly awesome. The Premium Plus edition comes with 10speakers and a sub-woofer. The European ones get Bose or Bang Oufsen system as options. But the 10speaker Audi Sound System is still great. A much much better upgrade from my Honda system.

Advance Features:
Q3 comes only with Hill Assist (see in below sections), ESP , Parking Aid Plus (without camera). The start/stop feature and brake energy regeneration is not available here.

The Parking Aid Plus is shown with front and rear sensors. The system can be manually activated with the P button on Concert Radio or in reverse gear. The system shuts off over 15kmph. The music system fades out when this is activated and you can configure the fade out volumes and front and rear sounds.

Dual zone Climate Control:
Below are the dual zone climate controls. The driver side zone setting is available in the rear AC. I have configured it to def F but thats just me. The auto mode takes all control but you can override it as you like for fan speed, modes etc

Auto Air circulation Mode: This system has auto air circulation mode determination. You can keep it in auto and the system will take air in from outside. If the system senses dust or high particulate matter, it automatically shuts external and goes to internal air circulation mode. I have tried it and it works. Had to drive on a semi kuttcha road for that. NOTE: The system cannot sense smell. So it cannot go to internal air circulation mode if their is fowl smell on the road. Just FYI.

Convenience Features
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-8_advfeatures.jpg

I found a couple of very useful features here. Some of them - not quite frequently useful but some of them are those which I literally use day in and out.

Hill Assist/Auto Parking Brake:
The ((P)) button is the parking brake/lever. This is the normal parking brake as we use. The ((A)) button is the auto parking brake. This system automatically enables when you wear the seat belt and shift to Drive gear. Once engaged in auto, when the car comes to complete halt, like at a signal stop the car auto engages the parking brake so that you don’t have to keep the brake pressed. Once the signal turns green, you just have to start off with the accelerator peddle just like you would normally. The system auto disengages the parking brake the moment acc peddle is touched. Even if the car is stopped at a slope, this still works beautifully. You just don’t have to keep the brake pressed. Very useful in stop and go traffic

Parking Aid with Mirror Adjustment:
I explained the Parking function above. One important point to note is that the left side parking mirror has a reverse gear position memory. While the mirrors have a default position setting, you can also set a reverse gear position which looks more towards the curb. Once this is set, when you engage the reverse gear, the mirror automatically goes to curb position. Once the reverse gear is disengaged, the left side mirror returns back to default position as set. Small thing, but really helpful.

Cruise Mode:
This is the normal cruise mode. The lever at the bottom handles cruise mode. This is not an adaptive cruise engagement system.

Rain sensor, Auto light sensor:
The Auto mode in lights is what I explained earlier. The rain sensor enabling switch is in the right picture with the rain sensitivity setting in the upper rocker switch. There is a lot of Auto in this car.

Boot Space and Spare Wheel
Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-9_boot.jpg

The boot space is good and tall. The top shelf can be removed as well. Also the back seats can be folded in 90% flat position to increase the boot space into one big boot. Under the boot tray is the spare wheel. In the middle of the spare wheel is the subwoofer. It gives a good depth to the sound played in the car. The boot tray can be fitted in both ways. One side is used if you are carrying liquid stuff for easy cleaning. The other side is anti scratch when carrying bags and stuff. The spare wheel is a donut and not a full size. The speeds are restricted to 80kmph when using the donut however there is no distance restriction - so I am told.

Thats it for now guys. I will keep adding more with my first long drive experience here when I do one. Hope you liked the review.

Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now-10final.jpg

Last edited by moralfibre : 25th February 2014 at 10:00. Reason: No more than 2 smileys / post please. Thanks
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Old 24th February 2014, 11:48   #2
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Default re: Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

hi, nice review - balanced with the positives and limitations of the Q3.
Any idea what is the on road price for base model (manual transmission) in Bangalore. I am planning to buy but cannot stretch for the top end variant.
INR 30 (plus max 2 lakhs) is what i can spend.
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:19   #3
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Congratulations on your new ride and wishing you thousands of happy and safe miles on this car!
And hey the cobalt blue color is awesome !
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:30   #4
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been really looking forward to a good owner's review for the Q3. And yes, I like the car as well.

Can you please post a break-up of the pricing?
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:41   #5
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Congratulations and wish you a happy ownership period.

Did you also drive the X1? If you did what was TD experience compared to Q3?
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Old 24th February 2014, 12:44   #6
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Very detailed and enjoyable review.
Audi certainly stands for good feeling when inside the car or getting attention.
Yesterday i got a change to compare A3 sedan and Q3 side by side in Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. Honestly, i just couldn't digest the feeling of plastic in A3.
If possible, cost breakup would be great for would be Q3 customers here.
Navigation availability would be great though as you said (let's hope it comes as upgrade soon).

Enjoy the time with you machine. Drive safe.
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Old 24th February 2014, 18:07   #7
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I visited the Audi showroom at chennai on saturday. The Q3 was impressive. I was given the numbers of 37L for premium and 44L for premium+ OTR.

Must say I was not very impressed with the service as the lady did not bother to explain the features even after prompting her.

How much did you end up paying?
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Old 24th February 2014, 20:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arup.misra View Post
Congratulations and wish you a happy ownership period.
Did you also drive the X1? If you did what was TD experience compared to Q3?
Hi Arup - Yes I did. Here's my X1 vs Q3 Test Drive comparison. X1 vs Q3 TD (Audi Q3 : Official Review)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhil_pon View Post
Any idea what is the on road price for base model (manual transmission) in Bangalore. I am planning to buy but cannot stretch for the top end variant.
INR 30 (plus max 2 lakhs) is what i can spend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johy View Post
Can you please post a break-up of the pricing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky View Post
If possible, cost breakup would be great for would be Q3 customers here.
Navigation availability would be great though as you said (let's hope it comes as upgrade soon).
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajaar View Post
I visited the Audi showroom at chennai on saturday. The Q3 was impressive. I was given the numbers of 37L for premium and 44L for premium+ OTR. How much did you end up paying?
Friends - Here's the break up of the hole in my wallet or should I say bank !

Q3, Premium Plus 2.0 TDI : 35.02 L
Road Tax and Registration : 7.19 L
Jubliant Secured Insurance: 1.05 L
On Road : 43.26 L

I didn't opt for the extended warranty yet. I have 6 months to decide. It costs Rs 45000/-

This is the 2013 pricing though. I took the delivery in 2nd half of Jan and hence I got the 2014 year of manufacture with 2013 pricing. So was happy.

Audi and BMW increased the pricing in 2014. Infact when I was considering X1, I was given a price by Navnit motors but the 2 days later when I called them, they told me that the pricing cannot be honored due to price increase. This was within the quote's validity period. That was one of the reasons I did not go further.

Last edited by Jaggu : 24th February 2014 at 20:44.
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Old 24th February 2014, 21:04   #9
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Default Re: Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

Quote:
Originally Posted by araje View Post

Q3, Premium Plus 2.0 TDI : 35.02 L
Road Tax and Registration : 7.19 L
Jubliant Secured Insurance: 1.05 L
On Road : 43.26 L

I didn't opt for the extended warranty yet. I have 6 months to decide. It costs Rs 45000/-

First. Many Congrats!

Next. Considering that the extended warranty is hardly 1% of your on road cost for this car, I would say please take it.

Submission:Peace of mind for the next four years is worth the comparatively paltry Rs. 45K. Especially with these expensive vehicles in India in particular.
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Old 24th February 2014, 21:14   #10
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Default Re: Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

Hi Shankar,
Since you own the Skoda Yeti which is basically the same platform as the Audi Q3, can you please tell your observation on the Q3. Is it worth to spend 30+ lakh for the base variant of the Q3 in terms of performance, maintenance, build quality. Will it be same like the Yeti except for the Audi badge.

@ Araje - any idea if there is a maintenance package available on the Q3 and if so what is the approx cost

thanks for the inputs.
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Old 25th February 2014, 07:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhil_pon View Post
Hi Shankar,
Since you own the Skoda Yeti which is basically the same platform as the Audi Q3, can you please tell your observation on the Q3. Is it worth to spend 30+ lakh for the base variant of the Q3 in terms of performance, maintenance, build quality. Will it be same like the Yeti except for the Audi badge.

@ Araje - any idea if there is a maintenance package available on the Q3 and if so what is the approx cost

thanks for the inputs.

Ha ha. Thats a loaded question if there was one.

The top spec Skoda Yeti Elegance 4x4 with all the trimmings, including ESP, ESBS, ASR, Hill Hold, Hill Descent Control, Off Road Button, Cornering fog lamps and squillions of other lovely toys to play with, costs around 50% of what you are forced to pay for the Audi Q3 in India.

This is because of the evil taxes that our blighted government sees fit to impose upon us.

I have a friend ( a senior from school and college and a man who has really got on in the world and he along with two or three of our other similarly situated friends, owns an Audi Q3 - the Top Spec Quattro version.)

He and I occasionally play a game of golf together.

I never fail, wherever possible, to park my Yeti right next to his Audi Q3 and tease him mercilessly about the cost differential, for what are essentially, the same machines, albeit of different shapes and brand badging.

The Yeti Elegance in India comes with a host of trimmings and trappings and is probably amongst the best specced vehicles out there, all things considered. It even has that wonderful 4WD Haldex Clutch system which is arguably the single most expensive part in the vehicle, other than the engine per se. The same Haldex does duty in the Tiguan, Q3 and other more expensive VAG cars.

What it lacks conspicuously are the following;
1. An L&K Trim with the choice of an AT.
2. An 170 BHP engine like the Yeti Elegance abroad - the Yeti version sold here as the Elegance is called the 'Experience' abroad.
3. Number of Airbags and so on. The foreign versions have inherently more airbags and the option of more than the India version.
4. The fact that the Indian version does not have the options of Blue tooth telephony and a satellite navigation system unlike the foreign versions.
5. Bi Xenon Projector headlamps with headlamp wipers
6. My golf bag does not fit perfectly laterally in the boot of the Yeti. It just manages to do so in the Q3 because the Q3 is shaped such, that it is a little wider.


Most of the above are addressed by top spec version of the Audi Q3 with Quattro etc, but like I have said above, it costs about double what you pay for the Yeti.

My Yeti gets serviced once a year or every 15000kms, comes with an extended warranty and typically, a service job may cost about Rs 13000/- or so.

Im not sure about the Q3's service costs, but being a more upmarket Audi it is likely to cost quite a bit more than the Yeti does, judging by its acquisition price itself.

In short, while the Q3 is eminently desirable from a badge point of view and for lots of other reasons, from my perspective, the Yeti does all that the Q3 does at half the price.

Its funny - the Yeti, the Tiguan and the Q3 are all sisters under the skin. Priced differently from each other, they attract much the same type of consumer. The only difference probably, between these three types of consumers, is the depth of their wallets and height of their aspirations.

From my simple perspective and overall 'utilitarian' mind set, the Yeti is therefore, a 'sensible buy'.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:27   #12
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And another thing...

You can, if you wish, sit in a Yeti and have someone land his light helicopter on its roof.

You can't do that in a Q3...
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:49   #13
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Default Re: Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

Many congratulations on your terrific ride. Being a new A4 owner myself I have picked up a few things from your review itself. Quite insightful!

Can you feel the Quattro grip and is there body roll?

Being a former Civic owner, didn't you consider the A4 / 3 series (read sedan) perhaps? In my case, I only considered sedans since maybe the body roll of the Innova was playing on my mind.

Wondering why I didn't even take a test drive of the Q3 now after reading your review.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:51   #14
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Many congrats araje.
Excellent review and beautiful car.


Hi Shankar,
Before finalising X Trail, my obvious choice was Teti. Unfortunately Skoda is not offering DSG variant which put me off from buying this brilliant machine.
Fully loaded Euro spec version is too desirable, if offered below 25 l bracket.

Last edited by Raosaheb Desai : 25th February 2014 at 10:55.
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Old 25th February 2014, 15:20   #15
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Default Re: Audi Q3 Premium Plus edition - 800 km Review. Smooth has a new definition now

Hi Araje!

Co-incidentally am also looking at Selling My Civic and buying either Audi Q3 or BMW X1. So your review helps me a lot! My observation about the rear seat is the same I found it very cramped compared to the civic and that's the biggest no no for me. Also another thing that you mentioned was the Missing Nav! Also it would not have hurt Audi to give a push button start some cost cuttings in this is not justifiable. That's why am seriously considering BMW mainly for features. but other aspects Audi is great so right now confused!

Am Also curious how much did you get for the Old Civic? Did Audi buy it back or you went else where.

Cheers

Shai

Last edited by Shai100 : 25th February 2014 at 15:22. Reason: Confused the name for the Initial posting.
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