Just as Audi unveils its RS Q3 concept, the standard car arrives in South Africa. And if the standard version is anything to go by, the RS model should be a blistering performer.
On paper, the Q3 doesn’t seem particularly powerful, but these numbers are deceptive. Even the model with the lowest performance figures (the 2.0 FSI that generates 125 kW of power) is a joy to drive. The soundtrack is beautiful, acceleration is quick and the transmission is well-mated to the engine. Overall, the Q3 feels nimble and responsive.
The most powerful model of the lot is the 155 kW 2.0T, though the most sensible choice is probably the 2.0 TDI. Though it boasts slightly less power (130 kW), it should be more economical.
Pricing is more or less on par with what one would expect from Audi. The entry-level Q3 2.0 4×2 TDI manual retails at R370 000, while the top-end Q3 2.0T FSI 155 kW Quattro S Tronic cost R 467 000. It has to be added, though, that you’ll have to fork over quite a bit more once you start delving into the options list. The 2.0T FSI that we drove cost just over R500 000 with all the extras added.
Overall, the Q3 is a great vehicle that should be very popular. It has tons of fashion appeal, slots in perfectly under the Q5 and is a solid competitor to BMW’s X1. Yes, it’s pricey compared to vehicles such as the iX35 and Sportage, but it is a premium product that should appeal to the fashion-conscious.
Q3 2.0 TDI 130 kW Manual R 370 000
Q3 2.0 TDI 130 kW Quattro S Tronic R 431 500
Q3 2.0T FSI 125 kW Quattro Manual R 404 500
Q3 2.0T FSI 125 kW Quattro S Tronic R 421 500
Q3 2.0T FSI 155 kW Quattro S Tronic R 467 000