FOR admirers of the Audi model range the choice now is both comprehensive and possibly
FOR admirers of the Audi model range the choice now is both comprehensive and possibly a little daunting for the new buyer.
Of course this is a good position for any consumer to be in when you are considering purchasing anything: choice is king.
Yet with many carmakers now, the range of models has become so vast that you need to take a good chunk of time making up your mind.
My first rule of buying would be to drive and drive again the new model you are considering.
The second rule is to go to town on the specification of that model. That is, work out before you commit exactly what you want. What you need and don’t need, for example, in terms of gadgets and gizmos. Because in this digital age they are there in abundance but not always required.
Value for money always comes high up in my list of priorities, but this must be balanced by that basic essential in cars: build quality.
When you get to this point in the Audi range, you would do well to consider this week’s drive â?? the Audi Q3 2.0 TDI quattro S line.
When buying a new car people agonise over the size of the model they think should meet their needs. This is important but ultimately there is compromise. In the Audi Q range you can naturally go large â?? the Q7 is certainly big with matching road presence and luxury and a new version is imminent â?? or you could put your sights on the Q3 â?? the “baby” of the Qs.
In many ways the Q3 is to my mind the ideal size. Not too big but definitely roomy enough and with a surprisingly imposing road presence. I think this is because the ride is high and I like this in a car, especially a smaller vehicle.
If you take your time you can adjust the seats in the Q3 to afford the ultimate driving position. How often you see drivers slumped in cars or tucked up under the steering wheel in what looks like a very uncomfortable position. The high viewpoint on the road taken by the Q3 allows a commanding view. And the S line spec on the test car offers you more comfort.
There’s seating for up to five adults in what is now a more refined ride on the latest Q3.
For driver and front-seat passenger there is the comfort of sports seats with four-way electric lumbar support, which are new to SE versions but standard for S line and S line plus models.
In S line versions and above, the powered tailgate is an example of how this little “luxury” makes for more relaxed motoring in general.
The tailgate is quick and easy to operate (either by key or from inside the cab) and saves you having to do an oft-repeated chore. (This is especially good when shopping and returning to the vehicle laden with bags.)
This may not sound essential equipment, but in car ownership these “touches” do make a difference. A new retractable luggage cover also adds to security.
We are back to that word “specification” â?? paramount for new car buyers. What bolsters the Q3’s looks is that S line plus specification adds larger alloy wheels. These boost the whole world view of both driver and passengers alike.
On this S line Audi you also get privacy glass and standard metallic paint externally, and on the inside SD card-based navigation, perforated leather and Alcantara combination upholstery, cruise control and the Audi parking system plus with acoustic and visual guidance.
There is no compromise with performance and that is another feature of the Q3.
There is plenty of “oomph” when you need it from a choice of TDI clean diesel or TFSI engines at the heart of new Q3 models with carbon dioxide reductions all round.
It may be that you feel your needs justify a burgeoning SUV (sports utility vehicle) on the grand scale or a people carrier with multiple seats.
Or you might just realise that this Q3 S line could fulfil the need for space, luxury, comfort and performance in one assured package.
Car tested: Audi Q3 2.0 TDI quattro S line 184PS 6 speed
Price on the road: £37,695
CO2 emissions: 143g/km
Colour: Utopia blue, metallic
Interior: Black Perforated Alcantara/leather
• 18in “5-arm Structured” design alloy wheels
• LED interior light Â package
• Audi hill-hold assist
• Technology package
• Towing equipment
• Heated front seats
• Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
• Auto-dimming on the driver’s side
• Electrically adjustable, folding and heated door mirrors