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Frank Bullitt

Audi Q3 2.0TDI S-Line

A2 in for its MOT yesterday, so it's courtesy car lottery time.  I noticed an A1 pull up and thought it was mine but then realised the service chap I was dealing was getting out of this bad-boy. He apologised your the state of it as it was dirty outside but the inside screens had never been cleaned in 2000 miles although a few people had tried with shit-covered sleeves...

I've driven one of these before, an SE spec 2.0TDI 170 Quattro S-Line;

http://themotor.myfastforum.org/about17621.html

So, what's different? Quite a lot actually...

The spec seemed to be standard apart from Audi's cheaper basic navigation which I didn't use, so it's bi-xenons, part leather, dual zone climate, parking sensors and a smattering of S-Line badges but no cruise control.  First impressions weren't good and I can't imagine this is standard for the breed but the clutch was like a switch; I stalled it twice trying to pull away so only lots of revs would solve this which made low-speed driving a right pain in the arse; the gearbox also felt very crunchy even after warming the car through.

Handling was decent enough, the helm seemed to have an over-centring action which I found a bit wearing after a while but unlike the SE it was a rather feel-free sensation, reminded me of the B7 A4 S-Lines I drove, I did discover it was 2wd by process of elimination - slightly damp road, full-berries in 2nd) which felt a bit fraudulent in this sort of car, I understand the many benefits of 2wd though and in driving I seemed to be getting 40mpg, not bad for a 2.0 diesel with the aerodynamics of a small Eastern European housing block.  Ride was fine, a bit tiring on broken surfaces but fine the rest of the time, I'm convinced this is where Audi now focus a lot of their attention.

I love the xenon lights, they are a real treat as they seem to illustrate more whilst at the same time 'shining' less, I'd spec this on a car if I had the chance - otherwise the driving position was good with highly adjustable seats and the Diesel engine was a grumbly dull thing of no interest to anyone, idle was quite rough when cold and it lacked any charm.

One thing that got on my tits was spinning the mirror switch to the near side when in reverse (which should dip) on more than one occasion saw the stalk spin all the way which folds the mirrors so you end up in gimpsville waiting for the proxy things to open whilst stopping traffic; perhaps I'm a buffoon.

Overall I preferred the last one I drove, SE Quattro but with the 2.0T engine mated to (really?) S-Tronic.

Moby dickless

Alf McQueef

Interesting. I suppose we ought to be considering one of these next for the family car, by rights, but it's too small and the Haldex 4WD puts me off totally. Like you I would not want 2WD in this sort of vehicle either - 4WD would be a must - I would never have a 2WD Kuga, X1, Quashqai etc. It just seems a total fraud and I always assume people would (very rightly) point and laugh if you got stuck in snow on a slight incline in one!

The Q5, in 2.0T quattro form, does appeal. As you say, since around the time of the B8 A4 Audi do seem to have taken ride a lot more seriously, and in some models (the Q5 was well reviewed) they seem to have nailed some driving involvement as well, though some are still inert and aloof especially in S Line spec. I'm just not a fan of the corporate Audi (and often VW) feel which tends to involve light steering, massive pedals with enough spacing for an elephant, and a general sense you are piloting a video game with no real feel of what is going on.
Martin

Is the Q3 smaller than the X1?

4WD obviously helps a lot in snow, but only getting moving, which a lot of SUV drivers can't get the heads around.  Even Evo managed to stuff their Evoque due to overconfidence!

I read a winter tyre test online where they tested a 2WD and 4WD Kuga on an indoor ski slope.  The 2WD version on summer tyres didn't really move at all, which is hardly a surprise, but the 4WD wasn't really any better.  However, the 2WD on winter tyres almost reached the top and with 4WD it would have gone on for ever.  

Back on topic....The Q3 looks completely out of proportion to me, a neighbour has a white SE and it looks dreadful.  I've another neighbour with a black Q5 S Line Plus and that's a decent looking car.  It's the same with the X1 and X3, I'd much rather have a slightly older X3 or Q5 than the X1/Q3.  The current X3 is one of only a few SUVs I'd consider.
Michael

I agree the Q3 is a weird looking thing, the back looks all sorts of wrong. I also really dislike the way the lights open on the boot, one of those irrational dislikes I can't get over.
TreVoR

Friends of mine have one.  I wouldn't know which engine it has but I do know it is a 2WD version with a manual 'box.

They seem to like it but I am not really a fan unsurprisingly.
Alf McQueef

Yes Martin - an X1 is an E91 chassis, not based on the 1 series at all, confusing names - the new X3 and especially X5 are pretty massive!

I agree totally about the tyres, I ran a (proper Torsen full time) 4WD Passat through some snowy winters and it was quite terrifying when you tried to steer or brake, it quite put me off driving in snow until I tried winter tyres, which I saw as a must with a RWD car as they are always the abandoned ones!

The thing is, we will get either the same very snow-capable Quattrrac all seasons we use now on the Plus, or (more likely as I don't think all-seasons will last on a bigger heavier car) a second set of full winter tyres, for whatever we get. And the idea of something with a bit more ground clearance, a higher seating position that can actually see better in the clag, and winter tyres really appeals - I would take that car on really bad days or when I'm well away from home with a forecast of snow.
Martin

Alf McQueef wrote:
Yes Martin - an X1 is an E91 chassis, not based on the 1 series at all, confusing names - the new X3 and especially X5 are pretty massive!


That's a surprise, because it looks really small.  Must be the opposite of the Evoque then, which looks a decent size until you see it alongside a normal family hatch!

A 4WD car on winter tyres does have some appeal at this time of year, but I'd rather it was a 335xd than an X1/X3!  I'm less keen on something like a Boxster right now, but that will all change again in the Spring!
Frank Bullitt

Michael wrote:
I agree the Q3 is a weird looking thing, the back looks all sorts of wrong. I also really dislike the way the lights open on the boot, one of those irrational dislikes I can't get over.


No, you're quite right the back-end is all wrong; darker colours mask it but Moby Dickless just looked like it'd been spotted by a Japanese chap on a ship, helpess.

ALF McQueef wrote:
It just seems a total fraud and I always assume people would (very rightly) point and laugh if you got stuck in snow on a slight incline in one!


Yes, even more than being in a RWD with the back tyres spinning I think people would openly roll-around looking at this sort of thing being beached.  Oddly enough I think of the Qashqai as smaller and lower so a 2wd version wouldn't bother me at all.

I've seen a few youtube video's of the 2008 crossover with Grip Control (sort of like LR's selectable terrain settings without the rear axle being driven) and on Mud and Snow tyres and they do seem to be incredibly good - not sure if it means they feel a bit vague when the weather is warmer, but it can get around quite a lot of stuff a normal one on road tyres coudn't.

We did debate getting a Q3 a while back and not bothering with some home improvements but I've decided a bathroom and en-suite plus more cash in the bank is more appealing after all!
Alf McQueef

If I had a caterham or similar in the garage (which will happen some time!) then I would absolutely be happy with an X1 "35i" as my daily driver, IF they sold such a thing in the UK (they do elsewhere).
PG

The Q5 looks the best resolved of the Q-Audis to me. It avoids the Q3's lumpiness - it looks too tall for its length - and the Q7's sheer chavtastic gross-ness.

The Countryman looks better than the Q3.
PR

PG wrote:
The Q5 looks the best resolved of the Q-Audis to me. It avoids the Q3's lumpiness - it looks too tall for its length - and the Q7's sheer chavtastic gross-ness.

The Countryman looks better than the Q3.


Agree with all of this. Funnily enough not long ago I saw a Q3 and Countryman parked nose to nose and was going to take a picture to post along the lines of 'here's how to make a Countryman look delightfully proportioned and elegant' but someone was sitting in one of them, so I didn't.

Our recent car change boiled down to a choice between the Clubman and a Countryman Cooper D All4. Much as I'd have liked the Countryman, the budget reality meant it would have been a three-year-old car with higher mileage whereas less money got a nearly new Clubman with the vast bulk of warranty remaining, and lower miles.
Tim

I'm not sure if exposure to various FFRRs on the forecourt plus my boss' new Merc GL in Iceberg White have had some effect but the Audi Q7 no longer looks gigantic anymore.
scamper

Guy at work wants the Quattro version of this, so I'm currently looking at the running costs of both.
Twelfth Monkey

Today's courtesy steed was one of these, but utterly atypical in spec.

Not S-Line.  Small wheels.  No leather.  Manual box.

Perfectly inoffensive transport for those who aren't particularly interested in driving - rode fantastically, pleasant enough inside, enough performance for the remit.  Rolled a bit, and is as ugly as fuck, but there you go.
BeN

I'm currently driving one too, albeit in different spec. 2.0 petrol, quattro, S-tronic.

It drives okay. Engine is a punchy little thing, steering feels a touch too sensitive, but otherwise not bad, if inoffensive (like most cars of its ilk).
Roadsterstu

Martin wrote:
Is the Q3 smaller than the X1?

4WD obviously helps a lot in snow, but only getting moving, which a lot of SUV drivers can't get the heads around.  Even Evo managed to stuff their Evoque due to overconfidence!

I read a winter tyre test online where they tested a 2WD and 4WD Kuga on an indoor ski slope.  The 2WD version on summer tyres didn't really move at all, which is hardly a surprise, but the 4WD wasn't really any better.  However, the 2WD on winter tyres almost reached the top and with 4WD it would have gone on for ever.  

Back on topic....The Q3 looks completely out of proportion to me, a neighbour has a white SE and it looks dreadful.  I've another neighbour with a black Q5 S Line Plus and that's a decent looking car.  It's the same with the X1 and X3, I'd much rather have a slightly older X3 or Q5 than the X1/Q3.  The current X3 is one of only a few SUVs I'd consider.


There is a video on You Tube by Auto Express, I think, at Tamworth Snowdome. A fantastic demo of the benefit of winter tyres. What most SUV drivers don't realisevis that getting going with 4WD is fine in the snow but stopping almost 3 tons of vehicle is another matter...

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