2013 Audi Q3S: First Drive
The new Audi Q3S is Audi's cheapest car yet. And it comes with a pokey diesel engine and a manual gearbox. Does it impress?
There is a famous phrase that goes ‘To Each His Own’. With the recent spate of luxury hatchbacks like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the BMW 1 Series, some might say Audi has lost its plot by not launching the A3 hatchback in India. But, Audi has gone the other way with the ‘offering more for less’ mantra and has decided to cut prices on the Q3 SUV and re-launching it in an all-new avatar, the Q3S. The Q3S is now the cheapest Audi on offer so we decided to take it for a spin to see what Audi has added and what they have removed.
On the face of it, the bright red car Audi dropped off at he ZigWheels office seemed more like a special top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles you can expect from an ‘S’ badged Audi. As there is no real ‘S’ badge on the Q3S, the easiest way to differentiate the Q3S from its regular sibling is the missing Daytime Running Light equipped headlamp cluster. The Q3S is equipped with a blacked out, twin barrel, halogen headlamp with a well-crafted indicator and parking light module. Although the lack of the daytime running lights reduces the WOW factor from the Q3, what are really missed are the projector headlamps.
One would expect Audi to provide projector headlamps in a car that costs this much, even more so due to the fact that the standard headlights provided in the Audi Q3S are not good enough. As with the headlamps, the tail lamps too loose the classy LED equipped units for a more conventional bump type unit. That said, the ones that are provided on the Q3S are certainly filled to the brim with interesting details and certainly a lot more character.
Other than the headlamps, the Q3S actually looks like a more expensive version of the standard car. With a well crafted matte-black cladding combined with silver pieces of trim both on the front and rear bumper, the Q3S, especially in a bright color like the red seen here looks absolutely exceptional. That combined with the 17 inch split spoke wheels painted black really makes the Q3S stand out from the crowd. The whole package is nicely rounded by two large exhaust tips, which have also been painted black giving the Q3S good sporting pretentions.
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