It was a white color. It was a small SUV, commonly referred to as a CUV crossover. It looked great, inside and out. Better yet, it drove well and handled well. It was a 2016 Audi Q3 used for a week-long test drive, powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline TFSI engine.
This little SUV-CUV by Audi has a superb interior that may not be perfect, but certainly exudes all the premium touches that make the driver and passengers feel special. The exterior design is appealing, but not necessarily one that gives you the ‘wow’ factor as a sports car might do. Inside, the arrangement of everything is fairly ergonomic, especially the steering wheel. The secondary controls located on the steering wheel are not obtrusive but are easy to operate. There is plenty of leather and pseudo-leather surfaces as well as highly polished aluminum. There is an infotainment screen fitted right on top of the dashboard and does not recess, but stays fixed in place. It seems slightly out of place at first, but after a short while, it is more natural to observe and utilize. The gauges are easy to read and are basic white on black.
The power-plant on the test model was called a TFSI, which is an acronym for Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection. (The TDI engine by VW-Audi is clean diesel.) The TFSI is a gasoline 2.0-liter that combines forced induction turbocharging with direct-injecting of the fuel. This action is said to provide better responsiveness, higher power output, and greater fuel efficiency. It drives really well.
The Q3 rides on the same platform base as a number of the smaller Volkswagen vehicles, such as the A5. It is a crossover (CUV) utility vehicle that rides on a car platform instead of a larger truck base. The Q3 is Audi’s smallest crossover produced so far and although the interior is terrific, it lacks on space. Possibly five adults can ride for short distances, but the back seat would be very crowded for any lengthy traveling.
The entry MSRP for the 2016 Audi Q3 is $33,700, but options can easily add up to higher prices. Quattro all-wheel drive is available. Overall, the handling and performance is very good. The test drive period included a lot of bumpy, dirt roadways. The comfort level of the drive was still present in spite of the road surfaces. The cargo capabilities are versatile. The interior offers a simple, but elegant appearance and style. During the full week’s drive time, I averaged 28.3 mpg, which included a mixture of some city roads, some highway, and mostly country roads of asphalt or rock.
Bottom line: The Audi Q3 is a very stylish small crossover SUV, it is priced right, has a sporty and dynamic feel and handling when driving, and a comfortable and premium interior.