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Audi Q3

Audi_Q3THERE’S Audi Q3 A NEW category of small premium SUVs these days, with the Range Rover Evoque as the pin-up model. Now Audi’s Q3 has joined the party. It shares many styling plements with the a rest of the Audi range, which means that, at first glance, it lacks the visual impact of both the Evoque and the Mazda CX-5 that will sit alongside the new arrival in the What Car? car park.That isn't to say it's unattractive. The initial reaction of my family has been positive, but that may be down, at least in part, to some careful choices when it came to the options list.

We went for the S line model, which comes with a much more aggressive (and in my view more attractive) front grille than the standard SE version. Next box to tick was for the shiny Ice Silver paint, followed by the off-road design' alloy wheels. We didn’t want to compromise the Audi Q3's ride quality, so we were careful to pick rims no larger than the standard 18-inchers.

Picking the car’s colour and trim might have taken some careful thought, bat the engine was an easy choice. The i38bhp 2.0-litre diesel is a fantastic unit, offering impressive fuel economy and strong acceleration. I rack up more than 30,000 miles a year, so this will be puts to the testi in all manner of scenarios over the next 12.001 months.

To make those 30,000 miles pass in as easy a manner as possible, we’ve added a couple of other extras. The £225 cruise control will he appreciated on long journeys, while the park assist system, at £500, should help around town.

There are a fewi pieces of equipment that will be puts to the testi later in the Q3’s time with us but that have been surplus to requirements so far Even in 2012's wet and wild early summer weather, the £260 heated front seats have yet to see action, but they should prove extremely comforting when the temperature drops later in the year. A more left-field choice is the £625 towbar, but we already have plans for that in the coming months, and they don't involve caravans. More on that in the next few issues.

That’s where we would have stopped ticking boxes, but Audi was keen for us to try a couple of extra pieces of kit. We’re already seeing the benefits of the panoramic glass roof (£1100), which floods the rear seats with light, but given that the Qb's main job will be to act as the What Car? camera car, there are a few other ways in which it can be of use.The final addition to our new Audi Q3 was the £1495 Technology package. The Evoque and the CX-5 on our fleet both have sat-nav, so Audi was keen that we see how its own system matches up.


Unfortunately, the Technology package-or more accurately, what’s missing from it - is the cause of our first and only irritation with the Audi Q3 to date.

My previous long-termerwas a Seat Alhambra, which had a fantastic digital radio. There's no such kit available on the Audi at the moment, and I’m already missing the tunes on BBC 6 Music or the cricket on 5 Live Sports Extra.

There are ways around this, though. I will investigate further if regular FM/AM fails to keep me entertained on my long trips to photo locations.

Without that, the options have of course added a little to the Qj$’s £27,815 price. Our car worked out at £34,545, which sounds a lot until you realise it's a full £yk less than the What Car? Evoque. Over the next 12 months we'll find out how well the Audi stacks up against the'luwie'Landie.

Sours: WhatCar

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