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Audi boosts Q3 with new 1.4 entry model

Back to front: Audi’s Q3 small SUV has regained a front-wheel drive variant, slicing the price of entry to $42,300.

Front-wheel drive returns to Audi Q3 range with more affordable $42k 1.4 TFSI


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19 Feb 2014

AUDI Australia has reintroduced front-wheel drive to its class-leading Q3 small SUV range, this time with an entry level 1.4-litre turbo-charged petrol engine.

At $42,300 plus on-road costs, the Q3 1.4 TFSI undercuts the current cheapest Q3 variant, the $47,500 2.0 TDI Quattro diesel, by more than $5000.

Today’s announcement of the new model comes in the same week as the media launch of the Q3 flagship, the powerful RS Q3, effectively top-and-tailing the Q3 range.

The new arrivals bolster the Q3 range – Australia’s top-selling luxury compact SUV for the past two years – ahead of the arrival of Mercedes-Benz’s first vehicle in the class, the GLA, in July.

The new, most affordable Q3 is more than $5000 cheaper than the base Benz GLA, which starts at $47,900 for the front-wheel drive GLA 200 CDI.

As well, the Audi is $6000 cheaper than the most affordable BMW X1, the front-drive 2.0 SDrive 20i.

It is not the first time Audi has offered a front-wheel-drive Q3 in this market. At the launch of the Q3 in 2012, the front-drive 2.0-litre TDI diesel Q3 with a manual gearbox opened the batting for the range, but was discontinued last year.

All current Q3 models – all quattro equipped – are offered with 2.0-litre powerplants. That changes with the arrival of this 1.4-litre TFSI and, soon, the RS Q3 with its 2.5-litre five cylinder.

The 1.4-litre engine, which is offered in other Audi models such as the A1 and A3 in the Audi line-up, develops 110kW from 5000rpm and 250Nm of torque from 1750rpm.

Hooked up to the front wheels via a dual-clutch S Tronic automatic transmission, this powerplant propels the Q3 from zero to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds.

Audi claims an official combined fuel consumption test result of 6.2 litres per 100km, with carbon dioxide emissions of 145 grams per kilometre.

The new model has the same level of specification as the 2.0 TDI Q3, with standard equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, leather-trimmed seats, dual-zone climate control system, front fog lights, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, Bluetooth and leather-bound steering wheel with multi-function controls.

No fewer than five extra-cost packagages are available – Style, Technik, Comfort, Assistance and S Line.

Last year, Audi sold 2897 Q3s, taking a massive 52.5 per cent of the $40,000-plus small SUV segment – a tiny class with only three entrants. Next best was BMW’s X1 with 2108 sales and 38.2 per cent share.

Of the four current Q3 variants on offer, the $125kW petrol 2.0 TFSI is the best seller.

Audi Australia expects the more affordable Q3 1.4 TFSI will account for 10 per cent of sales.

Audi Q3 range pricing:*
1.4 TFSI (a) $42,300
2.0 TFSI 125kW Quattro (a) $49,450
2.0 TFSI 155kW Quattro (a) $56,500
2.0 TDI 103kW Quattro (a) $47,500
2.0 TDI 130kW Quattro (a) $55,000
2.5 RS Q3 Quattro (a) $81,900

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