- Aug 2015

Best of both worlds: The facelifted Audi Q3

Feature Friday: Audi Q3 2.0TFSI S-Line

Many people living in Johannesburg will complain that the city is too congested, I am one of those people. As someone born and raised in the big bad city, I often long for some open space and a fresh aired environment lacking noise. That is why one of my biggest dreams is to have a large piece of land overlooking nature and maybe even a barn. The problem with that, as someone who has been raised in the city, I am so used to having certain amenities at my disposal, so the lack of them could cause great frustration. The ideal scenario would be to find a place that has the best of both worlds, a place that is still open and farm-like but not too far from the city.

Am I asking too much? Some may say yes but exploring Johannesburg in the facelifted Audi Q3 made me realise that places like these do actually exist. When the Audi Q3 arrived at my house it seemed much smaller than what it looked like on the road. I was genuinely surprised. When I entered into the car I was even more surprised because the car provided very good space for it’s passengers despite its smaller stature. I almost felt like I was in a higher A3 with a bit more room in it and that isn’t a bad thing at all. The car I received was the S-Line package with all the sportier touches added to it, including lovely bucket seats. There is something about the combination of leather and alcantara that makes a cabin look more suave, perhaps the word alcantara itself is what makes me feel this way. It’s like the word cashmere, just saying the word makes one automatically seem fancier, a word you drop at dinner parties to impress friends.

Starting the car creates an audible burble of a refined petrol engine. The badging on the outside simple stated TFSI so I tried find out which derivative it was. Eventually I located a piece of paper listing all the specifications on the car, which had a healthy amount of extras on it. It was the 2.0 litre turbo 132kW version, fitted with the seven speed double clutch S-Tronic gearbox. The sum total of R 590 000 was the price of the vehicle I had in my driveway, a price which falls on the more expensive side of things I must say. Which brings me to my travels in and around Johannesburg. If you travel 15km’s north of Johannesburg after Kyalami, you enter into a different world. Everything slows down, there is empty land everywhere and the site of horses catches your attention. If you carry on for a few more kilometres you will be presented by a sign that says “Beaulieu”. This residential area is exactly what I have been longing for, it is basically farm life or rather “horse life” a few minutes away from civilisation. What a lovely area it is, with large homes and open land and the smell of fresh air coupled with the sound of nothing.

As I drove around my future suburb, the Q3 blended in nicely. The locals gave me that “you’re one of us” smile when I drove passed them. The area has a mixture of gravel road and tar, something the Q3 handled very well despite its low profile tyres and large rims. On the road is where the car is in it’s element though, very quiet and stately until someone is driving 25km/h in an 60km/h zone. When that happens it’s simply a matter of slightly squeezing the accelerator for all 320Nm to engage and you’ve overtaken effortlessly. After driving the car around for a bit, I realised that there were similarities between the area and the car I was driving. In what way?

The Audi Q3 is a peculiar car, it does not feel like a 4×4 but when fitted with the Quattro suspension, it is. It doesn’t look very big on the outside but is quite spacious on the inside. It is the right car for someone who does not want a sedan but at the same time doesn’t want a large 4×4. It is for someone who still wants the nimbleness of a sedan but the clearance of a larger car. It’s the perfect car for the undecided, people like myself who want a farm life but with the city’s convenience. It is a larger car that drives like a hatchback and even though it has a powerful engine, the 62l fuel tank is big enough for you not to really notice that all that overtaking is affecting your fuel consumption. Like Beaulieu the Audi Q3 offers something different for people, an alternative to the sedan without having to lug a big 4×4 around. The houses in Beaulieu cost well into the millions so I will have to play my cards right in order to afford living there one day, but the cost is justifiable in my mind. The same goes for the Audi Q3, cars in general are not cheap, most premium cars cost over half a million Rand, so for R90 000 more with some decent extras, you may just think it’s justifiable too. Happy Feature Friday Motorists.

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