Audi Q3 gets new base model, quattro-only range

The Audi Q3 range has been revised to 'MY14' specifications.
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No longer is a Q3 available for under $45,000, with the 2.0 TDI manual two-wheel-drive replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic all-wheel-drive model utilising the same 103kW/320Nm engine, priced from $47,500.

That leaves the Audi Q3 a quattro-only range. The three other available models all receive minor equipment and pricing alterations, including the 125kW/280Nm 2.0 TFSI ($49,450, up $2450), the 130kW/380Nm 2.0 TDI ($55,000, up $500) and the 155kW/300Nm 2.0 TFSI ($56,500, up $500).

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Standard on all models are 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, leather trim, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, and automatic headlights and wipers. New equipment added includes an Audi Music Interface with USB/iPod connectivity, and a storage and luggage compartment package.

Audi has also aligned its Q3 optional equipment packages with that of the recently-launched A3 hatchback.

Buyers can choose from an optional ($2000) Style package comprising xenon headlights with LED daytime lights and 18-inch wheels; a ($3790) Technik package that bundles MMI navigation with a 20Gb hard drive and twin SD card rearers, front parking sensors, rear camera and area view, and upgraded sound system; a ($3990) Comfort package adding Nappa leather, electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support, front seat heating, convenience key, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror; an ($1250) Assistance packaging boasting active lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitor and automatic high-beam operation; and an ($6000) S-Line sport package boasting Alcantara and leather trim, xenon headlights with LED daytime lights, and sports interior and exterior trim bits including sports steering wheel.

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Previously just one per cent of Audi Q3 sales comprised the 2.0 TDI front-wheel-drive entry-level model, mainly due to its singular availability with a manual transmission in what is a heavily automatic-biased segment. Audi says it expects the entry 103kW 2.0-litre model to now command a higher share of total Q3 sales. The new base model costs $2200 more than before, but buyers gain quattro all-wheel-drive in addition to the automatic transmission.

Audi also boasts that its new all-wheel-drive base model costs $1443 less than its closest competitor in the premium compact SUV segment, the two-wheel-drive BMW X1 sDrive 18d.

To August this year, the Audi Q3 has notched up 2107 sales, a massive 195 per cent increase over the same period last year, overtaking the BMW X1 (with 1218 sales over the same period) in the process.

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Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle admits the brand has “been pushing hard” its 'Land of quattro' campaign message, arguing that all-wheel-drive Audis now contibute to 67 per cent of total sales, compared with just 26 per cent in 2004.

“For Audi … quattro is an icon of the brand,” he added, committing to increasing the number of quattro models available across the Audi line-up locally.