A new base model Audi Q3 has arrived priced from $42,300.
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CarAdvice exclusively revealed that a new affordable Q3 1.4 TFSI would go on sale just a few weeks ago, and now the German brand has released full details of the new front-wheel-drive variant that lops $5200 from the cost of entry into the Q3 range. In the context of its direct rivals, the new Q3 variant undercuts the entry-level Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (from $47,900, on sale in April) and the BMW X1 which starts at $44,500.

Audi's 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol model produces 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque, sending drive to the front wheels via a standard seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic automatic gearbox. Audi claims an 8.9-second 0-100km/h, and 6.2L/100km combined consumption.

The 1.4 TFSI model gets the same equipment as the previous entry-level model, the $47,500 2.0 TDI, including 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, seats and trim.

Audi Q3 010

As with the 2.0 TDI, there are multiple option packages available in the 1.4 TFSI: the Style package ($2000) adds xenon headlights with LED running lights and 18-inch alloys; the Technik package ($3790) adds sat-nav, reversing camera with area view and front parking sensors and a colour information screen for the driver; the Comfort package ($3990) has Nappa leather trim, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front electric seats with lumbar support, heated front seats and smart-key entry; and the Assistance package ($1250) offers blind spot and lane keeping assistance, as well as auto high-beam lights.

There are also two S line sports packages. The first costs $6000, and includes xenon lights with LED running lights, S line exterior styling tweaks, 18-inch alloys, sports seats with alcantara and leather trim, a sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, and brushed aluminium highlights for the cabin. The second S line pack is $7000, and ups the wheels from 18- to 19-inches.

Audi Q3 007

Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said the various option packages allow buyers to get what they want - be it the base car or something more specific.

“The high-value package structure allows customers to option the additional features that best suit their needs, and this concept is extended to the new model. Customisation is important part of the Audi brand experience,” Doyle said.

In September 2013 Audi cut its entry-level manual diesel variant from the range, which pushed prices above $45,000 for the company's smallest SUV. The new petrol auto base model is expected to account for a much larger number of sales than the car it effectively takes the place of.

2014 Audi Q3 range

1.4 TFSI 110kW 7-speed dual-clutch auto FWD - $42,300

2.0 TDI 103kW 7-speed dual-clutch auto AWD - $47,500

2.0 TFSI 125kW 7-speed dual-clutch auto AWD - $49,450

2.0 TDI 130kW 7-speed dual-clutch auto AWD - $55,000

2.0 TFSI 155kW 7-speed dual-clutch auto AWD - $56,500

RSQ3 2.5L 7-speed dual-clutch auto - $81,900