Size isn't everything

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2012, 12:00am


A host of celebrities and about 500 Audi fans had good reason to welcome the Q3 compact premium sports utility vehicle to Hong Kong this month.

The third and most compact member of the Audi Q series, the Q3 is available here in two models, both fitted with two-litre turbocharged, FSI petrol engines, a seven-speed S-tronic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive.

The 170-horsepower version (HK$432,000) can reach 100km/h in 7.8 seconds and tops at 212km/h; the 211hp version (HK$476,000) is nearly a second faster in the 100km/h sprint and can reach a maximum 230km/h.

Both cars consume 7.7 litres of petrol over 100km and emit 179 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, the Bavarian marque says.

The Q3 was well-received at its launch at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. The compact has coupe looks, with a sleek roofline, smart aluminium alloy roof luggage rack and a unique wrap-around tailgate also made of aluminium, as is its bonnet, to reduce the car's weight and fuel consumption. The model is only 4.3 metres long, promises a fine view of the road and should be easy to park in Hong Kong. Available in 11 colours and the S line exterior package, the Q3 is well-finished inside. The seats have plenty of support for passengers of all sizes and luggage capacity can be extended from 460 litres to 1,365 litres by folding down the split rear seat backs. The Q3 also scored five stars and the highest safety rating in the 'Small Off-Road 4x4' class in the European New Car Assessment Programme's rigorous crash tests.

The model's advanced technology includes Audi's new Electronic Stability Program stabilisation system, which prevents the car from pulling to one side during braking.

'If a skid is approaching, it supports corrections that defuse the situation,' the marque says.

Some of Audi's functions have been specially tailored for the compact SUV, including a rollover prevention function, trailer stabilisation, electronic limited slip differential and hill hold assist.

Local dealer Premium Motors offers three option packages for the faster Q3. A luxury package costing HK$14,000 plus first registration tax (FRT) incorporates Bose surround sound, auto-hold assist, interior and exterior mirrors with anti-dazzle functions, rain sensors and high beam assistance.

A Sports package upgrades the Q3's standard 17-inch wheels to five-spoke aluminium 18-inches with sports seats for HK$13,000 plus FRT, while a similarly priced Technology package includes Audi drive select, suspension with damper control.