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Introduced globally in 2013, the Audi RS Q3 is a compact crossover that has only just landed on Middle Eastern shores and one that faces stiff competition from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Range Rover Evoque. Catered to the performance enthusiasts who aren’t willing to sacrifice everyday practicality, the RS Q3 is a niche offering that is admired by the masses.
|Engine||2.5L / 5-cylinder|
|Power||367 Hp / 565 Nm|
|Top Speed||270 km/h|
Call it what you may - The Green Lantern, The Olive, or simply Kermit - but the RS Q3 is an absolute head turner in Java Green and there’s no denying it. Butch with flared fender arches and black accents, the German crossover sits on a set of 20-inch Audi Sport alloys and looks the part with narrow headlights encircled in a strip of LED DRLs. The ascending window line and tall roofline lend the RS Q3 a form of presence that its fellow stablemates lack.
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Inside, carbon fiber inlays along the dashboard, center console and door panels, connote the RS Q3’s sporting pedigree while complementing the diamond stitching that embellishes the supple Nappa leather. Tall enough to instill confidence without dampening the experience behind the wheel, the performance-inclined crossover offers exceptional visibility all around and seating for up to four individuals with 356 liters of cargo space to accompany.
Safety & Tech
Donning the prestigious 5-star Euro NCAP crash rating, the RS Q3 is fitted with numerous safety features, not limited to, automatic headlight range control, full-size airbags with front seat deactivation, blind spot monitoring, cruise control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. On the technological and convenience front, there’s a slightly dated yet extremely easy to use infotainment system, Bose audio, Sat Nav, four-way lumbar support, and panoramic roof to be had.
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When occupying the captain’s chair, aluminum pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel serve as a strong reminder that the RS Q3 is no ordinary crossover. The 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that resides under the hood, produces figures in the range of 367 horsepower and 565 Nm of torque, while aural symphonies are delivered in hushed crackles and pops.
Strangely fuel efficient – sipping just 8.6-liters / 100 km – the RS Q3 sprints to the 100 km/h mark in 4.4-seconds and packs a top whack of 270 km/h. While the stiff suspension set-up curbs body roll remarkably well at high speeds, speed breakers around the city do tend to become courteous invitations to the chiropractor.
Set in Dynamic mode and with the traction / stability systems switched off, the RS Q3 offers some sort of launch control, holding the revs for approximately 2-3 seconds at the 3,000 RPM mark, before spinning its front wheels and charging into the horizon. Contrasted with drilled rotors and sizeable RS calipers, stopping power is aplenty.
Doing all that is expected of an RS model extraordinarily well, the Q3 delivers on all fronts bar one: aural satisfaction. Muted at all times, unless left in automatic and in Dynamic mode, the RS Q3 earns itself the title of the RS that has misplaced its vocal chords, or better yet, the RS that’s in need of some Strepsils.
At the end of the day, the Audi RS Q3 is a delightful car and one that cements its dedication to performance by delivering a greater punch and top speed than its rival from Affalterbach. Although expensive at an eye-watering AED 232,000, the optional extras see that figure rise to AED 274,000 and yet it isn’t all that much pricier than the GLA 45 AMG. Which one would we have? I think that’s pretty clear…
- Extremely powerful and fun to drive.
- Packed with technology.
- It lacks the signature RS exhaust note.