The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 54 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 KEY STATS The 130 kW, 2.0-litre TDI quattro with seven-speed S Tronic DSG is the more powerful of two turbo-diesel variants within the five-strong Audi Q3 compact premium SUV range. A price tag of $54,500 puts it just short of being top-of-the range. For their money, buyers get a car that lives up to the Sports Utility Vehicle categorisation. The 130 kW/380 Nm powerplant provides more than enough 'oomph' and 'grunt' to satisfy most buyers in this segment and, coupled with a well-sorted chassis and all-wheel- drive, the Q3 makes for a (relatively) dynamic drive. The utilitarian aspect is demonstrated by an ability to readily adapt from comfortable five-seater with 460 litres of load-carrying capacity, to two-seater with 1365 litres of cargo space, just by dropping the rear seats. Comfort levels are high and visibility good from the high seating position. Stop/start technology, assisted by electromechanical steering, claimed class-leading drag coefficiency of 0.32 Cd and low-rolling resistance tyres combine to help return an impressive ADR fuel figure of 5.9-litres/100 km. Even driven hard, as in our performance testing, a respectable 8.0-litres/100 km is achievable. What's not to like? We suspect that some might find the ride quality a little too firm. MLP: $54,500 SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability and traction control. KEY FEATURES: 17" alloys, stop-start fuel-saving, bluetooth with audio streaming, rear park assist, cruise control, dual-zone climate control. ENGINE: 2.0-litre, inline turbo-diesel, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 120 kW @ 4200 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 380 Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 9.3 sec (average, as tested). 80 KM/H-STOP: 22.0 m (average, as tested). FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 5.9 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Dynamics, driveability, economy. AGAINST: Firm ride. audi q3 2.0 tdi quattro MOTORING NEW CAR REVIEWS KEY STATS When we first got to drive BMW's 135i Coupe, on the Alpine Way in the Snowy Mountains, we came away convinced that big brother, the awesome M3 (at just over twice the price), could not have delivered a more competent showing. But time moves on, and now there's another 'M' derivative in the mix. At $99,900, the 1 M costs nearly $25,000 more than the 135i Coupe, which begs the question; "Is it worth the extra?" Well, that depends largely on how performance focused you are. The 1 M is 25 kW more powerful and 50 Nm more torquey and, hence, quicker. It takes on a wider, more muscular stance in appearance. Under the skin there's a lightweight, six-speed manual gearbox, track-tuned suspension, high-performance braking system, differential lock and grippy rubber on 19" alloys. To fully open the 1 M's performance envelope (in the 'right' environment), you need to push a button that activates the 'M Dynamic Mode'. It's then evident in an instant that the 1 M is a more challenging, edgier and, ultimately more satisfying drive than the 135i. Ride quality, which is the one thing we thought might be uncompromising in its firmness, is surprisingly compliant, though we suspect the 1 M might not be as easy to live with every day as the 135i Coupe. bmw 1 series m coupe MLP: $99,900 SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain and driver's knee airbags, anti-lock brakes electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control. KEY FEATURES: Dual-zone climate control airconditioning, touch screen, central locking, immobiliser, 19" alloys, alarm, rear park control, adaptive headlights, leather, front powered sports seats with lumbar support. ENGINE: 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, 6-cyl. MAX. POWER: 250 kW @ 5900 rpm. MAX, TORQUE: 450 Nm (+ 50 Nm overboost) @ 1500-4500 rpm. 0-100 km/h: 5.1 sec (average). 80 KM/H-STOP: 22.7 m (average). FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 9.6 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Performance, exclusivity. AGAINST: Comes at a price, not as liveable as the 135i.
August 1st 2012