Launched in August 2022, the Audi Q3 has been around for a while. The sporty compact luxury SUV made a mark for itself with impressive on-road performance, great handling, and on-point built quality. It is also an important part of the German automaker’s stable, enabling it to target double-digit growth in the competitive and price-conscious Indian market. However, along with driving performance, the vehicle also looks to deliver on tech, now essential for many Indian drivers. We drove the Audi Q3, focusing on the technology it offers, its usability, and reliability, and here is what we found.
The central screen on the Q3 is bright, with good legibility. It grants access to controls including apps, the navigation, the vehicle’s overall settings, and more. But the software is a disappointment. We found the display lagging when pushed to handle successive touch inputs and the UI lagging when switching between menus. In terms of UI design, the centre console is not easy to manoeuvre, and users find themselves fumbling through the setup when trying to connect their smartphones. However, post-setup, functions like music, navigation, connectivity, and home located on the right side of the screen come in handy. The availability of physical buttons for switching between drive modes also helps.
The in-built navigation is precise and displays ample information, including the location of refuelling stations and other relevant locations along the selected route. We found the maps particularly helpful when navigating through busy roads. Limited functionality of voice commands in India, and the system’s issues in recognizing accents, however, do not sit well with the luxury credentials of the vehicle.
So, while the display does a fine job in terms of design, its software seems unable to cope. The overall UI design is simple and clean, but navigating through it can be difficult.
Driver display and steering-mounted controls
While the centre display serves as the nerve centre of the vehicle, the driver display or the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ comes with a host of display functions. The screen is easy to customise using the physical buttons on the steering wheel, which also get volume controls, paddle shifters, and cruise control functions.
The driver display is crisp, sharp and displays useful information in a legible layout. The information displayed can be toggled between the navigation, fuel consumption, tachometer, tyre pressure monitoring, and other relevant information. We liked the multiple layout options and the amount of customisation offered.
Audi, with the enthusiast driver in mind, has made the driver display a lot easier to navigate and live with than the central display. release is another feature we liked. The tailgate release sensors are well-calibrated, and we did not face any problems in using them. The vehicle also gets front and rear parking sensors, handy in tight spots. However, we have seen better parking cameras on lower-priced vehicles.
myAudi Connect app
With the prevalence of connect car tech, Audi also provides connected car features through its myAudi connect app. However, we were unable to connect our iOS smartphone with the vehicle despite repeated attempts which limited us to viewing just the vehicle’s maintenance schedule and calling roadside assistance.
Audi’s connected car app itself feels like a labyrinth of menus. Setting up the app is cumbersome to say the least, and Audi’s developers require users to fill out details such as choice of social media app, idea of an ideal weekend, employment status, and even preferred news outlets. The user is definitely better off concentrating on the vehicle’s performance rather than its connected tech.
The Audi Q3 is a vehicle built and designed for enthusiast drivers, boasting good driving performance. The same, however, cannot be said for its tech. The UI is difficult to manoeuvre, there are lags when executing inputs, the voice commands are barely usable, and the connected car app is unnecessarily complicated. So, while the Q3 gets the tech features expected from a vehicle of this price point, the vehicle could do with improved software and an easy-to-use app.
The Audi Q3 40 TFSI is priced at ₹51,94,000.