Let me start with usual disclaimer: I am noob here and this is my first review, please bear with me for any typos.
I have taken a test-drive of both Germans a year back. Thought of sharing it though it was a long time back. From childhood, I am a fan of German cars for its looks, quality and drive.
1) Audi Q3:-
One fine day I was casually looking at the newspaper where an ad stating "Audi Q3 Start Young". I was blown over by the looks, compact SUV and Audi’s cheapest offering. So, decided to take a test drive though I have no intention to buy immediately but planning for some time soon
. Entered the Audi dealership, Anna salai with my baby blade (cbr250r).The watchman gave a weird look as if someone who is entering in a bike is going to buy 40L car. I neglected and as soon as I enter, I can see some 2-3 people enquiring about the Q3 attended by one SE that was the only car which was major attraction that day where other cars have a deserted look. I started exploring the car myself since others were busy and I was attended by one SE after some 15 mins. I requested for TD which he replied “today the TD schedule for this one is full” and asked me to wait and he will let me know in few mins after checking , he get back to me and said now the customer who requested has not yet arrived , you can take TD now
. I entered a bright orange shade Q3 2.0TDI High end variant and there it goes.
First thing, I was immediately impressed with is NVH levels. Wow, I haven’t experienced this silence in other cars before though my previous experience is limited to <20L ones. The cabin feels premium and made of good quality materials and had a lot of attention to detail Then I slotted in D mode and I just gave a light foot to accelerator there it goes without any lag and any drama. I didn’t care about the features nor the SE care to explain that time but enjoyed the TD though it was limited to some 8-10Kms city drive. The seats have ample thigh support and I don’t find any fault with ergonomics. But I can’t forgive one thing which they missed. It was rear armrest, heck even a 10L sedan have it .Why Audi? Then, to the ride, it feels stiff as I intentionally took the car to some small to medium size potholes but doesn’t feel harsh yet it would have been better if there is little more suppleness to the ride. Steering feels pretty light but feedback is just average which most of people won’t complain much. Then I was explained about the Auto hold parking brake and I found them very useful while standing in the traffic signal. While casually driving and I had a look at speedo, it was 90Kmph, wow I can’t feel the speed thankfully there was not much traffic that time nor did I intend to take it to 90. Then I tried with sport mode for a while which appears to make the car very brisk than already brisk acceleration in D mode, but the engine now feels like diesel as I can hear a slight gruff as the RPM shoots closer to redline in each gear. I felt most of the people will be sticking to “D” mode most of the time as the engine feels sufficiently brisk without any lag nor with the noise intrusion they like to drive in it. I was asked to take a turn and that leads to a narrow road and within minutes I was shocked to see a lorry standing and a load of blue jalli (don’t know what to call) been along the lorry so the only thing I have to do to get past them is to drive over the jalli (some 30-45 degrees incline) and I gently rode over them as if the road was laid like that but there Quattro comes into play even with one front and rear wheel being in air I was able to move just like that and came out without much fuse. And I realized that TD came to end shortly after some time.
I requested the price quote and booking amount at the end. It was 5L booking amount with 41 L being the on road price for top variant. While I asked purposefully whether if I get petrol model (210Hp) which I heard in web and they immediately agreed that they can get petrol model if I need but they have to order them and added they will soon launch the petrol version depending on the demand they get. At last I was told to sign a feedback form where I can recollect one Q being whether video is shown about the product. I took a look at the videos which was going on the TV which I didn’t realize there was one at the beginning. The video shows how much they are serious about testing where the videos show an Audi a4 model being tested like running under severe cold temperature conditions.
Slightly Pricey even if it’s a CBU
2) BMW X1:
Then, as soon as I finish, my mind was saying why don’t you take a TD of X1 which was its rival even though it’s so called crossover. Then I entered KUN Exclusive, chrome pet. As soon as I enter, I was greeted and was given quick answering about the X1 questions which I asked and was told not to compare X1 to Q3 as its being crossover and SUV , and info about RWD & its advantages. Things like this I didn’t expect from a SE to know, maybe I would have thought all SEs to be dumb. No offense just my understanding based on previous experience. I got distracted by a shiny hot S1000RR . Then I slowly moved closer and had a look . How compact for such a liter class bike it is and gadgetry it possess and I asked about it which they replied that it was not for sale just display only sale happening at Mumbai dealerships and on road price around 27L. Then, I quickly got the TD as I am the only one in the showroom.
As soon as I entered the X1 low end variant, the cabin interior quality, dashboard all appears to be dull and boring and doesn’t ooze out the premiumness like Q3 does. Quite frankly, I was disappointed by the quality and attention to details. Then I started roaring as soon as the road was clear at that time and the steering felt heavy compared to Q3 yet full of feedback and feels totally connected to the road. Somehow I never felt wanting in thigh support between the two and could have been better if it is adjustable. The engine feels noisy compared to Q3 in “D “ mode but the acceleration feels addictive compared to smooth lag free acceleration of Q3. The X1 pushes me to drive hard and inspires so much confidence with the fantastic set of brakes even though Q3 ‘s brakes are sufficient enough , somehow I feel like the X1 lets you carry more speed into corners and brake late with full of pedal feel and steering feedback compared to Q3. Then, I switched to manual mode, It was much more fun to drive from M1 to M4 (can’t test beyond that), even without the paddle shifters. On ride quality front, I didn’t get a chance to test fully yet I don’t find anything to complain over since the test drive route appears to be smooth.
Acceleration, Handling , brakes
Slightly less expensive at 35L on road for highend variant.
Low end variant is bare bone stock without necessary features
Overall, I felt Q3 to be more luxurious and loaded with features to the brim while the X1 impresses with fun to drive character.
PS : I have expressed what I felt and some things may vary or contradict with other individuals. No offense meant to anyone.
Sorry guys i couldn't take any photos, don't remember how i forgot them.