Black Edition version is a fully-loaded prospect

Life with an Audi Q3 | Introduction

Brenwin Naidu Motoring editor, reporter and presenter
Black Edition trimmings include glossy grille and emblems.
Black Edition trimmings include glossy grille and emblems.
Image: Supplied

Sometimes when people seek advice from us motoring scribes, their minds are already made up and all they want is affirmation. Familiarity can be the clincher when making a significant decision.

Close relatives of mine recently asked me for advice on what they should replace their five-year-old Audi Q3 with. Dutifully, I had suggested several options that I thought would complement their lifestyle many outside the four-rings brand.

They ended up replacing their 2019 Q3 1.4 TFSI with ... another Audi Q3: the 35 TFSI in high-tier Black Edition guise basically the same car they bought five years ago but with richer specification.

Those relatives of mine know the car inside and out, clearly have a good relationship with their local dealer and have come to enjoy the consistency in service they receive. Which sealed the deal. Remember that five years ago, Audi had yet to adopt its current (confusing) derivative nomenclature. The 1.4 TFSI is exactly the same as the 35 TFSI. No changes in the engine department.

Coincidentally, our newest addition to the long-term test fleet is a Q3 35 TFSI Black Edition. Until the Q2 arrived in 2017, the Q3 was the original baby of the Q-car range, first released locally in 2012.

Not much has changed since the 2019 version was released. With the Black Edition offering, Audi hopes to take full advantage of Mzansi consumerspartiality to high-specification grades. See, instead of ticking various option boxes, the Black Edition comprises some of the most popular extras.

From heated seats to sunroof, you will find them here.
From heated seats to sunroof, you will find them here.
Image: Supplied

For your R868,050 you get a panoramic sunroof, the semi-autonomous parking aid system, keyless-entry, keyless-start, electrically-operated tailgate, front seat heaters and front electric seat adjustment. Of course, this is in addition to the standard Q3 equipment list.

On the outside, look out for bumper elements, Audi emblems and the front grille all blacked-out in glossy trimmings. The same goes for the side mirrors. Rounding off the darker look is a set of 19-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels. The interior has sportier seat frames, a black headliner and a steering wheel with a flat-bottom edge.

My maiden voyage with the Q3 saw me cruising down the M1 (north), joining the N1 and exiting at Winnie Mandela Drive. Consumption went all the way down to 5l/100km on this leisurely freeway stint. The 1,395cc turbocharged four-cylinder motor ticked over at about 3,000rpm at 110km/h, hardly breaking a sweat. But after another 70km of shorter commutes around town, the average had gone up to 7.8l/100km.

Its 110kW/250Nm is reasonably flexible, with acceptable grunt for quicker overtaking manoeuvres, as well as when maintaining pace in the cut and thrust of daily traffic. Drive is to the front wheels, via a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Interesting to note is that for less money, you can have a bigger engine, all-wheel drive and a sleeker body format: the 2.0-litre 40 TFSI Quattro S-Line Sportback goes for R839,600.

Boot space in excess of 500l with electrically-operated tailgate.
Boot space in excess of 500l with electrically-operated tailgate.

All models benefit from a five-year/100,000km maintenance plan and a one-year/unlimited-km warranty. Getting back behind the wheel of the Q3 after many years provided a reminder of its sturdy build. Audi is still a beacon of what a quality interior ought to be, with rich materials, quirk-free ergonomics and an impregnable solidity overall.

The Q3 will be in our possession for the next three months, so stay tuned for updates on just about every aspect of life together.

LONG-TERM UPDATE INTRODUCTION | 2024 Audi Q3 35 TFSI S-Tronic (Black Edition)
PRAISES: Stylish exterior, high-quality interior, fully loaded with features.
GRIPES: Black Edition comes at a price – odd to have a range-topper with the smallest displacement available.

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