happy after mountain trip - Audi Q3 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-29-2017, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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happy after mountain trip

We took our new '17 Q3 to the southern Sierra Nevada here in CA and probably spent 1-2 hrs on mountain roads each day for the week.

I am happy that it handled the twisty roads and steep grades as well or better than my old B5 A4 wagon. I don't think I've compromised the real-world handling in moving to this larger vehicle. I had reservations going from a longitudinal engine with torsen to this transverse engine with haldex. But at least for this kind of driving, I could not feel any practical difference. I'll have to wait for next winter to see if this holds true for snow and ice as well.

At the same time, these larger tires and higher ground clearance were a comfort on every bit of rough road. The paved roads are quite torn up after the heavy winter we had this year, and the unpaved roads, camp grounds, and parking areas are rougher than usual as well. I was never nervous about where I was taking the car. In the old A4 I knew quattro would get me out but had to think carefully to avoid bottoming-out in deep ruts etc. I had the stock all-season tires at 36 psi all around and did not feel any pronounced under-steer. It was comparable to my old A4 and powered out of turns nicely. The stock Q3 suspension also doesn't produce any worse body roll than the (non-sport) stock suspension on my old wagon.

By the end of the week, I have developed a better feel for the car in fast turns and more difficult conditions such as cresting hills and negative banking. I don't think I'd want to change much about it. It's a great balance of performance, comfort, and practicality. My only complaint about the performance is that it still feels a little gutless to me up around 50-60 MPH when trying to accelerate hard. I am still not sure if it's really a lack of power or my continued resistance to embracing the automatic transmission. I'd be happier with a 6-speed stick or a DSG. I made heavy use of the tiptronic "manual" mode in the mountains, and even then found the shifts vague and disconcerting at times.

I also caught myself nearly making disastrous downshifts when I meant to make upshifts. It took me a while to realize I was still trying to follow my manual shift-gate pattern and so want to push up or down to upshift depending on what road speed and current gear I am in. It's going to take time to unlearn that H pattern and start over with a "+" and "-" that are always in fixed directions. I suppose it would have been better to get shift paddles and learn a completely different interface instead of having this different kind of stick.

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-06-2017, 11:27 PM
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Shift paddles make a world of difference. I feel like Audi could've tuned the car better out of the gate as it shares the same engine as the Golf Mk5, we know it could handle quite a bit more horsepower, atleast should've pushed 220 like the Q5 2.0T or 252 could be done easily. There's also a sprinter mod that makes the throttle more responsive.

I've got a MY16 Q3 that I'm thinking about throwing some APR stuff at, going straight for Stage 2
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-13-2017, 07:23 AM
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Unfortunately it's quite a chore to design a "stick" shifting pattern into a simple lever that moves in just 2 directions - ALTHOUGH, now with electronic-only levers, I believe this CAN be rather easily programmed into that lever - but ours (in a Q3) aren't that way yet (next year). So, sorry for your shifting-learning experience. The DSG was not brought to the US for cost reasons bolstered by the nominal market response that the DSG shifted 'too harshly" for them - pooh $hit - I say.

As for the engine, ditto on comparing to the similarly equipped Q5 that needed a differential in performance (the 220 hp Q3 would be a better performer) to help justify the price difference. As for the 252 version, yeah - that's be a nice SQ3 which may still come - who knows?

Paddles help, but they too require a learning process to use effectively and still the gearbox in this car is not the quickest one in the bunch. Two things you can do for less than $200 that make a big difference. First, check out the Sprint Booster links on this site, and then look for the EU Tiguan code that you can switch your gearbox to, that makes a big difference in how the trans responds to everything AND shows what gear you're in in the DIS if you have it ... a nice feature.

- Roger

2014 R8 V10+ 6MT, Daytona Gray Pearl/Black w/Diamond Stitching
2015 Q3 2.0 Quattro Prestige S-line, Tundra/Chestnut
2016 TTS, Nano/Express Red
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-14-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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I read about the sprint booster and am surprised people find that helpful! I am not bothered by pushing the pedal for its full stroke if I want wide open throttle. I already find the accelerator pedal a little touchy in combination with the automatic transmission sometimes lagging and sometimes surging ahead with similar pedal inputs around town. I definitely plan to try out that different transmission coding once I get around to playing with my old vag-com cable.

I am just a little disappointed in how the engine seems to run out of steam when you're already stepping on it. The low end torque already reminds me of a stage 1 tuned 1.8T I have driven, but at the top end it seems to taper off more like a stock 1.8T. I know a new stage 1 tune should fix this, but I am not yet ready to put the new car warranty at risk...

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