W o possible, speculates the test duo after the compulsory comparison drive, the question of diesel or gasoline will in future become one of taste. And less - as before - to one of the costs or environmental protection.
After a few hundred kilometers of test drive through the city as well as on the highway and country road, we stand at the pumps and note the quantities of hydrocarbons refined from petroleum that are in the tanks of the Audi Q3 35 TFSI and Q3 35 TDI Quattro gurgles.
The number of liters does not differ much, later the test department calculates a test mean of 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers for the TFSI petrol engine, one liter less for the diesel engine. The difference is exactly the same on the practical commuter lap, significantly smaller (only 0.3 liters) on the eco-lap, which is particularly economical. The difference in consumption between the two Q3s only increases when driving fast on the autobahn - to the detriment of the gasoline engine.
No difference in CO2
Is the diesel worth it? We ask ourselves. The cost table also shows only small differences; the TDI only becomes significantly cheaper for annual mileages of more than 30,000 km per year. But even then, the difference is less than 100 euros, hardly a tank filling per year.
But what if we calculate carbon dioxide emissions, someone says - isn't diesel better for the climate? Again wrong: In the test consumption (8.4 liters per 100 km for the TFSI and 7.4 liters for the TDI) the CO2 emissions of the two Q3s are exactly the same. How can that be? Gasoline consists of shorter and therefore more combustible hydrocarbon chains thanDiesel, however, contains less carbon. Because more carbon atoms are burned when diesel fuel is burned, correspondingly more carbon dioxide is produced than when the same amount of gasoline is burned. The difference is not great, but in this case it is exactly enough to compensate for the absolute consumption disadvantage of the gasoline engine.
So we get back into the cars and do another comparison lap, first in the gasoline engine. The 35 TFSI comes with a dual clutch transmission and front-wheel drive; the lighter drive unit gives it a weight advantage of 150 kg. Little of it is noticeable when driving, the 35 TFSI takes off smoothly, the DSG eagerly shifts gears, the desire for more power or torque does not arise at first.
However, the motor-gearbox coordination is less harmonious with slow constant travel and with many load changes. The gear collection of the S-tronic gearbox can sometimes jolt. Sometimes it seems as if the two clutches have to discuss for fractions of a second which one is responsible for the frictional connection.
This question doesn't even arise with diesel, the 35 TDI is only available as a Quattro with a manual transmission, the 40 TDI Quattro (190 PS), which is more expensive € 5,100, is only available as an S tronic. And the theoretically deliverable 35 TDI without Quattro was not available as a test car. The test driver is therefore responsible for selecting the gear and establishing the frictional connection of the clutch. In addition, the weight difference and the higher rolling resistance of the Quattro mean that the fuel consumption advantage of the diesel remains low. However, it has surprisingly little effect on the driving impression.
Monthly maintenance costs in euros including maintenance, wear part costs and vehicle taxes, assuming an annual mileage with /without depreciation. The calculation is based on test consumption, a three-year holding period and SF 12 for liability and fully comprehensive insurance .
Very smooth-running four-cylinder
In direct comparison, the TDI looks a bit more spontaneous, Power andTorque is more immediate, which of course may be due to the manual transmission. The dual clutch transmission in the TFSI acts, as mentioned, sometimes a bit hesitantly.
Incidentally, both engines are among the very gentle of their kind, also in terms of running smoothness. The self-igniter only draws attention to itself at low engine speeds with a certain nailiness. The turbo gasoline engine, on the other hand, only becomes more robust at high engine speeds and then works hard. In any case, the TDI appears more confident overall.
Both compact SUVs curve gently with understeer, the progressive steering (280 euros each) pleases with a precise approach, although stronger feedback would be welcome class='v-A_-article__inline-container'>
The superior traction of the Quattro is of course not evident on dry roads: Those who do not frequently drive in snowy and mountainous regions get just as good with front-wheel drive. He can also save the additional costs for the adaptive damper (1,180 euros), because both Q3s are pleasing with their balanced suspension comfort, which skilfully ironed out small and large bumps. The heavier diesel even looks a bit smoother, certainly also a consequence of the somewhat more modest tires.
Speaking of modesty: Audi is very self-confident when it comes to pricing. Entry-level tariffs of around 40,000 euros are by no means particularly cheap for a Q3-sized car, the testers found when they later bend over the price list for coffee with milk and strawberry pastries. According to the equipment list, the test 35 TFSI with all the extras is expensive for 54,740 euros. The 35 TDI Quattro even comes to 64,540 euros, but this price includes the 10,200 euros Edition One package, which one can say: It works without it. But that is ultimately also a question of taste.