Audi Q3 Weekend Drive

 

The silver Q3 we had for the weekend had panoramic moon roof, MMI with navigation, blind spot detector, and driving dynamic program on the top of the standard features that you expect from an Audi. Our first task was to install the baby car seat in the Q3. Despite the compact size of Q3, the car seat fitted nicely in the middle of the back seat. There was ample room on both sides of the car seat.

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I had very little expectation on the driving dynamic of the Q3 SUV. But to my surprise, I had a lot of fun driving on the highway to San Francisco. The 2.0 liter 4-cylinder 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft torque provided just enough tingling sensation on acceleration. We do not know yet how to bend the law of physics the way Jedi master Yoda can. So we did notice the effect of the higher center of gravity during the spirited carving of highway exit cloverleaf. But because the Q3 chassis uses Aluminum and high-strength steel to maximize chassis rigidity, and this car was equipped with quattro system, we still were enjoying the centrifugal force during our highway exit with confidence.

San Francisco city roads have abundant potholes and uneven patches. The city is major hauling the over-100 years sewer system. On the top of that, the city is building one new subway line. So, there are lots of unearthing and burying throughout the city. Driving Q3 through these pimpled roads was fun because we no longer had to worry about the low ground clearance. The suspension was firm on fast turns, but on bumps it was quite comfortable.

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The size of the compact SUV was a major advantage in parking on the city streets. While the back camera guided me in parallel parking, the short wheelbase made the car so easy to fit in tight spaces in Chinatown. It also enabled me to maneuver the car effortlessly in narrow crowded streets around Union Square during one of the busiest shopping weekends.

The large luggage space came handy to stuff not only the baby stroller but also our Costco monthly shopping bags. The higher trunk floor made loading and unloading shopping bags and strollers easy to our backs.

The weekend weather was the typical perfect Bay Area blue-sky-temperature-in-the-high-sixties day. So, we decided to take a nice weekend drive to Marin Headlands. Locals and tourists visit Golden Gate National Park frequently for its hiking trails, historical buildings, and serpentine mountain roads. Panoramic views of coastal line and city skyline accentuated by the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground turn amateur photos into Instagram sensations. The highlights of the historical buildings are the Nike missile site from the cold war era and the 150-year old Bonita lighthouse.

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I switched the driving mode from Comfort to Dynamic. The 6-speed automatic gearbox shifted precisely and smoothly ensuring me to have ample torque to concur the elevation changes in the mountainous region of Marin Headlands. The speed-sensitive Servotronic steering system enabled me to master the fast zigzag and hairpins.

We parked at a vista point looking out over vast Pacific Ocean. We opened the trunk door and then sat on the trunk floor with our feet swinging. Seconds by second, the orange giant sun was disappearing into the horizon. It was a perfect weekend with Audi Q3.

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