NOT THAT IT LOOKS or feels it but the Q3 has been around for a while and for 2017, Audi has given it a nip and tuck so that you don’t ask questions about her age. Just going by its styling, the update does make a fair bit of difference. AllLED headlamps and tail lamps, revised front end and a lot more plastic cladding give it a rugged stance that works in the compact SUV’s favour. The vibrant colours work well too. This blue for instance catches a lot of eyeballs, as did the red on the Q3 we drove on our quattro Xpedition.

It’s available with two engine choices. The petrol is a 148bhp 1.4-litre TFSI unit. In the Q3 however, it doesn’t get cylinder deactivation like it does in the A3. The diesel is available in two states of tune - 148bhp and 184bhp. This blue SUV is the 184bhp Q3. It’s also the only version to get the Quattro AWD system, while the lower powered engines are only front-wheel driven. You get four per cent more power than before, which amounts to seven horsepower over the pre-facelift SUV. There is no perceivable difference while driving one, but what is evident is the punchy mid-range. There is always ample power and torque (380Nm) on tap to build pace at a brisk rate. It’s not going to scorch the tarmac if that’s what you are looking for, but there’s never a shortage of performance for daily driving.

It feels like a refined unit too from inside the cabin, although you will hear the gruff diesel on the outside. The Q3 has always had good NVH suppression. The engine revs quite freely to 4000rpm but there’s little to be gained at such high engine speeds. It’s best to shift up at around 3500rpm and a quick shift is at your fingertips with the DSG-equipped Q3 as it also comes with paddleshifters. The Q3 doesn’t feel as agile as the BMW X1 but it has excellent ride quality and corners well due to the traction from the AWD system. You can maintain good pace at all times, whether on the highway or in the twisties, and when the tarmac is less than perfect the Q3 soaks in all the undulations without compromising its dynamic abilities.

The X1 and the Q3 came to India around the beginning of the decade and the BMW has already seen a complete generation change. The Q3, however, is still in its first generation and that tells you a fair bit about its longevity. This is probably the last tweak before we get an all-new model in 2018, and of course before everybody loses interest in the Q3 once the Q2 comes later this year.