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- Highs Refined turbocharged four-cylinder engine, adult-friendly cockpit, Quattro all-wheel drive remains as good as ever.
- Lows Dated dashboard design, lack of tech and safety features found on rivals, suspension gets flustered over bumpy roads.
- Verdict Although it boasts a capable powertrain and roomy interior, the Q3 is showing its age and feels overdue a complete overhaul.
The Audi Q3 is the German automaker’s smallest SUV sold here. While Audi is known for crafting many pack-leading luxury vehicles, the Q3 feels dated compared to newer and more recently updated compact premium SUVs. An awkward seating position, a dashboard overflowing with buttons, and a notable lack of many active safety features all conspire to work against the Q3. To its credit, the 200-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine is refined, and Audi’s available Quattro all-wheel drive does an excellent job maintaining road grip in all types of driving conditions.
What's New for 2018?
The basic Q3 blueprint remains the same, but there’s plenty of option and trim shuffling going on for the 2018 model year. To start, the Prestige trim is cut from the lineup. Previously optional S Line exterior trim features are now standard, as are heated front seats. And the available Sport package brings along 19-inch alloys, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and Black Optics exterior highlights, including black roof rails.
- Premium: $33,875
- Sport Premium: $34,875
- Premium Plus: $36,775
- Sport Premium Plus: $36,775
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Power for the Q3 arrives courtesy of a 200-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with a six-speed automatic. Unlike many Audi models, the Q3 comes standard in front-wheel drive format, though all-wheel drive is offered on all trims. This is a nicely balanced powertrain, even if straight-line speed trails most direct competitors—such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1—and fuel economy is only fair for a compact luxury SUV. During our time with the Q3, we found the suspension to be bouncy and easily knocked off course by lumpy roadways.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
It can be hard to find an ideal driving position in the Q3. One problem is the steering wheel, which sits too upright and gives the driver the impression that they’re piloting a city bus. Granted, the rest of the Q3 cockpit is several steps above basic mass transportation. While the dashboard is filled with fussy buttons, the materials are of a high quality, and there’s plenty of room for adults seated in the first or second row. Standard features includes such upscale items as power heated seats, leather upholstery, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Yet, the Q3 interior looks and feels behind the times compared to more modern rivals. When it comes to cargo capacity, the Q3 ranks about mid-pack with 16.7 cubic feet of trunk volume behind its second row.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi’s MMI infotainment interface is refreshingly simple to use, but don’t go looking for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. Neither is available in the Q3. A 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, USB port, and satellite radio come standard. Available upgrades include navigation and a Bose audio system. Once again, the Q3 shows its age by trailing competitors when it comes to offering the latest in-car tech accessories.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.