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- Highs Dashing inside and out, many desirable standard features, good interior packaging.
- Lows Small back seat, hesitant engine response, some inferior cabin materials.
- Verdict The Q3 is a thoroughly modern subcompact crossover that checks most boxes.
With subcompact crossovers all the rage right now, the 2020 Audi Q3 stands out as one of the flashier examples of the genre. Its prominent grille and neatly creased sheetmetal imitate stylish siblings such as the Audi Q8, and those complimentary aesthetics continue inside. Every Q3 has a spacious front seat and classy interior that provide myriad luxury niceties. While it suffers from a small back seat, the smallest Audi SUV can hold more than enough cargo for every passenger. A dutiful turbocharged powertrain and all-wheel drive are standard issue, but those hoping for an especially engaging driving experience will be disappointed. Still, the 2020 Q3 is a hot-looking little crossover with enough content to impress everyone.
What's New for 2020?
For 2020, Audi doesn't make any meaningful changes to the Q3 lineup, which makes sense since the subcompact crossover was all new for the 2019 model year.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The 2020 Q3 has just one engine and transmission combination that pairs with all-wheel drive. Shopping for one really comes down to what equipment you want. On that front, we think the mid-level Q3 Premium Plus is the model to get. In addition to the slick standard features on the regular Premium trim, the Plus gets ambient interior lighting, fancier headlights, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and more driver assists. We'd only add the Driver Assistance and Navigation packages that together bring adaptive cruise control, a fully digital gauge cluster, larger center touchscreen, and more infotainment features.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Q3 is powered by a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and comes standard with both an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive. In our time behind the wheel, we noted that the engine provided ample power, but our test vehicle wasn't as quick as some rivals and we noticed a delay between our right foot's action and the engine's response (read: turbo lag). Still, its transmission shifted smoothly during normal operation and provided sportier reactions when shifted into S mode. Thankfully, its suspension damped out all but the harshest road imperfections. Direct steering with a light-to-the-touch feel gives the Q3 a sense of agility. The little SUV moves with the same grace as its larger siblings when pitched down a twisty section of road.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the 2020 Q3 will earn up to 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are between 3 and 4 mpg lower than similarly equipped rivals such as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. However, the Q3 we tested on our 200-mile fuel-economy route exceeded its EPA highway rating by 4 mpg (31 total), which matched the real-world mpg on the X1 we tested.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Q3's cabin addresses all of our complaints about that of the outgoing model, with a much improved driving position, a user-friendly layout of its controls, and finer materials. Its standout standard features include a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats with eight-way power adjustments and lumbar support for the driver. More luxurious options include ambient interior lighting, a fully digital gauge cluster, and contrasting faux-suede on the dashboard and doors. The cabin is also more spacious than the previous model, but its back seat still lacks sufficient legroom to keep adults comfortable on long slogs. We managed to fit six carry-on suitcases in the cargo area and another 12 bags with the rear seats folded. Those are both less than we fit in the X1 but on par with the Jaguar E-Pace.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi equips most Q3 models with an 8.8-inch touchscreen MMI infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A larger 10.1-inch touchscreen is also available with the same content. We found the interface to be attractive and mostly easy to operate with its large icons and haptic feedback. However, its low position on the dashboard can be distracting. Top options include SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless charging, and a 15-speaker 680-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The Q3 has earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Still, it offers a wide range of driver-assistance technology such as automatic high-beam headlights and automated emergency braking. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty on every 2020 Q3.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance