New for 2015The Audi Q3 is an all-new model for the 2015 model year, but since the crossover has been on sale for years in Europe, a refreshed model arrives for the 2016 model year.
Vehicle OverviewThe Audi Q3 is a compact luxury crossover that fits below the Q5 as the smallest SUV in the automaker’s lineup.
SummaryThe 2015 Audi Q3 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, and gets paired with a six-speed automatic that drives the front wheels, but can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The Q3 manages an EPA-estimated 20/29 mpg city/highway in FWD trim, and 20/28 mpg in AWD.
Notable features include a panoramic power sunroof, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, side assist (blind spot warning), standard dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch infotainment screen, parking system with rearview camera, and MMI navigation plus, which integrates Google Earth imagery and provides Wi-Fi access for up to eight devices.
The 2015 Audi Q3 has not been evaluated by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We ThinkJust like the A3 sedan, buying an “entry-level” 2015 Audi Q3 doesn't need to be a compromise. In a Driven review of a 2015 Audi Q3 2.0T we said, “There’s nothing about the Q3’s clean, high-style look that jumps out, but its attractive proportions and tasteful chrome detailing give off all of the same prestige and richness you’ll find in the upper reaches of Audi’s lineup. In other words, spending around $7,000 more for a Q5 won’t get you any more curb appeal.”
Inside, however, the Q3 is much smaller than the Q5, and features a small second row with just 16.7/48.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats in place and folded, while the Q5 boasts 29.1/57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up/folded. Being the enthusiastic group we are, we pointed out, “The relatively low beltline makes for clear visibility out front, and it’s easy to place the car thanks to its diminutive size and accurate steering. Despite the combination of a short wheelbase, a tall profile, and a relatively plush ride, handling is tighter than you’d expect, prompting a few editors to even compare it with a Volkswagen GTI.”
The Q3 has been on sale for nearly four years in Europe, and there are several areas where this shows more obviously. Fuel economy isn't leading the segment, the infotainment system isn't the most recent one offered by the automaker, and a rearview camera is part of a $1,400 Driver Assistance package. A refresh for 2016 looks to address the majority of our complaints, and leads us to recommend waiting a little bit longer for the updated powertrain and some standard feature tweaks. If you absolutely cannot wait, the Q3 won't be something to be ashamed of, as “the Q3 looks, feels, and goes down the road like an Audi.”
- Powerful 2.0T engine
- Attractive styling
- Panoramic sunroof
You Won’t Like
- Fuel economy isn't class leading
- Last-generation infotainment system
- Rearview camera part of pricey package
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