Audi will introduce yet another model to the U.S. market, with the 2015 Audi Q3 coming stateside in fall 2014 to face off against the likes of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. Although the Q3 has been on sale in Europe since mid-2011, the U.S.-spec 2015 Audi Q3 will make its official debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show next week.
The 2015 Audi Q3 will be the smallest Audi SUV offered to date on this side of the Atlantic, built on the older PQ35 platform that was the foundation for the outgoing Volkswagen Golf (the 2015 VW Golf uses the new MQB architecture). The omnipresent 200-hp direct-injection turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be the sole powertrain available in the 2015 Audi Q3, mated exclusively to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—sorry, third-pedal enthusiasts. Front-wheel-drive is standard, while Audi’s permanent Quattro all-wheel-drive system can be selected as an option. Also available is a selectable driving mode system, offering Comfort, Dynamic, and Auto settings.
Plenty of standard goodies are included with the base 2015 Audi Q3, including Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and taillights; heated, 12-way power-adjustable leather seats; and a power-retractable panoramic sunroof. Eighteen-inch wheels come standard as well, with an option for larger 19-inchers. Customers can splurge for optional equipment and tech such as a Bose 14-speaker audio system, side-assist and parking aid system with rearview camera, power rear liftgate, and a top-level Prestige trim package that adds a 7.0-inch monitor with navigation and Audi connect infotainment. The infotainment system features a factory-built Wi-Fi connectivity system that supports up to eight devices, as well as on-board Google Earth maps for the navigation system.
The 2015 Audi Q3 measures in at just under four inches shorter than the comparable 2014 BMW X1 xDrive 28i, which starts at $33,425 (including destination) with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 240-hp four-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive, and almost six inches shorter than the 302-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 ($38,405 including destination). Other engine options for the X1 and GLK include the 2014 BMW X1 xDrive 35i ($39,725), powered by BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter 300-hp straight-six, and the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTec ($39,905), using a 2.1-liter 200-hp turbodiesel inline-four.
Offering slightly more cargo space for daily errands and family trips, the Bimmer’s rear hatch can hold 27.6 cubic feet and up to 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, while the Audi's cargo area holds 16.2 and 48.2 cubic feet, respectively. In between the two, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up and 54.7 cubic feet of total available cargo room.
No pricing information is yet available for the 2015 Audi Q3, but more details will follow when the small crossover is unveiled at the 2014 Detroit auto show.