Audi's smallest crossover, the Q3, might also be its most important. The Q3 arrived in the United States in 2015, and the current second generation debuted in 2019 riding on a new platform with standard AWD. This subcompact SUV introduces buyers to the Audi brand with entry-level luxury, slick tech, and sharp styling.
Premium Plus trim:
Although this Q3 is improved over its predecessor, it's still not the greatest subcompact luxury SUV out there.
There's definite first glance appeal. Styling is sharp and modern, with edgy looks that suggest performance. Fun color choices help it stand out. The cabin is packed with technology like the standard digital gauge display or four standard USB ports. The second row is roomy, and cargo space is ample when the rear seats are folded.
More time spent with the Q3 reveals its flaws. It's not very quick, and though its size makes it maneuverable, it's not much fun to drive. There's plenty of body roll and bounce in its ride. Looking past the dazzling display screens, interior material quality doesn't feel as premium as it could be.
If you're after Audi badge cachet, the Q3 offers it at a relatively approachable price point. But be aware that there are small luxury SUVs with as much style, improved road manners, and better all-around refinement.
Every 2021 Q3 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine producing 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro AWD system. In our most recent test of a Q3, the Audi hit 60 in 7.8 seconds.
The 2020 Q3 earned excellent safety scores, and we expect the 2021 model to maintain them. Models equipped with the optional LED projector headlights earned 2020 Top Safety Pick + designation from the IIHS. The Q3 also received Good scores, the highest rating available, in all crashworthiness tests. Its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front-crash prevention system got the highest score of Superior. However, the vehicle-to-pedestrian system earned a Basic score, the lowest, as it didn't decelerate adequately in several tests.
From the NHTSA, the Q3 received a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars), which factored a five-star side crash score with four-star frontal crash and rollover scores.
Standard driver-assist and active safety features include lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are included on Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Previously reserved for Prestige models, adaptive cruise control is now included on the Premium Plus model for 2021.
Cargo space in the Q3 measures 23.7 cubic feet as standard, or up to 48.0 cubic feet when the 40/20/40 split-folding second row is lowered. The cargo area floor is height-adjustable and covers a small hidden underfloor storage space.
Front-row headroom is 39.6 inches in the Q3, less than 41.9 inches in the BMW X1. Second-row headroom is also less, at 37.6 inches to the X1's 39.4 inches. Front legroom is closer, measuring 40.0 inches in the Audi and 40.4 inches in the BMW. It's also close with second-row legroom: the Q3 has 36.1 inches, and the X1 has 37.0 inches.
Q3 Premium and Premium Plus trims include a 10.3-inch digital gauge display and an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen. On Prestige trim, those increase in size to 12.3 and 10.1 inches, respectively. All trims include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth streaming; built-in navigation and Amazon Alexa integration are added to Prestige trim. A cell phone signal enhancement system, wireless charging pad, and integrated garage door opener are included on Premium Plus and Prestige.
All trims include one USB type-A and one type-C in the front row and two type-C USB ports in the second row. A 10-speaker audio system is standard, while Prestige trim gains a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium setup.
Exterior: 19-inch alloy wheels, sport style bumpers, LED headlights and taillights, heated power-adjustable side mirrors, sunroof, metallic roof rails
Interior: Leather seating upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, 8.8-inch infotainment display, 10.3-inch digital gauge display, 10-speaker audio system
Convenience: Power tailgate, three-zone climate control, automatic high beams and windshield wipers, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
Exterior: Premium LED headlights, metal trunk sill plate
Interior: Multi-color ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless device charger, cellular signal enhancer
Convenience: Adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, hands-free keyless entry and tailgate release
Exterior: Power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors
Interior: 10.1-inch infotainment display, 12.3-inch digital gauge display, 15-speaker premium audio
Convenience: Built-in navigation, 360-degree view parking camera system, semi-autonomous parking assist
|$1000||Audi announces a Lease Bonus cash for customers who Lease or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||03-01-2021|
|$500||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||03-01-2021|
|$0||2.49% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||03-01-2021|
|$750||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates.||03-01-2021|
|$0||1.49% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||03-01-2021|
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|$0||2.99% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||03-01-2021|
|$750||Audi announces a Bonus cash for customers who Finance through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||03-01-2021|