James Flammang
Contributing Editor - August 6, 2015

2016 Audi Q3 OVERVIEW

In contrast to lackluster sales of big SUVs, compact luxury crossovers have turned into quite a success story lately. As a result, manufacturers are shrinking the concept further yet, into subcompact territory. Introduced for 2015, the Q3 is some 10 inches shorter than Audi’s compact Q5 model. Audi promotes the coupe-like design of the Q3, along with its 48.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Despite a limitation or two, it’s an appealing lifestyle choice for couples and singles, in particular.

What's New for 2016

Redesigning of front lights heads the list of changes. Foglamps have been dropped, as all-weather lights now are integrated into the headlights. A new “Q-design” grille and radiator guard lead the way, along with new fascias and bumpers, and LED taillights. A rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors now are standard. Prestige trim now features full LED headlights and dynamic rear turn signals.

Choosing Your Audi Q3

Despite mini-level dimensions, the Q3 delivers quite a bit of luxury for the price. Even better, ride comfort and interior refinement mimic its larger mates. Each Q3 has a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed Tiptronic automatic is the sole transmission, with sport and manual modes. Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system is available for any Q3.

Audi claims 0-60 mph acceleration in 7.8 seconds (8.2 with quattro). With front-drive, fuel economy is estimated at 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway (23 mpg combined). Quattro drops the highway figure slightly, to 28 mpg.

Two trim levels are offered, with either front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

Premium Plus

For $34,625 (including destination charge), the Premium Plus includes leather seating surfaces with heated 12-way power front seats, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry/start, Bluetooth phone and audio, a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio and HD radio, and aluminum roof rails. Also standard are a rearview camera, front all-weather lights, rear foglights, LED taillights, heated wiper nozzles, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescopic steering column, and 18-inch wheels. Quattro all-wheel drive adds $2,100 to the sticker price.

The $2,600 Technology Package adds an MMI navigation system with voice control, Audi connect, and Audi assist.

The Sport Package includes Audi drive select, front sport seats, and a leather-covered sports steering wheel with paddle shifters. A power tailgate is available separately for the Premium Plus. Black headlining is a no-charge option for both trim levels.


For an additional $4,900, the Prestige adds a selection of extras, including full LED headlights, S-line exterior appearance, a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming driver’s mirror, MMI navigation, Audi connect (offering in-vehicle wi-fi), Audi side assist, SiriusXM Traffic 14-speaker 465-watt Bose surround-sound, and 19-inch wheels. Quattro adds $2,100. The Sport Package is available for the Prestige model, adding selectable driving modes, paddle shifters, and front sport seats.

CarsDirect Tip

Unlike some competitors, purchasing a Q3 doesn’t have to include deep consultation with an option list. Whether in Premium Plus or Prestige form, the Q3 is a full luxury vehicle as it stands. Enhancing Premium Plus with the Technology Package simply brings it toward the Prestige equipment level, so consider the value of each additional item. One option that we do recommend is the Sport package, which can enhance driving enjoyment for only $550.

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