The Audi Q3 is the smallest utility vehicle for this German luxury brand, an entry-level model that seems more like a hatchback than a crossover. Styled along the lines of the larger and more popular Q5, the Q3 competes in a burgeoning segment where most luxury manufacturers field compelling choices.

Pricing and Equipment

Audi Q3

Introduced in 2015, the Audi Q3 offers standard front-wheel drive and available quattro all-wheel drive. All models are powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Three trim levels are available: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Premium trim is new and offers xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors, leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats with lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and a rearview camera.

The Premium Plus gains heated power-folding side mirrors and a power liftgate. The Prestige is now eligible for a Sport Plus package with 19-inch titanium-finish wheels, selectable driving modes, front seats, and glass black exterior trim.

Pricing for the Q3’s trims follows:

The 2017 Audi Q3 Premium is priced from $31,800. The Premium Plus trim costs $34,500, and the Prestige is priced from $39,200. Add $2,100 for all-wheel drive.

Several packages and options are available, depending on the trim selected. Premium shoppers can opt for a Navigation package ($2,100), heated front seats ($500), and a Convenience package ($850) featuring keyless ignition and an upgraded infotainment system.

Audi q3

Premium Plus shoppers may opt for a $2,600 Technology package, which brings in navigation, Audi Connect telematics, blind spot monitoring, and a color driver information system. For $800, Premium Plus buyers can choose 19-inch double-spoke wheels. A Sport Interior package ($550) brings in sport seats, Audi Drive Select, a black cloth headliner, and a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters.

The Prestige can get a Sport Plus package ($950), which includes everything in the Sport Interior package, plus unique wheels and gloss black exterior trim.

Package prices may vary according to trim and are subject to change. Vehicle prices do not reflect a $950 destination charge.

Performance Pros

Audi Q3
  • Audi offers a take-it-or-leave-it choice when it comes to performance with only one engine and transmission combination offered. Fortunately, the engine is solid, well-tuned, and ideally suited for this model. Still, this crossover weighs 3,500 pounds with front-wheel drive, which means that going from zero to 60 mph takes about 8 seconds.
  • You’ll find both responsive steering and a well-dampened feel while driving the Q3. Our reviewers also found that it handles craters better than the Mercedes-Benz GLA and is firmer than the BMW X1.

Performance Cons

  • The Q3’s fuel economy numbers aren’t especially impressive, coming in at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. On the flip side, those numbers apply to both front- and all-wheel drive models.

Interior Pros

  • The Q3’s interior is clean, well-ordered, and free of drama. The front seats are comfortable and supportive; all driver controls are placed exactly where you expect to find them.
  • The available 14-speaker Bose audio system supplies exquisite sound throughout the cabin. This system features a 10-channel receiver that delivers 465 watts of power.

Interior Cons

  • Based on the architecture underpinning the Audi A3 sedan, the Q3 suffers from the same restricted rear seating space. The Q3 is ideal for two passengers and offers reasonable room for a pair of youngsters in the back. Fold down that seat and you’ll have 48.2 cubic feet of storage space.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Q3’s very competitive starting price delivers a model that is well-equipped, not stripped. Sure, most customers will opt for all-wheel drive and pay the additional $2,100 for it, but you’re getting a luxuriously appointed crossover for the price of some well-equipped mainstream models.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Well, we’re not really surprised that a turbodiesel is not available, given the Volkswagen Group’s decision to no longer market the engine in the U.S. Disappointed would be a more accurate response. Without the diesel, Audi loses the valuable marketing edge it once had over the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an affordable gateway to a luxury brand, the Q3 crossover or A3 sedan are two excellent models to consider. We would choose the Q3, both for its higher profile and superior storage space.