The Audi Q3 is well established in the small crossover SUV segment, delivering style, luxury and the technologies we expect. It is most useful for one or two people with the tight rear quarters converted into expanded storage space.

Best Value

The 2018 Audi Q3 comes in two trims: Premium and Premium Plus. A previously offered Prestige trim is no longer available. We typically don’t recommend the base model for any vehicle and this recommendation holds true with the Q3. At this trim, your cost starts out at $36,775 (price includes the $975 destination charge).

With the Premium Plus you have full LED headlights, keyless entry, a power tailgate, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with digital compass, and a voice control system. Audi offers four packages. Our choice is the MMI Navigation Plus Package.

  • Model: 2018 Audi Q3 Premium Plus
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder
  • Output: 200 hp/207 lb.ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 20 city/28 highway
  • Options: Quattro all-wheel drive ($2,100), Navigation Package ($2,100, navigation and Audi Connect telematics).
  • Base Price: $33,875 (including $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $40,975

Performance

Audi Q3

Audi offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the Q3, generating 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That’s considerably less power than the more modern engine in the Q5, yet quite suitable for this small crossover. Front-wheel drive models have a six-speed automatic, while all-wheel drive models offer a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Besides offering a perky engine, we like how well this model handles — as good as any entry-level luxury compact car, particularly with the available all-wheel drive system.

We also found the Q3 relatively quiet, with exterior noises sufficiently damped out. Ride quality is as good as any other top small car, thanks in part to very comfortable front seats.

Interior and Exterior

Audi’s handsome looks are found across the model line and the Q3 is no exception. However, this model seems more hatchback-like, delivering a natural progression from the A3 Sportback (hatchback) to the larger Q5.

The cabin is compact, but offers excellent space for the driver and front passenger. If you grab a rear seat, you’ll find space very tight, with minimal legroom. If you’re considering this model with passengers in mind, the rear seat is best used by two children, preferably in car seats. Otherwise, fold the rear seat to expand that space to 50.3 cubic feet, up from 16.7 cubic feet.

The interior layout is orderly and uncluttered, although we noted it seems stark, with the materials used not reaching the richness of the latest BMW X1. Nevertheless, the cabin is pleasing.

The Best and Worst Things

We’re particularly impressed by this Audi’s control interface and Google Earth maps. We only wish more manufacturers followed Audi’s lead here. One of the Q3’s disappointments is fuel efficiency: other models, including the larger Q5 finish ahead of this little SUV.

Right For...

Audi Q3

One or two people. Audi’s smallest models provide a gateway to the brand and with the Q3 you get an attractive combination of cabin comfort and utility.

Wrong For...

Even with room for two car seats, the back seat may not be large enough for your growing children. Better to start your Audi search with the Q5, where a family of four will enjoy sufficient room for years to come.

The Bottom Line

Along with the A3 sedan, the Q3 crossover supplies an affordable gateway to the brand. It is also the model you’ll upgrade from, especially if you start a family or want the trappings of a larger model.