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2015 Audi Q3

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2015 Audi Q3 Expert Review

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The 2015 Audi Q3 is an all-new sport utility vehicle from the German luxury automaker and now the smallest among its Q lineup of SUVs. Where the Audi Q7 and Q5 were a little late to the upscale- SUV party, the Q3 is among the first in the emerging luxury compact/subcompact SUV segment. Like its main rivals the BMW X1 and the new Mercedes-Benz GLA, the 2015 Q3 offers buyers with a budget of $30,000 and change a way to step into a 5-passenger luxury SUV. The new Q3 isn't as spirited or as fuel efficient as an X1, but its freshness grants differentiation (for now), while its quality fit and finish and pleasant road manners are similar to those same attractors in its bigger brothers.

You'll Like This Car If...

For not much more money than a loaded mainstream compact SUV like the Honda CR-V, you can obtain an entry-level luxury SUV like the Audi Q3. In addition to the image boost an Audi immediately grants, you'll be treated to a refined ride quality, sophisticated design and premium amenities.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With more horsepower, better fuel economy, a lower starting price, and rear-drive instead of front-drive standard, the BMW X1 is a compelling alternative to the new Q3 despite not being as fresh. If you can live without a luxury badge, entry-level Q3 money can snag a top-line turbocharged Subaru Forester SUV.

How It Ranks

#25

out of 60

Fuel Economy

#47

out of 60

Horsepower
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Consumer Rating

9.8 out of 10
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consumer ratings
2015 Audi Q3 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The 2015 Q3 is a new 5-passenger SUV from Audi. Like its bigger brothers the Q5 and Q7, Audi's smallest in the Q line is a crossover SUV, which means it's based on a sedan platform and meant for comfort rather than a truck chassis capable of serious off-roading or towing.

Driving the Q3
2015 Audi Q3 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

As with other Audis, the Q3 SUV has a fine balance between tautness and comfort, which makes it enjoyable to drive on both straight highways and curvy canyon roads. The...

... lone engine offering is Audi's turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower. That is just enough to make the Q3 feel adequate off the line – spry if in Sport mode – for this class. But with 40 fewer horsepower than the turbocharged 4-cylinder in BMW's X1, the Q3 feels like it has to work harder. On the plus side, steering feel is top-notch, the cabin is hushed, and outward visibility is good. Taller drivers will want to test-drive the new Q3 before buying – the steering wheel in Audi's compact SUV is limited in how low it tilts, which can lead to an awkward driving position.

FIT AND FINISH
The Q3 may be considered entry-level, but it's still an Audi. Thus, it comes with an impressive array of features that look and feel of quality. This is found everywhere from the textured steering-wheel-mounted audio controls to a rear cargo shelf that's sturdy enough to set shopping bags on.

QUATTRO ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
If you live where it snows or you regularly contend with roads where traction is compromised, we suggest spending the extra $2,100 for Audi's all-wheel-drive system. Dubbed Quattro, it's been respected for years for its ability to get a grip.

2015 Audi Q3 Details
2015 Audi Q3 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2015 Q3 has two rows and seating for up to five passengers. Audi's compact crossover SUV has a cabin that is sophisticated yet understated. It's familiar territory if you've been in an Audi recently, though the buttons that control the optional navigation/infotainment system have moved from the center console to the center dash. Most functions are easy to find and use, though some are awkward, such as the flick-like temperature controls and sun visors that don't extend. The 12-way power front seats are comfortable. Rear legroom is just enough for adults thanks to the clever sculpting of the front seatbacks, as is cargo room behind the seats.

Exterior
2015 Audi Q3 photo

If you appreciate the rounded lines and squat stance of the Audi Q5 SUV, there's a good chance you'll like the design of the smaller Q3. The new Q3 is 10 inches shorter than the Q5 and its roof sits a couple of inches lower. Up front, the Q3 is distinguished with bright xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, while the tapered rear hatch gently slopes from the spoiler to the standard LED taillights. Dual exhaust outlets are a sporty touch. Aluminum trim lends an appealing frame to the Q3's side windows.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Refreshingly, the Audi Q3 is available in just two trims, which makes deciding on a model easier. The base trim is called Premium Plus and includes leather seating, 12-way heated and power-operated front seats, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through armrest, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, and bright xenon headlights. Audio entertainment is provided by a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with HD and satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming and iPod integration. There's an SD slot for music-filled memory cards, but no USB input as standard. Also not standard is a rearview camera.

Optional Equipment

Both trims of this compact German luxury SUV can be had with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The Driver Assistance package, also available for both, includes blind-spot monitoring and the recommended rearview camera. The higher-trim Prestige Q3 adds a power tailgate, navigation with voice control, 14-speaker Bose premium audio, and the Driver Assistance system with blind-spot monitoring and backup camera. Aside from Quattro, the only major option for the well-equipped Prestige trim is the Sport Package that includes front sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles, and Audi drive select to adjust handling and response. If you can swing the extra $3,900, the Prestige trim grants much for the money.

Under the Hood
2015 Audi Q3 Engine photo

Unlike many other Audis that offer a range of gasoline, diesel and even hybrid powerplants to choose from, the new Q3 makes do with just one: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. As we said earlier in this review, the 4-cylinder's 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque are just enough for the Q3. We certainly wouldn't turn down a few more horses in the Q3's stable, especially when its cousin, the 2015 VW Golf GTI, has a 2.0-liter that boasts 210 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, and Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. The Q3 is rated up to 29 mpg, which lags the 34 mpg rating of the more powerful BMW X1.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (FWD), 20/28 mpg (AWD)

The 2015 Audi Q3 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $33,425 for a base Premium Plus edition. The higher-trim Q3 Prestige opens at $37,325, and adding all-wheel drive to either is an extra $2,100. Fully loaded, the new Q3 hovers around $40,000. At its entry price, Audi's smallest SUV starts more than $1,500 above a base BMW X1 and $1,000 below a base Mercedes-Benz GLA250, though both of those models can cost thousands more when fully loaded due to their wider selection of options. The smaller Buick Encore is significantly less expensive, starting around $25,000. Before buying, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their Q3. Because the Q3 is so new, we've yet to establish long-term estimates on its resale value. That said, the Audi Q5 and Q7 SUVs have traditionally held their value very well over the years.

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2015 Audi Q3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.8
Out of 10

Based on 9 Ratings for the 2015 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.8/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Great looking small SUV

By on Friday, June 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "looks great, sure-footed, fuel economy"

Cons: "premium gas, wipers don't defrost"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"It was really difficult leaving a 19-year old Volvo that still wouldn't die. But I made the choice to try an Audi. I needed a fashionable small SUV that would get me through very bad winter driving conditions in northern Canada. I opted for the lowest trim level (Komfort) with AWD, and skipped all the driving assist equipment (who needs that anyways?) Pros: Looks great, beautiful facade and LED/Xenon headlights - I'm always getting admiring looks. Beautifully laid-out interior. Zippy when you need it to be, but great fuel economy. My overall average economy is 8.8L/100km (26.7mpg). More recently in the warmer weather it has been 7.96L/100km (29.5mpg). Steady as a rock in ice storms and snow squalls (I've NEVER felt it slip). Trunk space is very big with rear seats folded. AWESOME Audi-brand speakers/subwoofer, you do not need the Bose ones. Beautiful long standard sunroof. Rear and side mirror defrosters are very powerful. Quite small, so fits well in traffic in downtown Toronto. Smooth ride over rough roads. This car was actually a very affordable lease, cheaper than the Mazda CX-5 I was looking at. I also looked at the BMW X1 and the Mercedes GLA - considering what comes standard on the Q3, Audi was definitely the cheaper option. Cons: Must use mid-to-high grade gas (I use a combo depending on the price). Rain-sensing wipers do not have a low enough speed. Certain interior panels rattle with bass-y music. Wipers are NOT heated and do NOT defrost, no matter how high or how long you run the defroster. 18-inch open rims means mud, snow, and ice easily accumulates and causes severe rumbling at high speeds. Seat warmers are not the hottest. Black paint chips very easily. Not meant for 5 adults, definitely not enough rear legroom. Would I go for an Audi Q3 again? Yes. I wanted a car that made me excited to look at and drive, yet get me safely through really tough conditions. I consider the fuel economy and affordable price as surprise bonuses."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best SUV even owned

By on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Its parking and driving assists are awesome."

Cons: "Not found"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Q3 is a perfect size SUV for my wife and myself. It is a very comfortable, solid, and fun-to-drive car. We both like to drive this SUV than our other SUV, Lexis RX400. Its inside design is very logic and convenient. We feel more confidence and safety to park and drive Q3 than RX400."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I own an A4 and a Q3. Best cars ever owned.

By on Saturday, December 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Exciting to drive, real pride of ownership."

Cons: "Tilt steering limited."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm an Audi addict because of my wife. I owned 2 BMW's and was ready to buy a Mercedes Benz. Wouldn't even consider Audi. My wife implored me to just look. 60 seconds into a test drive I was a believer. Audi is a perfect combination of zest, finesse, appointments, quality, beauty and absolute driving joy. I bought the Q3 Prestige on the spot and could not be happier. Owning an A4 and a Q3 I am in auto heaven. EVERY single drive is an adventure in happiness."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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