New 2018 Audi Q3 SUV New 2018
Audi Q3 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The stylish new 2018 Audi Q3 is the luxury brand’s smallest and least expensive SUV. It’s a compelling entry in the highly competitive small-luxury-SUV segment where it competes against the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the BMW X1, the Lexus NX and the Infiniti QX30. The new Q3 offers all-wheel drive, a luxurious interior and Audi’s legendary high standard of fit and finish. The compact-crossover SUV, which we recently named one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000, seats five and delivers on Audi’s promise of a premium driving experience. It’s fun to drive with a desirable balance of comfort and performance. Q3 pricing starts around $32,000, and standard equipment includes a 200-horsepower engine, leather upholstery, power seats, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate controls and a panoramic sunroof.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

The new Audi Q3 is so much more than just a small SUV that gets you and your things from A to B. The Q3 is a luxury item. It’s something you appreciate with all five senses. It’s something that entertains you. Moves you. It’s something you’re proud to own. 

You May Not Like This SUV If...

The BMW X1 costs a little more, but offers more horsepower, better fuel economy and more cargo space than the Audi Q3. Its price also includes all scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles. The Acura RDX also costs more, but its 279 horsepower leads the class.

What's New for 2018

For 2018 the Audi Q3 is offered in two trim levels, Premium and Premium Plus. Premium Plus now includes Audi Side assist, LED headlights and LED taillights. A new convenience package available on the Premium trim includes Audi advanced key, an auto-dimming interior mirror with compass and a power tailgate.

Learn more about the 2018 Audi Q3 at audiusa.com

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The balance between comfort and control in the Audi Q3 is commendable. The Audi Q3 feels equally at home cruising down the highway as it does taming a winding canyon road. Its steering is top-notch, its brakes have good feel, and its quiet cabin is easy to see out of, a rare trait these days. This is a good car for a relaxing road trip, but it also likes to dance. Drive it with some angst and the Q3 responds. It’s not a sports car but you can hustle it around. The turbocharged 2.0-liter is smooth enough and puts out 200 horsepower, which is adequate, but it's still 28 fewer horses than you get in the BMW X1. More power would be nice. Also, the knees of taller drivers may bump the steering column, as it doesn't adjust quite high enough, forcing them into an awkward driving position.

Favorite Features

QUATTRO ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Audi pioneered all-wheel drive in luxury-passenger cars way back in the 1980s, and the 2018 Audi Q3 is available with the latest version of its now legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It works seamlessly, maximizing traction in bad weather and improving the vehicle’s handling in all climates and situations.

ONBOARD WI-FI
For those with phone addictions or phone-addicted teenagers, the new Audi Q3 is available with 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot, and up to eight devices can be connected at any one time. This is unique in the segment, although the Mercedes GLC and Infiniti QX30 offer 3G Wi-Fi.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Audi’s designers are known for crafting modern interiors with exceptional fit and finish, rich materials and eye-pleasing shapes. The interior of the 2018 Audi Q3 is one of their best. From the driver’s seat this small SUV feels current and upscale. Nothing inside the Q3 seems old-fashioned or dated. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy. Rear legroom is tight, but good enough for adults thanks to the clever sculpting of the front seatbacks. The driver’s seat is comfortable, and the amount of cargo space is surprising, expanding to more than 48 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats.

Exterior

Audi has never made an ugly car. Since August Horch founded the brand in 1910, good design has always been part of its strength. Horch left the ugly cars to Audi’s sister brand DKW. Today Audi’s designers continue to innovate and set trends. To lead. One look at the 2018 Audi Q3 and it’s easy to understand. It’s a striking design, with motion in its lines and an air of sophistication in its face. Its proportions mean business. We like the sensual tapered rear end and standard LED taillights. The dual-exhaust outlets are a sporty touch.

Notable Standard Equipment

The base Premium model comes with quite a bit of standard equipment, including leather seating, a panoramic sunroof, 130-degree rearview camera, power front seats, heated side mirrors, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat and standard front and rear parking sensors. This adds to the dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and bright xenon headlights. For 2018 the S line exterior including S-line front bumper, doorsills and badging is standard. Audio is provided by a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with HD and satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming and iPod integration that uses a proprietary dongle. Strangely, there's no standard USB input.

Notable Optional Equipment

Options include Audi's quattro AWD system, and Audi Connect in-car Wi-Fi and Google Earth-enhanced navigation. This year there’s a new convenience package available on the Premium trim, which includes Audi advanced key (front doors and tailgate), auto-dimming interior mirror with compass and power tailgate. The Sport plus package on the Premium Plus trim includes a more aggressive front bumper, an S-line rear bumper, a 3-spoke flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, blacked-out exterior trim, black roof rails and unique 19-inch 10-spoke wheels. We also recommend the Technology Package, which adds Audi Connect, Navigation Plus and a color screen.

Under the Hood

There's only one engine available for the 2018 Audi Q3: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder putting out 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. It's more than adequate with plenty of bottom-end power and good passing punch on the highway. Some, however, might wish for more. A 6-speed automatic is the sole transmission. The Audi Q3 offers standard front-wheel drive (FWD), but it's worth it to upgrade to quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) for better handling and better foul-weather capability. Fuel economy lags competitors, with its best of 28-mpg highway, well behind the 32-mpg highway rating of the BMW X1. Adding to that, the Audi Q3 requires premium fuel.
 
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: 20/28 mpg  

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Pricing Notes

The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a front-wheel-drive 2018 Audi Q3 Premium model is about $33,000 when you include the $950 destination charge; all-wheel drive adds a bit more than $2,000 to the total. One step up is the Premium Plus with a base price around $35,500. It’s a strong value considering the additional equipment. We also recommend the Technology Package if you have the additional $2,600. Those prices are competitive with the base BMW X1, and less than a base Mercedes-Benz GLA250, but thanks to their greater option selections, both rivals can quickly exceed the cost of a loaded Q3. A less prestigious option is the Buick Encore, which costs thousands less at about $25,000. Before buying, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their Q3. Like the Audi Q5 and Q7 SUVs, the Q3 holds its value very well.

Take a look at the Audi Q3 deals and promotions in your area.

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