New & Used Audi Q3: In Depth
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Brand-new for the 2015 model year, the Audi Q3 is a new compact luxury crossover destined to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, BMW X1, and Buick Encore.
The Q3 resembles nothing so much as a scaled-down Q5, one of Audi's most popular vehicles. The wraparound tailgate caps a stubby tall-wagon shape that's much smaller than the Q5, more city-sized than family-sized--unless the family is a small one. With LED headlamps and an interior like the one on the new A3, the Q3 is handsome in a way some of its competitors aren't.
MORE: See our 2015 Audi Q3 preview
At launch, the U.S. market will get just one powertrain with the Q3. It's a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with turbocharging and direct injection, rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission only, but the front-drive Q3 will have an option for Audi's hallmark all-wheel drive. Later, Audi is said to be planning an SQ3, powered by a 310-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter in-line five-cylinder engine.
Audi’s drive select system will be an option. It allows the driver adjust the handling and throttle response at the touch of the button. The Q3 will ride on 18-inch wheels and tires, though 19-inchers will be offered.
Audi claims seating for five, though the compact shape could make the rear seat less hospitable for adults. With the Sport package, the Q3 adds extra bolstering and adjustable thigh cushions to the front seats. The cargo area offers luggage capacity of 16.2 cu ft. Folding down the split rear seatbacks increases this capacity to 48.2 cu ft.
Among its many safety features, the Q3 will offer rear side airbags as an option. A Driver Assistance package will include parking sensors and a rearview camera, as well as blind-spot monitors.
Standard features include speed-dependent electric power steering, electronic stability control with offroad and hill descent settings, 18-inch wheels (19-inch wheels are offered), a sunroof, xenon headlights, LED interior lighting, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with heating, and leather trim.
There’s a long list of options too. Some highlights are Audi’s MMI navigation plus system with a 7.0-inch display, Audi connect WiFi, a powered tailgate, and a Bose sound system with 14 speakers. Audi Connect adds in-car data services (now powered by AT&T as a Mobile Share device on your plan), Google Earth mapping, and Google Local Search by voice.
Sales of the 2015 Audi Q3 start in the fall of 2014, with prices expected to start at about $30,000.