The 2015 Audi Q3 will become the German automaker's smallest crossover SUV when it lands in U.S. showrooms later this year.
The luxury compact ute has been on sale in Europe, but Audi had been waiting until a mid-cycle refresh to bring it to the States. It can't come a moment too soon, what with the presence of the BMW X1 and Buick Encore in the niche already, and with the imminent launch of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.
Audi's typical SUV silhouette scales down for the new 2015 Q3 (and it has an obvious admirer in the new Lincoln MKC). Of course, it's more stubby than the Q5 or Q7, but pleasingly predictable, with LED turn signals and a wraparound tailgate. The interior's a relative of the one installed in the new Audi A3, which is a distant cousin of the new crossover.
In U.S. specification, the 2015 Q3 will be outfitted with just one powertrain. A 200-horsepower, turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder twists out 207 pound-feet of torque. The power's channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the base configuration, but Audi's ubiquitous all-wheel drive will be offered. Audi will make its Drive Select an option: it allows drivers to tweak steering, transmission, and throttle settings for more gentle or more vigorous driving feel.
Down the road, the Q3 could receive a version of the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder found in the current TT RS and the Euro-market RS3 sedan, though a detuned rating of about 310 horsepower would be likely in the resulting SQ3.Audi claims seating for five in the 2015 Q3, though we suspect three of those passengers might want to be tweeners to fit comfortable. 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.
Safety features include available rear side airbags and a Driver Assistance package with parking aids and a backup camera, as well as blind-spot monitors.
Standard features include speed-dependent electric power steering, electronic stability control with off-road 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, 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), wireless hotspot functionality, Google Earth mapping, and Google Local Search by voice.
Sales of the 2015 Audi Q3 commence in the fall, with pricing likely to lie just above $30,000--not far off the 2015 A3 sedan's base price of just under $30,000. Pricing and gas-mileage ratings will be confirmed closer to its on-sale date.
- City-sized dimensions
- Turbo four's been excellent
- Audi Connect for the in-car wifi win
- Cabin's going to be tight for five
- Is a hatchback a better choice?