The U.S. luxury-vehicle market is changing—and downsizing—rapidly; and the Audi Q3, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, and the upcoming, redesigned 2016 BMW X1 are some of the best examples of this trend.
With any of these vehicles, you can get luxurious vehicle that’s probably a better fit with urban lifestyles and commuter needs. Yet with a model like the 2016 Audi Q3, you’re downsizing to a vehicle with essentially the same footprint as a small compact car (or subcompact).
If you’re a smart shopper, that means that you should be even more mindful of safety scores. And for the Q3, there's good news. The 2015 and 2016 Q3 have earned top top ‘good’ results in all categories of testing from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And that includes the small overlap front test that’s over the past several years become a key differentiating factor separating the best from the rest.
The Q3 performed strongly in all categories of testing; although it got closest to breaking its sweep of top scores in the roof strength category, where it was able to withstand a 4.13 strength-to-weight ratio—only slightly beyond the 4.00 required for the ‘good’ rating.
Otherwise the Q3 achieved top results throughout, with ‘good’ ratings in all subcategories and separate injury measures as well.
That said, the Q3’s safety rating isn’t in the best IIHS (Top Safety Pick+) category. That’s because thus far the 2016 Audi Q3 is lacking any sort of front crash prevention system—features like automatic braking or collision warning systems that are rapidly becoming expected on luxury-brand vehicles and available on mass-market models.
Crash-test results are thin among the Q3 and its rivals—you won’t find any U.S. results yet for the Mercedes GLA—yet with this anticipated to be a rapidly growing segment of the market we hope to soon have a clearer picture of these models’ safety credentials.