The 2021 Audi Q3 compact crossover SUV comes with a new entry-level trim, a lower starting price, and a less potent engine than the 2020 version, Audi announced this week.
The new Q3 40 slides in under the Q3 45 and shaves $700 off of last year's starting price to cost $35,095, including $1,095 destination fees. Both models come with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, but the Q3 40 makes 184-horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The 2021 Q3 45 makes 228 hp and 258 lb-ft, same as the 2020 Audi Q3.
The Q3 40 hits 60 mph in 8.6 seconds; the Q3 45 does it in 7.0 seconds. If time is money, then the $2,000 upcharge on the Q3 45 is worth it. If money is money, then the 25 mpg combined rating of the Q3 40 gets the edge over the 23 mpg combined of the Q3 45.
The 2021 Q3 45 costs more at $37,095 but comes with distinct 18-inch wheels standard with the S Line sport package that was optional last year. It includes a three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters and progressive steering.
The 2021 Q3 40 comes with the same features as the 2020 Q3 45 in Premium or Premium Plus trims. Standard features include heated front seats with power adjustments, an 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a power sunroof, and standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
New options for 2021 include a Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound audio system and traffic sign recognition, as well as a parking package with park assist and a surround-view camera.
Built in Hungary, the 2021 Audi Q3 goes on sale early next year.