Audi offers smaller Q3 with full size luxury benefits

2015 Q3 interior
2015 Q3 interior

Audi has been at the top of its game for the past decade, offering some of the finest automobiles on the planet. The company’s interiors are nearly unmatched and the exterior styling always turns heads.
Audi’s dip into the crossover and SUV pool has been as spectacular, so much so it’s now offering a smaller version of the successful Q5, the Q3. It is certainly handsome and well crafted but some may find it a bit pricey and lacking in amenities.
If you compare this to the Q5, it’s a bargain coming in at thousands less. It’s also a lot smaller. It’s three inches shorter in height and 10 inches shorter in length. It comes with a long list of standard equipment that includes a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch wheels, xeon headlights, roof rails, 60/40 split rear bench, leather seats, dual climate zones, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. Optionally you can get the MMI Navigation system and a sports package.
Moving up the Prestige Package gives you a lot more standard stuff and enhanced equipment.
My vehicle was a premium with the navi package. What you don’t get are glaring omissions to some, such as touch screen. You get the screen, just not touch enhanced. There is also no home link, which allows you to tie in to your remote garage door system or automated security lights if you have them. I saw some complaints on the web about this but I have neither so no home link isn’t a deal breaker.
What could be an obstacle is the Q3’s compact size. It’s about the same size as a Volkswagen Tiguan (which I think this is based on0. Lexus has the bigger NX200 and there are some other offerings from Mercedes, Infiniti and BMW that fall into this category. Some cost more or about the same for this size.
That’s not to say the Q3 does not offer a great deal. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine gives it enough pep for everyday use. It’s not particularly quick, but the engine delivers its power smoothly and effortlessly. There were times when I thought it sounded a bit strained under hard acceleration, but for the most part the noise level is very low, from tires, engine or wind.
It’s handling is good, not great. The ride is certainly comfortable. After spending a week in Charlotte traffic, hitting ever pothole on I-77 this works very well in urban settings.
Like all Audi’s, the Q3 can be had in quattro guise, giving it the ultimate in traction during foul weather.
The most impressive points about this vehicle is the build quality. Few companies are designing and building stuff that looks this good or works this well. The interior is classic Audi. It’s only flaw is the MMI control isn’t in the center console. Its mounted in the center stack. Once you get used to this it’s OK, but why make it different from the other vehicles? There’s wood, metal and leather, the same you would find in the bigger Q5 – albeit in smaller amounts. As usual, Audi has done a great job.
The Q3 can range in price from $35,875 to nearly $50,000 depending on how equipped. My front wheel drive Premium was in the low $40,000s. There is a lot to pick from in that price range from a lot of manufacturers. I think the Q3 is certainly to be considered, especially if you are a fan of Audi.

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