The Audi Q3 rides on the capable chassis found in Volkswagen's Tiguan and draws its power from a 200-horsepower direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The engine is mated to a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic, and front-wheel-drive is standard, while Audi's capable quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional. Audi claims the Q3 will hit 60 mph in 7.8 seconds on its way to a 130-mph top speed.
Handling is thanks to a 5-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link rear, with 12.6-inch ventilated disc brakes to stop the front wheels and 11.1-inch discs in back. Inside there is seating for five and more than 48-cubic-feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded.
Two trims -- Premium, and Sport Premium -- are offered, and all are very well equipped. Standard features on the Premium include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights and daytime running lights, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors with a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, leather upholstery with 12-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with streaming audio and a panoramic sunroof.
The Sport Premium trim adds heated power folding mirrors, a power tailgate with programmable presets, heated front seats, and an upgraded music interface. Navigation is optional on Premium and Sport Premium trims. On the Premium Q3, the Convenience Package adds keyless entry and Audi's digital music interface. A Sport Plus Package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a black optic exterior kit, roof rails and Audi Drive Select, which provides different modes for throttle, transmission and steering inputs for varying conditions and driver proclivities.
All Q3s come equipped with several airbags, anti-lock braking, electronic stability control and traction control, a tire-pressure monitor and hill descent assist.
When the Audi Q3 arrived in the US in 2015, it was already a bit outdated. From its conservative sheetmetal to its also uninspired interior, it didn't feel new-new -- because it wasn't. Across the pond in Europe, the had been in showrooms since 2011, helping explain the small crossover's semiunderwhelming US debut. The arrival of the , however, changes everything. It's bigger, better-looking both inside and out, loaded with tech and a solid daily driver.
Compared with its, the is a bit larger and more mature, growing 3.8 inches in length, 0.7 inch in width and 1.5 inches in height and being blessed with a much more interesting design. It has a new octagonal, single-frame grille and slick LED running lights up front that, along with the sculpted sides, provide a sharper appearance.
Theinterior is also drastically improved, with a fresh dash layout that is anything but boring. It's clean and intuitive with clearly marked switchgear, and with quality materials like brushed aluminum and matte wood trim tastefully sprinkled throughout. My tester's optional Sport interior package adds more supportive seats. A standard panoramic roof also ensures that the cabin is always light and airy.
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