2015 Audi Q3

Consumer Guide’s test 2015 Audi Q3 arrived with a modest complement of optional equipment. Including the destination charge, our test crossover came to $39,175.

2015 Audi Q3 2.0T quattro Tiptronic   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Compact Crossover

Miles Driven: 312

Fuel Used: 14.3 gallons

Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway

Real-world fuel economy: 21.8 mpg

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/28/23 (city, highway, combined)

Base price: $34,600 (not including $925 destination charge)

CG Report Card
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Room and ComfortB-
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishB
Fuel EconomyB+

Options on test car: Special paint ($550), navigation system ($1900), 19-inch alloy wheels ($800), power tailgate ($400)

Price as tested: $39,175


Quick Hits

The great: Plenty of power with decent fuel economy

The Good: Sporty handling

The not so good: Limited rear-seat space, dull (by Audi standards) interior appointments

More Audi A3 price and availability information


John Biel

Audi Q3

For $800, Audi Q3 buyers can upgrade to these 19-inch alloy wheels.

With crossover sport-utility vehicles increasingly grabbing the attention of car shoppers, it’s no wonder that Audi has elected to add another one with the Q3. With a starting price of $34,600 with quattro all-wheel drive ($2100 more than a front-drive Q3), it marks Audi’s bid to have an entry-level “starter” to lure more of the market than might be possible with the larger, costlier Q5. It’s a good—not great—first step into Audi crossover and SUV ownership.

Test Drive: 2015 Audi SQ5

Audi Q3 Interior

Though well-executed by absolute standards, the Q3 cabin disappoints in terms of materials quality when compared to other Audis, including the size-up Q5 crossover.

This driver liked the lively responsiveness of the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Though the sample size was small—a single round trip of 52.3 miles— he liked the fuel mileage, too: 24.5 mpg with 60 percent of miles in city driving.

Ride was nicely composed, handling was easy, and front-seat room was good. The 60/40-split rear seats fold nearly flat and form an uninterrupted surface to greatly expand otherwise so-so rear cargo space. Perhaps the only reason that you can hear a bit of wind whistle at highway speeds is because the Q3 otherwise does a commendable job of screening out passing traffic noise.

However (and there almost always is one), Audi’s laudable standards for interior quality seem to have taken a cost cut here. Dash and door panels have a soft-ish feel to them, but there’s no appreciable padding beneath them, so the overall impression is hard plastic. The MMI control system (optional on the version that CG drove) requires a lot of button-pushing for what should be simple tasks like saving radio stations. Rear-seat leg room will be tight for adults.

Test Drive: 2015 Lexus NX 300h

There are some nice premium-brand touches that come standard on even the most basic Q3 like leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof, but you have to step up a bit in cost to get some other things. The Q3 is a tasty lick of Audi flavor, but it’s not a whole bite.

2015 Audi Q3 profile

The Q3 shares its basic architecture with a corporate cousin, the Volkswagen Tiguan.