Audi announced plans to expand its SUV lineup with the unveiling of the Cross Coupe quattro concept at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show. Ever since that unveiling, it has been pretty clear that the company is preparing a compact premium sports car with the spaciousness and versatility of a four-seat SUV.
When the Q3 finally arrived in production form at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, it offered no big surprises, as its exterior language remained nearly identical to the concept. The Q3 is built on the same A5 (PQ35) platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan and at launch, Audi was offered with a choice of three engines, with a fourth engine – diesel one – coming at a later date.
The Q3 was put on sale in Europe in June 2011 and it received no updates since then, except the recent addition of the most powerful version in the lineup: the Q3 RS .
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Q3 SUV.
The Audi Q3 SUV takes most of its design elements from the Cross Coupé quattro Concept we saw back in 2007 with adaptations for a road-going SUV. When looking at the Q3, you’ll easily identify it as the smaller brother of the Q5 and Q7 SUVs. It receives the same wedge-shaped headlights, a single-frame radiator grille with vertical element and large air inlets.
When looking from the side, you will notice the coupe-like roof that flows into an unusually flat D-pillar inspired by the A3 lineup. On the rear, there is a 3D tailgate, large taillights and an exhaust system that exits via dual tailpipes on the left.
Customers can choose between 11 exterior colors: solid Amalfi White and Brilliant Black and metallic Ice Silver, Glacier White, Caribou Brown, Cobalt Blue, Monsoon Gray, Phantom Black, Platinum Beige, Samoa Orange and Sphere Blue.
|Length||4,385 mm (172.6 in.)|
|Width||1,831 mm (72.1 in.)|
|Height||1,590 mm (62.6 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,603 mm (102.5 in.)|
Standard Exterior Features:
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Black roof rail
Optional Exterior Features:
- 17-inch wheels
- High-gloss package
- Anodized aluminum roof rail
- Panoramic glass roof
- Wind deflector
- Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights
- High-beam assistant including light and rain sensor, and the adaptive light system
- Tinted rear windows
- Noise-damping windshield
Just like any other Audi Q model, the Q3’s interior combines luxury with sporty and muscular styling. The center console has been specially designed to offer the driver easy access to all controls: it gets a clean layout and intuitive operation of all switches and controls. The three-spoke sport steering wheel offers split bottom spoke - an exclusive feature for all Q models.
The front seats are height adjustable standard and, as an option, customers can also get power lumbar supports, heating and full power adjustment. Both the front and rear seats offer plenty of storage.
Customers can choose between five interior color combinations: black/black; black/chestnut brown; black/chennai brown; black/titanium gray; and truffle beige/pistachio beige.
Audi offers cloth seats as a standard feature, but two grades of leather - Milano and Fine Nappa – are also available, Customers can opt for Pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara on the optional sports seats.
Standard Interior Features
- Leather steering wheel
- Manual air conditioning
- Electromechanical parking brake
- Chorus CD radio with eight speakers
- Height-adjustable front seats
- Radio-controlled central locking system.
Optional Interior Features
- Heated seats
- Power-adjustable lumbar support
- Full power adjustment
- Center armrest with a storage compartment
- Steering paddles for the S tronic
- Pass-through hatch in the rear seat including a center armrest and cup holders
- Ski and snowboard bag
- Storage and cargo area package
- Reversible mat a
- Reversible cargo floor
- Door entry sills with aluminum inlays
The Q3 is offered with a choice of four engines: two TFSI units and two TDI engines.
The base 2.0-liter TSFI engine delivers a total of 170 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque between 1,700 and 4,200 rpm. This engine is coupled to a standard six-speed manual transmission. This setup will sprint the Q3 from 0 to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 131 mph. This drivetrain delivers an average fuel consumption 32.22 U.S. mpg.
The top-level 2.0 TSFI delivers a total of 211 horsepower and 221 pound feet of torque delivered between 1,800 and 4,900 rpm. In combination with the standard seven-speed S tronic, the four-cylinder unit accelerates the Audi Q3 from 0 to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 142 mph. For this version the fuel consumption is just 7.7 liters per 100 km (30.55 US mpg).
The first diesel engine is a 2.0-liter TDI that delivers a total of 177 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. This version will sprint the Q3 from 0 to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 131 mph.
A second 2.0-liter TDI engine delivers a total of 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. This version is combined with a manual transmission and a front-wheel-drive system. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds with a top speed is 125 mph. When equipped with this engine, the Q3 becomes the most fuel-efficient premium SUV on the market, thanks to its45.23 mpg.
Suspensions and brakes
The Q3 is offered with a 1,571 mm (61.85 in) front suspension, offered in a McPherson strut construction with lower wishbones of forged aluminum. The four-link rear axle measures 1,575 mm (62.01 in) and features large bearings for a comfortable ride.
Audi also offers an optional drive select driving dynamics system with four driving modes: "Comfort," "Auto," "Dynamic" and "Efficiency." The four modes can be chosen at the push of a button.
The SUV sits on standard 6.5-by-16-inch forged-alloy wheels with a seven-arm design and 215/65R16 tires.
A high-performance brake system with vented front discs measuring 312 mm (12.28 in) in diameter and solid rear discs in a diameter of 282 mm (11.10 in).
On the European market the Q3 is priced from €29,900 - about $39,500 at the current exchange rates.
The Q3 is currently not available in the U.S. market.
The X1 has one very big advantage: it is offered in the U.S. market. The model arrived here in 2012, roughly 3 years after its European debut. American customers will have the possibility to choose between two versions: X1 sDrive28i powered by a 240 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and a X1 xDrive35i offered with a six-cylinder engine with an output of 300 horsepower.
The model is priced from $31,545.
Gallery BMW X1
It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear than once both BMW and Audi offer premium compact SUVs, Mercedes decides to do exactly the same. Its new model will arrive on the market in 2015 and will be called GLA.
The future GLA will be built on the same front-wheel-drive architecture that features transversely mounted engines, just like the new-generation A-Class and B-Class. Under the hood, we will see the same engines as in the A-Class, meaning there will be a choice of both gasoline- and diesel-powered engines, with power ranging from 134 horsepower to 208 horsepower in the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Gallery Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA
The Audi Q3 is the perfect SUV for today’s crowded cities. It delivers the right amount of power and comes with a quite reasonable price. All we can do is hope that Audi decides to offer it in the U.S. soon.
- Comes with both petrol and diesel engines
- Lots of storage possibilities
- Looks cool
- Not available on the U.S. market
Gallery Audi Q3
The Audi Q3 is the premium SUV in the format of the compact class. It is sporty, efficient and versatile – an urban vehicle that is equally at home on or off the road. Every aspect of the Q3 showcases Audi technology.
Design and body
The styling express the sporty character of the Q3. The wedge-shaped headlights are available as a xenon plus version including LED daytime running lights. The low roof line and the very flat D-pillars underscore the dynamics. The bolt-on parts are available in a number of different variants – Black, Anthracite or the body color – and there is a choice of two exterior packages.
The rigid, safe and quiet occupant cell of the Audi Q3 uses a number of ultra high-strength steels. The hood and the tailgate are both made of aluminum. As is typical for the Q models from Audi, the undivided tail lights are integrated into the tailgate, which wraps around the pillars.
The Audi Q3 offers ample room for all five passengers and sets standards for ergonomics and workmanship. A wide variety of materials and colors for the interior offers customers countless possibilities for expressing their own personal style. The cargo area offers a base capacity of 460 liters (16.24 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs.
The Audi Q3 engine lineup includes two TDI and two TFSI four-cylinder units producing between 103 kW (140 hp) and 155 kW (211 hp). They combine direct injection with turbocharging and a start-stop system for both power and efficiency. The Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) and front-wheel drive averages 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (45.23 US mpg).
2.0 TFSI quattro with 125 kW (170 hp)
2.0 TFSI quattro with 155 kW (211 hp)
2.0 TDI and 2.0 TDI quattro with 103 kW (140 hp)
2.0 TDI quattro with 130 kW (177 hp)
Nearly all models come with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The seven-speed S tronic comes standard with the most powerful TDI and TFSI engines. The dual-clutch transmission showcases an innovation that enhances efficiency even further. When coasting, it allows the Q3 to free-wheel when the “efficiency” mode of the optional Audi drive select is active.
The chassis of the Q3 – featuring a four-link rear suspension, electromechanical power steering and wheels measuring between 16 and 19 inches in diameter – is the fruit of great design labor. An electromechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are standard, with hill-descent assist available as an option.
The Audi drive select system enables drivers to adjust various technology modules, including the optional suspension with active damper control, to suit their individual driving style.
Equipment and trim
Audi offers luxury-class options for the Q3. These include the adaptive light system for the xenon plus headlights, the panoramic glass roof and an LED interior lighting package. The range of driver assistance systems is extremely diverse. The park assist system autonomously steers the car into a parking space; Audi side assist uses radar to make changing lanes easier; Audi active lane assist helps to maintain the lane; and the speed limit display recognizes important traffic signs.
Audi offers a whole set of modular infotainment components, at the pinnacle of which is the hard drive-based navigation system MMI navigation plus. The Bluetooth online car phone with WLAN hotspot connects the Q3 to the Internet.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.