New for 2017

Following its exterior-styling refresh for 2016, the 2017 Audi Q3 welcomes a new entry-level Premium trim. Premium Plus models now come standard with a power tailgate with programmable height, and a new Sport Plus package for the top Prestige trim adds a three-spoke steering wheel and sporty trim.

It all adds up

The 2017 Audi Q3 is a different kind of crossover. It’s the smallest utility vehicle Audi offers in the U.S., and that smaller size imbues it with more lively handling and allows for greater fuel efficiency than previous crossovers. But the Q3 also boasts available quattro® all-wheel drive and a spacious interior, all of which add up to help establish the Q3 as a crossover through and through. Good things really do come in small packages.

Performance

It may be the smallest member of the Audi crossover family, but the Q3 still packs plenty of performance. It’s offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive, or Audi’s famous quattro® all-wheel drive.

With front-wheel drive, the Q3 will do 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, while the all-wheel drive version takes 8.2 seconds. Both configurations have a top track speed of 130 mph. With its compact size and the willing turbo engine, the Q3 will do its best impression of an Audi rally car and provide a lively driving experience that’s more like a sport compact than a traditional utility vehicle.

The Q3’s compact size and fairly low curb weight also help it achieve impressive fuel economy. The EPA rates the front-wheel drive Q3 at 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway).* The quattro® all-wheel drive version gets the same combined and city figures but loses one mpg in the highway category.

Features

The 2017 Audi Q3 is a five-door, five-seat crossover. It’s offered in three trim levels with a generous amount of standard equipment, starting at $31,800.**

It's the Q3's new entry-level trim, but the Q3 Premium is handsomely equipped and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, signature Audi LED daytime running lights and taillights, and a panoramic sunroof. For added peace of mind, the Q3 Premium also comes equipped with rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. There's also automatic headlights and wipers to ensure maximum visibility.

Other standard highlights include dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and eight-way power and heated front seats. The Q3 also boasts Bluetooth® phone connectivity, a USB charging port, and a 10-speaker sound system - complete with CD player and satellite radio.

The Q3 Premium Plus adds a rear spoiler, power-folding outside mirrors, a power liftgate, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, 12-way heated power front seats, voice control, and the Audi Advanced Key with remote engine start and stop.

The Q3 Prestige includes all of the applicable standard equipment from the Premium and Premium Plus, as well as some additional features. Audi’s MMI® Navigation plus infotainment system comes standard, as does Audi connect® service with a six-month subscription, 14-speaker Bose® surround sound system, and S Line appearance package.

A new Sport Plus package is available on Prestige models. It adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Audi Drive Select, which provides adjustable drive modes for steering and transmission, paddle shifters, and front sport seats with extendable thigh support. 

Design

The 2017 Audi Q3 features styling elements from Audi’s other crossovers, scaled down for its smaller size. The design eschews traditional utility-vehicle boxiness for a more car-like shape, including a somewhat coupe-like roofline and aggressively swept D-pillar. Like other current Audi models, it’s handsome without being gaudy.

Last year, the Q3 got a mild styling update with a new grille, headlights, and other elements of the front fascia. The revised look brings it closer to the recently redesigned Q7 and likely represents the face of Audi utility vehicles for the next few years. Prestige models can be further livened up by an available Sport Plus package.

Audi has won plenty of praise for its well-designed interiors, and the Q3 is no exception. Like the exterior, it’s pleasing to look at because of its simplicity. Available Balsamic Brown Walnut Wood and Aluminum Satellite inlays complement the leather seating surfaces, and an available three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and leather-wrapped shifter add a touch of sportiness.

Of course, a crossover has to do more than just look good. It may look small on the outside, but the Q3 features a generous 40.0 inches of front and 31.1 inches of rear legroom, and a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat that makes cargo hauling more convenient. The Q3 has 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear bench up, and 48.2 cubic feet with it folded.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Audi Q3 includes anti-lock brakes; stability control with “Offroad” mode; traction control; hill descent assist; and front, front-thorax side, and Sideguard head curtain airbags. The airbags are also linked to a power central locking system that automatically unlocks the doors if they deploy.

For additional safety, Audi offers an available Technology package that adds a blind-spot monitoring system.

Verdict

The 2017 Audi Q3 is a versatile luxury crossover SUV that offers plenty of space and comfort.

Be sure to contact us online or visit us indiGO Auto Group – Desert European Motorcars Campus at 71387 CA-111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 to schedule a test drive.

*All fuel economy figures are EPA estimates. unless otherwise noted. Your mileage will vary. See www.fueleconomy.gov for more information.

**Prices listed are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination charges, taxes, titles, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Image: Audi