2018 Audi Q3 review with video

The basics:
Starting price: $34,900 + tax
As tested: $46,390 + tax
Competition: BMW X1, Infiniti QX30, Lexus NX, Mercedes GLA, etc.
Average fuel economy over a week: 9.2 L/100 kms (25.5 US MPG)

 

For part three of our Audi month series, with cars courtesy of Glenmore Audi in Calgary, we’re looking at the smallest and most affordable SUV in the Audi Canada family. This car is a real volume seller for the company but since its launch in 2011, it’s never had a total redesign. That’s all expected to change in the coming year. But in the meantime, we’re looking at the current generation of the Q3 to see if it still has what it takes to compete in the luxury sub-compact crossover segment. Take a look!

Pros:
– The current Q3 cuts a charming stance from the outside – and its looks have held up pretty well over the last seven years. It’s also a good size for people who don’t want a big, honking SUV for around the city
– While the Q3’s 2-litre turbo puts out 200 horsepower and falls short of its major competitors in terms of output, the engine is still smooth with minimal turbo lag and more than enough power for the urban environment (where the Q3 was really designed to be)
– Where the Q3 might surprise you is in the second row. Audi’s managed to carve out more space back there than you might expect. Sure, with the driver’s seat set for a tall driver like me, the space is tight. But with Devon driving, she’s 5’7, I have more than enough legroom and headroom back there for a long drive. Roger also has plenty of space in his front facing car seat, but rear facing car seats will be a real squeeze for you
– With 473 litres of space behind the second row, its cargo capacity is squarely in the middle of this sub-compact pack – a bit more space than the Mercedes GLA, and not quite as much as the Lexus or Infiniti offerings. So yes, you can fit our standardized trunk test – but not much else


Cons:
– While the Q3 is the cheapest SUV from Audi, don’t let its starting price fool you. The base Q3 starts at $34,900 Canadian but that’s a little misleading because all wheel drive, believe it or not, is not standard – as it is with pretty much all of its competitors in the Canadian market. Tack on all wheel drive, as pretty well every Canadian will want to do, and it’s 2,500 bucks more expensive at $37,400
– The fact that LED headlights, a backup camera or dual zone climate control aren’t standard equipment at this point puts it way out of step with its competitors. That’s another clear sign that a new version is sorely needed. Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Audi’s latest infotainment system, or autonomous safety tech like lane keep assist or adaptive cruise aren’t an option at all
– It’s also lagging behind on efficiency. Audi suggests 10.3 L/100 kms as its combined city and highway fuel economy. That is quite a bit worse than its big competitors. Even its larger sibling, the Q5 has better economy than that – and over 50 more horsepower to boot
– Where this car’s age really shows, though, is its interior. Its clunky climate control buttons and readouts, its low-tech, low-resolution infotainment system, only one USB port in the whole darn car… it all just makes it feel very, very old

Family Wheels report card:
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 2/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (64 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 3/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3/5
Family Wheels overall score: 32.5/50= 65%

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