2018 Audi Q3

2018 Audi Q3
2018 Audi Q3 Rear View
2018 Audi Q3 Dashboard Layout
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2018 Audi Q3 Review

The Audi Q3 exemplifies what young and active professional types are looking for in a vehicle. Is it a lifted hatchback? Or is it a compact SUV? Its official classification is something along the lines of "premium subcompact crossover." Whatever you'd like to call it, the Q3 has found a nice little niche for itself and is nestled between the A3 Sportback and the larger Q5. Cars that try to take on too many roles tend to disappoint in at least one or two of them, but that's where the magic behind the Q3 comes in. The 2018 Audi Q3 manages to blur the lines between being a hatchback and a luxury crossover so well, that you start to ask yourself the question: why can't more cars be like this? The current Q3 is due for replacement in the second half of 2018.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2018 Audi Q3 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2017 Q3?

For 2018, the base trim Q3 is loaded with more features as standard, including styling updates and interior luxuries such as heated front seats. The top of the line Prestige model has been dropped for 2018, but all the features that came with it have been incorporated into its list of optional packages, such as the convenience package that adds a power liftgate and other tricks to make living with the Q3 that much easier. If you bought the Q3 due to family responsibilities, but you still miss your hot hatchback, Audi offers a Sport Plus package that should help you rekindle the glory days.

Pros and Cons

  • Well packaged
  • Good ride quality
  • Good user interface
  • Premium feel
  • Rear passenger space
  • Gas mileage could be better
  • Lacks some safety tech on base model
  • Optional extras can get expensive

What's the Price of the 2018 Audi Q3?

The 2018 Audi Q3 is competitively priced for its class, and the base Premium trimmed car, which boasts more extras than ever, will start at an MSRP of $32,900. The Premium Sport is next on the price list and adds an extra $1,975 to the asking price. The Q3 Premium Plus which gets a host of premium tech and safety additions will cost almost $3,000 more than the standard Premium spec car at $35,800. The top-of-the-line Sport Premium Plus goes for an asking price of $36,775. These prices exclude licensing, registration and a $975 destination fee. Even with all the option boxes ticked, the Q3 is still only a grand or so more than a base 4Matic Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Best Deals on 2018 Audi Q3

2018 Audi Q3 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T Premium
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0T Premium Plus
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0T Sport Premium
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0T Sport Premium Plus
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0T Premium quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2018 Audi Q3 Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Audi Q3 rides on a front strut and rear multi-link suspension setup and makes contact with the road via a set of 18-inch P235/50HR18 tires front to back. Steering feedback is less than that of the BMW X2, but the Q3 manages to feel sportier, and also surpasses the GLA for ride comfort. The electrical power steering is light, and the Q3 feels fleet-footed around town but loads up when you change direction more abruptly. The front-wheel-drive Q3 handles beautifully and will transition into predictable understeer when pushed hard. The all-wheel-drive Quattro version grips the road hard and provides the driver with an added sense of security knowing that the car will remain stable and somewhat predictable even during the worst driving conditions.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Audi Q3 A Good SUV?

The Audi Q3 is a strong contender in the premium subcompact crossover class, and despite its age still manages to outperform newer rivals in terms of ride quality, comfort, and practicality. The Q3's exterior still looks fresh thanks to an updated exterior package for 2018, but it shows its age on the inside, where the cabin can feel a bit spartan. The build quality, however, remains top-notch, as you'd expect from Audi. It also fails to impress with it's older infotainment system and a lack of premium safety features. Where the Q3 shines is on the road. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed auto delivers responsive and punchy performance. On the road, the Q3 feels sportier than its German rivals but still manages to feel compliant when driving over rough surfaces. Good cargo space and an overall balanced package make the Q3 a practical city car for couples or small families.

What Audi Q3 Model Should I Buy?

The Audi Q3 is due for replacement later in the year, hence why Audi has freshened up the current generation. This is a good thing for prospective buyers looking for a good deal. The standard features list is longer than ever, and you'll be able to talk down the price at your local dealership. For what the Q3 is, and where it will most likely spend most of its time, the front-wheel-drive Premium with the added convenience package will be perfect. Besides, dropping the all-wheel-drive Quattro system will improve fuel consumption, and will help the Q3 accelerate faster (who would've thought). The Sports package might give the Q3 a bit more street cred, but the larger wheels and the sports-tuned suspension doesn't do it any favors when it comes to ride comfort. Stick with the base model, tick a few options (The sport seats come to mind) and call it a day.

2018 Audi Q3 Comparisons

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV Mercedes-Benz

2018 Audi Q3 vs Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV

You can find a number of similarities when comparing the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250. In base form, they both start at the low $30k mark, with the Q3 being slightly less expensive at $32,900 versus the GLA's asking price of $33,400. Both are powered 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, with the Mercedes GLA producing a touch more horsepower than the Q3 (208 hp vs 200 hp). You can get either in front- or four-wheel drive, and both come exclusively with auto transmissions. The Audi is a heavier car by over 200 pounds, and also uses more fuel. The GLA is rated at 24/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined and the Q3 trails with 20/33/27 mpg. The Mercedes GLA 250 comes with more modern features and a bigger infotainment display screen, but the Audi drives better on the road.

See Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV Review

2018 Audi Q3 vs BMW X1

Both the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 are some of the best selling premium subcompact crossovers in the US. They offer premium interiors, a comfortable ride, and decent power. The Q3 beats the BMW on price as the X1 only comes in one trim, the sDrive28i, with a starting price of $33,900. In terms of interior space, the BMW X1 offers more room in the front and back, and offers more cargo space as well. Both interiors are well put together and have a robust feel about them. The newer BMW wins in the infotainment and features department, offering a standard 6.5-inch infotainment display unit with Apple CarPlay integration. The BMW is faster than the Q3 and uses less fuel. The BMW also drives better and can be quite pleasurable to throw around the bends, where the X1 will also keep you safer thanks to a higher level of standard safety features.

See BMW X1 Review
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