2020 Audi Q3

2020 Audi Q3
2020 Audi Q3 1
2020 Audi Q3 Dashboard 1

2020 Audi Q3 Test Drive Review: City Slicker Luxury

The Audi Q3 is the smallest of Audi's Q range of crossovers in the US. It exists in a relatively new vehicle class called the subcompact luxury SUV and competes against the likes of the BMW X1 and X2, Cadillac XT4, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus UX, Mercedes-Benz GLB, and Volvo XC40. I've been extremely skeptical of this class of vehicle, questioning whether subcompact SUVs and luxury vehicles are compatible. Over Thanksgiving weekend I spent a freezing few days in Pennsylvania to determine whether the Q3 is worthy of its luxury badge.

Read in this review:

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2020 Audi Q3 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Q3?

The second-generation Audi Q3 recently went through a complete redesign, which resulted in a car that's bigger and (arguably) better looking both inside and out, and comes with improved tech features. For 2020 the Audi Q3 remains mostly unchanged but Audi has changed the model designations from the '2.0T' in previous year models to '45 TFSI.'

Pros and Cons

  • Easy-to-use infotainment
  • Well laid out interior
  • It's a comfy drive
  • Easy to park and maneuver
  • Crisp exterior styling
  • Underwhelming performance
  • Fuel economy not up to class standards
  • Feels tight for five passengers
  • Some interior materials don't feel "luxurious"
  • Scary stop-start system

What's the Price of the 2020 Audi Q3?

Luxury subcompact SUVs start around the mid $30,000 mark, with the 2020 Q3 starting with an MSRP of $34,700 and rising to $36,000 for the S-line equivalent (it is worth noting all-wheel-drive does come standard). Premium Plus cars start at $37,800 and climb to $39,100 for S-line models. At the top sits the Prestige, which will set you back $42,900. These prices exclude a destination fee of $995. Fully loaded, the Q3 Prestige will cost you close to $47,000.

Best Deals on 2020 Audi Q3

2020 Audi Q3 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Premium 45 TFSI quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Plus 45 TFSI quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Prestige 45 TFSI S line quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Premium 45 TFSI S line quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Plus 45 TFSI S line quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Audi Q3 Trims and Specs

2020 Q3 Exterior

2020 Audi Q3 Front Angle View CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Rear Angle View CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Front Angle View 1 CarBuzz
2020 Audi Q3 Front Angle View
2020 Audi Q3 Rear Angle View
2020 Audi Q3 Front Angle View 1
See All 2020 Audi Q3 Exterior Photos


  • Length 176.6 in
  • Wheelbase 105.5 in
  • Height 64.1 in
  • Max Width 72.8 in
  • Front Width 62.2 in
  • Rear Width 61.9 in
  • Curb Weight 3,905.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Nano Gray Metallic +$595
  • Glacier White Metallic +$595
  • Florett Silver Metallic +$595
  • Chronos Gray Metallic +$595
  • Tango Red Metallic +$595
  • Mythos Black Metallic +$595
  • Cosmos Blue Metallic +$595
  • Turbo Blue
  • Ibis White
  • Pulse Orange

2020 Q3 Performance

2020 Audi Q3 Front View CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Rear Angle View 1 CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Engine Bay CarBuzz
2020 Audi Q3 Front View
2020 Audi Q3 Rear Angle View 1
2020 Audi Q3 Engine Bay

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

As with the engine and transmission, my overall impression of the Q3's driving dynamics was that they were ok but somewhat uninspiring. The steering is light, making city driving and tight parking maneuvers easy at the expense of driver enjoyment. Placing the car into Dynamic mode adds a bit of weight to the steering but it never felt particularly engaging. On the plus side, the Q3 rides smoothly (even with the 19-inch S line wheels), the same can not be said of the BMW X2, which is too firm for my tastes.

I imagine the typical Q3 buyer being someone who lives in a city or crowded urban area and needs a tight wheelbase along with a higher driving position. Due to the Q3's diminutive size, it never feels like a true SUV, but rather a hatchback that has been slightly raised. I would much prefer an A3 hatchback but since hatchbacks are sales poison in the US, I see why the Q3 makes some sense. If it were my money, it would be a Golf GTI or Golf R sitting in our driveway for around the same price as we'd easily trade the ground clearance and improved infotainment for driving enjoyment.

2020 Q3 Interior

2020 Audi Q3 Dashboard CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Front Seats CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2020 Audi Q3 Dashboard
2020 Audi Q3 Front Seats
2020 Audi Q3 Rear Passenger Seats
See All 2020 Audi Q3 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.6 in

2020 Q3 Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Audi Q3 Maximum Cargo Space CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Trunk Space CarBuzz 2020 Audi Q3 Side View CarBuzz
2020 Audi Q3 Maximum Cargo Space
2020 Audi Q3 Trunk Space
2020 Audi Q3 Side View

2020 Q3 Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Audi Q3 A Good SUV?

Compared to other vehicles in the subcompact luxury SUV segment, the Q3 is among the best. The Q8-inspired design looks great, the interior is filled with strong technology, and the ride comfort is better than most of its rivals. But the Q3 didn't quite do enough to justify the existence of subcompact luxury SUVs in my mind. Aside from being easier to park, there is very little the Q3 (or any of its competitors) does that is better than a larger, cheaper mainstream option like a Mazda CX-5 or Toyota RAV4. Those models have been significantly improved in recent years and seriously make me question recommending any "entry-level" luxury model, including the Q3. For just under $45,000 as-tested, the Q3 just doesn't offer enough of an upgrade compared to many top-trim mainstream options.

I was thoroughly impressed by the Q3's infotainment and interior design but its diminutive size and lackluster interior materials didn't shout "luxury" to me. Models like the Q3 are meant to act as an entry point into a luxury brand but after driving it for a week, I feel you are better off buying from a mainstream option until you can afford Audi's best, like a Q8. But if you decide that I'm an idiot and there's no way you'd buy a Mazda or Volkswagen over a luxury-branded vehicle, it's hard to do better than the Q3 in this segment.

What Audi Q3 Model Should I Buy?

My Premium Plus S line tester was missing two key features - adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera - which would have made it the ideal city car. ACC can be added for a minuscule $800 but the surround-view camera can only be had on the top Prestige Package. By the time you load up the Premium Plus model with options, you would be better off just opting for the Prestige, which includes most of them as standard equipment. Just add the 20-inch wheels for $800, Sport Interior Package for $500, and Alcantara Interior Package for $150 and the Q3 rings in at $45,345.

If you value performance over ride height, a Volkswagen Golf R offers this same engine producing 292 hp for around $5,000 less.

2020 Audi Q3 Comparisons

Audi Q5
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi Q3184 hp23/30 mpg$36,800
Audi Q5 201 hp23/29 mpg$44,200
BMW X1 241 hp25/34 mpg$39,100

2020 Audi Q3 vs Audi Q5

So how does Audi's baby SUV stack up to their midsize offering, the Q5? Starting at $43,300, the Q5 is almost $10,000 dearer than its smaller sibling in base form. Both cars are powered by the same Volkswagen derived turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but in the Q5, it produces 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque instead of the 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque you get in the Q3. The Q5 is slightly heavier but returns an impressive 22/28/24 mpg, which is over two miles per gallon better than the Q3. The Q5 is a visually larger car from the outside, offers superior interior space, and more cargo space. The Q5 offers more or less the same standard features as found in the Q3 but does offer more practicality and space, perfect for larger families who could use the extra room. But if you don't need the room, the Q3 is just as good in almost all other aspects, and at a lower price.

See Audi Q5 Review

2020 Audi Q3 vs BMW X1

The BMW X1 is one of a multitude of offerings from the Bavarian automaker in the SUV market. Power is provided by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces an identical 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and is sent to either the front or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The BMW does better at the pumps, recording a gas mileage figure of 23/31/26 mpg. Squaring up to the Q3, the X1 is visibly smaller but offers more interior space, and significantly more trunk and overall cargo space. Where the X1 fails to impress is in the safety department. Whereas the Q3 was awarded a Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the IIHS, the X1 was unable to get even a Top Safety Pick rating. The X1 is a nice driving thing and feels more carlike than the Q3. With a starting price of around $37,000, it's more expensive to start with but offers more practicality. The Audi however, is more luxurious and tech-focused.

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