$17,083 - $18,556

2015 Audi Q3 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Audi Q3 was new.


Performance: 7.8

Most reviewers say the 2015 Audi Q3 has sufficient power, but many note that rivals have stronger engines and quicker acceleration. The Audi Q3's fuel economy estimates are about average for the class. Most test drivers say the Q3 has composed handling, but some wish it was more fun to drive. A few critics report that Q3's ride is too firm over road imperfections.

  • "There are some downsides to this smaller Audi, though. Its acceleration and handling aren't as good as we'd expect from an Audi. …" -- Edmunds
  • "As with other Audis, the Q3 SUV has a fine balance between tautness and comfort, which makes it enjoyable to drive on both straight highways and curvy canyon roads." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Q3 proves size isn't relative to quality in many ways, including the driving experience. Sure, it's the smallest and least-expensive SUV in Audi's lineup, but it doesn't drive like a cheap SUV. The Q3's sophisticated ride quality is reminiscent of the more-expensive Q5 and Q7 SUVs, with a balanced blend of sporty responsiveness and controlled movements over rough roads. Think sporty, not sports car." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The all-new 2015 Audi Q3 comes with a 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Audi drive select is also available, which allows the driver to adjust throttle response and transmission shifting behavior. A base Q3 returns an EPA-estimated 20/29 mpg city/highway, which is on par with what most SUVs in the class get.

According to critics, the 2015 Q3's engine produces satisfying acceleration for highway passing, but they agree that the Q3 isn't as quick as some competitors. Some report that the Q3's transmission downshifts quickly and smoothly, especially when in Sport mode, though others note that it can hesitate to downshift when it's not in Sport mode.

  • "Although the 2015 Audi Q3 may not be as quick as a BMW X1 in an all-out dash to 60 mph, in the real world the Q3 is peppy enough. This is especially true if you put the transmission in Sport mode, which keeps the Q3 on its toes. Lean into it for merging or passing and the Q3 responds with modest response. The transmission is smooth, if a bit reluctant to downshift if not in Sport mode." -- Edmunds
  • "The engine does its part by emitting just a rich, muffled whine when prodded, and despite a rather unimpressive (for a turbo 2.0-liter) 200-horsepower rating, it provides good highway passing power, aided by the transmission's quick kickdowns." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The lone engine offering is Audi's turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower. That is just enough to make the Q3 feel adequate off the line - spry if in Sport mode - for this class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I expected the extremely well-mannered and quiet turbocharged engine to offer punchier acceleration given the exterior's diminutive size, and that lack of reward when the accelerator goes down makes the Q3's premium fuel requirement harder to swallow." -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Audi Q3 has standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. Most reviewers think its handling is fairly composed, however a few notice some body lean in corners and think the Q3's handling isn't as sporty as some rivals'. Some test drivers point out that the Q3's ride can be too firm over road imperfections, but others think it rides comfortably. Several reviewers say the Audi Q3's steering is sharp and responsive.

  • "In corners, the Q3 is capable enough, but we wouldn't call it a performance-oriented crossover. Where it really shines is on the highway, where the compliant-yet-composed ride constantly reminds you of the Q3's luxury status." -- AutoTrader
  • "Somewhat less impressive at low speeds is the ride. European manufacturers tend to favor stiffer suspensions, and Audis have traditionally been no exception. Q3 follows this trend, reacting somewhat more sharply than the norm over smaller road irregularities. The upside, however, is that steering and handling are on the sporty side for an SUV, aided in part by the vehicle's tidy dimensions." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Over broken pavement, the Q3 delivers a controlled yet still supple ride. Driving enthusiasts will likely feel that the steering, though precise, is too light, but most folks will like it just fine. When pushed harder on a back road, the Q3 exhibits noticeable body roll and doesn't feel as responsive or fun as what we'd expect from the Q5's baby brother. That said, overall composure is still respectable, and most drivers will find that the Q3 has an affable, easygoing demeanor in everyday driving situations." -- Edmunds
  • "The Q3's tight and nimble chassis makes it a fantastic small SUV for darting around a crowded city." -- Cars.com

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