$22,909 - $26,501

2018 Audi Q3 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Audi Q3 was new.


Performance: 7.5

The 2018 Audi Q3’s performance focuses more on comfort and luxury than outright sportiness. The standard engine feels underpowered at times, but handling is stable and ride quality is good.

  • "It's pretty clear Audi was aiming for luxury rather than performance or driver engagement with the Q3." -- Edmunds
  • "The balance between comfort and control in the Audi Q3 is commendable. The Audi Q3 feels equally at home cruising down the highway as it does taming a winding canyon road. … This is a good car for a relaxing road trip, but it also likes to dance. Drive it with some angst and the Q3 responds. It's not a sports car but you can hustle it around." -- 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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The standard engine in the 2018 Q3 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 200 horsepower. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available.

The Q3 has underwhelming power and acceleration, especially on the highway, and its powertrain feels outdated. Primary rivals offer stronger engines, and performance from the Q3 is disappointing given its price.

  • "The turbocharged 2.0-liter is smooth enough and puts out 200 horsepower, which is adequate, but it's still 28 fewer horses than you get in the BMW X1. More power would be nice." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The engine also disappoints; it's thirsty and doesn't have enough power to accelerate the Q3 with any real authority. … While 200 horsepower sounds healthy on paper, this isn't the newest or best version of Audi's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, or the six-speed auto for that matter. Acceleration is barely adequate in this price range." -- Edmunds
  • "The refined 200-hp turbo engine feels stronger than the projected 7.8-second sprint to 60 mph suggests (8.2 seconds with all-wheel drive). Still, there's no denying this is an older engine used primarily in Volkswagen products – including the related Tiguan – whereas the Q5 and most other Audi vehicles use a different version with more power and torque. The 6-speed transmission is also a bit of a relic. Most other Audi models have upgraded to an 8-speed transmission. Like the engine, though, it doesn't feel outdated, even if it technically is." -- Autotrader (2017)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard in the Q3, and all-wheel drive is optional. A soft suspension makes for comfortable ride quality. There is no general consensus on the Q3's handling; some reviewers note it lacks feedback and agility, while others praise the responsiveness of the steering and brakes.

  • "Other Audi vehicles have demonstrated that electric-assisted power steering doesn't have to feel as numb and disconnected as the Q3's does. Precision and highway stability are adequate. We expect better than just 'adequate' from Audi. … The Q3 feels heavier and larger than it is thanks to soft suspension, lackluster responses and below-average grip limits. In sum, it doesn't feel sporty." -- Edmunds
  • "Its steering is top-notch, its brakes have good feel, and its quiet cabin is easy to see out of, a rare trait these days." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Q3 is capable enough in corners, but it's hardly a performance-oriented crossover. Its natural habitat is the highway, where the compliant-yet-composed ride underlines the Q3's luxury status. We've mentioned the Tiguan parallels, but the suspension is actually a mix of various Volkswagen and Audi platforms, and you can feel the difference. It's an appropriately upscale driving experience." -- Autotrader (2017)

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