If Audi brings the 2016 Q1 to America -- and that's a big "if" -- it would offer trademark style and turbocharged zip in a Mini Cooper-sized package.
Sharp styling; refined interior; engine choices promise lively performance and impressive fuel economy.
Small size limits versatility.
The 2016 Audi Q1 is an all-new small crossover.
Contain your enthusiasm for this Audi mini-crossover. Chances are slim, at the moment anyway, that the 2016 Audi Q1 makes it to the United States. But the Q1 has been confirmed for production in Europe, where it's likely to debut next year. Audi managers will no doubt watch the long-term prospects of slightly larger models like the current BMW X1 and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class with intense interest.
Audi is already compacting its crossover lineup with the 2015 Q3 (nearly 10 inches shorter than the current Q5 midsize crossover), so whether Americans want a premium cute-ute remains to be seen. Audi will need to free the small crossover of tech overload to minimize weight and ensure the desirability of the Q3.
In Europe, the Q1 should offer a choice of turbocharged gas or diesel 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Audi would likely offer the Q1 in similar specification for the U.S. market. Previous concept models hinting at the Q1's shape show a three-door hatchback, but expect the production model to be a five-door, five-passenger model.
With the current A3 sedan starting around $30,000, and similar pricing expected of the Q3, the Q1 would probably start at around $25,000. That would make the Q1 a more subtle and premium alternative to athletic jockeys like the Nissan Juke or the Mini Countryman. We'll be watching this one closely. Check back for more information on the 2016 Audi Q1 as it becomes available.