2016 Audi Q3 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Ride is quiet and comfortable, as a luxury SUV should be
  • high-quality materials inside the cabin follow theme of opulence
  • cargo capacity beats some competitors
  • plenty of available features.
  • Not the best option in the class for dynamic performance
  • ranks at the back of the pack for fuel economy
  • interior control placement isn't as logical as some other brands.
Other years
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List Price Range
$13,990 - $27,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

When it comes to luxurious interior design and a smooth ride, the 2016 Audi Q3 delivers. It also offers some of the most cargo space in its segment, so it's ready to haul your daily goods, plus swallow your vacation luggage. The stylishly smooth Q3 should be a must-drive before you make any purchase decision. Read the full details below.

Vehicle overview

Audi's Q5 compact crossover has been crushing it for years, so we expect big things from its little sibling, the subcompact 2016 Audi Q3. In some ways, there's no doubt that the pint-sized Q3 delivers. Interior quality has long been an Audi hallmark, and the Q3's got plenty of it. How about a hushed, compliant ride? Yep, the Audi comes through again with a suitably serene character on most surfaces. Furthermore, even the base Q3 comes loaded with lots of desirable equipment, so value turns out to be another core strength.

The subcompact Audi Q3 crossover is a new face for American shoppers.

On the other hand, the Q3 is hardly the freshest face in this segment, even though it debuted on our shores just last year. Audi's been building it since 2011 overseas, which explains why it comes with the company's outdated proprietary music interface rather than USB connectivity like newer Audi models. The Q3's turbocharged four-cylinder engine is also an earlier design, as is its six-speed automatic transmission. Consequently, the Q3 is actually slower than the larger, heavier Q5 2.0T, which gets an eight-speed automatic and more power, while EPA fuel economy is a wash between the two.

Of course, the Q3 is also significantly cheaper than the Q5, but there are similarly priced subcompact luxury crossovers that offer comparative advantages. The biggest option you should check out is the fully redesigned 2016 BMW X1, which boasts a larger cabin and cutting-edge technology along with superior performance and fuel economy. The Lexus NX 200t is neck-and-neck with the Audi in terms of space- and fuel-efficiency, but it pulls ahead with quicker acceleration and standard USB integration. Then there's the even smaller but pleasantly frugal and highly customizable 2016 Mini Countryman, which is more engaging to drive and can be outfitted with spunky turbo power. In sum, the Edmunds "C" rated 2016 Audi Q3 still merits consideration if you're drawn to its sophisticated style, but otherwise, this little crossover may be less of a big deal than you'd think.

2016 Audi Q3 models

The 2016 Audi Q3 is a subcompact luxury crossover available in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige. Both are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive ("Quattro").

Standard features on the Premium Plus include 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, automatic headlights and wipers, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, eight-way heated power front seats (with four-way lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Audi's MMI (Multi Media Interface) control system with a pop-up 7-inch display and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a CD player and Audi's proprietary digital music interface.

Optional for the Q3 Premium Plus is a Technology package, which includes a navigation system, Audi Connect telematics (comprising enhanced Web-based navigation and information services along with WiFi hotspot capability), a color trip computer and a blind-spot monitor.

We're fond of the 2016 Audi Q3's upscale interior. The MMI tech interface is dated, though.

The Prestige starts with all of the above and adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, "S line" styling cues, a power liftgate, heated auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors, a 14-speaker Bose audio system and stainless-steel door and tailgate sill plates.

There are only a few other options for the Q3. A Sport package adds Audi drive select (adjustable drive modes for steering and transmission), paddle shifters and front sport seats with extendable thigh support. Wood inlays and a black cloth headliner are optional on both trim levels, while the Premium Plus can be equipped with the Prestige's 19-inch wheels and power liftgate.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the Q3 receives mildly freshened front-end styling, while the list of standard features now includes front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Additionally, the Prestige trim gets standard 19-inch wheels, full LED headlights, dynamic rear turn signals and sporty "S line" styling cues.

Performance & mpg

Every 2016 Audi Q3 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2016 Audi A3 checks in at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway) with front-wheel drive and 23 mpg combined (20/28) with all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, a Q3 Quattro accelerated to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, a slow time compared to direct rivals like the X1 and NX 200t.


Standard safety equipment for the 2016 Audi Q3 includes stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Technology package adds a blind-spot monitoring system.

During Edmunds braking testing, an all-wheel-drive Q3 came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, about average for the segment.

In crash tests conducted by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2016 Q3 received the highest rating of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal-offset, moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests, while the Q3's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


In the real world, the 2016 Audi Q3 may seem peppy enough, especially if you put the transmission in its more aggressive Sport mode. Still, the Q3's tepid full-throttle acceleration puts it near the back of the pack, which is unusual for an Audi these days. On the bright side, the engine itself is quite refined, seldom drawing attention to itself and remaining vibration-free even at high rpm.

It looks sporty, but the Audi Q3 is pretty slow for its class.

Over broken pavement, the Q3 delivers a controlled yet supple ride. The steering is light and can feel rather numb, but it's adequately precise. When pushed harder around turns, the Q3 exhibits substantial body roll and doesn't feel as responsive or fun as we'd expect from the Q5's baby brother. Note that the optional Sport package does not include any suspension upgrades, so every 2016 Q3 will have the same soft underpinnings. That said, overall composure is still respectable, and most folks will likely find the Q3 affable and easygoing in everyday driving.


Even though this is the most affordable Audi crossover, the cabin doesn't skimp on quality. The Q3 employs many of the same materials and design principles as any other modern Audi, and the result is one of the finest interiors in its class. In fact, the cockpit's design theme is more sports car than sport-utility, as it features a center stack canted toward the driver along with large primary instruments and various metallic accents.

Most of the Q3's controls are fairly straightforward, but the climate controls are located inconveniently low on the center stack, in front of the gear selector. Also, the multifunction control knob for the MMI system lives on the dash, which takes a bit of getting used to and can make for an uncomfortable reach. Another drawback is the absence of a USB port and even a basic auxiliary input jack -- it'd be a surprise in virtually any 2016 vehicle, let alone a premium crossover from Audi. Instead, you get the company's strange proprietary digital music interface that requires a special adapter cable for USB connectivity and fails to provide rich feature integration like most USB-enabled interfaces.

The Audi Q3 can hold a fair amount of stuff as long as you lower the rear seats.

Although the front and rear seats are plenty comfortable thanks to their firm, well-shaped cushions, the rear compartment is rather tight for taller folks. At 31.1 inches, rear legroom is considerably less than the 36.1 inches the Lexus NX 200t provides, for example. As for cargo capacity, it's a mixed bag. Behind the rear seats, there are 16.7 cubic feet of available space, a paltry figure that's nonetheless in line with the Lexus. Fold down those seats, however, and the Q3 provides a reasonably roomy 48 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Audi Q3.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

VERY happy so far!
Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Have had my Q3 for a month and am very pleased so far with the way it handles, how comfortable it is (got the sport package), and how smooth the car rides on Colorado's poorly maintained roads. Love the auto climate control and the cargo area is big enough for my bike which is why I wanted a crossover. It's fabulous and zippy on steep, curvy mountain roads. I'm averaging 24.5 mpg with combo city/highway (mostly city) driving. My only challenge is figuring out all the computer programs in the car and setting everything up to my preferences. The car manual has become my lifeline and I have to reference it often as it's a bit complex. The cruise control/radio/navigation/windshield wiper/etc. controls are pretty easy to access from the steering column but I find that I hit the wrong controls occasionally because everything is in one place. Huge learning curve with the car ( but then, my old car was a 2004 so I'm behind the times for car technology) but I have to say I'm very, very happy with it.
2016 Q3 Prestige with Sport Package
Guy Yowell,12/26/2015
Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I recently took my wife's 2011 Q5 in for routine service, and the dealer gave me the Q3 as a loaner car. I was very impressed with the ride versus my 2011 A3 TDI. So when I went back to pick up my wife's car, I decided to sit down with a salesperson to discuss the possibility of trading in my A3. The deals they were offering were excellent, and I just wasn't willing to wait to see how Audi was going to resolve the emission issue affecting the 2.0 TDI engines. So far, I'm extremely happy with my decision. The Q3 with Prestige and Sport Packages is a real step up from my 2011 A3 TDI. The ride is extremely comfortable and the cabin is incredibly quiet. Incidentally, on previous occasions, I also had the opportunity to drive the 2015 A3 Sedan for an extended period as a loaner car, and the Q3 feels a lot nicer to drive. The handling with the 19" tires included with the Sport Package is really impressive. It doesn't handle like an SUV at all. The car accelerates very evenly and the transmission shifts very smoothly. The exterior and all of the interior finishes are just beautiful! The Bose Audio system included with the Prestige Package sounds great, and I love how seamlessly my iPhone connects (via Bluetooth) to play all of my audio files. My only disappointment is the relatively poor fuel economy for an SUV in this class. In fact, the fuel economy is essentially the same as my wife's Q5 which is significantly larger and heavier. It's especially painful because I was averaging nearly 42 miles/gallon with my A3 TDI. However, it's unclear whether or not these fuel economy figures would have been impacted by whatever solution Audi/Volkswagen comes up with to meet the emission requirements. For me, it's the perfect compromise of size, comfort, quality, and luxury. I also considered the BMW X1 and the Mercedes GLA, but these two alternatives were significantly more expensive when comparably equipped. The Q3 is really an excellent value and I'm looking forward to years of driving this exceptional vehicle.
Audi does it again!
Linda B,07/09/2016
Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Love the performance and the connection to the road, the logical interior layout and equipment without stupid extras . My biggest criticism is the height of the media/nav window that you cannot get rid of- cannot fold down or black out. I am 5' talk and it is right at eye level and VERY distracting to drive with, more so at night! If I cannot get used to it... It might make me reconsider the car- which I LOVE on every other level!!!
Don't waste your money!
Brian M,01/17/2016
Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This 2016, Audi Q-3, Prestige Quattro, is a nice design. PROS: The colors are great both Inside (chestnut brown leather) and Out (cuvée silver metallic). The car holds the road firmly and has a good ride. The steering is crisp and the breaking is excellent. Headlights are awesome when driving at night on unlit roadways. Seats are fairly comfortable with the Sport Package that was included as an option. However, not nearly as comfortable as the seats in an A-4. Sight lines out of the car are great. CONS: the electronics (Nav, phone, Wi-Fi) are a little difficult to get used to, but can be handled with some practice. Heated seats take forever to warm up. Rear view camera takes too long to turn off after shifting back to a forward gear. The only engine available for this car, 2.0 L / 4 cylinder / TFSI, that produces 200 hp & 207 ft-lb torque, is minimally enough for the car. And that's with just me as the driver. If I had 3 other adult passengers in the car with me, the engine would struggle even more to get the car moving. The 6 speed transmission seems to do a good job, but could certainly use more support from the engine. And, driving the car in the "S" gear to get the engine more power, forget about it! The gas mileage would be terrible for a 4 cylinder engine. I think the worst part is that this same 2.0 L engine with 6 speed transmission is used in several other Audi models. But, they have way more hp and engine torque and even get way better gas mileage. Unfortunately, this car/crossover/ SUV paired with this weak engine does not live up to the standards set by this brand's other proven models. Quite the let down!

Features & Specs

20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 2016 Audi Q3 features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 Audi Q3

Used 2016 Audi Q3 Overview

The Used 2016 Audi Q3 is offered in the following submodels: Q3 SUV. Available styles include Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium Plus 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Prestige quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Prestige 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Audi Q3?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Audi Q3 trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Audi Q3 Premium Plus quattro is priced between $13,990 and$27,990 with odometer readings between 16406 and118474 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Audi Q3 Prestige quattro is priced between $19,990 and$24,991 with odometer readings between 21744 and76923 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Audi Q3 Premium Plus is priced between $23,999 and$23,999 with odometer readings between 31847 and31847 miles.

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Which used 2016 Audi Q3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Audi Q3 for sale near. There are currently 15 used and CPO 2016 Q3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,990 and mileage as low as 16406 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Audi Q3.

Can't find a used 2016 Audi Q3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi Q3 for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $15,411.

Find a used Audi for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,131.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi Q3 for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,917.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,284.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Audi Q3?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Audi lease specials
Check out Audi Q3 lease specials