2017 Audi Q3
- Rides comfortably on rough roads
- Quiet at highway speeds
- High-quality materials inside the cabin
- Cargo capacity beats some competitors
- Less-than-ideal infotainment control placement
- Tight rear seating for adults
- Ranks at the back of the pack for fuel economy
- Not the best option in the class for dynamic performance
2017 Audi Q3 pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
As the smaller sibling to Audi's popular Q5 compact crossover, the 2017 Audi Q3 has the qualities you'd hope to get from any Audi. You'll be quite comfortable driving it, and the cabin is quiet and crafted in high-quality materials. You get plenty of features for your money, too, at least relative to the more expensive Q5. But whether the Q3 is the best subcompact luxury crossover for you might depend on a few other factors.
Though the subcompact Q3 is relatively new for us in the United States (it debuted for the 2015 model year), it's actually been on sale in other countries for a few years before that. This older heritage shows up in a couple areas you might not immediately notice. For instance, the lower trim levels feature the automaker's outdated MMI interface instead of the USB connectivity found across the rest of the Audi lineup. It's a similar story under the hood. The Q3 has one of Audi's older turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and the resulting performance and fuel economy are disappointing.
There are a few other subcompact crossovers that we suggest you also consider. High on the list is the 2017 BMW X1. It offers a larger interior full of the latest technology, plus a sportier driving experience and better fuel economy. The 2017 Lexus NX 200t is another option with superior power and rear seat room, and you can get it with more of the latest advanced safety features as well. Or check out the 2017 Mini Countryman if engaging handling and seemingly endless customization possibilities appeal to you. Overall, the 2017 Audi Q3 might still win you over with its value and good looks, but it's ultimately not as well-rounded as some of its luxury subcompact crossover competitors.
Standard safety equipment for the 2017 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2017 Q3 received the highest rating of Good in the small-overlap and moderate-overlap front-impact tests. It also earned a Good score for the side-impact, roof strength, and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Audi Q3 is a subcompact luxury crossover available in three trim levels: the new entry-level Premium, the midrange Premium Plus and the top-of-the-line Prestige. All three are offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive (a.k.a. Quattro in Audi-speak).
Standard features on the debuting Premium base model include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, automatic headlights and wipers, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power and heated front seats (with four-way lumbar), a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a USB charging port, and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a CD player.
Premium Plus models start there and add unique aluminum trim, power-folding outside mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Audi's proprietary digital music interface with a Lightning (iPhone) adapter cable.
The Prestige starts with all of the above and adds 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Audi's S line styling cues, a blind-spot warning system, a navigation system with online services, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.
An optional Convenience package for the base Premium trim level adds keyless ignition and entry and the digital music interface. The navigation system is optional for both the Premium and Premium Plus trims.
A Sport Plus package available on Prestige models adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Audi Drive Select (adjustable drive modes for steering and transmission), paddle shifters, and front sport seats with extendable thigh support. A Sport Interior package is the same but excludes the 19-inch wheels. The Premium Plus can be equipped with the Prestige's 19-inch wheels.
Every 2017 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 2017 Audi Q3 checks in at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway), which is below average for this class of vehicle.
In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Q3 accelerated to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, a slow time compared to direct rivals such as the BMW X1 and Lexus NX 200t.
You'll like the 2017 Audi Q3's ride quality. Even with the larger 19-inch wheels, the Q3's soft suspension delivers a smooth, quiet and fuss-free experience on the highway. This is the Q3 at its best, though. When going around turns, the Q3 exhibits a fair amount of body roll, which, in combination with overly light and numb steering, makes it less fun to drive than other popular subcompact luxury crossovers. It's worth noting that the optional Sport package doesn't include any suspension changes, so all Q3 models will exhibit this same weakness.
When it comes to engine performance, the Q3 is no more than adequate. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has a nice, refined feel to it, never drawing attention to itself with undue noise or vibration, but acceleration is disappointingly lackluster for a luxury-branded vehicle.
The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q3 is very nice, with styling and materials that seem worthy of the Audi brand. In keeping with the sporting nature of the automaker's lineup, the interior has a distinctly sports car feel thanks to sharp-looking gauges, metal accents and a center stack that's slanted toward the driver.
When it comes to ergonomics, the Q3's otherwise well-considered layout loses points for climate controls that are awkwardly located low down, in a spot in front of the shift lever. The single large knob that's used to move through the menus of the MMI system is also curiously located higher up on the dash, which can make for an uncomfortably long reach. The other glaring omission is the lack of a USB port for feature-rich smartphone integration, something that's pretty common these days.
Up front, occupants will enjoy roomy accommodations with well-shaped seats that provide firm support. In back, the seats themselves are fine, but the lack of available legroom — 31.1 inches as compared to 36.1 inches in the Lexus NX 200t — means they're realistically only suited to young children.
When it comes to hauling stuff in addition to people, the Q3's cargo hold offers just 16.7 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seats. With those rear seats folded down, cargo capacity expands to a more reasonable 48.2 cubic feet.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
2017 Audi Q3 for Sale
The Audi Q3 is starting to show its age, which seems like a funny thing to say about a vehicle that is just now entering its third year in the United States. Keep in mind that before the Q3 came to U.S. showrooms in 2015, it was already a three-year veteran in other markets, and it bears the hallmarks of a 6-year-old design.
Not that we dislike the Q3 — on the contrary, like other Audis, it has much to recommend it. We like the Q3's ride quality and its quiet demeanor at highway speeds. Cargo room is good by class standards, and the design and materials quality of the cabin are impeccable, which is exactly what we expect from Audi. The Q3 offers comfortable accommodations for its front-seat occupants, and the engine's refinement is impressive.
But in other areas, the Q3 lets us down. While the front seat is roomy, back-benchers will be squeezed by a lack of legroom. Some of the ergonomic choices, like the placement of the climate controls and Multi Media Interface (MMI) dials, are questionable. And while some versions of the Q3 get a standard USB port to hook up smartphones — as does virtually every other vehicle on sale in the United States — other Q3s still employ Audi's proprietary MMI plug. An iPhone Lightning cable is included, but owners of Androids or older iPhones must purchase a pricey cable from the dealership in order to plug in their devices. (A USB charging port and Bluetooth connectivity do come standard.)
As with many Audi models, the Q3 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but this is an older version that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It comes coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Edmunds tested the all-wheel-drive version and clocked it to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is slow compared to its luxury-branded competitors. The EPA estimates the fuel economy of both front- and all-wheel-drive versions at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway), a figure that is below par for the segment.
Audis are usually pretty good handlers, but the Q3 didn't impress us much: The suspension allows a fair amount of body roll in corners, and the overly light steering doesn't give much feedback. Audi does offer a Sport option bundle for the Q3, but it's an appearance package only — there are no changes to the steering or suspension, and therefore nothing any sportier in the driving experience.
For 2017, Audi has introduced a new entry-level Premium model; as with most Audis it offers plenty of equipment that is optional on the Q3's rivals, including genuine leather upholstery and a 10-speaker stereo. The Premium Plus adds more options we consider must-haves for a luxury vehicle, while the top-of-the-line Q3 Prestige adds navigation and other premium features. Which Q3 model is best? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Audi Q3 for you.
2017 Audi Q3 Overview
The 2017 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 quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium Plus 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium 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 do people think of the 2017 Audi Q3?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Audi Q3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Q3 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Q3.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Audi Q3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Q3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.