2018 Audi Q3 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of features at a price lower than rivals
  • Interior is lined with high-quality materials
  • Rides comfortably on rough roads
  • Cabin is hushed at highway speeds
  • Handling and acceleration lag behind class rivals
  • Backseat is a tight fit for adults
  • Ranks at the back of the pack for fuel economy
  • Infotainment controller is awkwardly placed, and no USB interface
Other years
2018
Audi Q3 for Sale
2018
List Price Range
$21,995 - $30,990

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Which Q3 does Edmunds recommend?

There's no doubt about it: the Q3 in its base Premium trim is a heck of a deal. It's far less expensive than rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz and its list of standard features is more robust. Having said that, we'd opt at least for the Q3's Convenience package, which adds features you should expect from a luxury car, including keyless entry and a power liftgate. If you can pay a bit more, though, our recommended trim is the Premium Plus level, which adds that package plus blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, and upgraded exterior and interior trim. The additions are worth the small price bump.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.9 / 10

Buying or leasing a subcompact premium crossover is a great way for you to own a top-tier luxury-branded vehicle without paying much money. But while these vehicles feature attractive starting prices, the price adds up quickly once you start tacking on expected luxury-oriented features such as leather seating or a sunroof. Luckily, somebody must have forgotten to tell Audi because the 2018 Q3 is feature-rich and much less expensive than its rivals.

In its base form, the Q3 comes with leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and heated front seats. These are all optional extras on the Q3's chief competitors, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and the BMW X1. Combine the superb value with Audi's traditionally excellent interior materials and a comfortable ride quality and you've got a small luxury crossover SUV that's tough to ignore. But the Q3 has some faults. It's not much fun to drive around turns quickly, and steering feel is completely numb and disconnected. The engine also disappoints; it's thirsty and doesn't have enough power to accelerate the Q3 with any real authority. There's also a notable lack of the latest in-car infotainment features. But if speed and tech aren't priorities, the Q3's price tag is sure to entice.

2018 Audi Q3 models

Despite being the smallest and most affordable crossover in the lineup, the 2018 Audi Q3 is loaded with features even in the base Premium trim. But there's also the Premium Plus, which comes with even more. All Q3s are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and an all-wheel-drive system (Quattro) is available.

The Premium is very well equipped with standard features that include 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights and wipers, LED daytime running lights and taillights, silver roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a monochrome driver information display, heated and eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a 60/40-split folding rear seat, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, Bluetooth, a charge-only USB port, and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player, an SD card slot, satellite radio and Audi's proprietary digital music interface with a Lightning (iPhone) adapter cable.

Upgrading to the Premium Plus adds the contents of the Premium's Convenience package (keyless entry and ignition, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming mirror and aluminum interior trim). It also includes LED headlights, aluminum exterior trim, power-folding exterior mirrors (with auto-dimming on the driver side) and blind-spot monitoring, which we think is invaluable given the Q3's large blind spots.

Two features packages are available for either trim (though the Premium must be ordered with the Convenience package). The Sport package adds 19-inch wheels, front sport seats, selectable driving modes and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The Audi MMI Navigation Plus package adds a navigation system with online services and a color driver information display.

Adding the Sport package to the Premium Plus opens the door to the Sport Plus package, which includes sportier exterior styling elements and a different wheel design.

The only option available for both trims are the unique wheels from the Sport Plus package. The Premium Plus can also be ordered with wood inlays (replacing the aluminum trim) and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2015 Audi Q3 Premium Plus Quattro SUV (turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Q3 has received some revisions, including revised styling and the introduction of the base Premium trim level. Our findings remain applicable to this year's Audi Q3.

Driving

6.5
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. Braking, steering and handling are similarly uninspired.

Acceleration

6.0
Forget just luxury brands, even by compact SUV standards, the Q3's acceleration to 60 mph in 8 seconds is below average. It feels like it labors to merge into traffic, and the gas pedal has a nonlinear responsiveness to it.

Braking

7.0
In everyday driving, the medium-soft brake pedal feels vague and travels farther than we like. In simulated-panic stops from 60 mph, the Q3 required 122 feet to stop, a few feet longer than average. It also exhibits a minor amount of directional instability under heavy braking.

Steering

6.0
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.

Handling

6.0
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. The optional Sport package would likely help here.

Drivability

7.0
Lightweight steering and a small size make the Q3 easy to drive in the city, especially with the standard parking sensors and backup camera. It gobbles up highway miles with ease, but mountain roads not so much. The transmission has lazy reactions.

Off-road

7.0
With all-season tires, all-wheel drive and hill-descent control, the Q3 Quattro Premium Plus is more of a soft-roader or ski-weekend companion than an off-roader.

Comfort

8.5
It's pretty clear Audi was aiming for luxury rather than performance or driver engagement with the Q3. The standard leather seats are highly adjustable and above average in terms of comfort, while the ride is soft and the cabin is kept nice and quiet.

Seat comfort

8.5
The standard eight-way adjustable front seats (plus four-way lumbar) are fantastic for all-day driving duty. The rear seats don't have the ability to recline, but they offer decent room for two adults or three in a pinch.

Ride comfort

8.0
Our tester had optional 19-inch wheels (18s are standard) that sometimes upset the ride over certain types of bumps or uneven surfaces. The softly tuned suspension delivers a smooth and fuss-free ride on the highway.

Noise & vibration

8.5
Even during hard acceleration, there's minimal engine noise. Wind noise is also well-controlled. The hushed cabin is one of the Q3's best qualities.

Climate control

Dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats are standard. Although they don't have separate controls, rear-seat passengers will appreciate the rear air vents for circulation.

Interior

6.5
While attractive, the Q3's interior doesn't rise to the high standard set by Audi itself. There are a couple of ergonomic idiosyncrasies and some visibility challenges. Small doors make for tight rear-seat access.

Ease of use

7.5
Straightforward dual-zone climate control is a cinch to learn, and other controls are clearly labeled and easy to operate. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a car this small, controls are easily within the driver's reach. The dash-mounted infotainment controller is awkward to use, however.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
Keyless entry and ignition (standard on our Premium Plus model) works well, and large front doors make for easy access. The rear doors, though, are small, and bigger adults will have trouble getting in and out. The roof-mounted grab handles help.

Roominess

6.5
Compared to other subcompact crossovers that have a taller, less domelike roofline, the Q3 feels a bit confined. The interior measurements also come up short of the competition.

Visibility

6.5
Thick pillars and small side mirrors present some challenges for outward visibility. Driver aids such as a rearview camera and parking sensors are appreciated, and options like automated parking and blind-spot assist are recommended.

Quality

8.0
Even at this price point, the Q3 is typical Audi, with high build quality, tight panel gaps, solid door closings, and excellent interior materials and execution. We noticed some less than smooth painted surfaces normally hidden by closed doors or hatch.

Utility

6.0
You can't expect a whole lot of utility from a class that distinguishes itself by its super compact dimensions. Still, the cargo area will easily accommodate four duffel bags, and the LATCH anchors and tethers are easy to reach. The bin under the center armrest is small.

Technology

The Q3 isn't quite up to date in the field of high-tech toys. Unlike most of the other Audis in the lineup, it doesn't offer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, though. Frontal collision warning with emergency automatic braking is also not available.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall6.9 / 10
Driving6.5
Comfort8.5
Interior6.5
Utility6.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Audi Q3.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great little CUV
Jeffrey,06/21/2018
Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I have been in the market for a CUV and the Q3 is the one that won my heart. I have a Quattro Premium Plus with Sport Package and Navigation. It was the perfect size for me as I do not have any children, nor do I haul rear passengers often (Q5 was too big). Although my previous car (2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited) had a ton of advanced safety features, I found them rather annoying, nor did I ever use the adaptive cruise control. I also had a 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. It was part of the oil consumption class action suit. Burned oil higher than normal and dealer tried to say it was normal. In regards to Subaru and interior quality, I've been in several other car brands and Subaru's is one of the worst. Also, don't get me started on the dreadful CVT, wind and road noise Subaru has. The only thing pleasant about Subaru was the AWD system. So, I chose Audi because I know they also have one of the best AWD systems too. The Q3 handles well, has a high quality interior, as well as a quiet and comfortable ride. Although, not everything is perfect, there are some compromises. Acceleration and gas mileage is okay. But those are things I can overlook. Otherwise, this is a decent little CUV. Look forward to many road trips with it.
Silky Smooth Premium Plus Sport Quattro
DT,02/04/2019
Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I’ve had my Q3 for a couple of months now and I couldn’t be happier. I wanted something small and the Q3 is a perfect fit. The ride is smooth, comfortable and very quiet. I like the way it handles and acceleration seems perfectly fine to me. The interior is very comfy with nice leather, lighting and seats with all sorts of adjustments. The infotainment/NAV is pretty straight forward and easy to use, the sunroof, automatic climate control, parking aid system, side assist all work great. Haven’t figured out the Home Link, although there is a number to call for help. I am disappointed in the small arm rest storage area, although I did recently discover some not so obvious small tuck-away spots. I enjoy driving this silky-smooth car and it looks great too.
A Converted Lexus User
Tom M.,11/09/2017
Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Have been a Lexus user for 20 years but the Q3 was the car that convinced me to change over. Great performance and safety. Fun car to drive. The one negative is there is no Homelink for garage door so have to use a clicker which is 30 year old technology. That was disappointing. Didn't find that out until after I bought the car. Audi needs to change that and be upfront it currently does not have it.
2018 Q3: Sporty, Sleek, Classy Coupe
Arianna,08/04/2018
Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I recently leased my 2018 Q3 about 2 months ago. I have the premium quattro 4dr in all-wheel-drive and I LOVE it! My 5 main pros are: elegant exterior and interior, amazing sunroof that I would expect on a much more expensive car, great lighting system, AMAZING safety features such as parking aids, sound alerts when you're nearing objects, great safety ratings for collision safety, and an overall very smooth ride. There are a few little things I have noticed but they don't really bother me which are: gas mileage could be a bit more efficient and sometimes the acceleration does feel a bit slow. Audi was having a leasing special on this model at the time and WITH tax my lease is about $360 monthly for a great car that does look and feel luxurious. I also want to say that I literally cannot tell the difference in size from the Q models from the outside. My Q3 looks the exact same to me as a Q5 that I'll see on the road. I'm not sure why I've seen so many people comment that this is a small car, it is most definitely spacious. Especially since you can put the back seats down. I personally would never own a BMW so in comparison I'd take the Q3 over any similar models in the same price range any day. It's a very sporty, cute little SUV that looks and feels really good (with a Sport mode that you can use if you want the car to feel especially sporty.)

Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 2018 Audi Q3 features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Q3 models:

Audi Parking System Plus
Helps the Q3 park by sounding an alert when it approaches an object in front or behind the vehicle. Also includes a rearview camera.
Audi Side Assist
Illuminates a light on the side view mirror if a vehicle is in the Q3's blind spot. Sounds an alarm when the turn signal is activated.
Hill Descent Assist
Helps control the Q3 as it descends slippery slopes at low speeds. Stabilizes the vehicle by applying the brakes when traction is limited.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Audi Q3

Used 2018 Audi Q3 Overview

The Used 2018 Audi Q3 is offered in the following submodels: Q3 SUV. Available styles include Premium 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium Plus 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Audi Q3?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Audi Q3 trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Audi Q3 Premium Plus quattro is priced between $27,388 and$30,990 with odometer readings between 18493 and36394 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Audi Q3 Premium quattro is priced between $24,920 and$26,250 with odometer readings between 26552 and38161 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Audi Q3 Premium is priced between $21,995 and$26,989 with odometer readings between 29120 and35671 miles.

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Which used 2018 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) 2018 Audi Q3 for sale near. There are currently 10 used and CPO 2018 Q3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,995 and mileage as low as 18493 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 2018 Audi Q3.

Can't find a used 2018 Audi Q3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi Q3 for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $23,814.

Find a used Audi for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $8,578.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi Q3 for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $16,083.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $20,735.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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