If you take the mid-size Audi Q8 SUV and hit it with a heat shrink beam, it turns into a 2021 Audi Q3. From the large trapezoidal grille to the aggressively sloping rear hatch, Audi’s junior SUV makes a better impression of the brand’s larger crossovers. Inside the Audi Q3, buyers will find the high-tech interior that is expected from a modern car, but it offers a youthful flair in the form of an additional bright suede dashboard trim and multicolor interior lighting. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel-drive provide decent vigor and confidence in all weather conditions. The agile chassis gives it the ability to challenge driver favorites such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class.
What’s new in 2021?
Audi has simplified the Q3 lineup for 2021 by ditching the high-end Prestige trim level and dividing its features into available Technology or Convenience packages in the remaining Premium and Premium Plus trim levels. The entry-level Premium model now comes standard with power front seats, lane departure warning, and steering wheel paddle shifters. The Comfort package now includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated compass, power, and heated exterior mirrors, and LED interior lighting. The Premium Plus model gets adaptive cruise control as standard and can be equipped with a new technology package that includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a larger 10.1-inch infotainment display, a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, and integrated navigation … All Audi Q3s now come standard with the previously optional S line exterior package, which includes 19-inch wheels and S-badged door sills. Black Optic exterior package (unique 19-inch wheels and black exterior trim) is now available as well as an assistance package when parking, which includes a 360-degree external camera system and a self-parking function. The new 184-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which Audi calls the “40”, joins the model range as the base engine; the previously standard version with 228 hp. received the nickname “45”.
Engine, transmission, and performance
The Audi Q3 is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an output of 184 or 228 hp. in any case, it comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi Q3’s transmission shifted smoothly during normal operation and provided sportier responses when shifting into S mode. Fortunately, its suspension smoothed out all but the harshest road bumps. The direct steering gives the Audi Q3 an agile feel with a light touch. The small SUV also moves with the same grace as its larger cousins as it rolls down a winding stretch of road.
Fuel economy and fuel consumption in real conditions
The EPA estimates that in the third quarter of 2021 it will be possible to earn up to 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. These numbers are similar to those of competitors such as the X1 and Volvo XC40. In the third quarter, which we ran on the track with 75 mph fuel economy, which is part of our extensive testing regime, we got 31 mpg, which is in line with the actual results of the X1 we tested.
Audi Q3 interior. Crossover appearance
The good looks of the new interior of the Audi Q3 are pleasing to the eye. Almost all the features of the older models have been preserved, but there are also their own elements of individuality. For example, the front end has a very charismatic design. The branded radiator grille shield has acquired a large number of corners, now there are six of them. The same trend is observed in some of the new models of the brand. For example, a striking representative of this trend is the newest A6. The rather narrow, graceful headlights are somewhat recessed in the body, this is another characteristic feature of the Audi Q3 interior. Otherwise, everything is traditional, almost the same bumper shape as the Q5, with the same giant slots on it. Looking at the compact interior of the Audi Q3
behind, you find even more similarities with the Q5. A very similar shape of the rear optics, the same contours of the 5th door, except for some design touches. In general, there are many things that unite these “sisters”. The profiles are also very similar, but from this perspective, the interior of the Audi Q3 looks a kind of robust compared to the Q5, thanks in large part to the smaller dimensions and the greater slope of the rear roof pillar. Dimensions, in principle, are the only thing that will prevent them from being confused when viewed from behind and from the side. Overall, the Q3 has a very, very attractive design.
Audi Q3 interior inside
As for the interior of the Audi Q3, there are no complaints. The quality of materials and workmanship is solid. There is no sense of gloominess inside, as in many modern cars. On the contrary, very comfortable modern seats with well-developed lateral supports take the driver and passenger into their arms. A friendly and pleasant-to-look panel with a center console shifted towards the driver evokes only bright positive emotions. By the way, the interior design of the Audi Q3 has little in common with those of the Q5. The foldable display of the multimedia system is located directly above the center console. Below it there is a block of deflectors of the heating system, an audio system takes place under this block, and even lower are the controls for the air conditioning system and other systems. At the very bottom of the center console is the engine start button. Another example of clever ergonomics lies between the front seats, where two deep enough cupholders are conveniently located. The dashboard is also at a height, the data from it is read perfectly at any time of the day. There is a large color display between the speedometer and tachometer. The rear seats are quite spacious considering the small size of the car, there is enough headroom. Seats are designed for 3 people, each seat is equipped with head restraints. A convenient shelf with glass holders even slides out of the back of the middle seat. A folding front passenger seat can be ordered for a reasonable fee. With this configuration, it will be possible to transport loads of impressive volumes. Trunk volume 460 liters, folding the seats, it can be increased to 1365 liters.
Infotainment and communications
Audi equips most Q3 models with an 8.8-inch touchscreen MMI infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger 10.1-inch touchscreen is also available with the same content. We found the interface attractive and mostly easy to use due to the large icons and tactile feedback. However, its low position on the dashboard can be distracting. Top options include SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless charging, and a 680W Bang & Olufsen audio system with 15 speakers.