While most of our Cars.com reviewers at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit were pleased with the 2015 Audi Q3, reviewer Joe Bruzek was the lone dissenter, saying the five-passenger luxury SUV was virtually indistinguishable as a new model. In the video above, reviewer Kelsey Mays seems to agree, saying the Q3's exterior styling closely resembles the long-in-the-tooth Q5 and Q7, and calling the interior "conservative." Still, Mays notes that a well-positioned driver's seat, comfortable backseat and competitive cargo area are pluses that could give the Q3 an edge in the market.
Billed as a premium SUV, the new subcompact Q3 reminds me more of a hatchback with its car-like step-in height and ground clearance that didn't look all that much greater than that of the A3 hatchback, which was nearby on the auto show floor. The Q3's small size doesn't mean cramped quarters, but cargo room takes a hit and there's some questionable interior quality.
What makes the Q3 instantly recognizable as an Audi — its singleframe grille and lighting treatments — also makes it prone to be mistaken for the larger Q5. Perhaps that's not a bad thing, but the criticism of Audi design is how similar one model looks to the next, and the Q3 doesn't depart from that trend. The Q3's small dimensions — it's about a foot shorter than an A4 sedan — become much more apparent in profile, and the raked liftgate visually shortens the Q3.
After teasing us with concepts and production-vehicle promises for years, the 2015 Audi Q3 is finally headed to the U.S. The smallest vehicle in Audi's crossover stable, the Q3 looks like a baby version of Q5 and Q7 SUVs and wears a large-mouth grille and narrow LED-accented headlights.
Inside, heated leather seats and a panoramic sunroof are standard, and LED interior lights illuminate points throughout the cabin. Check out the gallery below.
Competes with: BMW X1, Buick Encore, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
Looks like: A baby Q5
Drivetrain: 200-hp 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Fall 2014
Audi's been promising its tiny crossover will be available in the U.S. for more than a year, but the Q3 has yet to make an appearance. Today, the automaker finally announced details of the 2015 Q3's arrival, including some specs and photos.
Joining automakers such as GM and Ford, whose respective infotainment systems — Chevrolet MyLink and MyFord Touch — offer drivers the ability to find the nearest station with the cheapest gas, Audi has added an app to its lineup helping folks find where to fill 'er up frugally. The German automaker announced this week that, beginning in May, members of its A3 family of hatchbacks equipped with Audi connect will have access to Refuelling Stop, a new online service that provides information about where to find the cheapest gas.
According to Audi, the service consults an online database of gas stations and prices and matches the list to the driver's current location or destination. The driver can sort search results by price or distance, and simply click on the station and set it as the navigation destination. The system will even consider the type of fuel required by the A3, which can be premium or diesel depending on the engine.
Audi recently announced that its tiny Q3 crossover will hit U.S. shores in the 2013 calendar year and showed off a concept version at the 2012 Detroit auto show. The automaker plans on debuting a second concept at the Beijing Motor Show next week.
Dubbed RS Q3, the performance-oriented concept is the first SUV to use Audi’s sport-themed RS badging. The concept is dressed in matte blue paint with tinted headlights and rides on 20-inch wheels; it also has a lower ride height than traditional Q3 models. Carbon fiber trim peppers the exterior, including its honeycomb grille, spoiler, side mirrors and wheel arches.
Rumors of Audi’s cute ‘ute coming to the U.S. have now been confirmed.
The Q3 compact SUV will be the smallest SUV in Audi’s lineup when it joins Q5 and Q7 in 2013. Audi showed off a ski-themed version, the Q3 Vail Concept, at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
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