2018 Audi Q3 SUV

in Subcompact SUVs
2018 MODEL

$32,900 - $37,900




The competition in the compact SUV segment is tough. All the companies put forward their best in the small structure. And if you expect Audi to be amongst the frontrunner in this segment, think again. Enter the 2018 Audi Q3. The Q3 is like Audi's rebellious teenage child who wants to challenge everything Audi stands for. From a fun handling to powerful engine, from active safety features to intuitive infotainment system, the Q3 doesn't have any of it!

Starting at a price of $33,000 and going up to $35,800, the 2018 Audi Q3 is Audi's least expensive and smallest SUV. Its powertrain consists of a 2-liter turbocharged I-4 that generates 200hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard drivetrain is FWD, but AWD is also available.

The Audi Q3 is not Audi's best work, it's not even their average work. It lacks in several departments and has many rivals that do way better. Q3's only advantage is its upscale interior and luxurious ride quality. Otherwise, Q3 fails to impress.

See detailed review »


High-quality cabin

Comfortable and smooth ride

Quiet cabin even at highway speeds


Engine feels underpowered on open roads

Tight backseat

Lack of standard safety features

Below class average fuel economy

Infotainment controller is awkwardly placed and lacks USB interface

What's New?

Prestige trim is discontinued

Heated seats now standard

New Convenience package for Premium trim


vehicle bio

base price



4dr SUV

passenger capacity


top speed

145 mph



engine type


121 cu. in.


200 hp @ 5100 rpm


207 lb.-ft. @ 1700 rpm


6-speed automatic


brake rotors (f/r)

11.1 in. ventilated front disc/12.3 in. solid disc brakes



102.5 in.


172.8 in.


72.1 in.


62.6 in.

curb weight

3494 lbs.

ground clearance

6.7 in.


cargo volume

16.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

2200 lbs.

payload capacity

1058 lbs.


zero to 60 mph

7.8 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.1 sec.

fuel economy


20/23/28 mpg

highway range

473.2 mi.


basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance



 2018 Audi Q3 SUV in Misano Red Pearl Effect color  2018 Audi Q3 SUV in Daytona Gray Pearl Effect color  2018 Audi Q3 SUV in Cuvee Silver Metallic color  2018 Audi Q3 SUV in Cortina White color  2018 Audi Q3 SUV in Brilliant Black color
Misano Red Pearl Effect

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.






Fuel Economy












Variant Name


 2018 Audi Q3 SUV Premium


Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$32,900 - $35,000

Premium 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (20/23/28)
Torque: 207 lbs.-ft. @ 1,700 rpm
Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/28)
Torque: 207 lbs.-ft. @ 1,700 rpm

 2018 Audi Q3 SUV Premium Plus

Premium Plus

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$35,800 - $37,900

Premium Plus 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (20/23/28) Torque: 207 ft-lbs. @ 1700 rpm
Premium Plus quattro 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (20/23/28) Torque: 207 ft-lbs. @ 1700 rpm

Expert Review

carhp editor October 5, 2018


Overall Rating





Fuel Economy








Starting at a price of $32,900 and going up to $35,800, the 2018 Audi Q3 is Audi’s least expensive and smallest SUV. Its powertrain consists of a 2-liter turbocharged I-4 that generates 200hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard drivetrain is FWD, but AWD is also available.



The 2018 Audi Q3 comes in 2 trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. Audi decided to drop the Prestige trim for this year and spread its exclusive features among Premium and Premium Plus trims as standard or available packages. Both trims are powered by a 2-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that produces 200hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard, and AWD (Quattro) is available for a little over $2,000.

Trim Premium Premium Plus
MSRP $32,900 $35,800
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heated mirrors
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated and 8-way power-adjustable front seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment

All features of Premium, plus:

  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Power lift-gate
  • Auto-dimming mirror
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • Auto-dimming mirror on the driver side
  • Blind-spot monitoring

We Recommend

If you are opting for the Q3, the base Premium with Convenience package adds lots of features like keyless entry and a power lift-gate. Having said that, upgrading to the Premium Plus trim is our recommendation as it adds the Convenience package features as well as blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, and an upgraded exterior and interior trim. It is a sweet deal as there is a lot that Audi adds to the Premium Plus trim for a small price bump.



"This engine is exceptionally well-tuned and responsive, and the transmission has well-spaced gears and delivers confident shifts. All 207 lb-ft of torque are available by 2,000 rpm, and that helps for getting out ahead of traffic. However, at about 3,500 pounds, the Q3 is heavier than it looks and the 0-60 mph run takes a pedestrian 7.8 seconds with front-wheel drive or 8.2 seconds with all-wheel drive."-TheCarConnection

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Audi Q3 uses a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine provides satisfactory power and acceleration when driving around town, but once you hit the open roads and floor the pedal, it feels underpowered. For Q3’s price range, the engine doesn’t perform justifiably.

Models Audi Q3 Infiniti QX30 BMW X1 Mercedes-Benz GLA
MSRP $32,900 $ 29,950 $33,900 $33,400
Engine Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121
Transmission 6-speed automatic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic 8-speed automatic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power 200hp @ 5100 rpm 208hp @ 5500 rpm 228hp @ 5000 rpm 208hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque 207 ft.-lbs. @ 1700 rpm 258 ft.-lbs. @ 1200 rpm 258 ft.-lbs. @ 1450 rpm 258 ft.-lbs. @ 1250 rpm

The Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and BMW X1 compete in a similar price bracket, with $500 increments in that order. All use a turbocharged 2-liter I-4, but Audi’s engine is the least impressive. While X1’s engine justifies its extra cost with extra horsepower and torque, GLA’s engine matches X1’s torque numbers but has just a few more HPs than Q3. Surprisingly, the QX30 costs around $3,000 less than the Q3, but still produces the same torque as the X1 and the same horsepower as the GLA. Audi may have focused on luxury and comfort, but power was definitely not their prime goal.

“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” – Edmunds


The main focus behind making the Q3 was to provide Audi’s experience without providing Audi’s price tag. Though the 2018 Audi Q3 does well in comfort, style, and luxury department, the engine is nowhere near the class standard. It feels underpowered on highways, and even while merging into traffic.

Models Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
0-60 MPH 8.2 sec 6.3 sec 6.6 sec 7.2 sec
Quarter mile 16.1 sec @ 89 mph 14.9 sec @ 93 mph 15.2 sec @ 90.5 mph 15.3 sec @ 90.3 mph
Engine 2.0L I-4 2.0L I-4 2.0L I-4 2.0L I-4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.7 6.6 6.8 6.5

Even if we forget Audi’s luxury reputation, the Q3 is underpowered even by compact SUV standards. It takes 8.2 seconds to go from 0 – 60 mph, which is a full second slower than the GLA 250. The Infiniti QX30 takes just 6.3 seconds to get to 60mph. At the quarter mile mark, the QX30 maintains its lead. Although the GLA 250 was 0.6 seconds behind the BMW X1 in the 0-60 mph test, it almost catches up at the quarter mile, being just a millisecond behind. And as expected, the Audi trails behind by almost a second.

“It feels like it labors to merge into traffic, and the gas pedal has a nonlinear responsiveness to it” – Edmunds

Handling and Steering

The 2018 Audi Q3 carries its underwhelming performance in the driving and handling department. While Audi’s other vehicles have demonstrated that an electric-assisted power steering doesn’t necessarily mean a numb and artificial drive, the Q3 fails to do so.

The Q3 has soft suspensions and a subpar grip limit, which make it less sporty and feel heavier than it really is. The highway stability and precision are satisfactory, but ‘satisfactory’ is a word that should not be associated with an Audi.

“The Q3 has underwhelming power and acceleration, especially on the highway, and its powertrain feels outdated. Primary rivals offer stronger engines, and performance from the Q3 is disappointing given its price” – US News


The 2018 Audi Q3 is just as lethargic in stopping down as it is in speeding up. It takes well over class average to come to a stop. The brake pedal is on the softer side, feels a bit vague, and travels farther than desirable. At panic stops, the compact SUV also displays directional instability.

Model Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1  Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Brake Front (in) 12.3 12.6 12.9 12.6
Brake Rear (in) 11.1 11.6 12.5 11.6
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3483 3280 3543 3296
60-0 MPH (ft.) 122 106 112 120

The quickest to come to a halt amongst the rivals is the Infiniti QX30. It takes just 106 feet to come to a stop from 60mph, that’s 15 feet shorter than the Q3. Following QX30 is the BMW X1, with its panic stop distance of 112 feet. The Mercedes GLA is also on the slower side at panic stops, with a distance of 120 feet. That’s unimpressive but still better than Q3.

Fuel Economy


If you thought the underpowered engine would at least offer a decent fuel economy, be ready to be disappointed once again. The 2018 Audi Q3 is nowhere near its competitors when it comes to efficiency. Be it a city drive or a highway ride, you’d be stuck with a thirsty and lazy engine. But hey, at least you’d be sitting in a comfortable seat!

Model Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1  Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
MPG (city) 20 24 23 24
MPG (highway) 28 33 32 33
MPG (combined) 23 27 26 27

With a combined economy of 23 mpg, Q3’s thirsty engine is at the bottom of the efficiency barrel. The Q3 may be Audi’s cheapest SUV, but it sure will cost you in the long run. The rest of the pack puts up competitive numbers. The Infiniti QX30 and Mercedes GLA both put up an impressive 24/33 mpg in city/hwy. The BMW also trails closely behind, with 1 mpg less in both city and highway.

“Fuel economy lags competitors, with its best of 28-mpg highway, well behind the 32-mpg highway rating of the BMW X1. Adding to that, the Audi Q3 requires premium fuel” – Kelley Blue Book



“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” – Edmunds

When you enter Q3’s cabin, it feels like you have gone back in time. The 2018 Audi Q3 still uses the old Audi design and is desperately in need of a redesign. Having said that, the old design makes the Q3’s cabin quite simple and clean.

The instrument panel consists of red and white gauges, but the multi-display screen is only added when you go for the navigation package. Although the instrument cluster looks good, we still miss Audi’s virtual cockpit. There are many storage options inside. The center console is deep and felt-lined. It also contains Audi’s proprietary connection, so you need a special cable to use that.

The shifter is traditional, and paddle shifters are only added to the sports package. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, but you have some weird and dated toggles to adjust the temperature. A panoramic moon-roof comes standard. The moon-roof is large, and its front portion opens up nicely. Even in the rear, the armrest has a storage space that is felt-lined.

Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Audi Q3 uses standard leather seats which are available in black, rock grey, and chestnut brown colors. Premium Plus has standard aluminum color, but balsamic brown walnut is also available for $350.

Model Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1  Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft.3) 106 108 101.2 104
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 36.9/55.8/40 38.4/54.8/52.1 41.9/55.6/40.4 40/54.8/41.9
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.4/53.6/31.1 37.5/54.8/49 39.4/55.2/37 38.2/53.1/27.3

12-way power adjustable seats with 4-way lumbar support are standard on driver’s as well as passenger’s side. The sport pack also adds thigh extensions. The Premium Plus trim also adds 3 stage heated seats.

Interior Features

Here is a list of the standout features in the 2018 Audi Q3’s cabin:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Heated side mirrors
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Satellite radio
  • Bluetooth
  • USB port

Optional features include:

  • Proximity-key entry
  • Power lift-gate
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Bose surround sound system
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Audi Side Assist


If you thought the engine and handling were Q3’s Achilles’ heel, brace yourselves because Q3 has even more to disappoint you. Unlike its rivals or any vehicle these days for that matter, the 2018 Audi Q3 does not come with any standard infotainment system. You’ll have to opt for an available package to add the MMI interface.

And once you add an infotainment system, it’s not the end of your misery. Audi placed the control knobs so high on the dash that reaching them while driving is a feat in itself. The standard system includes 10-speaker sound system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Optional upgrades include a Bose surround sound system, the MMI infotainment system, and navigation.

“The available MMI infotainment setup can be hard to use, due to its hard-to-reach controller knob on the dashboard. Physical knobs and buttons for other functions are laid out intuitively and easy to operate” – US News


Although the 2018 Audi Q3 is not the most luggage accommodating vehicle out there, the cargo storage is satisfactory, given the list of problems Q3 has in other departments. The cargo space with all seats up is not impressive, but once the 2nd row is folded, the Q3 provides more storage than some key rivals.

Model Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1 sdrive 28i Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Volume behind 2nd row (cube ft.) 16.7 19.2 27.1 17.2
2nd row folded (cube ft.) 48.2 43.6 58.7 43.6

The BMW X1 is the king in cargo storage, with a maximum capacity of 58.7 Ft.3 and 27.1 Ft.3 when seats are up. The Mercedes provides a little more storage than Q3 when seats are up, but lags behind when seats are folded.

“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. This is about average for the segment, more than the Mercedes GLA offers but less than the BMW X1 and Lexus NX." – Edmunds



When you look at the Q3 from the front, it looks quite reminiscent of the bigger Q5 and Q7. It has the new angular version of the single-frame grille. On either side of the grille, you get the headlights, which are LEDs in Premium Plus and Xenon HIDs in Premium. Down below you get the S-line, which is now standard. The S-line adds to a more aggressive look for the 2018 Audi Q3.

Model Audi Q3 Premium Infiniti QX30 BMW X1 sdrive 28i Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
Curb weight (lbs) 3483 3280 3543 3296
Length (in.) 172.8 174.2 175.4 173.9
Width (in.) 72.1 82.0 71.7 71.0
Height (in.) 62.5 58.9 62.9 60.0
Ground clearance (in.) 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.6
Wheelbase (in.) 102.5 106.3 105.1 106.3
Track width (in.) F/R 61.1/61.2 61.9/61.9 61.5/61.5 61.8/61.4

When viewed from the front, Q3 doesn’t look that small. But once you look at its side profile, it’s easy to see how compact Q3 really is. From the back, it looks uncannily like a shrunken Q5. The tail lights are LEDs with dynamic turn signals in Premium Plus trim. Dual exhausts and roof-rails are standard. Premium Plus adds a rear diffuser.

Exterior Features

Some of the exterior features include:

  • LED headlights in Premium Plus
  • Xenon HIDs in Premium
  • Heated and power adjusting side mirrors
  • Audi’s Side Assist in Premium Plus
  • 19 inch 10 spoke titanium alloy wheels in sports plus package
  • Standard 18 inch turbine alloy wheels
  • 19-inch off-road design wheels with sports package.




IIHS gave 2018 Audi Q3 their maximum rating of ‘Good’ in all their crash tests. The headlights, however, got a rating of Poor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the Q3 yet.

IIHS Rating

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints and Seats Good


Crash prevention and mitigation

Headlights Poor
Child Seat Anchors (LATCH) Ease of Use Acceptable
Front Crash Prevention Not Rated

The only standard safety feature you will find in the Q3 is the rearview camera. It’s not much, but it’s worth noting that rivals like BMW X1 don’t provide any standard feature. Although BMW and Mercedes GLA have several optional safety features, Audi only adds Audi Side Assist, which is just a fancy name for blind-spot monitoring, as an upgrade.


Audi Q3 vs BMW X1

The BMW X1 has several advantages over the Audi Q3. They start with BMW’s powerful engine and nimble handling, Audi falls short on both accounts. BMW also has one of the most spacious cargo capacities in the segment, almost 10 cubic feet more than Audi. X1 also comes with a standard infotainment system.

Although Q3 can get an infotainment system with an additional package, it is still not as intuitive as X1’s. Audi’s ace in the hole was its luxurious cabin, but BMW one-ups Audi is this department, too. All in all, BMW X1 is just a better car than the Q3.

Audi Q3 vs Mercedes-Benz GLA

It’s the same story with the Mercedes. The GLA provides a better fuel economy than Q3, that too with a more powerful engine. The GLA is more fun to drive, saves more money, and handles swiftly. Both SUV’s have similar cabin and cargo space, but the Mercedes GLA has more techs and features.

The GLA comes with a standard infotainment system, available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and many more active safety techs. However, it is worth noting that Audi’s cabin is more luxurious and comfortable. So, if you are ready to sacrifice basically every aspect of a car that makes it desirable for a little extra luxury and upscale interiors, go for the Audi Q3. Or, you know, go for the Mercedes. It’s so much better than the Q3 in most departments. And come on, it’s a Mercedes! How austere can its cabin be?

Final Verdict

The Q3 is Audi’s least expensive SUV, so expecting a full-blown Audi experience is kind of a stretch from the start. But Q3 is severely underpowered and lacking in almost all aspects except for cabin quality. If it were a basic company, we’d get it. But Q3’s mediocrity is enhanced by its parentage.

No matter what aspect you choose, there is a rival who provides a better experience in that aspect, and more. There is simply not much to justify 2018’s all-around below average performance, especially in a segment that’s filled with excellent competitors.

Rivals like Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Infiniti QX30, and many more provide so much more at the same price. So, if you wanna buy an Audi Q3, just don’t. There are better options available, and if you wanna own an Audi, Audi has a plethora of better options for you.

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