2021 Audi Q3

Rating7.2

Ranked #11 in Subcompact Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$34,000 - $39,300

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Key Spec of 2021 Audi Q3
fuel economy

22/25/30

fuel type

Regular Unleaded

horsepower

184 hp

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50,000 mi.

2021 Audi Q3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

Many claim the Audi Q3 to be one of the best budget luxury crossovers in the mid-segment. The Q3 relies heavily on tech features, exterior design and a luxurious interior. Also, it starts at an affordable price. It also offers a decent enough powertrain with good handling characteristics. 

2021 Audi Q3 Latest Updates

  • Apr' 20, 2022 : The Fastest Subcompact SUV In 2022 Read More »
  • Feb' 4, 2022 : Which Luxury Small SUV To Buy - 2022 BMW X3 or 2022 Audi Q3? Read More »
  • Jan' 6, 2022 : Battle Of Entry-Level Luxury SUVs: 2022 Volvo XC40 Vs 2022 Audi Q3 Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Impressive list of standard tech features

Engine not quite speedy enough

No prestige trim for the year 2021

Good handling dynamics

Sketchy interior construction in certain areas

The base trim gets a couple of new standard features.

Attractive design

Interior spacing

Over All Rating

7.2

Out of 10

Pricing and Features7.00
Engine and Performance7.00
Fuel Economy7.10
Interior6.10
Exterior8.10
Safety8.00
Competition6.00
Notable Rankings

#11 in Subcompact Suv

#19 in Suv


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Premium$34,000 onwards

  • 1st and 2nd row Sliding and tilting glass Sunroof
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • AM/FM stereo, Radio
  • Dual zone automatic front air conditioning
  • Heated Front Seats

S Line Premium$36,000 onwards

  • 180-Watt Audio Output
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Front & Rear Cupholders
  • Front And Rear Head Airbags
  • Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Turn signal mirrors

Premium Plus$37,300 onwards

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Electric power steering
  • Electrochromatic Inside Rearview Mirror
  • Front And Rear Door Pockets
  • Interior Air Filtration
  • Keyless ignition


Colors and Styles

2021 Audi Q3 in Glacier White color
Glacier White

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The Audi Q3 is essentially the Audi Q5, offering similar features and convenience at a much affordable price bracket. With no top trim Prestige this time, the show continues with a simpler line-up. The 2021 Audi Q3 starts at $35,095 and competes against the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, the Lexus NX300 and the Cadillac XT4.

2021 Audi Q3 SUV front view
2021 Audi Q3 SUV rear view

Features

The Q3 will come as the “40 TFSI” and “45 TFSI” based on the powertrain, and each of them will further have a Premium and Premium Plus, for a total of 4 different trims. The Prestige trim is no longer available. Audi also calls the 45 trims the “S-line”. The base trim also has a satisfactory list of features as standard and after that, the higher trims just keep adding on to that list. All models will feature the S-line branded door sill inlays and 19” wheel as standard, which previously was an optional package.

Trims

Premium

Premium Plus

MSRP (40 TFSI)

$35,095

$38,395

MSRP (45 TFSI)

$37,095

$40,395

Features

S-line exterior

19” wheels

 

SiriusXM Radio

Alcantara orange inserts

 

Garage door opener

Audi adaptive cruise control

 

S-line illuminated door sills

Heated front seats

 

HomeLink Garage Door Opener

Audi pre sense

 

Hands-free tailgate

Three-spoke multifunction steering wheel

 

Audi Sound System

Ambient LED interior lighting

 

LED DRLs and taillights

As you can see, the base trim also offers quite a lot of features, but the other trim adds more to it. There are also a couple of more interesting packages to spice up the Q3. You can now either choose the Convenience Package for extra comfort, with features such as auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated exterior mirror, etc. Otherwise, you can go the Technology Package route which will pump up your infotainment system with a bigger screen, upgraded sound system and other tech features.

Which trim should you buy?

The Premium Plus 45 is priced at $40,395 and in comparison, with its rivals, it easily comes out as a top performer. It has the more powerful engine; it has the best set of features in the entire line-up and it also won’t break your bank. Since the gap in price between the trims isn’t considerably large, the Premium Plus 45 is a reasonable buy.

Engine and Performance
7.0/10

This German car has two different setups on offer. The 40 TFSI is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 that produces 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The other one is found inside the 45 TFSI. It is the same 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 but it is tuned to churn out more power – 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to be precise. Both engines are mated to the same 8-speed automatic transmission and come with Quattro AWD as standard.

 2021 Audi Q3 SUV engine bay

The biggest problem with the powertrain is the apparent turbo lag that delays your burst of acceleration when you first put the pedal down. The base engine is pretty decent for city driving and the 45 TFSI is peppier. The automatic transmission also performs its good of shifting gears smoothly.

Models

2021 Audi Q3 S Line Premium 45 TFSI

2021 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Cadillac XT4

MSRP

$37,095

$37,280

$38,635

$36,990

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain

Quattro AWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

Power

228 hp @ 5,000 rpm

221 hp @ 5,500 rpm

235 hp @ 4,800 rpm

237 hp @ 5,000 rpm

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1,700 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1,620 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm

0-60 MPH (secs)

7.0

6.3

6.9 

7.6

Quarter Mile (secs)

15.7

14.9

15.3

15.8

Top Speed (MPH)

130

130

124

126

When it comes to raw power output, the Nexus and the Caddy stand on top, but the Q3 also follows very closely. The engine on the 45 TFSI can sprint from 0-60 MPH in around 7 seconds flat; while the 40 would do the same in 8.6 seconds. The 45 has a quick figure, and without the turbo lag, it would have quicker. But the GLA is the quickest, while the XT4 proves to be on the last spot. Also, the Audi is the only one with standard AWD.

How well does the 2021 Audi Q3 handle?

The 2021 Q3 is a subtle ride that can be quite fun when you are in the mood. The handling of the Q3 is not perfect, but Audi has blended a mix of sportiness and agility in its dynamics. The steering is light but precise and pretty sharp. The lightness makes it easy to maneuver the crossover around town, or in tight spaces. Also, along corners and bends, it can seamlessly caress the road with a slightly inevitable body roll if pushed too hard.

 2021 Audi Q3 SUV ride and handling

Audi’s famed Quattro does what it is known for. The chassis and the tires combined with this AWD system grips the road and keeps the car very stable. The suspension is also well-tuned to counter the imperfections on the road and ensure a comfortable ride for the occupants. The Q3 crossover will not feel like a crossover, but rather a smaller car: Quick-footed and subtly sporty.

Braking Performance

The 2021 Audi Q3 comes with 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS. It features 13.4” rotors at the front and 12.2” at the rear. The brakes do their job quite well, as the crossover comes to a halt within just 125 feet from 60 MPH. The braking is also well-calibrated to match the handling of the German automobile. With a linear pedal, the Q3 comes to a halt fairly quick. Let’s also not forget that it's not very light and weighs in at 3916 lbs.

Models

2021 Audi Q3 S Line Premium 45 TFSI

2021 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Cadillac XT4

Brake Rotors Front (in)

13.4

12.6

11.7

N/A

Brake Rotors Rear (in)

12.2

11.6

11.2

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

3916

N/A

3940

3660

60-0MPH (ft)

124

138

138

N/A

The Audi comes loaded with the largest brake rotors, and consequently, it also comes to a halt rather quickly. The GLA and NX’s brakes are not on par with the Q3, as they are smaller, and take more time to stop. Both these cars take 138 feet to stop, 14 feet more than the Audi.

Fuel Economy
7.1/10

The two engines on the 2021 Audi Q3 are tuned differently, so they obviously also deliver different fuel economy figures. The 40 TFSI delivers 22/30/25 mpg for city/highway/combined driving, which are decent figures for a mid-range family crossover. The 45 TFSI, since it is more powerful, offers slightly less impressive figures. The fuel economy of 20/28/23 mpg for city/highway/combined is the best it can do. Again, an acceptable figure for most people.

With a tank size of 15.9 gallons, the base engine will offer a range of 349/477/397 miles of range for city/highway/combined driving. The other engine will offer 318/445/365 miles of range for the same.

Model

2021 Audi Q3 S Line Premium 45 TFSI

2021 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Cadillac XT4

MPG (City)

20

25

22

24

MPG (Highway)

28

34

28

30

MPG (Combined)

23

28

25

26

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

15.9

12.7

15.9

15.9

Range (City/Highway/Combined) (miles)

318/445/365

317/431/355

349/445/397

381/477/413

The Merc offers the best fuel economy; but it also features the smallest gas tank. This has affected the Merc’s range, actually making it the least range-offering car in these four. The XT4 has the best range at 413 miles combined. Surprisingly, all the three cars except the GLA 250 have the same fuel capacity at 15.9-gallons. Comparatively, the Audi Q3 offers the least range among these four.

Interior
6.1/10

The interior of the 2021 Audi Q3 is definitely a nice place to be in. The interior has been improved as compared to last year with a more driver-focused layout. The buttons and dials are slightly tilted towards the driver. As the center console is slightly tilted, the dash has an unorthodox design, which might actually look attractive to some people. The Premium Plus models get an Alcantara orange strip that runs across the middle of the dashboard. The higher trims also get ambient LED lighting to set the mood, whereas a panoramic sunroof is available on all the trims.

 2021 Audi Q3 SUV dashboard area

The seats in the Premium trim are 8-way heated and power-adjustable with 4-way power lumbar support along with power recline, height adjustment, fore/aft movement and cushion tilt. Audi has improved the seating position for a much more comfortable and visible experience. The seats have leather seating surfaces. Also, the steering wheel is leather-wrapped. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard. The only problem with the interior is the cramped rear-seat legroom, especially for adults.

Model

2021 Audi Q3 S Line Premium 45 TFSI

2021 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Cadillac XT4

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

First Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.6/56.7/40.0

40.8/55.9/41.1

38.2/57.3/42.8

39.4/57.0/40.4

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.6/55.1/36.1

38.1/53.1/38.4

38.1/55.3/36.1

38.3/55.1/39.5

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

23.7

15.4

17.7

22.5

The GLA 250 offers the most headroom in the front row, whereas the NX 300 offers the most legroom. Coming to the rear seats, these in the GLA and XT4 are the most spacious with the best legroom. The second row on the Q3 and the NX 300 have similar dimensions, although the NX 300 has slightly more space on offer.

The Q3, however, redeems itself with the best standard cargo capacity. The cargo capacity in the Q3 is 23.7 cubic feet as standard, which can hold an appreciable number of suitcases and luggage - one for each passenger. The rear seats can also be folded in a 40/20/40-split, which makes it easier to carry long items without losing seating capacity for two passengers. With the rear seats down, the cargo area expands to a cavernous 48 cubic feet, enough for all your needs inside a family crossover. Some standout interior features include-

  • 8-way heated and power-adjustable leather seats with lumbar support
  • Orange Alcantara dash trim
  • Leather-wrapped steering column
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Ambient LED lighting
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Aluminum Spectrum inlays
  • Illuminated door sills

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The infotainment screen on the 2021 Audi Q3 is lowered and slightly tilted towards the driver in an unorthodox manner. Audi equips an 8.8” infotainment screen running on Audi’s MMI. As part of the Technology Package, it can also be upgraded to a 10.1” screen. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is also present behind the steering wheel with a 12.3” display. The infotainment system is very intuitive and easy to use. It’s got good haptic feedback as well.

 2021 Audi Q3 SUV infotainment screen

Standard features include Audi smartphone interface (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), Bluetooth, SiriusXM, HD Radio, wireless charging, speed-sensitive volume control, USB Type-C ports including Type-C ports for the rear seat, etc. As standard, you get an Audi 10-speaker sound system, but it can be upgraded to a 680-watt 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Highlights of the infotainment system are-

  • MMI 8.8” touchscreen interface
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Wireless charging
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • HD Radio
  • Type-C
Exterior
8.1/10

In short, yes. Keeping true to the Audi design philosophy, the Q3 is a stunning looking car. One of the key selling points of the 2021 Q3 lies in its design. Audi’s design philosophy revolves around offering a very sharp look with a sporty demeanor. The 2021 Audi Q3 too follows in this line. The front fascia has big LED headlights which are very sharp and angular. They invoke a look of anger and aggression. The trapezoidal grille is quite large and is surrounded by chrome. The grille also consists of vertical chrome bars that uplift and enhance the look. The bumper is pretty low. 

 2021 Audi Q3 SUV

The sides of the 2021 Audi Q3 are kept flush, but the windows are also surrounded by chrome. The rear end of the car has the classic Audi tail lights with a very strong character and they look pretty stylish. Overall, the design is very eye-catching and appealing. It rides on an 18” 5-twin-spoke dynamic design. A power liftgate is available, of course. The sharp looks inspire many buyers to gravitate towards the Q3.

Model

2021 Audi Q3 S Line Premium 45 TFSI

2021 Mercedes Benz GLA 250

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Cadillac XT4

Curb Weight (lbs)

3916

N/A

3940

3660

Length (inches)

176.6

173.6

182.7

181.1

Width (inches)

72.8

72.2

73.6

76.7

Height (inches)

62.9

63.5

64.8

64.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

6.9

N/A

6.9

6.8

Wheelbase (inches)

105.5

107.4

104.7

109.4

The German cars are shorter than the other two. The NX 300 has the most length at 182.7 inches, whereas the Merc has the least at 173.6 inches. The wheelbase of the XT4 is the longest, but it still loses to the Q3 in terms of cargo storage. It’s the NX that has the tightest wheelbase of the four. The ground clearance on the four cars is very similar. Some exterior features on the 2021 Audi Q3 include-

  • 18” 5-twin-spoke dynamic design
  • Power side mirrors with turn signal indicator
  • Deep tinted glass
  • Rain detecting wipers w/ Heated jets
  • Chrome grille
Safety
8.0/10

When it comes to safety, the Germans do not compromise. The 2021 Audi Q3 comes with a strong and rigid body, which is pretty evident when you look at the NHTSA scores. It was awarded a 5-star safety rating which delivers a sense of uncompromised safety. The IIHS also did not back down from praising the Q3 by offering a “Good” rating in all the categories. However, it did not receive a “Top Safety Pick” award from IIHS, which is a bummer. The car comes equipped with a ton of active and passive safety features, apart from the standard airbags, traction control, stability control, etc. Some standout safety features on the 2021 Audi Q3 include:

  • Audi pre-sense front
  • Park Assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Cross-traffic alert
Competition
6.0/10

2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA and the 2021 Q3 trade blows with each other in the epic German crossover showdown. The GLA is also a pretty attractive vehicle and has tons of impressive tech and safety features. Both are practical and almost equally so. The GLA has better fuel economy but the Audi has better range. In conclusion, it seems like both are great options. But the GLA slightly gets the edge over the other German, thanks to its better performance and a spacious interior.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 Lexus NX 300

The 2021 Lexus NX300 delivers more horses on demand, but it cannot beat the Audi in performance runs. The NX 300 is more focused on being more opulent, and is a mixed package. The car is not as practical as the German Audi Q3. The fuel economy on the NX is better. Styling-wise, some might prefer the extremely sharp design of the NX while some might love the Q3, but both look pretty cool. The Q3 is priced lower than the NX 300. However, the big advantage Lexus has is its reliability.

2021 Lexus NX 300

2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 Cadillac XT4

Against the Americans, the 2021 Q3 performs well too. The Cadillac XT4 offers more power but can’t go faster than the Audi. The American car also has its unique styling which, again, might appeal more to a specific group of people than the Q3. The 2021 XT4 offers a better list of standard features and is also slightly more practical than the German. All this comes at a significantly lower price compared to the Q3. The interior space is slightly better, and the XT4 is much ahead in terms of economy. All in all, both are pretty good options.

2021 Cadillac XT4

 

Final Verdict

Yes, we recommend you to buy the 2021 Audi Q3. Though the 2021 Q3 receives tough competition from all around, it still manages to hold its ground quite well. The Premium Plus trim is not on a bigger stratum than the Premium trim and it includes more standard features and more luxury. You can also explore the other options, but if you see a good deal on the Audi, you should just grab it.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$39300

body style

4dr SUV

engine type
displacement

121 cu in

horse power

228 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1700 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

fuel economy
city/combined/highway

20/23/28 mpg

highway range

445.2 mi


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