For those wanting a more affordable fuel-efficient sport utility vehicle, the 2013 Audi Q3 is going to be a brand new crossover that will appeal to more budgets. Consumers will have the choice between two pretty peppy engines. The first is a direct-injected 2.0-liter that is turbocharged. There will be two options in this engine; one will deliver 168 horsepower while the other will offer 200 horsepower. Then, there will be two options to choose from in a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine to receive either 138 or 175 horsepower. Base models in both engine will pair up with a six-speed manual transmission while the two options with more horsepower will get a seven-speed automated dual-clutch transmission. The smallest 2.0 diesel will be a front-wheel drive engine that returns an average of 45 mpg. Now that is something to get excited over! If speed is your main concern over fuel-economy, the top gasoline engine will accelerate zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. As for the ride, it is definitely a little different than what most expect from Audi. Although still smooth, it is quite firm and the speed-sensitive steering feels a bit artificial.
• Sound System - While the sound system may not be top-of-the-line, it is certainly decent. It features speed-sensitive volume control, subwoofer, USB connection, iPod integration, three months satellite radio service, subwoofer and 10 BOSE premium speakers.
• Navigation - The Q3 will have an impressive navigation system for its price point. It will have a DVD-based display and voice direction navigation system.
• Bluetooth - Never take your eyes off the road to receive, send or end a call. The Bluetooth wireless data link lets you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
It is hard to tell how the Q3 will be rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. One can only expect it to do well, as the rest of the Audi line does. It is suggested that a “Good” rating will likely be seen in front and side-impact tests, but roof tests will be the ones to watch. Just a few of the standard safety features include:
• Turn signal mirrors
• Child seat anchors
• Traction control
• Engine immobilizer
• Rear set anchors
• Emergency braking assist
• Stability control
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Post-collision safety system
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Brake drying
• Tire pressure monitoring
The exterior of the Q3 looks like a super-sized hatchback. It is fun and sporty with the iconic grille and an aerodynamic roof. It is about 10 inches shorter than its Q5 relative, and although certainly not as sophisticated as the rest of the Audi line, it will still command a presence on the road.
The cabin is not at luxury level, but it certainly is comfortable. Seating for five is offered with a 60/40 split rear seat that allows for easy pass-through to the cargo area. Leather is standard with bucket seats in the front. This is a vehicle made for the driver who spends a lot of time on the road as the six-way power seat has multilevel heating and manual adjustable lumbar support. Passengers in the rear enjoy a reclining seat, which is rare in five-passenger vehicles.
If you are looking for a ton of cargo space, you will need to move up to the Q5. Even with the rear seat down, the Q3 only offers 48 cubic feet, which is nothing to get excited over.