By Jennifer Geiger on January 9, 2014
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.
The Q3 looks a lot like the versions teased at previous auto shows, including the Q3 Vail concept that debuted at the 2012 Detroit auto show. The cute-ute will slot below the Q5 in Audi's lineup and wears styling cues similar to the compact crossover and its larger sibling, the Q7.
The hood and tailgate are made of aluminum, and it's got a low roofline with a sweeping, coupelike rear end and wraparound tailgate. Audi's signature LED daytime running lights and taillights are standard. Also standard are 18-inch wheels; 19s are optional.
Audi didn't release interior photos, but said the cabin is "spacious and comfortable" with "an elegant, ergonomic design" and "superior build quality." We'll be able to take a look inside the Q3 next week at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but until then, here's what's confirmed about the interior:
Audi says the cargo area has a storage capacity of 16.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up; folding the split rear seats increases the cargo space to 48.2 cubic feet. With their seats folded, both the BMW X1 (56.0 cubic feet) and the Buick Encore (48.4) offer a bit more room; Mercedes-Benz hasn’t yet released GLA-Class cargo specs.
Leather seats and surfaces are standard, and LED interior lights illuminate the doors, footwells, vanity mirrors, storage compartments and cupholders. Other standards include a panoramic sunroof and heated 12-way power front seats.
A power tailgate is optional, as is a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system and Audi's MMI navigation plus system with a 7-inch color screen and Google Earth maps for an aerial view of a route. The available Prestige Package adds the Audi connect system, which provides real-time localized weather, news and live fuel prices as well as in-vehicle Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight wireless devices.
Power comes from a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard; Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional. Also optional is the Audi Drive Select system, which allows the driver to adjust handling and response at the touch of a button using three modes: Comfort, Dynamic and Auto.
The Q3 comes standard with two front airbags, thorax-pelvis side airbags in the backs of the front seats and side curtain airbags. Rear side-impact airbags are optional as are several active safety features including the Audi Side Assist system that uses radar to monitor blind spots when changing lanes and a park assist system with a backup camera.
Audi said it will announce pricing closer to the vehicle's on-sale date in the fall. Check out more photos below.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer