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2020 Audi Q3 Review

  • Lots of standard tech…
  • Punchy turbo engine
  • Hot hatchback handling
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • …But best features cost a lot more
  • Lackluster fuel economy
  • Gets expensive fast
  • Our favorite Q3 is the Premium Plus model for its better audio and more safety tech, but the total price pushes $40,000.

The 2020 Audi Q3 blends practicality, quality, and fun in a chunky but city-friendly package.

The 2020 Audi Q3 is a compact crossover SUV conundrum: larger than its direct rivals but less efficient than its bigger brother. Performance, quality, and features are all impressive though. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. 

Carrying over almost completely from the 2019 model, the only notable change to the Q3 is the removal of the “2.0T” badge for a “45” that follows Audi’s confusing new model designation strategy. (The new number bears no relation to power output.)

Audi may be the chief example of how modern vehicles are getting harder and harder to distinguish, as the Q3 borrows styling cues from just about every other model in the brand’s lineup for a handsome, if forgettable, result. It looks better in sportier S guise, and the interior is rife with impressive tech.

A tried-and-true 2.0-liter turbo-4 provides plenty of motivation no matter which Q3 you choose, and all-wheel drive is standard, as is an 8-speed automatic gearbox. With a taut suspension and a short, wide wheelbase, the Q3 feels almost hot hatchback-like in its handling but provides enough comfort for longer drives too.

Featuring a larger footprint than its contemporaries, the 2020 Q3 is ideal for hauling people and stuff in a city-friendly package, coddling passengers with standard leather seats and a sliding rear seat. An available 23.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats slid forward is adequate for most luggage needs, but 48 cubes are available with the rear seats folded flat. Material quality is top-notch, as is the story with all recent Audis.

Though the federal government hasn’t gotten around to crash testing it, the IIHS gave the 2020 Q3 a Top Safety Pick+ award citing its perfect scores and good headlights, as well as standard automatic emergency braking. Other active features like adaptive cruise control and active lane control can be added onto any model at an extra cost.

Speaking of features, the Q3 is well outfitted for a small crossover from a top-tier brand. It has a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system right out of the box, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Leather, heated seats, and 18-inch wheels all come standard too, as well as all-wheel drive, so a well-equipped Q3 can be had for less than $36,000.

Where the Q3 disappoints is in its fuel economy rating of 22 mpg combined, lower than the larger and more expensive Q5.

The 2020 Audi Q3 is the same old Audi story outside and inside, but the interior is much more impressive.

If you’ve seen any other modern Audi, you’ve seen the 2020 Audi Q3, a handsome but unspectacular crossover SUV. The interior is chock full of high-end touches, so we give it a 6 for style.

There’s nothing really wrong with the Q3’s exterior design, but nothing exceptional, either. A big, octagonal grille, sharp LED headlights, definitive character lines, and a wide rear end with glitzy taillights are now all Audi trademarks, and while it could be considered handsome, the Q3 fails to stand out, especially among other Audis. We like it best in S-Line form with optional big wheels, aluminum trim accents, and a sportier overall look.

The cabin is where we find the most to celebrate, as it’s rife with expensive-looking materials and design features, the most prominent of which is the flush touchscreen infotainment system. Audi’s designers have fully leaned into the tech-savvy nature of the brand’s new vehicles, and the result works well even on the smallest crossover SUV in the lineup.

The chunky 2020 Audi Q3 accelerates, rides, and handles much like a hot hatchback.

The 2020 Audi Q3 has a new name for its powertrain, but the familiar turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive make for a spunky SUV. We give it 7 out of 10. 

Its raised ride height and “Q” model name might suggest SUV, but we found the Q3 to be more of a tall hatchback thanks to its taut handling and potent turbo power. Though it drops the “2.0T” badge for a nonsensical “45 TFSI” for 2020, the Q3 uses the same tried-and-true VW Group powertrain as many other models. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, pushing the somewhat portly Audi along to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds.

All-wheel drive comes standard, as does an 8-speed automatic transmission, and no manual or front-wheel-drive cheaper model is available.
Despite its nearly 4,000-pound curb weight, the Q3 scoots and handles almost like a hot hatchback – think much heavier Volkswagen GTI – with accurate but numb steering and a responsive suspension. Over long drives and rough city roads, the Q3 is plenty comfortable in spite of its short wheelbase.

Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Audi Q3 features trademark German quality and a useful interior.

The 2020 Audi Q3 blends city size with suburban comfort, though it’s longer and wider than some urban dwellers might want. We give it 7 out of 10 here.

Automakers can’t seem to agree on what constitutes a small crossover SUV, as the Q3 is significantly larger than some of its closest competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. Nearly all of that extra space has been allocated to rear leg room and cargo space, a welcome addition in our eyes.

Supple standard leather seats provide great comfort and bolstering, and the rear is suitable for two adults in terms of head and shoulder room. Only the driver’s seat is power-adjustable on base models, but the Q3 does offer a sliding rear bench that can increase both cargo room with the seats in place or rear leg room.

A total of 48 cubic feet is available with the rear seats folded flat, and the Q3 holds 18.7 cubes behind the rear seats in their furthest rearward position. Sliding them forward yields 23.7 cubes, which is substantial for a small SUV.

Finer materials are available for an extra cost, but even the base Q3 impresses with soft-touch plastics, real leather, and aluminum accents that look great.

The 2020 Audi Q3 boasts great crash-test scores—and it’s only half done.

The 2020 Audi Q3 lacks full crash test scores, but those that exist are very promising. With standard automatic braking and other active features available, we give it 8 out of 10. 

While the federal government hasn’t gotten around to it yet, the IIHS has crash tested the Q3 fully and given it a Top Safety Pick+ award based on perfect scores and “Good” optional headlights.

Every Q3 comes with standard forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking, helping to boost this little SUV’s safety score. Other active features like adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and a surround-view camera system are included on more expensive models or are options.
Outward vision is decent from the driver seat, marred only slightly by thick roof pillars.

The 2020 Audi Q3 is well-equipped out of the box; don’t spend much more on options.

The 2020 Audi Q3 offers impressive standard features, but the vehicle you really want costs many thousands more thanks to expensive options. We give it 7 out of 10. 

The Q3 comes in three trim levels – Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige – all of which have the option for an S-Line appearance package (though it’s standard on the Prestige model). 

The base $35,695 Q3 45 TFSI Quattro Premium comes with a 10.3-inch digital gauge display, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 10-speaker audio, leather upholstery, all-wheel drive, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and 18-inch alloy wheels. A convenience package is available, and includes a hands-free tailgate, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warnings, parking assist, and an alarm system. 

Premium Plus models add connectivity features, keyless start, stop, and entry with a hands-free tailgate, a parking assist system, aluminum interior trim, ambient LED lighting, power driver and passenger seats, and four packages that include everything from satellite navigation to adaptive cruise control and big S-Line wheels, all from $38,795. It’s our pick of the bunch, and yields the ability to choose more options that we really like, including an excellent 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Prestige models come standard with the S-Line appearance package that adds sportier exterior and interior design touches, and Audi’s excellent virtual cockpit digital gauge cluster is standard, as is satellite navigation. The Bang & Olufsen stereo also comes included, as does adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, and more advanced interior ambient lighting. This top-tier model will set you back $43,895 and still offers three styling packages at an additional cost, which add 20-inch wheels, a sport interior, and a cool orange Alcantara cabin design.

Fuel Economy
The 2020 Audi Q3’s gas mileage fails to impress.

The 2020 Audi Q3 is actually less efficient than its larger and more expensive sibling, the Q5. This may have something to do with its standard all-wheel drive and heavy curb weight, but we’re not impressed regardless, warranting 4 out of 10 here.

As only one powertrain is available, the 2020 Q3 gets 19 mpg city, 27 highway, 22 combined. Regular gasoline is required which does help mitigate the cost, but the larger Q5 manages 2 mpg better overall, and 3 better in the city. Not the best news for what most would consider a city SUV.

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About Udara Madusanka

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