The small to midsize Sport Utility and Crossover Utility marketplace is hotter than hot at the moment. Audi is never one to miss an opportunity to sell dynamic go anywhere vehicles and with this in mind, the 2016 Audi Q3 quattro represents an affordable option in the near luxury segment. It has the looks and the pedigree to go along with excellent off-road prowess.
Power comes in the form of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder gasoline-powered engine. Matched to a Tiptronic transmission, it delivers 200 horsepower at 5,100-6,000 rpm and 207 lb-ft of torque at 1,700-5,000 rpm. Zero to 100 km/h takes a lengthy 8.6 seconds and top speed is benchmarked at 209 km/h.
If I have one complaint, the Q3 quattro is a little sluggish from a start or when changing lanes on the highway to pass a slower vehicle. Vehicle weight is listed at 1,585 kg, which isn’t light but not overly heavy in this segment. Armed with this reality, any issues regarding acceleration are quickly mitigated with the added benefit of quattro drive and the ability this affords to go almost anywhere.
Ride quality is excellent with MacPherson strut front and 4-link rear suspension with separate spring/shock absorbers. Potholes, dips and bumps are quickly forgotten as the Pirelli 255/35R 20 winter tires get back to work and grip the road with tenacity. Electromechanical steering with speed-sensitive power assist provides the feel you expect from a sports car, another trait Audi is careful to incorporate with every vehicle they make.
Stopping is fast with 4-wheel disc brakes highlighting ABS, ESP and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, plus Brake Booster and Hydraulic Brake Assist. Driving at night is relaxed with the standard LED Headlights on the Technik model I am test driving this week. Aluminum roof rails add a touch of class and function, while the Panoramic Glass Roof provides an unobstructed view skyward.
Inside, leather seating wraps around all five occupants. Front seat passengers enjoy heated seats and exceptional lumbar, fore/aft and height adjustment. Leather also covers the multi-functional 3-spoke steering wheel and the shift lever. Brushed metal highlights the dash, door panels and center console, providing the classic look and feel we have come to expect from Audi interiors.
Rear seat legroom is satisfactory given the smaller proportions of the exterior shape. Five adults will fit inside the Audi Q3 quattro, but for longer trips I would recommend four is best given the overall dimensions. Rear storage is excellent with the rear seat folding flat if needed. Our test vehicle is equipped with a power lift gate making entrance and exit easy.
Driving the 2016 Audi Q3 quattro in the snow is where the fun really starts. Outward visibility is excellent, with no blind spots to speak of. Equipped with winter tires, I go out my way to take the road less travelled and enjoy the adventure a little more than if I was driving a 4-door sedan or larger SUV. Size is a relative concept and for me, the Q3 quattro is near perfect in all areas. Now if it just offered a little more power, all the boxes on my wish list would be checked.
2016 Audi Q3 quattro
Trim level: Technik
Price as tested (before taxes): $47,750.00
Options on test vehicle: 20.5” Arm Titanium Rotor Wheels ($800.00); Navigation Package
($1,900.00); Sport Package ($1,850.00).
Configuration: front-engine, quattro drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0L 4-cylinder/ Tiptronic
Power/torque: 200 hp/ 207 lb-ft.
Fuel (capacity): regular (64L)
Fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): city: 12.0, hwy: 8.2 L/100 Km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.1 L/100 km (400 km)
Warranties: 5-years/100,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Acura RDX, BMW X1, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti Q30, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKX
- Interior design and comfort, all-road prowess
- Sluggish under hard acceleration