The 2022 Audi Q3 inaugurates Audi’s lineup of crossovers. It’s a compact luxury SUV according to the measuring tape, one that rivals vehicles like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, as well as the Buick Encore GX.
It looks expensive on the outside and its cabin is lined with many of the same fine materials and technology features that you’ll find on the more expensive Q5, Q7, and Q8 crossovers. Rear seat space isn’t as generous, of course, and to keep costs down there’s some subtle cost-cutting inside. To make up for it, the Q3 offers a slightly more youthful ambiance and its chassis delivers a more agile feeling than the larger Audi SUVs do, putting it right in step with key rivals such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class.
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
The 2022 Audi Q3 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes either 184- or 228-hp; either way it comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. In our time behind the wheel of a Q3 with the more potent of the two engines, we noted that the engine provided ample power, but our test vehicle wasn’t as quick as some rivals, and we noticed a delay between our right foot’s action and the engine’s response (read: turbo lag). Still, its transmission shifted smoothly during normal operation and provided sportier reactions when shifted into S mode.
Thankfully, its suspension damped out all but the harshest road imperfections. Direct steering with a light-to-the-touch feel gives the Q3 a sense of agility. The little SUV also moves with the same grace as its larger siblings when pitched down a twisty section of road.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
The EPA estimates the 2022 Audi Q3 will earn up to 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are similar to rivals such as the X1 and Volvo XC40. The Q3 we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, earned 31 mpg—matching the real-world result of the X1 we tested. For more information about the Q3’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
Slightly larger and significantly chunkier than small-SUV rivals, the 2022 Audi Q3 gets a 7 for comfort and utility. It has good cargo room and a swell rear seat.
The front buckets in base-spec Q3s are OK, but the spend-up 8-way power front seats are better. All Q3 seats get leather upholstery and all front seats are heated, but the power adjustment makes drivers at both ends of the bell curve more comfortable.
With metallic or wood trim in the cockpit and a high grade of interior trim, the Q3’s impressive for its quality feel, too—and Audi carves out enough space for smartphones and keys in the cabin
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Audi equips most 2022 Audi Q3 models with an 8.8-inch touchscreen MMI infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger 10.1-inch touchscreen is also available with the same content. We found the interface to be attractive and mostly easy to operate due to its large icons and haptic feedback.
However, its low position on the dashboard can be distracting. Top options include SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless charging, and a 15-speaker, 680-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
The 2022 Audi Q3’s crash-test scores are good. Federal testers gave it four stars for front- and rollover-crash protection but five stars overall. However, the IIHS has withdrawn the Top Safety Pick+ it earned in prior years, due to “Poor” headlights; the crash scores themselves were “Good.”
With a point for the NHTSA score and a point each for standard automatic emergency braking and good safety options, the Q3 nets an 8 for safety. Its outward vision’s limited by thick roof pillars, but it’s available with a passel of active safety gear, including a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$44,990 (base price: $35,695)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
121 cu in, 1984 cc
228 hp @ 5000 rpm
258 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.4-in vented disc/12.2-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S005, 255/40R-20 101Y AO
Wheelbase: 105.5 in
Length: 176.6 in
Width: 72.8 in
Height: 64.1 in
Passenger volume: 94 cu ft
Cargo volume: 24 cu ft
Curb weight: 3915 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 34.0 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.3 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.7 sec @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr’s claim): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.91 g
Observed: 21 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/19/27 mpg