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The Q3 is the most affordable SUV in Audi’s lineup. However, it’s still extremely luxurious on the inside. Many drivers will also enjoy this subcompact crossover’s sharp exterior styling and abundance of high-tech features. Spunky driving dynamics add to the Q3’s appeal. Let’s take a closer look at the Q3’s highs and lows.
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, Audi’s highly popular S Line appearance package now comes standard. A new base engine also joins the lineup. This year, every new Q3 comes equipped with lane departure warning.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Audi Q3 – The Pros
1. An Affordable Luxury Vehicle
The 2021 Audi Q3 proves you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to drive a luxury vehicle. Audi has reduced the 2021 model’s starting MSRP by roughly $2,000. Despite its affordability, this SUV continues to offer superior quality. There are a number of premium features that come standard, including heated leather seats and a panoramic sunroof. A less powerful base engine has also arrived. This change has helped to noticeably improve the Q3’s overall fuel economy.
2. Designed to Offer Driving Fun
While the new 2021 Audi Q3 isn’t the sportiest SUV in the segment, it’s still a fun vehicle to drive. A light and accurate steering system helps drivers to easily control the Q3. Its suspension system also offers a near-perfect blend of agility and comfort. Because of the Q3’s silky ride, drivers won’t mind taking it on high-mileage trips. Performance is also more entertaining with its upgraded turbo four-cylinder engine, which develops 228 horsepower.
3. Quattro All-Wheel Drive Continues to Impress
Regardless of which trim level a person chooses, they will get to enjoy Audi’s famous Quattro AWD system. For good reason. It’s ranked among the top all-wheel-drive systems in the business. When the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse, drivers will always have an extra measure of security. However, Quattro does more than just maximize grip on slippery pavement. It also makes the Q3 more pleasing to drive in dry-weather conditions.
4. Stylish S-Line Now Comes Standard
The Audi Q3 was already known for its handsome exterior design. However, expect the 2021 model to appear a bit sportier. Audi’s great-looking S Line package is now a standard item. It brings a more aggressive front fascia and upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels. An integrated rear spoiler also helps give the Q3 an athletic appearance. A cool Black Optics package is available for drivers who desire more attention. Along with the package comes darkened wheels and black exterior accents.
5. A High-Tech Cabin
Motorists who need the latest and greatest high-tech goodies will love the new 2021 Audi Q3. Even the base Premium model is a technology powerhouse. It comes standard with Audi’s praiseworthy MMI infotainment system. While the standard 8.8-inch touchscreen is unlikely to draw any complaints, the upgraded version features a larger 10.1-inch touch display with gesture controls. An exciting Virtual Cockpit is optional on the Premium Plus trim. This all-digital gauge cluster can be display 3-D road maps.
6. Functional, Comfortable Interior Design
Most families will find the new Q3 to be a satisfying choice. For a subcompact vehicle, the Q3’s backseat is surprisingly accommodating. Sliding and reclining seat functions allow passengers to kick back. However, front-seat comfort is especially good. Optional sport seats bring enhanced side support when driving on curvy mountain roads. This is a great SUV for active people. When hauling extra stuff, drivers can take advantage of the crossover’s more than 23 cubic feet of storage space.
7. Superb Bang & Olufsen Audio System
A 10-speaker stereo is standard on the new Q3. It’s a fine choice for most people. However, a stunning Bang & Olufsen unit is optional on the upper trim level. This high-end audio system promises to satisfy your quest for superior sound. Drivers and passengers can experience the feeling of being at a live concert. A total of 15 premium speakers help ensure quality sound from every position. Other sound-enhancing features including a 680-watt amplifier and Vehicle Noise Compensation.
8. Cutting-Edge Safety Technologies Are Available
Audi offers the Q3 with some effective safety technologies. Every model benefits from Audi Pre Sense. This system is engineered to detect and prevent a potential collision. Newly standard lane departure warning adds more security. The range-topping Premium Plus trim provides Audi Side Assist, which is an advanced blind-spot monitoring system. Whether you’re changing lanes or backing up, this system will check for hidden vehicles. Other available driving aids include adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
9. New Parking Assistance Package
Many drivers hate the task of parking. Maneuvering in confined areas can be even more challenging. Fortunately, the 2021 Audi Q3 offers a Parking Assistance Package. Included in the package is a self-parking feature. At the touch of a button, it begins to steer the SUV into selected spaces. This system works for both perpendicular and parallel parking. A 360-degree camera system is also a part of the Parking Assistance Package.
10. Reliable Luxury Vehicle
Unlike some luxury SUVs, the Audi Q3 is dependable. This is a major perk for drivers who will be commuting throughout the week. They won’t have to worry about investing a lot of extra money on repairs. The Q3 received a 4.0 out of 5.0 rating in long-term reliability, which is above average.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Audi Q3 – The Cons
1. You May Need a Bigger Family Vehicle
The subcompact Q3 makes the most of its available interior space. Nevertheless, it still may not be big enough for some families. Rear legroom is reduced when sitting behind a taller front passenger. Drivers who need more room for their crew should take a look at the midsize Audi Q5.
2. Transmission Needs Improving
Every new Q3 comes equipped with the same eight-speed transmission. Multiple car reviewers have criticized this transmission for its occasional rough shifting. When accelerating quickly, it can be a bit jumpy. To avoid this potentially annoying problem, owners will need to drive smoothly.
3. Relatively Low Tow Rating
Audi didn’t design the Q3 to for serious towing. It has a listed maximum towing capacity of 2,200 pounds. The 2021 Audi Q3 will have no trouble pulling an ATV or a couple of dirt bikes. However, this SUV will struggle trying to tow heavier stuff. Drivers who need to transport campers and boats should step up to the more capable Audi Q5.
4. Base Engine Sacrifices Some Performance
The Q3’s new base engine is designed to save drivers a little more fuel. However, performance is not quite as strong. Audi tunes it to develop 184 horsepower. Acceleration from a stop will be a tad slower. By comparison, the upgraded version of this engine produces an extra 44 horsepower. Some drivers will ultimately crave the more forceful punch.
5. Upgraded Features Causes Prices to Climb
With an estimated starting MSRP of $34,000, the 2021 Audi Q3 proves to be a very attainable luxury SUV. However, some of the Q3’s popular upgrades will cause prices to rise significantly. In order to get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster and the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, buyers must purchase a rather costly Technology package. At this point, the Q3 will easily surpass the $40,000 mark. Drivers on a budget will be forced to forgo some of the SUV’s premium features.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 BMW X1
The 2201 BMW X1 is a good match for the 2021 Audi Q3. Its fine handling and extremely potent engine ensure a sporty driving experience. However, some drivers may not prefer the BMW X1’s stiffer ride. Furthermore, don’t expect the X1’s cabin to be as quiet.
2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 Volvo XC40
Like so many other Volvo products, the Volvo XC40 gets top marks in crash protection. It offers some exclusive safety technologies that aren’t available on the Q3. Fuel economy is also quite strong for the XC40. However, only the Q3 comes standard with an AWD system. Some drivers may also prefer Audi’s MMI infotainment system.
2021 Audi Q3 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA
When it comes to overall craftsmanship, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA ranks among the class leaders. It also gives car shoppers a greater number of powerful engines to choose from. However, prices for the new Mercedes-Benz GLA are steeper. Some reviewers also consider the Audi Q3 to have the best cabin materials.
Drivers who find Audi’s other SUVs to be a bit too costly should check out the new Q3. Its excellent interior quality will win over a lot of people. This subcompact model also deserves praise for its solid handling and ride. Meanwhile, a standard S Line appearance makes the 2021 model look more eye-catching than before.
While the Q3 is a great pick, drivers should test out its sometimes abrupt transmission. Furthermore, buyers must prepare to pay extra for the Q3’s top-of-the-line features. If more interior room is desired, step up to the larger Audi Q5.
• Why buy a 2020 Audi Q3? w/ pros vs cons