2022 Audi Q3 Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has already owned an Audi that the 2022 Audi Q3 is a top contender in its segment. Pairing the bigger Q5's tech and convenience features with a smaller, more affordable package, the Q3 checks a lot of boxes for first-time luxury vehicle buyers. But is it really all that it is cracked up to be?
Well, yes - mostly. The fuel economy (an EPA estimated 22 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving but barely 20 mpg for city driving in real-world testing) sits near the bottom of the pack. While you should be able to reach the EPA's estimates, these numbers still pale in comparison to what other small crossover luxury SUVs have to offer.
With a bland base engine (the 40 TFSI), you get a lackluster performance. And that is compounded by the lack of spaciousness inside of the cabin. Rear seat passengers over 6 feet tall will be wanting for head and leg space. Cargo space is rather limited compared to the Q3's rivals, offering little in the way of volume or versatility.
But there are certainly some high notes that the Q3 hits. This affordably priced luxury vehicle is jam-packed with standard technological and convenience features. Its cabin - though small - is adorned with some of the finest materials. Everything practically oozes premium quality. And the cabin itself remains quiet. Coupled with the compliant ride quality, you get a cozy vehicle that lends to comfort on longer rides.
So, is the 2022 Audi Q3 the right vehicle for you? Or might another entry-level luxury vehicle work better at meeting your needs? Read on to find out.
What's New for 2022?
The most profound change to the 2022 Audi Q3 is the brand-new infotainment system. You get a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen display with it, and you can still opt for the MMI navigation. A few more previously optional safety features are now standard. Other than that, everything carries over from 2021.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Audi Q3 – The Pros
1. Secure Handling Capabilities
One of the biggest things people like about the 2022 Audi Q3 is its superb handling capabilities. It might be slow to accelerate, but the Q3 is able to handle just about anything the road throws at it. Its steering remains composed while winding through high-speed curves and is responsive at all times, creating a solid connection with the driver. You will always know your wheels are tracking straight on. Everyday driving feels relaxed and composed despite lacking a bit of sport.
2. A Comfortable Ride Quality
Another main reason that people invest in the Q3 is that it is just downright comfortable. The seats, of course, pack in plenty of support. But the ride quality also oozes comfort. Is it firm? Sure. But it is far from being too stiff. In fact, it strikes a good balance with its firmness. The Q3's suspension quickly dispatches any bumps that try to make their way into the cabin, and the body motions remain composed as you round through tight turns. Overall, it is plush and speaks to this being a luxury brand.
3. User-friendly Physical Controls
Up front, the Q3 is equipped with quite a few physical knobs and buttons. These controls are all clearly labeled, so there is no wondering what they do. And they are placed within the driver's reach. Audio controls and cruise control are mounted onto the steering wheel so that you do not have to take your hands off the wheel to adjust them. It makes for a convenient set-up.
4. A Lot of Adjustability On the Seats
The two front seats are highly adjustable, making it easy to find just the right seating position. They are power-adjustable eight different ways, and the 4-way power lumbar support maximizes spinal comfort during long road trips. Optimize that level of comfort with the heating function. It warms you up quickly during cooler months and can be a great way to alleviate back pain and stiffness in the car year-round.
5. Clear Outward Visibility
From your spot behind the steering wheel, you get a clear outward view. With wide glass panels and slender roof pillars fore and aft, there is not much that you cannot see with the naked eye. And whatever you cannot see, the blind spot monitoring system and rear-view camera (or, if you opt for it, the 360-degree surround-view camera system) will. This lessens the chance of an accident and gives you a good sense of everything that is around you.
6. The Optional 10.1-inch Infotainment System
While the standard 8.8-inch touchscreen system works just fine, the optional 10.1-inch version is even better. It responds well to your touch, never coming off as finicky or clunky. It makes a slight clicking noise to let you know that it has registered your command. Along with it, you get the MMI navigation system, which works well for getting you to your destination.
7. The Technology Package
On the Premium Plus trim level, you can get the Technology package. This will give you wireless Apple CarPlay. (Sorry, wireless Android Auto isn't available; you'll have to sync that regularly.) Amazon Alexa integration is included as well. Other handy features in this package include an upgraded digital instrument panel cluster, the 10.1-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, and a premium Sonos sound system for your music-loving needs.
8. An Easy-to-use LATCH System
Parents, this one is for you. The rear LATCH system in the Audi Q3 is super easy to use. The door sills are wide so that you can slide car seats in and out without a hassle. There are three back anchors that provide overhead security, and you can easily reach in and access the seat anchors. Quick, easy, and painless.
9. High Quality Materials
As you should expect from a luxury vehicle, Audi designs the Q3 with superior quality materials. Inside, you see nothing in the way of cheap, hard plastics. Instead, you get plenty of soft-touch surfaces with thoughtful designs. Some of the higher trim levels (including the S Line) are strikingly chic. The S Line's matte inlays and natural wood really make things pop.
10. The Optional Black Optic Sport Package
If you want to black things out, the optional Black Optic Sport Package is downright cool. Exclusive to the 45 TFSI models, this package comes with 19-inch black painted wheels, sport seats, and black painted exterior accents.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Audi Q3 – The Cons
1. A Lackluster Fuel Economy
As already mentioned, both engines provide a lackluster fuel economy on the 2022 Audi Q3. On the 45 TFSI, you get an EPA rating of 22 mpg combined. This is low for the entire segment. Real-world tests suggest that the 45 TFSI struggles in heavy traffic flow and driving around town, barely hitting 20 mpg. While you might be able to match the EPA estimates, this is far from being anything to marvel at. Entry-level luxury buyers still want a decent fuel economy, and the Q3 simply does not deliver.
2. A Big Learning Curve With the Driver Aids
While we can certainly appreciate the availability of so many driver aids, some of them could be a lot easier to get used to. There is a steep learning curve involved with the buttons and knobs for them. In particular, adaptive cruise control can be problematic. Sometimes, if traffic comes to a sudden halt, the system will not brake in time, forcing the driver to have to take command and slam on the brakes.
3. Not Much Room in the Rear Seats or Cargo Area
Again, something we already touched upon is the fact that the rear seats and cargo area lack space. The flat load floor helps with getting cargo in and out, but there is just not enough space to work with when you're trying to load anything bulky. And rear seat occupants will absolutely be crunched for head and leg space.
4. Little In the Way of Small Item Storage Spaces
In addition to a lack of cargo and rear seat space, there are relatively few places to stash your small items. The wireless charging pad and grip located between the cupholders are thoughtful, but that's about it. You will have to find other ways to conceal your tech goods, purses, and wallets.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Audi Q3 vs. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a formidable opponent for the Audi Q3. Although most of its advanced safety features remain optional, you get a seriously advanced infotainment system. The 250 in particular has some cozy seats and compliant ride quality. Also, the AMG GLA 45 model makes for an enthralling ride. Regardless of what you buy, you get a premium luxury brand at a reasonable price. On the downside, though, the GLA-Class generates way too much wind noise for a luxury vehicle. Its cargo capacity is also quite small, and the AMG GLA 45 has a too-firm ride quality.
2022 Audi Q3 vs. 2022 BMW X1
Another top contender against the 2022 Audi Q3 is the 2022 BMW X1. Although it tends to price a few thousand dollars above the Q3's more generous starting MSRP, it comes with an extremely engaging turbocharged engine that is both responsive and powerful. The X1 also has some seriously sharp steering and handling capabilities that make it totally fun to take along winding mountain roads. Add to that a stunning fit and finish with remarkable quality materials and plenty of room in the rear seats and cargo area for a well-rounded ride. You'll just have to deal with some road noise on the highway and a ride quality that gets bumpy on rougher road surfaces.
The 2022 Audi Q3 has one major downfall - its powertrain options. Either one tends to drag on the fuel economy, creating exceedingly low numbers for this segment. If you can get past that and the lack of space, then you might enjoy driving the comfy Q3.