Model tested: 2020 Audi Q3 S-Line 45 TFSI Quattro
Engine: 2-liter Inline 4
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic w/AWD Quattro Drive
Torque: 258 lb.-ft.
EPA ratings: 19/city, 27/highway, 22/combined
Base price: $36,000
As tested: $43,890
Overview: Confession time. My all-time favorite personal car was an Audi Quattro Coupe — and the Audi Q3 reminded me of it in more ways than one. It’s a spirited crossover that drives and handles like a hot hatchback, but is bigger than its class rivals, boasting impressive quality and features.
Walkaround: Nothing has changed from the 2019 model except some badging. The Q3 is bigger than some rivals, with a squat stance and aggressive look. It features a large octagonal grille, LED headlights and a wide rear end with showy taillights. The only sporty Q3 is the S-Line package featuring big wheels and aluminum trim. Our test-driver was the S-Line TFSI Quattro, and this review will focus on just that model.
Interior: The cabin features an abundance of rich materials and user-friendly technology showcased in an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with some redundant controls on the steering wheel. There’s also four USB ports. Occupants enjoy well-bolstered leather seats, and a sliding rear seat takes advantage of the Q3’s size — offering not only great legroom, but flexible cargo space too. There’s 18.7 cubic feet behind the rear seat when it’s slid back, 23.7 when it’s slid forward and 48 when it’s folded flat. Upscale materials are available at extra cost, but the base Premium model is pretty impressive itself, with soft leather, soft-touch plastics and aluminum accents.
Behind the Wheel: All-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters are standard. The workhorse 2-liter, inline turbo-4 powerplant delivers plenty of muscle with good acceleration. The 228 horses do the 0-60 drill in seven seconds. The wide stance and comparatively large footprint give the Q3 great handling dynamics. With a firm, responsive suspension and short wheelbase, steering is accurate. Plus, it’s quite comfortable on a long drive — or rough pavement. To me at least, it drives like a more sophisticated version of my old Quattro coupe — only plusher and more comfortable, with great technology. It made me smile whenever I got behind the wheel.
Bottom Line: The 2020 Q3’s sticker price nets you Audi engineering, a tasteful and roomy cabin, great ride and excellent cargo capacity — plus, a great value.