German automaker Audi finds the sweet spot in the crossover segment with the compact 2015 Audi Q3.
The Q3 is sized right for urban dwellers that require room for five occupants and cargo capacity enough to manage daily errands and weekend recreation.
Like others in the compact-crossover utility vehicle (CUV) arena, Audi’s Q3 carries two row seating to accommodate a 2-plus-3 rider configuration.
Although the second row is belted for three people, a trio of adults is snug for more than a trip across town. The bench seat is ideal for youngsters, however.
Cargo volume measures 16.2 cubic feet behind the second row. When unoccupied, lowering the split-rear seatbacks expand the carrying space to 48.2 cu-ft. accessed through Q3’s rear hatch.
I recently tested the 2015 Audi Q3 equipped with the brand’s all-wheel ‘quattro’ drivetrain. Front-wheel drive is standard.
The Q3 CUV is outfitted with a sole 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates a spirited 200 horsepower managed by a six-speed automatic transmission.
Our Q3 tester comes with Audi’s Tiptronic technology that allows driver-directed manual gear selection with use of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The transmission may also be operated in typical automatic mode without driver intervention for fuel economy that yields 20 miles per gallon/city and 28 mpg/highway.
Road manners on the Audi Q3 are excellent with speed-sensitive power steering and a ride quality that rivals the brand’s larger Q5 and Q7 sport utility vehicles.
All seats a deeply cushioned, with non-intrusive bolsters and good back support for the long haul.
While the standard panoramic sunroof offers an open air feel, it does hamper headroom for some tall occupants when closed.
However, 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats provide generous horizontal travel to the bottom cushions to comfortably suit a six-foot tall driver and front passenger.
Provided dual-zone automatic climate control compliments the atmosphere of Q3’s vault-quiet cabin.
Optional equipment includes Audi’s MMI navigation-plus system with voice control and 7.0-inch color display.
A power tailgate and 19-inch double-spoke off-road design alloy wheels are also popular extras.
Base price for the 2015 Audi Q3 2.0T with Tiptronic transmission and quattro AWD starts at $35,525 with freight.