A Week With: 2023 Audi Q3

February 2, 2023 | Industry News

The glory of Fabergé Eggs, 50 Imperial art objects created by the company for Emperor Alexander III and his son, Nicholas II, from 1885 to 1916, was the splendor possessed by such a small object.

The same can be said of the 2023 Audi Q3, which possesses the qualities of its larger Audi siblings in a more affordable petite package. The Q3 is sold in 40 Premium or 40 Premium Plus trim, as well as 45 Premium or 45 Premium Plus trim.

The 2023 Audi Q3 remains mostly unchanged, with a few exceptions.

Overview

For 2023, this automotive bonbon gets additional standard stuff, including LED headlights on all models, freshly-styled standard 18-inch, five-spoke wheels or optional 19-inch, 20-spoke wheels that are included with the new Black Optic Package on Premium trims.

If you’d prefer 20-inch wheels, you’ll need to opt for the 45 with the Black Optic Package. And all-wheel drive is now standard across the board.

Exterior

When it comes to the Audi A3’s wardrobe, it possesses the widely admired flowing, taut, sophisticated appearance typical of modern Audis — including the brand’s trademark grille. But unlike the previous generation Q3, it no longer has the ovoid shape that made it seem somehow unserious. Its appears to be more of a serious SUV, one akin to its station as a compact luxury SUV.

Interior

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is standard.

Although the front seats appear to be roomy, rear-seat legroom depends on the consideration of people in front, as is customary in this class. The cargo hold, however, cannot make the same claim; at 23.7 cubic feet, it is a small space that can transport a substantial amount of freight. There are even hooks for food bags, a little but sensible detail that far too few automakers bother with.

As you’d expect of an Audi, material quality is good, with a contemporary flair that’s at once up-to-date and classic.

Powertrain

No matter which trim level you opt for, you’ll get a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine — the workhorse powerplant of the Volkswagen Group. With 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, lower trim 40 variants generate a 8.6-second 0-60 mph time. If you choose a 45 model with its stronger engine, you’ll have 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque reducing the car’s 0-60 mph pace by 1.6 seconds. All that power feeds through an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission to all four wheels. Front-wheel-drive models are no longer offered.

Safety and Technology

The Audi Q3’s touchscreen is easy to use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2023 Audi Q3 five stars in overall crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2023 Audi Q3 “Good” in its crash tests with the exception of the Moderate overlap front crash test, which is rated Marginal, and a Side crash test that’s rated Average.

As you might expect, the 2023 Audi Q3 comes with a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Audi’s easy-to-use interface, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard.

Thoughtfully, the standard wireless charger securely holds your smartphone vertically, yet still allows you to view the screen from the front seats. And music lovers will appreciate the newly optional 15-speaker, 680-watt Sonos audio system.

Driving Impressions

You expect a certain poised confidence from the Q3, and it delivers. Although the steering is rather light, it is direct, a characteristic. And its size makes it the perfect urban transportation accomplice. 

Our test vehicle had the more powerful engine, furnishing decent muscle once past the noticeable turbo lag. It’s something you learn to live with, but it’s never ideal in a luxury vehicle and is far more evident than in its competition. Audi claims that the up-lever motor accelerates to 60 mph in seven seconds, far more acceptable than the standard motor’s 8.6 seconds. But it feels faster than that once under way, especially when you need to pass. In the end, it seems ideally balanced between fun-t-drive sportiness and the comfort of a premium compact crossover SUV.

Best of all, its compact size and expansive 23.7-cubic-foot cargo make it an ideal companion for the Costco runs or weekend getaways.

2023 Audi Q3 Specifications

DimensionL: 176.6 inches/W: 72.8 inches/H: 62.9 inches/Wheelbase: 105.5 inchesWeight3,916 poundsPowertrain2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel driveFuel Economy21 mpg city/28 mpg highway/24 mpg combinedPerformance Specs228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torquePriceBase price: $42,500; As tested: Not availableOn-Sale DateAvailable now

Wrap Up

With an upscale elan and a perfect compact size, the Audi Q3 delivers performance and elan that prover it to be worthy of wearing its four rings. And while the new level of standard equipment is welcome the presence of turbo lag damages an otherwise flawless performance. If you can live with it, the Q3 might rate a perfect 10. It’s something that even a Romanov could appreciate — as long as they didn’t mind driving, that is.

2023 Audi Q3 ­— Frequently Asked Questions

Will Audi Q3 be redesigned for 2023?

No, but it does get additional standard gear, including wireless device charging and LED lighting. A Sonos audio system is a new option.

What vehicle is comparable to Audi Q3?

Comparable vehicles include the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA/GLB, Range Rover Evoque, Volvo XC40, Lexus LX, Lincoln Corsair, Jaguar E-Pace and Maserati Grecale.

Is Porsche Macan bigger than Q3?

Yes.

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