For 2015, Audi introduces an all-new luxury compact crossover in the Q3. It rides on the capable chassis found in Volkswagen's Tiguan and draws its power from a 200-horsepower direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The engine is mated to a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic, and front-wheel drive is standard, while Audi's capable quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional. Audi claims the Q3 will hit 60 mph in 7.8 seconds on its way to a 130-mph top speed.
Handling is thanks to a 5-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link rear, with 12.6-inch ventilated disc brakes to stop the front wheels and 11.1-inch discs in back. Inside there is seating for five and more than 48 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded.
Two trims -- Premium Plus and Prestige -- are offered, and both are very well equipped. Standard features on the Premium Plus include 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating with 12-way power front seats and Bluetooth streaming audio with hands-free connectivity. The Q3 Prestige adds a power tailgate, voice-controlled navigation, a 465-watt, 14-speaker Bose surround stereo system, Audi side assist for safer lane changing, and Parking System Plus with rearview camera.
A few packages are available on Premium Plus models, including a Driver Assistance Package with Audi side assist and rearview camera and a navigation package. A Sport Package, available on both trims, adds a leather multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, front sport seats, and Audi drive select, which allows for changes to the Q3's driving dynamics depending upon the setting.
All Q3s come equipped with several airbags, anti-lock braking, electronic stability control and traction control, a tire-pressure monitor and hill descent assist.