Skip to main content

Audi’s quaint yet sporty 2015 Q3 compact crossover set for Detroit unveil

American cars have historically been quite large. I don’t need to list any off; you should know them by now.

The classic American fascination with jumbo-sized cars seems to be waning, though. Buyers these days seem to value attention to detail, premium materials, and driving refinement over pure honking size.

Enter the Germans, who have long built reasonably sized luxury sedans and crossovers for the global markets. The latest compact luxury vehicle to make its way Stateside is the 2015 Audi Q3, which will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week. And I think it’s a special thing indeed.

Under the hood, Audi offers a 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The plucky little four-banger is bolted to a six-speed Tiptronic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels or to all four, if the buyer options for quattro all-wheel drive.

This drivetrain is nice but nothing to write home about, as it’s been yanked from the A3 sedan. And the exterior is nice but it just looks like a mini version of the Q5. What really has me intrigued, though, is the interior.

Just look at that thing. It’s a perfect blend of refinement and sportiness. While BMW interiors feel cheap and cartoonish, especially that of the BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA is still a bit too grandpa-y for me, the Q3 does it just right.

If interior styling and volume weren’t enough, the Q3 will of course include Audi connect and Audi MMI that offers Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity and Google Earth mapping.

Although it’s being unveiled in Detroit next week, the Q3 won’t go on sale until late 2014. And pricing won’t be announced until closer to sale date.

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Jaynes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick Jaynes is the Automotive Editor for Digital Trends. He developed a passion for writing about cars working his way…
Honda’s electric SUV is coming soon. Here’s what we know about the 2024 Prologue
2024 Honda Prologue Front

Slowly, but surely, every large car company is getting on board with electric cars. While most of them have released at least one electric model so far, some are still readying their first.

Did you know, however, that Honda is not one of those latter companies? The Honda Clarity was taken off the market a few years ago, and finally, it now looks like Honda is preparing to launch its first of a new generation of electric cars -- the 2024 Honda Prologue SUV.

Read more
Chrysler Halcyon concept is a return to glory for the minivan brand
Profile view of the Chrysler Halcyon concept with its doors open.

Chrysler plans to launch its first EV in 2025, but the foundational brand of automotive conglomerate Stellantis may be taking a detour on the road toward that goal. In 2022, Chrysler showed the Airflow, a concept car reportedly previewing that first production EV. But now the brand has a new EV concept dubbed the Halcyon.

Where the Airflow was a handsome but sensible crossover SUV, the Halcyon is a bit more fanciful. The low-slung four-door looks like Chrysler's attempt to clone the Porsche Taycan. It's even got front-fender air outlets like the Porsche, part of an aerodynamic package that includes a sliding rear diffuser and a rear spoiler. It's all meant to minimize aerodynamic drag and improve range. An air suspension system can also adjust to further enhance efficiency, or improve driving dynamics, according to Chrysler.

Read more
New Model 3 ‘takes out the baby fat,’ Tesla designer says in new video
Tesla's Model 3 refresh, codenamed Highland, features a sleeker front.

Tesla’s upgraded Model 3 sedan has been available in the U.S. since last month, and on Wednesday, designers and engineers at the automaker appeared in a video (below) showing off the refreshed design.

Upgraded Model 3 | Design & Engineering Walkthrough

Read more