By Nick Jaynes – January 9, 2014
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.