2022 Audi Q3 S-Line First Drive: Is It Worth the Money?

The 2022 Audi Q3 is the smallest SUV in the brand’s lineup. It features the same handsome styling you can find on larger stablemates, like the Q8, and offers refined driving dynamics and a few tech-savvy features. I have driven the Audi Q3 for a few days now, and I like it. But I have to wonder if it’s worth its $48,000 price tag. Here are my thoughts so far.

2022 Audi Q3 next to trees
2022 Audi Q3 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Audi Q3 is a very stylish compact SUV

A side view of the 2022 Audi Q3
2022 Audi Q3 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

If you’re in the market for a luxury compact SUV, you have likely been checking out the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. They are both great choices. However, I personally prefer the Audi Q3’s subtly sharp styling, which is neither offensive nor too aggressive.

My test car for the week came in a Navarra blue paint job, which is contrasted well by the optional Black Optics package. That package kicks up the car’s sporty quotient with a set of 19-inch matte titanium wheels, black exterior trim pieces, and black roof rails. Overall, the car looks like a smaller version of the Q8, which isn’t a bad thing.

The Audi Q3’s interior has an upscale feel and a good amount of technology

A view of the Virtual Cockpit in the 2022 Audi Q3
2022 Audi Q3 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Sitting inside the Audi Q3 is a pleasant experience. There are leather seats and soft-touch materials on every part of the car that you rest your elbow or hand on. An 8.8-inch touchscreen sits in the middle of the dash, which is a nice touch compared to previous years. The Q3 of the past had a smaller screen that sat on top of the dash and was controlled by a knob.

There’s also a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel that Audi calls the “Virtual Cockpit.” It displays all of the pertinent information like the car’s speed, RPM, audio menus, and even the navigation map.

The coolest part is that you can press the “view” button on the steering wheel to shrink the digital gauges and make the map more prominent. It comes in handy when following the navigation.

My only gripe is that there isn’t a head-up display, which I would like to see in a car at this price point.

The Q3 has enough power for daily errands, but there’s some lag

A rear view of the 2022 Audi Q3 near trees
2022 Audi Q3 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

As for the Audi Q3’s power, my tester is the “45” model, which comes with the more-potent turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It puts out 228 hp compared to the base “40” model’s 184. In real-world driving situations, that power is more than enough to get on the freeway quickly and pass cars. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a fair amount of turbo lag before the car gets going.

For the unaware, turbochargers need more RPMs from the engine to “spool up” or make their optimal power. Before they reach the optimal RPM, the engine feels a little sluggish as the power builds, hence the term “lag.” Honestly, If you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t care.

But for nit-picky reviewers like myself, it can get a little annoying. That being said, the Q3 has plenty of power for anyone needing a small crossover to get around town. Just make sure to get the larger engine and pay no mind to the turbo lag.

So far, I feel the Audi Q3 is worth its price point compared to other luxury compact SUVs in its class. It provides a clean look, a comfortable and quiet ride, and the right amount of technology and power to appease most luxury buyers.

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