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Everyone loves a good deal, especially when you can snag something normally out of your price range. In a culture driven by consumerism where labels indicate social standing, there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a luxury item. Manufacturers such as Audi have capitalized on this construct, and buyers have eaten it up. For all intents and purposes, purchasing a luxury vehicle like a 2021 Audi Q3 is synonymous with greatness. 

Pulling into your workplace in an Audi means you have arrived in more ways than one. Now, the German automaker has made it so even more people can experience the rush of owning a coveted 2021 Audi Q3 … kind of. 

Audi cut the starting price of the upcoming 2021 Audi Q3, but it’s not that straightforward. Instead of reducing the old base model’s MSRP, Audi has chosen to revamp its trim levels and offer a brand-new introductory model at a lower cost. 

So what exactly does this mean for car buyers? Is Audi essentially releasing a bargain bin version of Audi’s cheapest SUV and keeping everything else the same? Or will the new trim level structure be a boon for everyone in the end? Let’s take a closer look at what we know so far and what we can expect out of the new 2021 Audi Q3’s trim options.  

The 2021 Audi Q3 could be the luxury bargain you’re looking for

A silver 2021 Audi Q3 driving down a highway street
The 2021 Audi Q3 in action | Photo via Audi

Are you willing up to give a little to get a fantastic deal? If so, then then you’re in luck. Audi created a new base trim, the 40 TFSI Premium, for the 2021 Audi Q3 that has a starting MSRP of just $34,000. This model is $700 cheaper than last year’s entry-level trim, but it comes with a catch.

The 2021 Audi Q3’s 40 TFSI powertrain includes a new engine that is somewhat underwhelming. This 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers just 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. Those expecting the best that German engineering has to offer won’t find it here. This powerplant, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system, accelerates from 0-60 MPH in a leisurely 8.6 seconds.

However, this budget 2021 Audi Q3 still offers premium luxury inside its cabin. Audi outfitted it with a power panoramic sunroof, leather seats, and an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen display. Plus, you’ll get standard driver-assist technologies like lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, and more.

What do the 2021 Audi Q3’s upper trims offer?

The Q3 45 TFSI Premium, which was once the model’s base trim, still exists. Although this model also comes with a catch, as it’s slightly more expensive than before. It now starts at $36,000, but buyers will enjoy the addition of the S-Line appearance package in return.

A more robust 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine lies under the hood of every 45 TFSI model. This powerplant delivers 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 44 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque upgrade over the new base trim. However, it comes at the cost of gas mileage. The 40 TFSI models achieve an EPA-estimated 25 MPG city/highway combined, while the 45 TFSI models get 23 MPG combined.

Meanwhile, the more ritzy Premium Plus trim levels can be outfitted with either powertrain option. These models have luxurious features like a hands-free liftgate, adaptive cruise control, and optional sports seats. The top-of-the-line 2021 Audi Q3 TFSI 45 Premium Plus has a relatively modest starting MSRP of $39,300.

What comes next for Audi’s most affordable SUV? 

Audi will always be known for sporty driving dynamics and premium cabin. The level of opulence one feels just by sitting inside one of the automaker’s vehicles is a wonder on its own. Now, motorists can rejoice that Audi has made changes in its structure for the 2021 Audi Q3 to make this experience even more accessible. Getting into an Audi no longer costs a fortune, and the Q3 is a great way to go if you are looking for a more upscale subcompact SUV. 


Good Luck Deciding Between the 2020 Volvo XC40 and 2021 Audi Q3