However, if you’re looking to buy a European sub-compact premium crossover, recent reviews suggest that Audi’s latest Q3 might be the cream of the crop, despite multiple well-rounded challengers such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Jaguar E-PACE or the Volvo XC40.
Then there’s the flagship
While we can’t say definitively whether or not the latest Q3 is indeed the best crossover in its class, what we can tell you is that if rumors are to be believed regarding the RS Q3 version’s 420 PS 2.5-liter turbo petrol unit, as claimed by AutoBild recently, then you’d be hard pressed to find more excitement behind the wheel of any of its rivals.
Audi is expected to launch the RS Q3 early on this year, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March. If that happens, then it will automatically become the most powerful vehicle in its class, as Mercedes-AMG won’t be introducing their all-new GLA 45 any time soon.
A shortage of competitors
Since there’s no BMW X1 M in the works (that we know of), and the X2 M35i won’t even come close to the RS Q3 in terms of power, it looks as though Audi won’t be worrying about their Bavarian rivals in this particular case. It’s also safe to say that neither the Volvo XC40 nor the Jaguar E-PACE will pose any danger to Audi’s speedy crossover, as long as its peak power output surpasses 400 PS.
As for the new GLA/GLA 45, even if it can match the Audi in a straight line, Mercedes will keep the same styling recipe, which means that it will basically remain a high-riding version of the all-new A-Class, and will therefore be less SUV-like than the Q3, which was recently commended for its generous head and knee room in the back, modern and high-quality dashboard, solid ergonomics, comfortable ride and sharp, allegedly best-in-class handling.
Is it then too soon to crown the upcoming RS Q3 as segment king? Technically yes. Although, as of right now, the Audi is definitely the leading candidate.