One beautiful thing about the auto industry: When it starts a trend, it sticks with it until the end. There was once a time when SUVs couldn’t possibly be big enough, which eventually led to putting wheels on transoceanic tankers like the Hummer H2. In today’s market, however, they can can hardly be small enough. Luxury, style and fuel economy are the priority now, and automakers are all too happy to oblige. At the head of this pack of pint-sizers is the new Audi Q3, redesigned for the 2016 model year and ready to provide buyers with a serious alternative to the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.
Off the bat, the 2016 Q3 brings familiar Audi ideals to the table: premium interior materials, composed ride quality, and attractive, sculpted exterior design that begs to be dipped in a coat of charcoal grey. My test vehicle, a Prestige trim equipped with Audi’s famous quattro all-wheel drive, instead came in white, with an array of luxurious features suited for the driver looking for an upscale, but mostly effortless, luxury suv experience.