Despite Audi breaking sales records in the US and small, luxury crossovers being the most popular cars in the world, the Audi Q3 has struggled to sell, here in the ‘States. The reason for that, according to Thiemo Rusch, General Manager of Sales Operations for Audi North America, is supply. North American dealers were simply not getting enough Q3s to sell them on a regular basis.
However, that’s starting to turn around, as Audi Q3 sales are up 46 percent from this time last year. Currently, Q3 sales sit at 12,525 units, compared to the 13,229 for all of 2015. So it’s making some serious progress. The boost in production for the Audi Q3 at the SEAT Plant in Spain has helped tremendously. “We got the right production to support true demand, and the customers are shifting heavily into SUVs,” It also doesn’t hurt that customers would so much rather have the Q3 for around $34,000 than an A3 for around $30,000.
From an enthusiast’s viewpoint, this is actually a bad thing. While we clearly are big fans of the Audi brand here, it must be said that the Audi Q3 simply isn’t any good. It’s actually quite bad. We drove the Q3 back to back with the new BMW X1 and the Audi stood no chance, in any metric. It’s sad, really, because Audi has recently shown what it can really do, with the new A4 and Q7. The latter two cars are brilliant and the Q3 is just a stinker. But now it’s a better-selling stinker than before.
According to Devin Carlson, general manager of Audi Stuart in Florida, the Audi Q3 is only just getting recognized for the great car that it is. “It’s really just the car getting its due attention,” he said. “I was surprised it didn’t happen sooner,”. However, this clearly shows America’s lack of knowledge about what Audi’s are supposed to be, because the Q3 feels like a bad reinterpretation of the Volkswagen Tiguan. But that’s what current Audi buyers want in America and that’s the problem. We won’t get the RS3 Sportback or even the Audi A4 Avant, but we’ll get a million snooze-inducing Q3s. Great.
So with it selling so well, Audi might not think to change it much for the upcoming successor. Admittedly, the current car is still based on the old Volkswagen platform and the new one will be based on the brand’s new MQB platform, which is far better. Hopefully, Audi injects some sport into the next one because the current car is about as enjoyable to drive around in as Ben Stein.