With the 2015 Audi Q3 that arrives to the U.S. this fall, Audi cements the its crossover strategy, with a five-passenger, subcompact-size tall hatchback that fits five, meets all the standards for features and luxury for the brand, and makes a nice complement in the lineup both to the larger Q5 and like-sized, more carlike A3 Sportback.  

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And now it's been priced. The 2015 Audi Q3 Premium Plus, with front-wheel drive, starts at $33,425, or $35,615 with quattro (all-wheel drive). Q3 Prestige models cost $37,325, or $39,225 with quattro.

That pitches it squarely against the BMW X1 -- and even closer, of course, to the all-new 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, which starts at $32,225 with front-wheel drive or $34,225 with 4Matic (all-wheel drive).

The 2015 Q3 will include 60/40 split-folding back seats on all models, as well as dual-zone climate control and Audi drive select. Options offered on the A3 include a power tailgate, an enganced MMI Navigation system, and (included on the Prestige), a 14-speaker, 465-watt Bose surround-sound system. 

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What Audi's announcement still leaves room for is the higher-performance SQ3. With the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG already set to shoot out the gate with the same 355-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Mercedes CLA45 AMG -- and all-wheel drive -- it's definitely going to be the one to beat at the performance end of the lineup.

With pricing for the GLA45 AMG starting at $49,225 and probably topping out in the sixties, that does leave Audi a moving target to beat on value, if not performance.


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