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My only criticisms : The engine could use more HP (can be fixed with a Neuspeed Power Module), the rear passenger and cargo areas are a little tight (no surprise), and the bit of excessive body roll can be reduced with a rear anti-roll/sway bar.
If you can live without the Quattro version, a front-drive Q3 will be cheaper, accelerate better, and get better fuel economy, due to its lower weight.
Premium fuel is recommended, due to the turbocharging. You can use mid-grade or regular if premium is not available.
The engine, transmission, all-wheel-drive system (Haldex), suspension, steering, and brakes are identical to the Gen-1 Tiguan. The shock damping, spring rates and sway bars might be somewhat different, but they are physically interchangeable.
Some of the electronics are the same (ECU, ABS/Stability Control modules), but Infotainment electronics, and some of the other body electronics (window motors, alarm, climate control) is different.
The body/chassis is similar, but the Q3 has a reinforced front structure, which results in improved small-offset crash test results. The Q3 also has an aluminum hood and tailgate, for weight savings.
The Q3 is built in Spain, the Tig Gen-1 is built in Germany. The Q3 is statistically been significantly more reliable than the Tiguan. The Q3 is actually the most reliable Audi model currently sold.
Change your engine oil and filter every 3000 to 5000 miles max. Make sure the oil you use states on the bottle, that it meets the VW 502 specification, like Mobil-1 0W-40 "European Formula" (Walmart $26 for 5 QT bottle). You should stick with the OEM filter, made by Mann or Hengst. You can buy at VW dealer or Amazon.
Mann-Filter part number = W 719/45
Hengst part number = H14W30
VW part number = 06J 115 403Q = 06J 115 561B
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 40,000 miles, there are some wear issues with the aluminum valve body bores. Make sure you use the correct ATF for this Aisin made transmission, not some "Universal Multi-Application ATF". The Ravenol T-IV synthetic ATF is especially formulated for this transmission. There are two similar pan gaskets and filters for the two similar versions of this transmission, the Q3 needs the "09M" 9 bolt gasket version, not the 8 bolt. The Meyle part number of the gasket and filter kit is 1001370005 or MHK0044 .
Also change the Bevel Box gear oil (bolted to the automatic trans), and the rear differential gear oil every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
Change the Haldex fluid (the other part of the rear differential unit), and replace the filter (or clean the filter screen on the pump) every 30,000 miles.
I bought a used CPO 2015 Q3 with 6500 miles on it, now has 40,000 miles, zero problems. I really like this mini-ute, and am considering buying another one for the family.
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