MPG

Q3

2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Sportage

SX 2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sportage doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Kia Sportage (3 to 7). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Sportage every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi Q3, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Sportage.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sportage:

Q3

Sportage LX/S/EX

Sportage SX Turbo

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

11.9 inches

The Q3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Sportage are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Sportage (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sportage (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R19).

The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sportage LX’s standard 60 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Sportage SX Turbo’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sportage LX. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sportage SX Turbo.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Sportage doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Sportage uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 32% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

The Q3’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sportage has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sportage’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Q3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Sportage can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Sportage’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Q3’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sportage.

The Q3 Prestige has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Sportage offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q3 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Sportage.

The Q3 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sportage doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports? recommends both the Audi Q3 and the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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