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The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Outlander doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the Q3 and Outlander have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q3 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Outlander’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The Q3 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q3. But it costs extra on the Outlander.
The Q3 (except Premium) offers an optional Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Q3 and the Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Outlander’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Q3’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Outlander’s camshafts. If the Outlander’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 62 more horsepower (228 vs. 166) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (228 vs. 224) and 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.
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 Outlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Mitsubishi Outlander (5). This means the Q3 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander every 15,000 miles.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander:
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 Outlander are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Outlander (235/55R18 vs. 225/55R18). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander (255/40R20 vs. 225/55R18).
The Q3’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outlander’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Q3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q3 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.
The Q3 is 8.2 inches shorter than the Outlander, making the Q3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume than the Outlander with its rear seat up (23.7 vs. 10.3 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Outlander doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q3’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander 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 Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 12th.
The power windows standard on both the Q3 and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 Outlander 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 Outlander ES/SE’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
The Q3 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/GT.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Q3 has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.
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 Outlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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 Outlander doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mitsubishi Outlander isn't recommended.
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