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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 Equinox doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.
Both the Q3 and Equinox 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 Equinox’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 Equinox 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 Equinox.
Both the Q3 and the Equinox have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Q3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Equinox’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Equinox’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q3’s reliability 29 points higher than the Equinox.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 58 more horsepower (228 vs. 170) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 203) than the Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Equinox with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Q3 has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Equinox:
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 Equinox are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Equinox (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (255/40R20 vs. 235/50R19).
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 Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Equinox Premier’s optional 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.
The Q3 is 6.5 inches shorter than the Equinox, making the Q3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Equinox 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 Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.
The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Equinox’s passenger windows don’t close 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 Equinox can only close 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 Equinox’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 Equinox and isn’t available on the Equinox L/LS.
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 Equinox doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Equinox isn't recommended.
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