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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 Terrain 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 GMC Terrain doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.
Both the Q3 and Terrain 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 Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain.
Both the Q3 and the Terrain 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.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Terrain was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.
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 Terrain’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 Terrain’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Terrain’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 Terrain.
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 GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 18 places higher in reliability than GMC.
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 Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Terrain 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 Terrain FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the GMC Terrain (3 to 5). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Terrain every 15,000 miles.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Terrain:
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 Terrain are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Terrain (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (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 Terrain’s standard 65 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Terrain’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 Terrain. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Terrain.
The Q3 is 5.7 inches shorter than the Terrain, 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 Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Terrain 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 GMC. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.
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 Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Q3’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”
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 Terrain and isn’t available on the Terrain SL.
The Q3’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Terrain SL doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
The Q3 (except Premium)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Terrain’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The GMC Terrain isn't recommended.
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