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Both the Q3 and Compass 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 Compass’ 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 Compass 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 Compass.
The Q3 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Compass only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
Both the Q3 and the Compass 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 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 Compass 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 Compass’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Compass’ (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Compass’ engine uses 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 51 points higher than the Compass.
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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 15 places higher in reliability than Jeep.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (228 vs. 180) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
The Q3 has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass (15.9 vs. 13.5 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 Jeep Compass (3 to 6). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Compass every 15,000 miles.
The Audi Q3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Compass.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Compass:
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 Compass are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Compass (235/55R18 vs. 215/65R16). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Compass (255/40R20 vs. 235/45R19).
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 Compass Sport’s standard 65 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Compass Limited 4x4’s optional 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Compass Sport. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Compass Limited 4x4.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q3’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Compass (105.5 inches vs. 103.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q3 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q3’s rear seats recline. The Compass’ rear seats don’t recline.
A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q3 easier. The Q3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.9 inches, while the Compass’ liftover is 31.1 inches.
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Compass 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 Compass doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Q3’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Compass’ (1500 vs. 0 pounds).
The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Compass 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 Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 54% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.
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 Compass’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
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 Compass 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 Compass’ standard 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 Compass’ headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”
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 Compass only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.
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 Compass offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Q3 and the Compass offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q3 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Compass doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Compass doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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 Compass doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Jeep Compass isn't recommended.
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