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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 Sportage doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Both the Q3 and Sportage 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 Sportage’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 Sportage 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 Sportage.
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 Sportage only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
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 Sportage 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 Sportage have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, crash mitigating brakes, 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 Sportage is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.
The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Sportage’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Sportage’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 21 points higher than the Sportage.
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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 47 more horsepower (228 vs. 181) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 175) than the Sportage’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Q3 gets better fuel mileage than the Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (237 HP) (19 city/27 hwy vs. 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.
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.
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.
For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sportage:
Sportage SX Turbo
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.
The Q3 stops much shorter than the Sportage:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
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.
The Q3 has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Sportage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Q3 Prestige handles at .91 G’s, while the Sportage SX Turbo AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Sportage doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
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.
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 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 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 Sportage’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”
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.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q3 and the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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