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For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Audi Q3 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Equinox are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q3 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Both the Equinox and the Q3 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Equinox 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 10 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Equinox has a standard 700-amp battery. The Q3’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Q3 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.
The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (252 vs. 228) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Audi Q3:
Zero to 60 MPH
Zero to 100 MPH
5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start
Speed in 1/4 Mile
On the EPA test cycle the Equinox AWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Q3 (25 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).
The Equinox has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q3.
The Equinox has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Q3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Q3 (107.3 inches vs. 105.5 inches).
For better maneuverability, the Equinox’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q3’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Chevrolet Equinox may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 650 pounds less than the Audi Q3.
The front grille of the Equinox uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Equinox uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Equinox has .4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.
The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 23.7 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 48 cubic feet).
A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Equinox easier. The Equinox’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.6 inches, while the Q3’s liftover is 29.9 inches.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Equinox LT/Premier’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q3 is limited to 1500 pounds. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.
The Equinox can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Equinox can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Q3 can’t be towed flat on the ground.
The Equinox offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When two different drivers share the Equinox (except L/LS), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Equinox’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Equinox’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Q3 does not have an oil pressure gauge.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Q3 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.
The Equinox’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Equinox has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
When the Equinox with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Q3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Both the Equinox and the Q3 offer available heated front seats. The Equinox Premier also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the Equinox Premier keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Equinox Premier’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Equinox (except L/LS) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Equinox is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox second among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q3 isn’t in the top three.
The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Audi Q3 by almost 43 to one during the 2019 model year.
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