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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Passport deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passport’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Q3’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
Both the Passport and the Q3 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 all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Passport 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 over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Passport’s warranty.
The engine in the Passport has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Q3 has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 2 places higher in reliability than Audi.
The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (280 vs. 228) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Passport is faster than the Audi Q3:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Passport’s fuel efficiency. The Q3 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Passport has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q3 (19.5 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Passport 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 Honda Passport, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q3.
For better traction, the Passport has larger standard tires than the Q3 (245/50R20 vs. 235/55R18). The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q3 (265/45R20 vs. 255/40R20).
The Passport Sport/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q3’s standard 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Passport has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Q3.
The Passport 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 Passport’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the Q3 (110.9 inches vs. 105.5 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Passport is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Q3.
The Passport 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 Passport has 31.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Q3 (115.9 vs. 84).
The Passport has .5 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 5.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.5 inches more rear headroom, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and 6.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q3.
The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Q3 with its rear seat up (41.2 vs. 23.7 cubic feet). The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Q3 with its rear seat folded (77.9 vs. 48 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Passport’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Q3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Passport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q3’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Audi Q3 is only 1500 pounds. The Passport AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.
The Passport has a standard 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 Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite, the 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 Passport Touring/Elite’s standard 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 Passport’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 Passport 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.
Consumer Reports rated the Passport’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Passport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q3 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
When the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite 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 Passport and the Q3 offer available heated front seats. The Passport Touring/Elite also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q3.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Passport Elite 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 Passport Elite’s standard 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 Passport Touring/Elite has a 115-volt a/c outlet, 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 Passport is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Honda Passport outsold the Audi Q3 by over three to one during the 2019 model year.
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