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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the UX Series deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The UX Series’ 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.
The UX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q3 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The UX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Q3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the UX Series and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the UX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.
Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the UX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
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 UX Series’ reliability 46 points higher than the Q3.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 14th.
As tested in Motor Trend the UX 250h 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid is faster than the Audi Q3:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
On the EPA test cycle the UX 250h gets better fuel mileage than the Q3 (41 city/38 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the UX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q3 doesn’t offer a CVT.
The UX Series’ 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.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Q3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The UX 250h F Sport AWD handles at .80 G’s, while the Q3 Premium Plus pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the Q3’s (34.2 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Lexus UX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 600 pounds less than the Audi Q3.
The design of the Lexus UX Series amounts to more than styling. The UX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Q3 (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the UX Series get better fuel mileage.
The UX Series has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Q3 (90.4 vs. 84).
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 24% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.
The UX Series 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 three different drivers share the UX Series, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. 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 UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the UX Series 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 UX Series’ headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The UX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
When the UX Series 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.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus UX Series and the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Lexus UX Series outsold the Audi Q3 by 13% during 2019.
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