By on August 22, 2017

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Confirmation bias can be a tricky thing to overcome in this business. You might not know this, but some people in this business think I have a bit of a preference for the Blue Oval. Some of my frenemies in the automotive journalism world have accused me of being pro-Honda. As for me, I’d like to think that I can objectively evaluate any car, but let’s be realistic here — we’re all humans. We have experiences and biases that rear their ugly heads even when we are doing our damnedest to shove them deep down inside ourselves.

But there’s a entire class of car I personally find reprehensible, for no other reason than I find the types of people who drive them to be, well, reprehensible. When I think “Luxury Compact CUV,” I think “Basic Bitch.” These vehicles serve no actual purpose. In most cases, they have less space than their compact car siblings, worse gas mileage, and prices that soar at least $5-7k higher. The only reason to purchase or (more likely) lease such a Basicmobile is to fit in with the other SAHMs in your subdivision who have seamlessly transitioned from college frat mattress to PTA vice-president in only 10 years flat. When a female friend of mine texted me recently with, “What do you think about the Audi Q3?” my response was so vile that I can’t put it into print (and if you think about the things I’ve written, that’s saying something).

As a result, I was absolutely determined to hate the 2017 Audi Q3 Premium when I selected it from the Emerald Aisle at Miami International Airport. There was only one problem with drinking this particular flavor of haterade.

It’s a pretty damn good car.

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Of course, it took me a little while to come to this conclusion. I hate the fact that it’s called “Premium.” The Premium is the base, no fog lamps, no navigation, smaller wheels model — so why is it called “Premium?”

For a “Premium” car, the interior is flat-out disgusting. In fact, it wouldn’t be acceptable in a $18,000 car, much less one that starts at $32,900 USD. The knobs and switches feel much more Volkswagen than Audi — and that’s being kind, considering the interior of the last VW I reviewed (the Golf AllTrack) was miles better than this. While nobody in Miami would opt for the combination of black leather interior and a panoramic sunroof in a daily driver, in my rental, it made the seating areas a “No Shorts” zone, as the leather quickly became hot enough in the middle of the day to scorch the thighs of unsuspecting passengers.

 

Lol wut #whatsbarkdrivingtoday

A post shared by Bark M. (@barkmfors) on

 

Then there was the fact I couldn’t connect my phone to the infotainment system via USB — the port was specifically marked “charging only.” In my seven years of driving over 40 different cars per year, that was a first. Luckily, connecting via Bluetooth was seamless and easy — just kidding. It was a seven-step catastrophe that the Q3 made me repeat every time I started the car, forcing me to pair my device multiple times per day.

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This wouldn’t have been quite as annoying if the infotainment wasn’t a relic from the turn of the century. Of course it’s not a touchscreen, because those are available in Ford Fiestas. No, it requires a bizarre combination of knobs and buttons to use, and none of the menus make any sense whatsoever. And once you’ve managed to get your device to actually pair for the third time that morning, it treats you to an audio assault resembling nothing so much as children beating pots and pans together, as the stereo system is unlistenable.

Okay, did you make it through all the silly complaints about the interior? Good. Because here’s the good part: the car is an absolute hoot to drive.

If you can look past the terrible interior and the absent fog lights (on a $32,900 car!) and the overall poverty-spec level accoutrements of the car ($32,900!!), you realize that the Q3 is essentially a lifted Golf. And this is a very, very good thing.

The suspension is sorted well enough to make driving in Miami borderline tolerable, even with the horrible roads, relentless traffic, and army of uninsured Altima pilots surrounding you. It somehow manages to be soft enough for daily comfort but stiff enough to make taking the occasional on-ramp at speed mildly exhilarating. The base 18-inch  wheels and tire combination look somewhat small and, again, poverty-spec in photos, but in daily usage they combine to provide excellent grip and lateral stability. This led to all sorts of inappropriate hooning on my part and some rather curious looks from passersby, most of whom weren’t expecting to see a middle-aged fan in Oakleys giggling his head off behind the wheel.

The 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four motor isn’t a powerhouse per se, but it’s sufficiently motivated to make the Q3 seem like you could be relatively competitive in a local autocross, should it come to that. I was mildly surprised to see that the manufacturer’s 0-60 test number was just a hair under 8 seconds — the little Audi feels much more lively than the data suggests. Highway noise and vibrations were tolerable, at best, but maybe that’s because the Q3 seems happiest when it’s revving high and dancing into open spots between cars, darting into spaces that its more portly brethren wouldn’t and couldn’t manage.

As a result, when driving the Q3 I often found myself saying out loud, to nobody in particular, “Man, I like this car.” It’s qualitatively fun to drive, it fits into just about any parking space you want it to, and it even satisfies the badge whore within.

But there’s one thing that’s entirely wrong about the Audi Q3 Premium (well, other than being called “Premium”) — the price. There’s no way in hell this thing is worth $32,900. It just isn’t. In fact, I’d have a hard time paying anything over $25k for it. The interior isn’t worth it. The motor, while suitably spry, needs another 70-80 hp to justify that price tag. The paint is of similar quality to any subcompact on the market. It doesn’t even have fog lamps. All of this is forgivable in a Golf, or even a GTI. None of it is forgivable in a car that clocks in at right around the average vehicle transaction price in America. If you’re gonna charge average money, you gotta include average content, even if you do put the four rings on the grille.

In the end, the Audi Q3 is pretty much the opposite of most of the people who buy it — a good heart, but just too cheap on the outside to make it worth the money.

[Images: © Mark “Bark M.” Baruth]

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126 Comments on “2017 Audi Q3 Premium Rental Review – Bias Against ‘Basic’...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    18 inch wheels >>>> poverty spec

    Man, the world has changed a lot in the last 20 yrs…

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      No kidding. 18 wheels, so old school and cheap. Pure junk.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Yeah, the cars got taller and fatter. In order to fill the wheel wells and not make the car look frumpy, an 18″ on a CUV is like a 15″ on a passenger car — entry level. Ridiculous when you consider this is just a hatchback for way too much money. And the A3 hatchback barely sold for a decade or more…

  • avatar
    silentsod

    “middle-aged fan” should be “middle-aged man”

  • avatar
    darex

    The Q3 is the oldest and worst model in the Audi line-up. It looses against its rivals in EVERY head-to-head. You know this! Why condemn a whole segment over it? Besides, you might have gotten a Chevy Trax from a rental agency! Surely, it beats that!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    That’s a nice Hyundai.

    Edit: Never mind. After reading about the USB and Bluetooth clusterfark, it’s now:

    That’s a nice Mitsubishi.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      A loaded Outlander Sport is about $5K cheaper and even comes with fog lights when you option it up enough. Better warranty too. Of course it doesn’t have those fancy rings on the front.

      • 0 avatar
        xtoyota

        FOG LIGHTS….when is the last time you really needed them ??????? :=)

        • 0 avatar
          ash78

          You mean apart from looking cool while driving down the street in midday sun? /s

          I can support rear foglights for poor visibility, but front foglights have always been a joke.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        @Brettc

        I happen to like the Outlander Sport, but when people judge warranties based on the claimed years of coverage I think it’s kind of a mistaken approach: I mean, there’s nothing guaranteeing that the company actually has to honor the claims…frankly, I think it’s sort of a scam. That said, I don’t own a Mitsubishi so I’m in no position to judge the integrity of Mitsubishi motors or any other company for that matter, I am just making a general point. I am tired of people saying this warranty is better than that warranty just based on the manufacturer’s claims…

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “I mean, there’s nothing guaranteeing that the company actually has to honor the claims.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act

          How do you propose to compare new car warranties if not years of coverage or other manufacturer claims?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            There is no objective way to compare, but certainly you can get a sense of willingness to cover marginal issues under warranty from owners. Do they fix things without a quibble or do they blow you off with “cannot reproduce” or “they all do that”. Though I think this probably varies as much dealer to dealer as it does from make to make. From talking to pretty much everyone I actually know with an older Hyundai, for instance, that “10-year” warranty is about worth the paper it is printed on. Good luck actually getting anything fixed less than a hole through the oil pan, and you had best have had every service done by the dealer, on time.

            Ultimately, I am also one who is not really all that impressed by long warranties. 3-4 years is plenty of time for actual manufacturing defects to present themselves. Beyond that, usage starts to be a bigger and bigger factor. Some people can manage to drive the most “unreliable” car reliably, and some people can tear up a Prius.

          • 0 avatar
            chiefmonkey

            I just think the reputation of the company is equally, if not more, important: who actually wants to go through the trouble of litigation?

  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    I have seen more imagination and better materials in a mid 90’s Toyota Corolla dash than what this Audi is sporting. It has everything that it needs to sell for it’s price though… four linked rings on the grille. Everything else is forgiven because of the label…. just as Prada shoes made in Vietnam.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No kidding. I like the random piece of fake aluminum accent trim just kind of hovering there in front of the passenger. Really unimpressive and purposeless design and I normally like VW/Audi interiors. It’d be fine if it were a Polo, but at $30K+ it is just cynical. It deserves to wear those no smoking stickers.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I built one on the Audi site and even the Quattro “Premium Plus” trim for about $38K didn’t show anything but black pieces on the lower front bumper. Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like fog lights aren’t even an option?

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      Who needs fog lights when you have German engineering (and Spanish assembly)? Everyone knows that the quality of the standard head lamps is sufficient that fog lamps are superfluous.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Any reason to get this over the Golf Alltrack, then? You like that it has Golf driving character, but think the VW has a far nicer interior.

    My personal criteria would state that an premium-badged and premium-priced vehicle that fails at many things and achieves parity at best with some things relative to its cheaper cousin meets the classification of “bad car”.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Honestly it simply sounds like a worse VW Golf GTI. CUV-appeal to the masses aside, it sounds like the Audi is worse in every single metric.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This is our inevitable march back to the Mercedes C Coupe and BMW 318ti, two cars that those brands considered to be resounding failures and blemishes to the brand 15 years ago.

    But, you see, this one goes to 11. I mean, it’s a crossover.

    So all is forgiven, somehow.

    Full disclosure: My parents drive a mid-spec Q5 ($45k or so) and I’d rather have a Golf R for $10k less. I can’t imagine Audi having the need to offer something smaller than the Q5, but everyone else is doing it, so…whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      ash – there might be a half dozen other poeple in the market who compare/shop a mid-Spec Q5 to a Golf R.

      The ride, handling, image are all totally different.

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        Agree on that, but I bet if you put a Q5 shopper in a Golf R, they’d be a little amazed at how nice it is.

        Full disclosure: My parents’ other car (besides the Q5) is a 2004 R32. They love them both, but for obviously different reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      I actually rather liked the 318ti and seriously considered one back in the day. Even then, it was apparent that BMW was moving up the price rungs, and a stripped-down Bimmer somehow appealed to me. Of course, being all of 23 or so years old making diddly-squat for an income didn’t help (for any vehicle purchase).

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        And now at least Mercedes is (sort of) trying to reignite that torch with the CLA/GLA, with mixed results.

        I also sort of liked the 318ti, but not as much as the 1-series hatchback that never came to the US. Sad we only got the coupe and convertible.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    The most Basic B**ch thing about that car is the 2.0T I-4 engine.

    The 2.0T I-4 never has been, is not now, and cannot become aspirational.
    They can be good engines in smaller cars like the GTI or good-enough engines in some of the less-bloated mid-size cars. But no one desires one.

    The 2.0T I-4 is the creation and gift of the politburo.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I would find a ~220 HP 2.0T I4 to be very aspiration-worthy in, say, a 2018 Miata.

      I doubt I’m the only one who would desire that car very much.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Also, I’m not sure if the 1.6T in my Fiesta ST is a “creation and gift of the politburo” or not.

      If it is then I thank our comrades for their gift, because it is an absolute hoot of an engine.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        As a multiple serial Saab owner, I find that a turbocharged four of ~2.0l displacement at ~200-250hp to be pretty much the ideal combination of pace and efficiency for a midsize car. Fast when you need it to be, frugal the rest of the time. I have no need for more.

        And of course, stick that same motor in a compact (e.g. my GTI) and hilarity ensues.

  • avatar
    John R

    $33k for this. CUVs are a blight.

  • avatar
    bienville

    “relatively competitive in a local autocross, should it come to that”

    It won’t. So many words on handing which is 0.0% of use cases on this vehicle, not a single word on cargo space, whether the seats fold flat, etc. What’s the point of this ‘review’ again?

  • avatar
    kam327

    Wow, I’m no feminist but even I find that 2nd paragraph shockingly sexist. College frat mattress??? That’s the kind of remark that goes viral, and not in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Don’t listen to “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom” – Everclear.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Yeah, and inaccurate — the Q3 strikes me more as a car for people (of either gender) still sleeping on college frat mattresses, not 10 years later. That’s why there’s the Q5/7.

      Get your marketing right, Bark!

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      No one will ever call me a feminist, but it never ceases to amaze me how the Baruth brothers love to brag about their exploits (granted Jack more than Mark) but then treat females with such disdain for doing the same.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Their comments strike me as falling within the definition of ‘overcompensation’.

      • 0 avatar

        Please show me where I’ve bragged about exploits. Thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        bienville

        “love to brag about their exploits…”

        Men have exploits, women don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Just out of curiosity, if you could pick an ideal number of men to have penetrated your wife prior to your marriage, what would that number be?

        As for Bark, I think he’s a better feminist ally than Joss Whedon.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Ideal? I dunno. It kinda depends on age, no? If you marry someone at the age of 18 your expectations should be a little different than if you marry her when she’s 40. Quite frankly, I’ve no problem with the fact that my wife and I weren’t each others’ firsts, because we both know what we (aren’t) missing. If she’d never been with anyone else, I’d expect her to wake up someday and wonder what someone else would be like. I didn’t intend to marry the first girl I was with, so it would be pretty arrogant for me to expect that of my wife.

          To put a car guy analogy forth, insisting on having an active sex life and then settling down to marry a virgin is like proclaiming how you’ll only ever buy used cars and everyone who doesn’t is a dolt. Well, you’re going to need a supply of cars/partners that comes from somewhere in order to sustain your preferences, where do you think that’s going to come from?

          • 0 avatar
            Dingleberrypiez_Returns

            S2k Chris, don’t fall for the trolling. Bark’s been waiting to bait folks ever since he hid under his bridge during the last editor’s tenure.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            There are plenty of men throughout history who had active sex lives then married a virgin. It’s considerably easier than, say, scaling Everest or bowling a 300 game.

            I realize it’s very au courant to pretend that men and women are identical creatures who just happened to be put in different color clothes at birth but try this experiment on for size: Go on eBay and buy a well-worn Tiffany ring. When it arrives, give it to your wife as a present at dinner. When she expresses her gratitude, say, “Oh, it’s no problem. I gave a new ring like that to my first real girlfriend and ever since then I’ve given an identical ring to every woman I’ve dated. You’re number thirty-four.” Then sit back and wait for her to wear that ring in public…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I owe you a beer, Jack.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Didn’t you marry a woman with a kid from a prior marriage Jack? What are you trying to prove here exactly?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Just out of curiosity, if you could pick an ideal number of men to have penetrated your wife prior to your marriage, what would that number be?”

            you (predictably) dodged the question. why is it OK for a man to have numerous sexual partners, but not OK for a woman?

            Straight answer, please. no quoting statistics you barely understand which you found on some website.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “you (predictably) dodged the question. why is it OK for a man to have numerous sexual partners, but not OK for a woman? ”

            Who said it wasn’t okay? I used to live with a Vegas stripper. She was no virgin when we met.

            But the scientific answer, no statistics involved, is this: microchimerism.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Who said it wasn’t okay?”

            Oh, I dunno, maybe the guy who denigrates them as “frat house mattresses.”

            “But the scientific answer, no statistics involved, is this: microchimerism.”

            as I expected, you found something that sounds like it supports your beliefs and use it to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

            1) the phenomenon is found in women who have *had children*, not just had sex

            2) there’s no consensus on what the effects of it are (if there are any at all!)

    • 0 avatar
      Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

      I would think one would resist the impulse to print something like that on site that has advertisers that may not want to alienate half of the population with a misogynistic rant.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        who needs to burn a book when people like you are happy to pressure it into never being printed in the first place?

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          No Jack it there are a number of issues here.

          One is your past history of posting some rather puerile, juvenile, misogynistic statements. It may just be a public persona or an attention getting device but it creates an aura of disrespect.

          Second is the fact that as a for profit site that depends on advertising, and is involved in an industry that is generally regarded as being ‘male dominated’ posting such things, can turn off female readers and therefore alienate advertisers/sponsors.

          Third, freedom of speech is not an absolute. As we all have seen/learned hate speech is not protected. And in the jurisdiction that owns/publishes this site, there are strict rules regarding written/spoken harassment in the workplace. The type of pejorative phrase used, falls under that definition and under the applicable statute, anyone can then make a complaint regarding it. The editor should probably not have allowed that phrase to have been posted.

          Fourth is that historically the ‘real players’ generally maintain an attitude of respect/courtesy/privacy regarding their exploits/paramours. The 3rd tier or those with no proof or those whose sexuality is in question are much more prone to ‘bragging’ than the true swordsmen.

          Fifth, if do you wish to have your daughter exposed to the same type of misogyny and sexist drivel? If someone called her such a name, how would you react?

          Finally, if this type of phrase/statement was your actual attitude towards women and not a persona, there are a great many fathers/brothers/uncles who would have ensured that you suffered additional broken bones if you came anywhere near their daughters, sisters, nieces, etc. So that also lends me to believe that this is merely a ‘provocation’ on your part and not your actual in person demeanor.

          • 0 avatar

            You don’t understand internet advertising. At all.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            To begin with, your answer depresses me. If your ancestors had felt that way about dangerous and offensive ideas, we would still be dependent on the annual flood of the Nile. But here’s a point by point answer:

            One: If you think that I’m puerile and misogynistic then you must shudder in fear every time you open a book written before The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Grow up.

            Two: Under my leadership, TTAC led the industry in the hiring and nurturing of female, queer, and trans voices. When I left, we had all of them contributing. Stevenson fired them all. So if you want to judge people by actions, I’m the best friend the feminist and minority communities ever had in the autojourno biz. Suck on that.

            Three: I get it. When you are weak, you ask for freedom of speech because that is according to my principles. When you are strong, you erase freedom of speech because that is according to your principles.

            Four: Save this fantasy crap about real swordsmen for a Harlequin book where it belongs.

            Five: I don’t have a daughter. There’s no chance of me ever having a daughter.

            Finally: Save this fantasy crap about men defending the honor of women for a Harlequin book where it belongs. I’ll tell you what ninety-five percent of “fathers/brothers/uncles” do when they realize you’re side-piecing their female family member: they ask what the chances are of catching a ride in an exotic press car.

            You are playing with forces of censorship and oppression that you don’t truly understand and have never experienced in person. It comes from the belief that you’ll somehow be spared in the conflagration which follows because you’re a doubleplusgoodthinker. You won’t be. Khmer Rouge, Sendero Luminoso, brother. In the end even the quislings get it.

        • 0 avatar
          Augustin

          You’re going to frame THIS into a first Amendment argument?

          Oh, wow.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Wow, are people disproportionately overreacting to a small section of this review, IMO.

      I found what Bark wrote, that’s the causing wadded panties (oops – too soon?), to be somewhat mildly offensive, at best, and if at all.

      I fear that if the PC pendulum swings too far in either direction, it will be the death of one of the few, remaining, non-whoredom (oops), non-groupthink, not yet over-commercialized online automotive culture vehicle clubs (even if it skews heavily mancave).

      Let’s reserve such outrage for things said and dine that are genuinely outrageous lest we cramp too much license and style, and turn the place into a sterile, boring room comprised of four white walls and beige carpeting.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Let me weigh in here…My mother, may she rest in peace, taught me to read before I went to school..To this day I remain a voracious reader…Books, newspapers, blogs, fiction, and non fiction, I read them all. In short, I enjoy reading. Its what I do.

        Jack, and Mark, are very talented writers. Do agree with all that they write ? No…I do however, find they way both brothers can turn a phrase endlessly entertaining.

        I can see no fault whatsoever in this review…BTW I’m the father of two very successful Gen X daughters, and Grandfather of a 12 year old girl..I’ve been married for nearly 45 years to a career driven wife..(never mind that she could still “turn heads” at the age of 50. ).. My wife’s success has placed me in the financial position I enjoy today…Unfortunately, due to lifes “curve balls” my wife is not able to share it with me..

        Like Mr Dailey , I’m a Canadian. Mr Dailey and I hold a different view of just what being a Canadian is all about. I respect his position, and will defend his right to express it.

        Jack..Mark Just keep writing the way you do..If I find something offensive, I will tell you…off line.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Jack, It is my understanding that you, or in this instance your little brother get paid for writing here and also I believe for each view/visit/click.

        So it is to your benefit to be provocative and in fact write things which you do not really believe in order to inflame/entice readers.

        The final disclaimer in my previous point illustrates that based on your actions as editor that I do not in fact believe that you practice or believe much of what you write.

        What is bothersome is that in many instances the puerile/misogynistic comments that you or in this case your brother feel compelled to include in some posts, in fact only serve to narrow the readership here, distract from any writing talent that you may have and at worst serve as a ‘dog whistle’ for those who are actually misogynists.

        Hanging epithets on a group of people based on their age, race, gender, religion or mental/physical abilities can fall into the realm of hate crime. Free speech is not dependent on someone’s ability to ridicule or bait others based on the above factors. The suppressors of free speech first dehumanize or hang appellations on their victims/targets. Therefore allowing hate speech is a precursor to censorship.

        Your statements regarding my knowledge or history of censorship, demonstrates a great deal of immaturity on your part. You do not know my or my family history. In fact my family has suffered terribly from government sponsored oppression and discrimination.

        As for not or never having daughters, can I also assume that you never had a sister? Therefore your speaking of the reaction of fathers/brothers is pure conjecture on your part and not supported by statistics or first person experience.

        As for your comments regarding swordsmen, why would we not believe that you are all hat and no cattle? You have demonstrated that your words and actions can be diametrically opposed. And again, you do not know my history or those who I have known/associated who would indeed laugh at your self-proclaimed ‘exploits’. Rather than descend into a ‘pissing contest’, I will state that over the decades I have come to know or become friends/associates with a number of extremely well known, powerful, accomplished men from 2 generations who have demonstrated over and over again that what you wrote regarding ‘swordsmen’ has little to no actual relationship to their real actions and is more reflective of a rather sad view of reality, embraced primarily by those on the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder.

        -30-

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          Arthur …As mentioned , I do respect your opinion. My issues on the issue of “free speech ” is where exactly do we draw the line ? I see where you have drawn yours…

          Respectively ..I draw mine in at a different place.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’m with you Mikey on this one.

            I think the Baruth brothers online persona is kind of ridiculous, to the point where Jack is almost an R-rated cartoon character. But I also find them both entertaining. And they are ultimately largely entertainers, not journalists.

            Jack is actually high on my list of people I would like to meet in person, just to see if he is as ridiculous as he portrays himself in print. He can’t be, can he?

        • 0 avatar

          Again, you demonstrate your lack of knowledge about the digital landscape. Nobody in this business, outside of the old Autoblog amateur hour known as “Open Road,” gets paid based on clicks. Nobody in my four plus years here has ever said, “Please try to get more clicks.”

          Your philosophy is right out of the Alinsky playbook. Shoo.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            So then educate us. I am involved in good old bricks and mortar enterprises. My understanding of how TTAC compensates its contributors is based on the comments of some TTAC contributors from when I first started visiting.

            And as somebody with a vested financial interest in TTAC’s parent company.

          • 0 avatar

            Not my job to educate you. You seem to think you know everything. Can’t teach people like that.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            As usual you demonstrate your lack of knowledge about common decency and what is appropriate for an automotive website.

            Fact is your style indicates that even if you are getting paid by the article and not per click that it generates, it seems your self worth is tied to the number of clicks. I’ve come to that conclusion based on the text book click baiting that you engage in.

            #1 post something intended to offend, or an outright untruth.

            #2 attack commenters who call you out on it.

            #3 engage in grade school level Nuh huh, uh huh, ect.

            Fact is that websites earn their revenue based on the number of impressions they deliver or on the number of ads that are clicked on. So while you may have never been told that you need to generate more clicks I have no doubt that if your articles did not generate enough traffic the powers that be would be no longer interested in your services.

            Personally I’ve tried to do my part and had stopped clicking on your articles long before you left the site the first time. I’m a forgiving type of person so when you came back I figured I’d give you another chance. You actually did OK for the first couple of articles actually posting things related to cars w/o insulting any group. However you blew that chance and I’ll be going back to not clicking on your articles.

        • 0 avatar
          Augustin

          See, he’s not in the business of “educating”.

          Mind you, that is a godsend, isn’t it, given his personality? I’d hate to have my sons “educated” by somebody who believes women can be brought lower that sh*t for having sex (while guys doing the same are glorified.)

          Why not take this up with said parent company?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Mark, then what is the purpose of posting car reviews and articles regarding automotive retailing, if not to educate the readers?

            But then I seem to remember someone, not me, who publicly embarrassed himself on this site and therefore underwent a temporary ‘exile’ from it.

            Understanding the difference between engaging in a logical and respectful argument, as opposed to name calling, is something that a certain percentage of the population seems unable to understand.

            It was really classy how Jack threw the previous Editor ‘under the bus’ in his response above. But then Jack seems to have aired a number of personal grievances in regards to more than one past contributor to this site. Finally, there are actually a great many books published prior to 1988 that are equitable in regards to gender.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “…turn the place into a sterile, boring room comprised of four white walls and beige carpeting.”

        Would that be the same place the NYC school system keeps its naughty teachers?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Completely off-topic, but since you mentioned naughty teachers, is there a bona fide psychological diagnosis (whether in DSM or not) for the rash of mid 20s to mid 40s women elementary and high school teachers (a seemingly large % of whom are married with children of their own) having full-tilt sexual relations with their male students?

          Is the media hyping the numbers, why is it that many of these female teachers seem to be solid 7s or 8s or even 9s, and very conscientious about their appearances (including physical fitness), and why do so many of them seem to actually develop deep-rooted emotional attachment to male students who are as much as 25 or even 30 years younger than they are (even excluding South Park Ike’s relationship with his teacher)?

          There is something profound at work within the dynamics of these cases, and I’d wager a large sum that a huge % of these female teachers have some combination of damaged relations with their own parents, somehow felt deprived of being free to engage in normal teenage or adolescent behaviors when they were of elementary and high school age, and maybe, they even are obsessed with youth culture out of some obsessive-compulsive fear of aging.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Or is it just a case that the male teachers do a better job of not getting caught?

            I think the basis however is down to the students and the difference between men and women.

            The vast majority of young males will have sex with just about any female that will let them.

            The number of young females that are willing to have sex with an old man purely to have sex is a much smaller number.

            If those female students actually want sex they can usually get it from all those young males that will have sex with any female that will let them.

            So the female teachers can pretty much have their choice of any of their male students, while the male teachers have to find that girl that has issues that have self esteem or other issues that make them vulnerable.

            On a related note my daughter just told me about an article that related a ruling, I think it was in Alabama that teachers have the right to have sex with their students, assuming that the student is 18 and the relationship is consensual.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Holy inconsistency! Are you saying that young men and young women aren’t in fact the same???

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I have to agree with Scoutdude, this may have been a previous phenomenon amplified by stimuli previously not in play (SSRI/prescription drugs, illicit drugs, substances in water/air/food, social media, passive society, “sexual liberation” etc).

      • 0 avatar
        Augustin

        – 62% of Tweens (age 11-14) who have been in a relationship say they know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc) by a boyfriend/girlfriend.

        – More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship (26%) report enduring repeated verbal abuse.

        – 80% of women endure verbal abuse even by strangers in the streets in a regular manner.

        Please define “overreaction”. (And no, it’s not “PC gone mad” crap, it’s just common decency.) You’re welcome to define “style” as well. I missed the part where calling women whore was stylish.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Was this poll taken in a Sharia state? If you believe that 80% of women endure verbal abuse by strangers on the streets of the US then I feel bad for you. You’ll believe anything, and it isn’t doing you any favors.

          • 0 avatar
            Augustin

            I doubt women in “Sharia states” (whatever that means) are subjected to as much verbal abuse as in Western countries, if only because of social pressure. (That may be the only “good thing” stemming from the oppression they have to live through daily.)

            As for the stats, the first two (which you glossed over, interestingly), come from SafeVoices (see http://www.safevoices.org/statistics.php)

            The last one, from a BBC/NPR segment on verbal abuse women have to live through just walking our streets (abuse being defined by anything from cackling, heckling, or actual proposals.)

            Whether you’ll sooner defend a sexist arse than believe something out of NPR is anyone’s guess, however.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I stuck [80% of women endure abuse on the street bbc] into google. Everything that came back was a reference to Islamification in one way or another. I’ve heard NPR far too frequently lately. It’s become an echo chamber for the deranged. Safevoices requires suspended disbelief or absent critical thinking. The man was always abusive even when he was the victim of mariticide? Says who? His murderer’s defense lawyer? Good luck in life. You’re going to need it.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “I doubt women in “Sharia states” (whatever that means) are subjected to as much verbal abuse as in Western countries,” – Let’s pause here to admire your virtue signaling. Whatever could Sharia states be? Do you know what Sharia law is? Do you know the definitions of the word state? Can you piece it together, or is the idea that a state ruled by Sharia can exist anywhere other than in the mind of an unperson too challenging? Without admitting you know what a Sharia state is, you seem quite comfortable saying Western countries are worse to women, a declaration of hateful ignorance if ever there was one. The innocent women dying daily in Sharia law compliant nations should haunt your dreams.

            Let us continue,”if only because of social pressure. (That may be the only “good thing” stemming from the oppression they have to live through daily.)” Do you have any idea what you’ve just done? You accidentally admitted that Sharia states do exist and that they treat women as you would treat people you disagree with. Do you still have any self respect at all?

          • 0 avatar
            Augustin

            Damn, you’re something, you know? I’m sort of impressed, even.

            You took a discussion that had *everything* to do with the proper way to treat half the population and yet managed to make it about “those damn ragtags”.

            You’re Kellyanne Conway, right? You HAVE to be.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks. This Safe Voices references cites other sources but on the whole those sound roughly accurate.

            I used to read BBC but now take it with a grain of salt like all other media, and I don’t believe NPR at all. When I return to work Monday I am going to take note of the women I see on the street and who or what is interacting with them if at all. I have supreme confidence not 80% are even being interacted with from a human being while walking the street let alone “abused”. This is more fiction from the people who brought you the Trump dossier, the Russian nonsense, and all the other outright lies of the past eighteen months.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Where did you cite these alternative facts from? I especially doubt the third, although the two previous citations may unfortunately be true.

          • 0 avatar
            Augustin

            I already answered that.

            But I agree with you, and let’s focus on the important thing here – my sources – and not the fact that there would be no need for this conversation if the author of this story had the slightest respect for women and did not harbor double standards about sexuality.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Where did you cite these alternative facts from? I especially doubt the third, although the two previous citations may unfortunately be true.”

            what’s sad is I bet you wrote that completely unaware of the near total dissonance.

  • avatar

    My CR-V EX-L AWD stickered for about the same price, and is superior in almost every category.

    Except of course the badge, because that’s SO IMPORTANT.

    /s

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    I get the overall sense you’re giving here…..but fog lights is about #26 on my list of things I give a shit about on a car.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    “College frat mattress” – priceless! If I see a hot MILF driving one of these, that line will immediately be recalled.

    • 0 avatar
      Augustin

      That this filthy sentence was written is bad enough. That anyone would think it’s a quotable gem is far worse.

      But hey, who knows? Maybe your story will have a good ending and said “hot MILF”‘s husband or jock teen son will kick some decency in you.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    “I was mildly surprised to see that the manufacturer’s 0-60 test number was just a hair under 8 seconds — the little Audi feels much more lively than the data suggests.”
    One comment for people reviewing cars that allegedly fall in the luxury or premium categories: you should not be swayed by cars that feel more lively than the data suggests. I don’t disagree that a car like this can be surprisingly fun. But when feeling or sounding like it’s going faster than it is, is NOT a luxury feature. That’s something associated with cheaper cars or those with poor NVH insulation. If the Q3 were not trading on a luxury brand or at luxury prices, this could be a valid comment. But it does. And if it feels like it’s going faster than it is, it fails as a luxury vehicle.

  • avatar
    Featherston

    “In most cases, [luxury compact CUVs] have less space than their compact car siblings . . . .” I disagree with that for one primary reason: The upright, two-box design of compact CUVs means that rear seat passengers get actual headroom. I’m 5’10”, and four of me would be better served by a subcompact platform CUV like an Encore than by a compact platform sedan like a Verano. YMMV. If your front seat passengers have really long legs, then yes, they’re going to eat up the adequate-but-just rear legroom of a little CUV. Similarly, if your rear seat passengers are short (or slouch) the sedan’s roofline is going to be less of a problem.

    They’re not my favorite vehicles, but small CUVs do have that advantage. I’d love to see the return of a sedan with the roofline of a Fiat 125 or a Neue Klasse BMW, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      You know, I did locate and consider a Jeep Patriot 6MT for a potential uber/Lyft car for just that reason. But eventually I decided it wasn’t worth the risk of that terrible engine.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      This is a lifted overweight Golf, which is not a sedan and also has an upright two-box design with plenty of rear headroom. All of these silly little baby CUVs are just proper hatchbacks ruined. Not sure why you are comparing them to compact sedans.

      IMHO, the only thing dumber than a mid-size sedan is a compact one, so I am certainly with you there.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        “Not sure why you are comparing them to compact sedan.” Because Bark mentioned compacts and didn’t specify hatchbacks. I could be off base, but I see more (far more, actually) compact sedans on the road than hatchbacks. And many of the swoopier hatchbacks don’t have good rear headroom.

        I almost mentioned the Golf, because I’d prefer to see more options like it on the market. It’s a great template, but unfortunately one that the industry doesn’t employ very much for the US market.

  • avatar
    delow48

    So, why not just consider a Tiguan which I assume is the same car with the VW badge but starts at about $25k in the poverty spec and $29k in the SE trim. Heck, you even get cloth in the entry level there which I find to be better than much of the leather out there on the entry level autos.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    So it’s a good car even though it embodies everything you hate about the segment?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Right, I didn’t get that it was a “pretty damn good car”, just an overpriced terrible one that happens to handle a little better than it should, something most VW/Audi (As well as most any European brand) vehicles are known for.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Good to see you back, Bark.

    Now, for a bit of advice from a former editor: leave the just-sexist-enough-to-generate-clicks stuff and silly cracks about Audi owners on the side next time. Just set it aside.

    You’re not P.J. O’Rourke. You’re Bark the Car Reviewer. You’re way better at the latter job. Stick to that.

  • avatar
    baggins

    I like the various stylistic flourishes of the Baruth Bros. I chuckled at frat mattress. Its a good turn of a phrase. Cracks about audi owners are good reading too.

    There are plenty of sources for “just the facts” reviews, and there is room for this type too.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    When you have to get in and out of a car several times a day, often with groceries, helping children in and out of car seats, etc, a sedan is a less comfortable way to do it than a small SUV. I was home with my son until he was old enough for school, and the seats of my B5 A4 and later my G35 were a long way down. It was hell on my back. Moving up to an Acura MDX, my daily life become much less taxing on my body. Bigger than a CUV I guess, but it really wasn’t the size were were after, it was the ease of entry and exit. It absolutely made my daily life easier. I would have happily purchased a CUV if that’s all we could afford, but we wrote a check for our MDX and never missed it.

    I did not buy the MDX to fit in. I bought it because it made the things I did everyday easier to do and less painful. Maybe the 5’2 mattress doesn’t have as far down to reach to get Brayden out of his car seat but at 6’2, it changed my life.

    The 55+ set is figuring this out as well. It is much easier for someone with some aches and pains and some years on the odometer to get in and out of a Buick Encore than a Lacrosse.

    With respect to the usable space in a CUV, how many times has an anti-CUV/SUV person bragged about how their large family survived with a small car? Miss Mattress doesn’t need the interior space of the FIST when the space of the Escape will do just find and save her back.

    And finally, Bark, I like your writing and I’m glad you’re back, but you are starting to sound like one of brother Jack’s beloved incels. Casual sex is a part of college for the Greek crowd, the jocks, and the liberal arts crowd alike. If you were single in college, you had a revolving door of consenting partners just like everyone else most likely, but in your case they would just have better CD collections and spend less time on hair and makeup I suppose.

    You are a good writer but you can do better than lol CUVs suck and hoes are hoes.

    I get that clicks pay the bills, and these shots will generate comments so I’m writing a comment and I’ll go click on an ad so you guys will keep writing and getting paid for it.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Very well said, sir. My sentiments exactly, all of it.

      One point, about the car aspect of the your post, I think the MDX is considered a crossover since its based on a FWD unibody platform. But, so is Escape and Explorer, yet Ford calls them SUVs. *shrugs*
      Hell, I wish they WERE real SUVs. The Bronco can’t hit the road soon enough.

      I certainly don’t fault your choice (no matter what it’s called lol), and you have a very legitimate reason to make it. I’m all for people having the option to buy what specifically works for them, and for some people, utilities just work better than cars.

      I know I miss my old Trooper, it was much better to take down bad roads I travel occasionally, and to haul something that won’t fit in my current sedan.

      I’d like another truck/utility in addition to the car I currently have. Makes for a great second vehicle due to its practicality.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    It’s too bad the frat mattress is distracting everyone from the rest of the piece. I thought the comparison of audio feedback for successful bluetooth pairing to children banging pots and pans was hilarious.

  • avatar
    vvk

    What’s with the fog light fetish?! Fog lights are pretty useless. I don’t think I have ever used them. My $90k car does not have them, either. And I don’t care at all.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Proper fog lights with a low, wide beam pattern and a razor-sharp cutoff are far from useless in dark, thick fog. They can provide you with enough visibility to crawl slowly along a roadway in situations where your low beams would just present you with a wall of glare. I learned this when I was caught in just such a situation along a narrow Swiss mountain road with steep dropoffs in my dad’s 1992 Audi V8, which had Hella-made projector fog lights as standard equipment.

      The lights that most manufacturers are selling as “fog lights” today are nowhere near that useful. They’re auxiliary lights with a beam pattern similar to that of the low beams, just aimed lower, and are mostly intended to make the front of the vehicle look more expensive. One big tell is that most of them require the low beams to be on — where real fog lights are at their most useful exactly when you can’t use low beams. And, of course, everyone drives around with them on when it is clear with 20 miles’ visibility.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Actually in our state and I’m sure many others it is illegal to have your fog lights on w/o the headlights on low beam which is why the factory fog light set ups are usually wired that way.

        Personally I leave them on all the time because their wider beam works as a marginal substitute for cornering lights that have unfortunately gone extinct.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          RCW 46.37.180 provides that fog lights *may*, not *must*, be used together with low beams.

          I know there are other states that prohibit fog lights from being used without low beams, but ours isn’t one of them. That’s good, because the prohibition is dumb. Although in fairness the two situations in my life where I’ve found fog lights the most useful were situations where the law required low beams to be on (night) and I turned them off anyway.

          The fog lights on previous cars I’ve owned have been good enough for the use you describe, but on both of my current cars with fog lights (C-Max and LS460) they are altogether useless. Especially a shame with the LS as the low beams are the best of any car I’ve ever owned.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I worded that poorly, That RCW just says that you can have your fog lights on when you have the low beams on, however the “unfavorable atmospheric conditions” portion of RCW 46.37.020 means that if there is a significant amount of fog such that fog lights would be of any use you are required to have the headlights on. That assumes of course that we are talking about cars and trucks.

            So you are correct that you can drive around all day, on a clear day with your fog lights on. But if you have your fog lights on because of actual fog you are required to have all of your lights, including the headlights on.

            I can’t say the OE fog lights on our vehicles are a good substitute for cornering lights but when you live and frequently drive in areas that lack any street lighting they are better than nothing when turning into that small side road or driveway.

  • avatar

    Why exactly am I choosing this over an Encore?

  • avatar
    Augustin

    I have no pearls to clutch and my tea cups don’t come with saucers, but the disgusting misogyny of that “frat mattress” bit is just not acceptable. That you may have had a stripper girlfriend does not mean you can be exempt from decency.

    I’ve been reading TTAC for years, have it as a pinned tab, but I’ve removed the tab once before, after that equally vile “lesbian affair”. It seems that TTAC is back to its adolescent base ways, so the tab will be back to the Great Tab Manager in the Sky.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Thank you. This was my thought exactly but I was too busy yesterday to comment. This is what got Bark banned previously. Apparently his lack of “sensitivity” to the other half of human race still burbles just below the surface.

      • 0 avatar
        Augustin

        Thanks.

        Although I’d say it’s not bubbling below the surface – it festers in plain sight.

        1st amendment notwithstanding, I’d say time out in the naughty corner could be an idea.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    This Q3 thing rests on old bones, pre MQB, Mk VI Golf underneath and has the ancient Mk 1 version of the EA888 four banger – or some lash-up thereof. If it had the same engine as the current A3/GTI it would actually be able to get out of its own way.

    With VW/Audi it’s a crapshoot which engine you get when for years they have merely referred to them as 2.0t’s. For example, when the EA888 Mk III first was announced, it had dual port/direct fuel injection. But of course, VW/Audi in their wisdom decided that such a useful feature was much too expensive for the US market, so we got just direct injection, and a cheap version of the new electronic thermostat cooling system. Thanks VW. Still, it did have the integrated exhaust manifold built into the cylinder head that all Gen 3 engines got. Gen 3 engines also get a cylinder block made of compacted-graphite iron which is why the first 2015 GTI Mk VII was made in Germany, not Mexico, where they were getting ready to build the 1.8t Gen 3 CGI found in the Golf, and weren’t ready to make the 2.0t version.

    I have wasted my time in VW and Audi dealerships peering underhood trying to see which exhaust manifold you get in things like the Beetle, Q3 and Jetta GLI. Too much plastic shroud obscuring relevant bits. Asking the sales people is of course as much use as questioning a concrete breeze block wall. And not carrying a forensic kit, who can tell if the block is made of grey cast iron from the old designs, or the new CGI?

    How the hell VW can even keep straight what edition of 2.0t they put in various vehicles is beyond me, and I suspect them. Why would any outfit with a brain keep manufacturing various “current” and out-of-date variants of an engine whose main commonality is only bore and stroke? Well VW does, but they also made the cheater diesels of two liters with belt-driven cams instead of putting in chain-driven cams as per the gas engines. Just nutz. The paperwork on all variants must keep clerks busy at a game which was stupid to begin with.

    Anyone who compared a 2015 GTI Mk VII with a Jetta GLI on a test drive like me would have no doubt that the engines were different. The dud one in the Jetta has also made its way into Tiguans and Q3 to this day.

    Now we have besides the 210/220 hp Gen 3 engine in the GTI/A3, the latest 252 hp version in the latest A4, Q5 and even Q7. It does seem nice, but whether North America got the dual port/direct fuel injection and the advanced cooling system you get in Europe WhoTF knows – it doesn’t affect peak power output. It’s why I cannot be bothered to buy a VW/Audi product – you don’t know what you’re getting, they don’t tell you and seem to be run like some giant bureaucracy whose left hand hasn’t a clue what the right hand is doing. Can you imagine Toyota organizing itself like this? Exactly.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      VAG like their iron block turbo-4’s.

      The iron vs aluminum was noticeable in my Saab’s and only with the window cracked opened in Encore with Active Noise Cancelation. I wonder how it sounds inside the Audi?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I was driving behind a 2.0T B8 A4 this morning that was billowing dark smoke from the exhaust when accelerating from lights, couldn’t tell if it was soot or burning oil. Quite pathetic in either case.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t think it is really all that complicated. Which engine in large part depends on where the car is built. As you pointed out, Mexico wasn’t ready to build the 2.0t, so they stuck with the 1.8t. The US market won’t pay for the absolute wiz-bang latest and greatest anyway. The Jetta is a decent wedge cheaper than the Golf, on a different platform, so not surprised it has the old engine for now. Why spend the money on replacing the motor when they whole platform is due for an update anyway?

      Once the engine plant is built, you can just keep cranking them out, so I don’t blame them for keeping the old designs around to amortize them further. Seems like smart business. The overwhelming majority of people neither know nor care what is under the hood other than in broad generalities.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    So are the “Premium” knobs and switches actually different than in the higher trim levels? I find it hard to believe that VAG would go out of its way to do that and save a few pfennige!


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