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Highlight: The vehicle has in-vehicle Wi-Fi for up to 8 mobile devices.

 Test vehicle’s MSRP: $40,300 (base AWD model $34,625)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electronic stability control system; active and rollover protection; front and rear impact body crumple zones; a tire pressure monitoring system; a contemporary compact tire; Xenon LED headlights; heated mirrors; rearview camera; audible parking sensors; heated windshield washer nozzles; and a hill descent assist system

Standard Equipment (Base model): 18-inch wheels; front-wheel drive; a keyless entry system; a push-button starter system; a dual-zone climate control system; a panoramic roof; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; automatic headlights;a tailgate spoiler; heated front seats; power front seats; and leather seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: navigation system; power tailgate; electronic blind spot mirrors; and an optional paint color

 Other Trim Level: a front-wheel drive model (Tiptronic)

 Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: AM/FM/HD with satellite

 Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

 USB Connectivity: No

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/200-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

 Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/28-hwy

What’s New: Audi’s entry-level crossover undergoes a mild refresh this model year with a new headlight and grille. The coupe-like crossover receives a few package content adjustments, too.

 Why: The well-executed curvaceous Q3, with great visibility, is available in an all-wheel drive and a front-wheel configuration. The German-engineered vehicle offers a well-balanced ride with the precision one would expect of higher priced vehicles.

At a starting price under $35,000, the well-equipped A3 offers cozy seating for five. Some of the standard features on the crossover include leather seats, power front seats, an oversized power roof, a peppy turbo engine and a high-quality radio system that includes satellite radio.

The rear seating area can be folded, offering more utility space for storage and carrying cargo. The Q3 can be optioned out with such features as 19-inch wheels, performance sports seats, a Bose audio system and power folding exterior mirrors. Yes, this is a great value package for the price.

But: The premium crossover could use some extra space to comfortably seat passengers in the rear. Also, where is the USB connector to play music? This feature was available in a $17,000 vehicle we recently reviewed.

Acura’s Japanese-built RDX offers a more spacious entry-level crossover for the same price point in a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. Ironically, the first generation RDX is about the same size as the current generation Q3. Audi’s engineers should work on inching out better fuel mileage from the 2.0-liter turbo.

Verdict: For singles, couples or young families, the Q3 could fit the bill for those not in need of a larger crossover, a sedan or a minivan. Aside from its other offerings, this entry-level German-engineered vehicle can be configured for snow, ice or dry pavement, all at an affordable price.

 Competition: BMW X1; Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Infiniti QX30

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Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.

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