Review

Audi Q3 SUV

Price  £26,150 - £49,185

Audi Q3 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Good to drive
  • Upmarket badge
  • Strong resale values
Cons
  • Plain design
  • Expensive options
  • No real off-road ability

At a glance

Our Pick
2.0 TDI SE 150PS 5dr £27,690
The greenest
2.0 TDI SE 150PS 5dr £27,690
The cheapest
1.4 TFSI SE 150PS 5dr £26,150
The fastest
Performance 2.5 TFSI quattro S-tronic 5dr £49,185
Top of the range
Performance 2.5 TFSI quattro S-tronic 5dr £49,185

“The Audi Q3 is Audi’s answer to the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA – it’s compact, classy and high quality”

The Audi Q3 is currently the smallest SUV in Audi's ‘Q’ range, and it competes with other premium SUVs such as the Mercedes GLA, BMW X1 and Range Rover Evoque on price, but it's also similar in size to the latest VW Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage, so it's up against some tough competition at various prices. 

As with the rest of the Audi range, the Q3 is classy and stylish to look at on the outside, while its interior is built from top-quality materials and feels like a premium product – it doesn’t quite have the slick design of the Evoque or GLA, though. 

Under the bonnet, you can choose from a range of petrol and diesel engines in a range of power outputs. If you prefer petrol power, there are 1.4 and 2.0 TFSI turbocharged petrol engines, while diesel buyers have the choice of a 2.0 TDI engine in two different power outputs. It may have the looks of a small off-roader, but the Q3 is available with a choice of two-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive. Opting for four-wheel drive will have a slight negative impact on the car's CO2 emissions and fuel economy, though. 

There's also the massively fast RS Q3 that's powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine that manages 335bhp. It's capable of doing 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds and has an electronically limited 155mph top speed. Astonishingly, however, this isn’t the fastest Q3 there is. There's also the RS Q3 Performance that gets a 362bhp version of the same turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine that can do 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds. This version also has a top speed of 155mph.

Running costs should be reasonable for Q3 owners, particularly if you opt for a diesel. The least powerful 2.0 TDI diesel is capable of more than 60mpg. If you want Audi's S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, this drops to around 57mpg because it also comes with Quattro four-wheel drive. 

The Q3 range mimics that of other Audis, so it's easy to get your head around and choose the one that suits you best. What all Q3s come with, though, is a high quality interior. It's not the most exciting dashboard to look at, but everything feels solid and well built at all three trim levels – SE, S line and S line Plus. 

Even entry-level SE models are well equipped, including 17-inch alloy wheels, Audi's infotainment system with 6.5-inch display, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. S line trim adds sporty-looking bumpers, LED daytime running lights with xenon headlights and larger alloy wheels, while S line Plus adds luxuries such as 19-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, leather upholstery and front and rear parking sensors. 

On the road, the Q3 is surprisingly fun to drive for something that sits a little higher up than traditional hatchbacks. The ride is comfortable and it doesn’t lean very much in corners. There's a decent amount of room inside, too, while all passengers will be safe thanks to a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP. 

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

The Audi Q3 offers decent fuel economy and CO2 emissions in front-wheel-drive form

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

The Audi Q3 is agile, powerful and fun to drive

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

The Audi Q3 has a beautiful, spacious interior and comes with plenty of standard equipment

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

The Audi Q3 has a big boot and plenty of storage space

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

The Audi Q3’s build quality, reliability and safety are first class

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"Premium badge, classy interior and capable chassis, but conservative styling, pricey options and small model range."
"This Q3 brings top-quality mechanical refinement, laudable build quality, rich and impressive cabin materials and proper premium brand desirability to the market for small 4x4s."
4 / 5
"All engines in the Audi Q3 range are strong and refined, the ride is comfortable and the upmarket cabin is hard to fault."
4 / 5
"If comfort and quality takes precedent over performance and involvement then this is your best choice."
What owners say 
4.4429629573116
4.4 /5 based on 27 reviews
81%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
18 Feb 2016
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