Review

Audi Q3 SUV

Price  £23,875 - £43,015

Audi Q3 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Premium badge
  • Strong resale values
  • Excellent interior
Cons
  • Plain design
  • Expensive options
  • Higher spec models have a firm ride

At a glance

The greenest
2.0 TDI S line 140PS 5dr £28,350
The cheapest
1.4 TFSI SE 150PS 5dr £23,875
The fastest
2.5 TFSI quattro S-tronic 5dr £43,015
Top of the range
2.5 TFSI quattro S-tronic 5dr £43,015

"The Audi Q3 brings the firm's first-class build quality and efficient engines to the crossover sector."

The Audi Q3 is a small crossover that competes with cars such as the Nissan Qashqai, BMW X1, Range Rover Evoque, MINI Countryman and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Its conservative looks match what you’ll get in the rest of the Audi range and, as with other Audis, they hide a classy looking and well-built interior. The Q3 also offers more space inside than a Volkswagen Golf, although it's about the same size.

The Q3 cannot match models such as the Nissan Qashqai in terms of economy but it's not bad. The best performing Q3 is the 140 2.0-litre diesel, which can return 54mpg. The Q3 RS, meanwhile, is very quick but very thirsty on fuel.

Not including the RS model, Audi offers the Q3 with three trim levels – SE, S Line, and S Line Plus. All models get auto wipers and lights, rear parking sensors, and dual-zone climate control. The top-of-the-range model gets a leather interior, as well as front and rear parking sensors, with a guiding display.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best SUV by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

Q3 offers decent economy and emissions in front-wheel drive form

The most economical engine offered in the Audi Q3 is the 140 2.0-litre diesel. It delivers 54mpg and emissions that mean you’ll pay £125 for road tax. The quattro four-wheel drive models have extra grip on slippery roads but it comes at the cost of economy and the most economical quattro model can return a relatively poor 39mpg. By comparison, four-wheel drive versions of the Nissan Qashqai can manage more than 57mpg.

If you want a cheap car to run, then don’t opt for the Q3 RS. It can get from 0-60mph in just 5.5 seconds, but you’ll not get better than 32.1mpg and road tax will cost £285 every year.

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

The Q3 is agile, powerful and fun to drive

The Audi Q3 lets you choose from four petrol and two diesel models. Even the slowest diesel gets from 0-60mph in less than 10 seconds, while the more powerful diesel does 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds but is still quite economical.

The slowest petrol, meanwhile, takes 8.2 seconds to get from 0-60mph, while the RS3 takes just 5.5 seconds. The mid-range petrol offers a compromise between the two, and can return 37mpg.

A six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic gearbox are offered in the Audi Q3 range, and both are nice to use. Going for a four-wheel-drive model means more grip, added stability, and some useful off-road ability. The stiffer suspension in S line models makes the Q3 more fun in the corners, but is also less comfortable.

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

S line models have a firm ride but SE spec cars are very comfortable

Choose to spec the Audi Q3 in SE specification and you’ll get a very comfortable car. The suspension set up is soft enough to insulate the car’s interior from the worst bumps the road can throw at it, but doesn’t cause too much body lean when cornering.

Higher spec S line and S line Plus models have sporty suspension that improves the Q3’s handling, but does mean big bumps can upset the car’s comfortable ride. Big wheels make this worse, although a solution is to opt for Audi’s Drive Select system, which allows you to adjust the car’s suspension to your preferred settings.

Getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Audi Q3 shouldn’t be too difficult thanks to the adjustability of the steering wheel and driver’s seat.

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

For a compact car, the Q3 has a lot of interior and luggage space

With dimensions that closely match the Volkswagen Golf outside, you would expect the Audi to have the same space inside but it is much more spacious. Five passengers should be able to fit in fine, although the person sitting in the middle of the rear seat will find legroom lacking.

The Q3 also gets a much bigger boot than a Volkswagen Golf can offer, with 460 litres of space compared to the Volkswagen’s 380 litres. Split-folding rear seats are standard and with them down, space increases to 1,365 litres, although the seats don’t lie completely flat on the floor. All this means the Q3 has more space to offer than a BMW X1.

There is also a good amount of storage areas, with a glovebox that is cooled by the air-conditioning, and some of the biggest rear doorbins we have ever seen.

Reliability & safety

4.0 / 5

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

Audi Q3s have excellent second-hand values, which should better those offered by the Nissan Qashqai and the BMW X1. The Q3 also did well in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, where it came 17th out of 150 cars, finishing ahead of the BMW X1 (100th) and the Volkswagen Tiguan (40th).

With a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, the Audi’s cover is not as good as that offered in cars from Kia, Hyundai and Vauxhall, but it does include three years of RAC breakdown cover.

The Q3 also got five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, six airbags, and ISOfix points for mounting child seats. The range can be had with extras including a speed limiter and active lane assist, which keeps the car in lane with gentle steering inputs.

Price, value for money & options

3.5 / 5

Competitively priced and well equipped, but optional extras are very pricey

The Q3 costs about the same as a BMW X1 and is much cheaper than a Range Rover Evoque. Levels of kit are good, with even the basic model getting 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, rear-parking sensors, split-folding rear seats, a Bluetooth phone connection, iPod connectivity, and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen. Sporty S line models get stiffer suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and bright LED daytime running lights. Spec options, though, and the price of your Q3 will quickly sky rocket.

Audi’s have excellent resale values so the chances of getting a worthwhile discount are slim, although the company’s website does advertise competitive finance deals.

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4.0 / 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."
4.0 / 5
"It's a more complete and appealing car than an X1, thoroughly pleasing to drive and calls into question the need for a larger Q5."
4.0 / 5
"There's the choice of two- or four-wheel drive as well as diesel engines directed at affordable running costs and performance focussed petrol versions. Like many models from the range it still loses out to the BMW when it comes to driver engagement."
Last updated 
13 May 2014

Sponsored Links

Own this car? Leave your review.