Used Audi Q3 review: 2011-2018 (Mk1) - Running costs, MPG, CO2 emissions and insurance
Reasonable fuel economy and moderate levels of road tax are countered by high servicing and insurance costs
While the Q3 Mk1 may be roughly the length and width of a family hatchback, it’s a taller vehicle and therefore heavier – in that context, fuel economy of up to 62.8mpg for the best of the diesels and 51.4mpg from the most frugal of the petrol engines isn’t bad going. As a consequence, CO2 emissions for most of the range are comparatively modest, meaning road tax won’t be too painful: for some diesel models it’s as low as £30 annually.
Your Q3 Mk1 needs servicing annually or every 10,000 miles, whichever comes first, and it alternates between an oil change service and one that involves changing oil, fuel and pollen filters and a complete vehicle inspection. Audi dealers offer a two-year service plan for Q3 Mk1s between 3 and 15 years old, which costs about £500. For that you get a minor and a major service, two MoTs, two years’ warranty and two years’ roadside assistance. Servicing will cost much less from an independent garage, but you won’t get the warranty or roadside assistance.
Less easy on the wallet are the RS models – their fuel consumption barely scrapes over 30mpg, their high emissions means they cost £340 a year to tax, and servicing costs are much steeper. And because of their extreme performance, brakes and tyres will both need replacing more frequently and at a higher cost.
How much do Audi Q3 Mk1s cost?
The popularity of the Q3 Mk1 means that used examples hold on to their value quite well. You can find early cars down around the £10,000 mark, sometimes a bit lower, but typically they will have 100,000 miles or more on the clock.
Cars with 50-80,000 miles or so are in the mid to high teens, but lower mileage Q3 Mk1s creep up beyond £20,000. The well-equipped Black Edition models attract a hefty premium regardless of mileage – expect to pay anything between £24,000 and £28,000 for a good one. RS models sit in the £20,000 to £30,000 price bracket.
What’s it like for fuel economy, emissions and tax?
If you’re looking to get the most miles from every gallon, then the clear winner is the 148bhp 2.0 TDI turbodiesel. In front-wheel drive form it achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of up to 62.8mpg (using the older NEDC system of measurement). For four-wheel drive quattro versions the figure falls back to 57.6mpg, but that still tops any other model in the range.
The more powerful 182bhp TDI engine is claimed to give up 55.4mpg, while the 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine is capable of up to an excellent 51.4mpg, thanks in part to its clever Cylinder-on-Demand system that automatically cuts out two of its four cylinders when there’s a chance to save fuel and reduce emissions.
The less powerful 2.0 TDI engines found in pre-facelift cars aren’t quite as efficient as the newer units, with both 138bhp and 175bhp versions delivering claimed figures of around 50mpg.
At best the 2.0 TFSI petrol returns 42.8mpg, while the high performance RS models officially claim 32.8mpg but when driven to their full potential deliver much, much less.
The front-wheel drive 148bhp TDI’s winning performance at the pumps is mirrored in the CO2 emissions table, where some versions produce as little as 117g/km, qualifying them for just £30 annual road tax. None of the other engines come close to matching that emissions output, but even so, most Q3 Mk1s that were registered before 1 April 2017 cost £155 to tax, some 1.4 TFSIs slightly less, some 182bhp TDIs slightly more. Again, the older diesels feature slightly higher emissions, and cost a little more to tax.
Tax for cars registered after 1 April 2017 is governed by their CO2 emissions, and with a range that spans 152g/km to 179g/km depending on the trim grade, the 178bhp 2.0 TFSI will cost between £210 and £275 annually. The later RS models are also penalised for their high emissions, and because they cost more than £40,000 when new, they were clobbered with a luxury car surcharge, too, taking the total to nearly £700 annually for the first five years. However, even the newest examples are approaching that age, so the bill should revert to £340.
How much will the Audi Q3 Mk1 cost to insure?
From an insurance company’s perspective, premium brand cars such as Audi cost a lot to replace and repair, which is why they’re placed in high insurance groups. The Q3 Mk1 sits in groups 18 to 38 out of 50.