- Excellent interior
- Good standard kit
- Decent engines
- Boot space not the biggest
- Not particularly fun to drive
- No true eco-friendly option
Luxury compact SUV is a solid package
When Audi first introduced the Q3 in 2012, it set itself up to offer a luxury alternative to hugely successful cars like the Nissan Qashqai. Now rivalled by the BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA, the Q3 has some tough competition. But with a high-class interior, and a good range of efficient engines, the Q3 has a lot to offer. It might not be the most practical of the compact SUVs on sale today, but it’s a great small family package.
Class leading quality
One area in which the Q3 really excels, is in its interior. Even with strong competition from both BMW and Mercedes, the Q3 still manages to be the pick of the bunch. There’s also impressive standard kit, though space isn’t much more than a family hatchback.
The cabin of the Q3 really is a thing of beauty. Audi is a brand that really prides itself on exceptional interior design, and the Q3 is an exemplary example of their success. Surfaces throughout are made from high-end, soft-touch plastics, and dash design is reminiscent of much more expensive cars. Controls are similarly impressive, they’re well laid out, and well-damped. It really is a great piece of interior design.
Space-wise, the Q3 isn’t quite so impressive. With 420 litres of boot space, it is eclipsed by both the BMW X1 (505 litres), and the Mercedes GLA (481 litres). There’s still enough space for the family shop or a small buggy, but we expect more for a car in this class. The space you do have is useable, and it’s a good practical square shape, so at least you can make full use of what you’ve got.
Equipment levels are pretty impressive in the Q3. Even the standard SE spec comes with dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, and alloy wheels, as well an impressive infotainment system. This incorporates a DAB radio, a CD player, and Bluetooth connectivity, all fed through a retractable 6.5” colour screen, and 8 speakers. It’s not quite as impressive as BMW’s iDrive system, but that doesn’t come as standard on the Q3’s rival, the BMW X1.
All in all, the interior of the Audi Q3 is an impressive package. The design touches and material quality are enough to impress most people, and an impressive level of standard of equipment gives you good value for money, so even with the comparative lack of space, it’s still going to leave you impressed.
Excellent grip, comfortable ride, but not the most entertaining
Compared to most cars in the compact SUV class, the Q3 is a pretty impressive car to drive. There’s plenty of grip, which leaves for very little in the way of understeer, and it sweeps through country roads without too much of a fuss. Steering is however lacking in feedback. Because of this, it’s not the most entertaining car to drive, and it’s sometime difficult to tell quite where the wheels are. These are however minor niggles, and compared to the X1 and the GLE, it’s still impressive.
The suspension system found on SE trim models is comfortable in nearly any situation, ironing out potholes and rough surfaces with ease, which makes for quite a refined ride. Sport models lower the suspension, which makes things a little more stiff, but it’s still probably better than the X1 or the GLE, even in this guise.
Gearbox options on the Q3 range from the 6-speed manual box that is standard on most models, up to the 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic that’s found on more expensive Q3s, or as an optional extra. The manual is slick and sharp, and the automatic is ideal for motorway driving, though it’s not the best transmission to use about town, as it can get a little jumpy at low speeds.
Impressive engine options
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Q3, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a high-powered petrol for those with a need for speed, but diesel engines are the best for family and business buyers, offering fuel efficiency and eco-friendly emissions.
If it’s power you want from your Q3, Audi offers a performance-orientated Q3 from it’s famous racing division- the RS Q3. This 2.5 litre petrol-powered monster produces 335bhp which will take you from 0-62mph in an incredible 4.8 seconds. For a family car to produce these figures is quite astonishing. It’s only really an option for the true petrolhead however, as it’s quite expensive to run.
For the eco-conscious buyer, the standout engine in the range is to be found in the diesel-powered 2.0 TDI. With 119g/km of C02 emissions, it’s certainly not the greenest car on the market at the minute, though it’s still going to be cheap when it comes to paying emissions tax. This model is also the most fuel efficient model in the range, offering drivers up to 61.4mpg, so it’s also ideal for the money savers.
Whichever engine you go for to power your Q3, you’re probably not going to be disappointed. There’s enough options in the range to meet most buyers needs, and there’s even an option for petrolheads. It’s disappointing that there’s no true eco-friendly model, but this won’t be too much of an issue for most people.
Full marks in NCAP safety test, good standard equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the Audi Q3 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 94% in adult occupant safety, 85% in child occupant safety, and 52% in pedestrian safety, it’s not quite as impressive as some rivals, but it’s still pretty solid. There’s also six airbags and electronic stability control as standard. There’s lots of other safety kit available as an optional extra, if you want to beef up the Q3’s safety.
Reasonably low running costs, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Audi Q3 is a reasonably cheap car to run. This obviously varies from model to model, with the high-powered RS Q3 being an exception, but most specs have reasonably low C02 emissions, and impressive fuel efficiency. Even petrol-powered models can achieve over 50mpg.
Insurance wise, the Q3 is similar to its main rivals, the BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA. The cost again depends on which model you go for, with the cheapest spec in the range being the 2.0 TDI SE, which is group 18, and the most expensive being the RS Q3 2.5T FSI Quattro Performance which is understandably expensive, sitting pretty in group 43.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Audi Q3, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Audi Q3 is a popular option for families looking for a compact SUV with a bit of class. It beats key rivals in most areas, and has one of the best interiors available at this price level, and whilst it’s not the funnest car to drive, the Q3 is an impressively well-thought-out package.
Buying a used Audi Q3 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Audi Q3 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Audi Q3. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Audi Q3 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Audi Q3? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Audi Q3, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Audi Q3, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Audi to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.