- Excellent design and quality
- A good size for town driving
- Premium SUV at an affordable price
- Styling of older models looks dated
- Technology falls behind rivals
- Rear space can be cramped for adults
The Q3 is a premium car for those seeking a stylish, well equipped small SUV.
Efficient and highly reliable, it's been designed with high-quality materials and offers a comfortable ride.
There's a long list of options available when buying newer Q3s, so finding a used model with many of the features you want should be easy.
The 2018 generation looks sharper and features some of the latest technology and infotainment systems, bringing it into line with its rivals.
The Q3 offers a premium look and feel with a superb minimalist interior that’s both spacious and upmarket. The materials are excellent and the controls are well placed and easy to use.
Even the basic standard models have a good level of equipment, including a retractable 6.5-inch infotainment screen and remote controls on the steering wheel. It’s worth going for the SE or higher which have more comfortable seats and dual zone climate control.
All models can comfortably accommodate five people and their luggage. Rear legroom is better than in the A3 hatch, but the sloping roof can compromise headroom slightly.
Boot space is decent at 420 litres, which is enough for a number of suitcases. Although, the curved design of the boot makes it harder to pack stuff in when compared with the BMW X1 which also has more capacity.
The Q3 is a small SUV that's great in the city. Comfort is good although watch out for larger wheel options which can make things a little firmer, particularly on S-Line models. The seats are superb with plenty of adjustment options and getting in and out is easy even with the slightly increased ride height over the hatchback.
As a tall car, there can be a degree of leaning when going around corners, but no more so than any other SUV. The diesels in particular can be a little sluggish as you pull away if you have the automatic gearbox. Generally, the petrol and diesel engines are excellent, providing a good balance between performance and economical motoring.
If you want additional peace of mind or are likely to do any driving off-road, it’s worth going for a Q3 fitted with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.
The Q3 holds its value better than some of its rivals from new, particularly the post-2015 models. It promises quality, but you’ll pay more for the Audi badge and the prestige of the Q3 compared with a Nissan Qashqai or Volkswagen Tiguan.
Daily running costs are excellent. The entry-level manual diesel is the most efficient to run with around 60 mpg, but the 1.4 TFSi (1.5 TFSI in the new generation) petrol is not too far off with claims of up to 45 mpg. Servicing costs are similar to premium rivals and higher than the less prestigious brands, although Audi’s fixed price servicing helps.
The Q3 comes with the Volkswagen group’s usual high reliability. It's also one of the few cars to have never had a technical recall.
Euro NCAP gave the Q3 a full five stars and it comes with a host of safety features, including stability control and rear park distance. If you want a spare wheel, be sure to check because some only have a puncture repair kit.
Best for economy - 2.0 TDi S
Best for family - 2.0 TDi S
Best for fun - RS Q3
The 2.0 TDi diesel offers a great combination of snappy performance and excellent economy. If you drive fewer than 12,000 miles and are based in a city, then the 1.4 TFSi (1.5 in the current generation) petrol is a good option with its great economy.
If you want the most stylish Q3, then go for an S-Line specification version – it’s a head-turning car that’s perfect for carrying all the family. The ride on the larger 18-inch wheels can be slightly firmer but it looks stunning.