Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3 main image

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: used car comparison

Which is better, the Audi Q2 or Audi Q3? Our guide tells you everything you need to know.

Graham King Cazoo

By Graham King

Published: 10 August 2023

If you’re looking for a compact SUV with premium-brand appeal, an Audi is a fine choice. But with two compact Audi SUVs to choose from – the Audi Q2 and Audi Q3  – which one is best for you? Our guide explains.

We’re looking here at the latest generation of the Q3, sold new in the UK since 2018. There’s only one generation of Q2, sold new since 2016.

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: size

You can tell the relative size of an Audi model from the number in its name. Audi SUVs all start with ‘Q’. There’s no Q1, so the smallest is the Q2 and one size bigger is the Q3.

How big are these cars? The Q2 is 4.2 metres long, so you’d definitely call it a compact SUV’. It’s slightly shorter than key rivals such as the Mini Countryman, Volkswagen T-Roc or Peugeot 2008.

The Q3 is slightly longer, taller and wider than the Q2. At 4.5 metres long it falls into the mid-size SUV category and is a similar size to rival cars such as the BMW X1 and BMW X3, Volkswagen Tiguan or Volvo XC40.

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Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: design

Each has a different take on the Audi ‘look’. Overall, the Q3 looks a bit sleeker and has a strong resemblance to the larger Audi Q5. The Q2 has a more boxy square-edged design. Both are available in a range of colours but only the Q2 comes with the option of a contrasting colour for the panel behind the rear side windows (Audi calls it a ‘blade’).

One major difference is that the Q3 is available in two distinct body styles – the Q3 and the Q3 Sportback, which has a more steeply sloping, coupe-like roofline.

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: Interior and tech

The interiors of the Q2 and Q3 look very different, particularly their dashboards. The Q2’s features four round air vents and the infotainment system display screen is perched on top. Everything feels beautifully built and has a high-quality feel.

The Q3’s interior looks more high-tech, with lots of straight lines and sharp angles, and an  infotainment display integrated into the dash. Everything has a premium appearance, although doesn’t feel like a step up from the older, more cost-effective Q2.

Both cars support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to connect a smartphone and use selected apps via the display. Most Q2 trim levels (except for the SE and the Technik) have built-in sat nav and a digital driver’s display, while every Q3 includes them as standard features. Other features fitted to both cars include air con, cruise control, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth.

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: practicality

The front of the Q2 has pretty generous headroom, legroom and shoulder room but back-seat space is a bit less abundant. There’s decent back-seat legroom but anyone taller than average may find their head grazing  the ceiling. If you have younger children, this is unlikely to be a problem right now, but they may eventually outgrow the car.

The bigger Q3 could be a better bet as a family car. Again, there’s stacks of room up front, but the car’s larger size is most obvious in the back. Even passengers taller than 6ft have enough space to get comfy and kids will appreciate the extra roominess because they won’t feel hemmed in.

The back seat in top-of-the-range models slides backwards and forwards, so you can prioritise boot space over back-seat space and vice versa. Note that the sloping roof of the Q3 Sportback reduces back seat headroom a bit, but you’d have to be really tall to notice.

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: boot space

The difference in size between Q2 and Q3 is also clear from their boots. The Q3 has at least 530 litres of space, or up to 675 litres in models with sliding back seats (with the seats pushed forward). In either case, the boot’s big enough to cover pretty much any eventuality family life throws up, from shopping trips to holidays. A Labrador can comfortably lie down in there, too.

The Q2’s 405-litre boot looks quite small in comparison, but that’s actually more space than you get in the vast majority of mid-size hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus. It’s a big boot considering the Q2’s compact exterior and it should serve the needs of most families well.

If you need more space, you can always fold down the back seats. Do that and the Q2 has 1,050 litres of space, while the Q3 has 1,525 litres.

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: which is best to drive?

Both cars give you a reassuring feeling of safety and stability behind the wheel, with light steering and a good view out from the raised driving positions. The Q2 can feel a little unsettled at lower speeds, but generally the ride quality is good, and the Q3 feels comfortable at all speeds, even on rough roads. Both cars are quiet compared with many of their rivals.

The Q2 and Q3 are available with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines and you can also have the Q3 with plug-in hybrid power. In both cars, engines with around 150bhp strike a good balance between performance and fuel efficiency. There are models with manual or automatic gearboxes and some have four-wheel drive.

If you’re more fussed about performance than economy, there are high-performance versions of the Q2 and Q3. The SQ2 has 296bhp and goes from zero to 62mph in 4.9 seconds; the RS Q3 has 395bhp and reaches 62mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: which costs less to own?

Being a smaller car, the Q2 generally costs less to run than the Q3. According to official figures, the Q2 can manage between 32mpg and 55mpg with a petrol engine, or 47mpg to 68mpg with a diesel. By contrast, the petrol Q3 models can return between 28mpg and 44mpg, and the diesels 40mpg to 56mpg.

It’s a similar story with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions so, overall, the Q2 is the one for you if low running costs are important. It’ll cost you less at the fuel pumps and, in some cases, annual Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) charges are lower. 

But there is a wildcard in the form of the plug-in hybrid Q3. Official figures give an average of 141mpg to 176mpg, although in the real world what you get will depend on your driving and charging habits. CO2 emissions are just 37g/km to 45g/km and it has an official range of 31 miles on battery power alone. It costs more to buy than a regular Q3 but it could give you usefully lower running costs.

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: safety and reliability

The Q2 and Q3 were awarded full five-star safety ratings by the organisation Euro NCAP. Driver-safety features fitted to both cars include automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist, while some models have extras like rear cross-traffic alert and traffic-sign recognition.

Audi placed 22nd out of the 24 brands included in the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study (the most recent). Both cars are covered by a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty from new. Used cars are covered if they’re within those limits.

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: dimensions

Audi Q2

Length: 4,208mm

Width: 2,009mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,508mm

Boot space: 405 litres

Audi Q3

Length: 4,484mm

Width: 2,024mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,585mm

Boot space: 530 litres

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

Audi Q2 vs Audi Q3: Verdict

Both the Audi Q2 and Q3 offer a premium driving experience without the need for a big, expensive and thirsty luxury car. There’s much to recommend about both but they do have their individual attributes.

The Q2 is stylish, has a lovely interior, feels really nice to drive and costs relatively little to run. It’s practical enough for the needs of most couples and even families with young kids, but those kids may outgrow the car and parents with growing families may find the Q3 to be the more attractive option. In summary, more passenger and boot space make the Q3 the better proposition, unless you’re planning on expanding the family.

Audi Q2 left; Audi Q3 right

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