If you’re looking for a small Audi SUV, you’ve come to the right place. Innovative engineering, plush interiors and plenty of high tech features are just a few trademarks that we have come to expect from the highly-regarded German manufacturer.
Obviously, we’ve now set the bar pretty high for the Audi Q2 and the Audi Q3 Estate. Both of these premium small SUVs offer a wide range of nippy engines to complement their luxurious cabins. There’s genuinely not a lot that separates the two - the Q3 is slightly bigger and it’s ultimately more expensive than the slicker looking Q2. Does the Q2 have what it takes to out-Audi the Q3? Let’s find out!
Audi Q2 vs Q3
Are there any major differences? How much cheaper is the Q2? Who’s got the more premium-feeling cabin? What are the standard features like? We’re going to put both of these cars head-to-head and reveal all!
- Body: SUV
- Doors: 5
- Engine: 2.0
- Fuel: P, D, H
- Body: SUV
- Drive: M, A
- CO2: 179g/km
Uncomfortable rear seats
Great infotainment system
Not the most enjoyable to drive
Some important features cost extra
While the Audi Q2 and Audi Q3 share many similar traits, exterior styling tends to be one of their more distinguishable features.
One feature that instantly sets these two small SUVs apart is their contrasting front ends. The Q2’s chequered grille pattern gives the front end a bolder presence alongside its much more angled LED headlights. The Q2’s monobrow bumper certainly looks more fluid and appealing in comparison to the Q3’s rather blotchy setup. For a crowd-pleasing aesthetic vibe, we’d recommend the Black Edition trim. It’s large black alloy wheels combine with a black-out front end to make it look more like the batmobile than a small family SUV.
In the form of the Audi Q3, we’ve got a longer, taller and sportier-looking model to get excited about. Over 300mm longer and 100mm taller than the Q2, the Audi Q3 boasts a coupe-style, sloping roofline with prominent roof rails. The Q3’s octagonal grille is a mini-me version of the Q8’s. The heavy contouring around the car gives the Q3 a lovely glossy finish and the standard exterior styling pack available on the sporty S Line trim adds a premium feel that includes privacy glass on the rear seats.
There isn’t a lot in it, but subjectively, the Q3 is the better looking of the two before you add any extras into the mix.
Q2 Estate (2016):
Both the Q2 and Q3 come with a choice of front or all-wheel-drive powertrains. I wouldn’t get too excited though - neither car is an off-road connoisseur.
The Q2 offers a range of three petrol and two diesel engines with a selection of six-speed manual and seven-speed S-tronic automatic gearboxes. The 148bhp 1.4 TFSI turbo petrol engine (35 TFSI) packs enough punch to handle long journeys with ease, whilst also being rather fuel-conscious along the way. For low diesel running costs, the 115bhp 1.6-litre (30TDI) diesel engine is a clever choice. It’s not the nippiest, but it’s got enough brawn to carry the whole family in true Audi comfort. All trims also come with Audi’s progressive steering and if you opt for a quattro all-wheel-drive model you’ll get a refined rear suspension setup designed to improve traction and grip.
Thanks to the Audi Q3’s tall body and agile steering it’s pretty enjoyable to drive. The entry-level 1.4-litre 150bhp (35 TFSI) turbocharged engine is an ideal option if you’re predominantly sticking to city driving. On the other hand, if you’re regularly carrying heavy luggage or zipping up and down the motorway frequently, the 2.0-litre 190bhp (40TDI) 7-speed automatic quattro S Tronic should be high up on your wishlist - it’s economical and pacey. If you’ve got a little extra cash it might be worth paying for adaptive suspension so you can choose between more comfort-focused options and stiffer, sporty ones.
The Q3 has the edge in terms of driving power, so if this is a top priority, your money is well-spent with this pricier model.
Q2 Estate (2016):
There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes and a high-quality Audi interior. Both these cars dominate their closest rivals, but how do they compare when pitted against each other?
The Audi Q2 interior borrows much of its style from its hip sibling, the Audi A3 Range. This includes a sleek minimalist dashboard that consists of high-quality squidgy plastics, solid buttons and two distinctive central air vents. If you feel like sprucing the Q2 up, the S Line trim comes with part leather-trimmed seats and a 3-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel. The standard 7.0-inch MMI infotainment system sits atop the dashboard and can be operated using a rotary dial on the centre console. If you’re a sucker for innovative tech, you should definitely consider Audi’s Tech Pack (£1495.00, or included in the Vorsprung trim choice). You’ll get an upgraded, crisper 8.3-inch screen and the impressive Audi Virtual Cockpit.
The Q3 Sportback interior cabin is brimming with high-grade materials - all of which feel suitably soft and sturdy. The standard seats are relatively comfortable, but choose the sporty S-line model and you’ll upgrade to luxurious front seats with supportive padding and electric adjustment. The standard Audi MMI infotainment system in the Q3 is an absolute steal and blows the Q2 out the water. The 10.1-inch central touchscreen fits elegantly into the Q3’s glossy dashboard, while the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit provides an eye-friendly and modern take on essential driver’s information including sat-nav capabilities. The Q3 also comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard.
The Q3 takes this one hands down. Despite the Q2 boasting a very respectable cabin, there’s no competing with the standard tech offered with the Q3.
Q2 Estate (2016):
Practicality and spatial awareness are where these two compact SUVs start to show their disparity.
At just under 4.2m in length, the Audi Q2 dimensions make it Audi’s smallest SUV - and it shows. Shorter than competitors like the Volkswagen T-Roc and Mini Countryman, the Q2 really struggles for space in the rear seats. Taller adults may find their knees rubbing against the front seats, while an annoying raised lump in the middle seat makes it a mission to fit three in the back. Upfront, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting comfy and four-way lumbar support is an option on all models. Boot space is also limited - although, the 405 litre capacity loading area is an accessible square shape which should make it fairly easy to pack away your luggage.
The Q3 is a completely different story. The front seats offer a generous amount of headroom despite the sloping roofline and legroom is suffice for even the tallest passengers making this a good choice car for tall people.
In the back, the Q3 has the aura of a proper SUV. There’s tonnes of headroom, and you won’t have the issue of your knees rubbing against the front seats. With 530 litres to play with in the boot, the Q3 overshadows rivals like the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA and trounces the Audi Q2 to make it one of the most sought after small family SUVs.
Unfortunately, there’s no contest when it comes to practicality. The Q3 Sportback dimensions are far too mighty for the squashed Q2.
Q2 Estate (2016):
Both of these cars are reasonably frugal and well priced for SUVs. Although, make no mistake - you’ll be paying a whole lot more if you desire the luxurious practicality that the Q3 offers.
If you were to buy the cars outright you’d be paying just shy of £22,000 for the respected Q2 (Technik 5dr). Opt for the more versatile Q3 and you’ll have to fork out just over £30,000 (Sport 5dr).
In terms of running costs, there’s very little to choose between the two cars. One thing’s for sure though - you’re better off with a diesel. The Q2’s most economical engine is the 1.6-litre 30TDI diesel. In this instance the Audi Q2 mpg is an impressive 60.1 with 122g/km emissions. Similarly, the Q3’s most fuel-efficient engine is the 2.0-litre 35TDI diesel. The Q3 Sportback mpg figure is identical to the Q2's 1.6L diesel and emits are very respectable (for a diesel) 124g/km of CO2.
The Audi Q2 comes equipped with a reliable range of standard safety features including two rear Isofix points, 6 airbags, and an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system. For a little bit extra cash, you can invest in Lane Keep Assist and Audi Side Assist which comes as standard in the Audi Q3’s Pre-Sense package.
Q2 Estate (2016):
So, there we have it folks - are you any closer to owning a new car? If you want our advice, we have to crown the Q3 as our well-deserved winner.
At the end of the day it all comes down to practicality and style with small SUVs - and the Q3 has them both in abundance. The standard equipment and technology offered on the Q3 is another huge selling point that the Q2 just can’t compete with.