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Comparing the Audi Q3 vs Q5: Which is Better?

7 minutes Published: 23/05/2022

Demand for SUVs is growing by the day, and the Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 are amongst the best SUVs in the business.

The Audi Q3 is smaller in size with a more affordable price tag. The Q5 has a more dominating presence, but is more practical and premium-feeling inside.

Which should you choose? In this article, we’ll give you our verdict on driving experience, exterior styling, interior materials and tech, practicality, safety and reliability, and costs.

We’ve also written a post comparing the Audi Q2 vs Q3, and the Audi Q3 vs BMW X1 so you can fully explore your options.


Audi Q3 vs Q5

Does size really matter? Is the Q5 worth £10k+ more? We’re going to pit these two Audi SUVs head-to-head to see which is the true all-rounder. With so many unique attributes between them, how do we crown a winner? Read on to find out!

Q3 Estate

Monthly Cost From: £342.97

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine:
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: SUV/Crossover
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 208g/km

Q5 Estate

Monthly Cost From: £407.80

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine:
  • Fuel: P, D, H
  • Body: SUV/Crossover
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 224g/km
  • Cheaper running costs.

  • Slightly higher safety scores.

  • More sluggish.

  • Standard interior materials are not as premium-feeling.

  • More practical.

  • Faster, more comfortable driving experience.

  • Minimal exterior styling is underwhelming.

  • ICE models are less fuel efficient.


Driving Experience and Performance

Does size matter when it comes to performance? 

0-62

The 0-62 sprint time varies depending on your engine choice. You can expect 9.3-9.5 seconds from most Q3 models. 40 and 45 TFSI models can do it quicker, in around 7.3 seconds, with the quickest sprint coming from the 45 TFSI 245 Quattro - a speedy 5.8 seconds!

The Q5 is quicker off the mark with a more powerful range of engines. You’ll get anything between 5.1 and 7.6 seconds.

Suspension

There’s 3 suspension options with the Q3. The standard suspension is pretty good. The Sports suspension on S Line or Edition 1 is more controlled but not super comfortable. If you plump for the Vorsprung trim, you can choose Adaptive suspension, which is the best, but obviously at a cost! The PHEV model has a firmer ride than the ICE options.

The Q5 has the slightly better suspension, but it’s a similar story as far as your options go, with the entry suspension just fine, Sports a bit bumpier, and Adaptive a dream but pricey.

Handling 

The Q5 handles better than the Q3. Quattro four-wheel drive is standard on all Q5 models, but you have the option to go with front-wheel or Quattro on the Q3.

This pushes up the price of the Q5 models, but it is worth it. If it’s not something you are overly fussed about, you may be teed off by the lack of choice.

Q3 Estate:

Q5 Estate:


Exterior Styling and Size

AUDI Q3 EXTERIOR

AUDI Q5 EXTERIOR

There’s not much to set the Q3 and Q5 apart when it comes to exterior styling. They both look great, as a premium SUV should.

As the larger model, the Q5 has a more impressive presence. It’s 116 mm wider and 198 mm longer, so if a larger SUV is your bag, it’s worth considering.

Size aside, we think the Q3 exceeds expectations in terms of attractive looks and style. The Q5 goes for a more minimal approach. While less is more is a good approach for many things, when you’re paying £10k+ more, subtlety can feel like corners have been cut!

Q3 Estate:

Q5 Estate:


Interior Styling and Tech

AUDI Q3 INTERIOR

AUDI Q5 INTERIOR

While the exterior of the Q5 doesn’t feel as lush as you may expect for its price tag, the interior certainly lives up to expectations.

Materials

Entry Q3 trims come with cloth seats. It’s not until the third trim that you get more premium Pulse cloth/twin leather upholstery. In the Q5, leather is standard on all models.

The plastics in the Q3 are a bit harder than you’d expect, but still decent enough for the price. The Q5 feels more luxurious, with soft plastics, unpolished wood, and metal trims.

Tech

Both models have Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch display, and Audi Virtual Cockpit as standard. The cockpit screen measures 10.25-inches on the Q3, but 12.3-inches on the Q5.

The main infotainment central touchscreen measures roughly the same on both models, so no major points of difference here.

Smartphone mirroring is standard, and with both you can add the Audi tech pack and/or the comfort and sound pack. The comfort and sound pack on the Q5 is more impressive than the Q3, featuring a Bang & Olufsen sound system (rather than a SONOS premium sound system) and a 360 degree camera over a standard rear view camera.

Q3 Estate:

Q5 Estate:


Practicality

AUDI Q3 BOOT SPACE

AUDI Q5 BOOT SPACE

Since the Q5 is larger than the Q3, it’s got the edge in the practicality department.

In terms of head room, the Q5 has a mere 5mm extra headroom in the front, and in the back, it has an extra 22mm. If you will regularly carry six footers in the rear seat, then the Q5 is more comfortable.

When it comes to boot space, the Q5 Estate is the most spacious. It offers 20L more boot space with the seats down than the Q3 models. The Q5 Sportback boot space is actually smaller than the Q3 (it’s only larger than the Q3 Sportback with the seats flat). With the rear seats flat, the Q5 Estate has 35L more space than the Q3 Estate, and 160L more than the Q3 Sportback.

Model Boot Size (Seats Up) Boot Size (Seats Down)
Q3 Estate 530L 1525L
Q3 Sportback 530L 1400L
Q5 Estate 550L 1560L
Q5 Sportback 510L 1480L

The Q5 is still the better option for big families with big storage needs - but not dramatically so, and only if you go for the Estate.

Q3 Estate

4/5

Q5 Estate

4.5/5

Safety and Reliability

Both models received 5 star scores in Euro NCAP safety testing - no worries with either of them!

The Q3 performed ever so slightly better in the adult occupant rating, with a score of 95% compared to the Q5’s 93%.

Both scored 86% for child occupants.

Audi isn't known to be as reliable as some other manufacturers but they do offer a three year warranty (unlimited mileage in year 1 and 2, and 60,000 miles in year 3). This is ideal for the average lease length. Both the Q3 and Q5 are similar in terms of reliability.

Q3 Estate:

Q5 Estate:


Costs

As a smaller model, the Q3 is more budget-friendly.

List Price

Each model has various trim choices. The Q3 Estate kicks off with Technik (£32,200) whilst the Sportback begins with Sport (£33,480).

Go for the Q5 Estate and the entry Sport trim costs £46,650. The Sportback racks up at £47,800. This is over £10k more expensive than the Q3!

Fuel Costs

For fuel costs, the Q3 Estate is the most economical, capable of up to 44.1 MPG for petrol and 56.5 MPG for diesel. Both Q5 models can manage around 10 MPG less than this.

That said, if you go for the plug-in, you’ll get more electric miles with the Q5 - 39 compared to 30 with the Q3.

Model Petrol (MPG) Diesel (MPG)
Q3 Estate 44.1 56.5
Q3 Sportback 40.9 53.3
Q5 Estate 33.6 44.8
Q5 Sportback 33.6 44.8

Insurance Costs

As for insurance, again, the Q3 comes out on top. The Q3 Estate has the lowest insurance costs (somewhere between group 18E and 38E). The Q5 Estate can be insured for less than the Q3 Sportback.

Model Insurance Group Range
Q3 Estate 18E-38E
Q3 Sportback 23E-38E
Q5 Estate 20E-46E
Q5 Sportback 35E-47E

Q3 Estate

4/5

Q5 Estate

3/5

Which is Better: Q3 or Q5?

It’s obviously a subjective question, but we think the Q3 performs better overall.

The Q3:

  • Is much more economical and cheaper to insure.
  • Is more compact for easy manoeuvring in urban areas.
  • Has a very similar array of tech to the pricier Q5.
  • Has fantastic boot space that will meet most families’ needs.
  • Takes the lead ever so slightly when it comes to safety.

We’ve rounded up some Q3 alternatives if you think this model is best suited to you.

The Q5:

  • Is better if you like a larger SUV body.
  • Is more practical if you really need the extra space.
  • Has a more premium cabin and tech if this matters most to you.
  • Has a smoother driving experience.

It depends where your priorities are - if a premium feel and a bigger body style are higher on your checklist than practicality and lower running costs, go for the Q5. If it’s the other way round, go for the Q3.


Mind made up? Leasing is an affordable way to get behind the wheel of one of these models. With Lease Fetcher, you can compare Audi Q3 lease deals and Audi Q5 lease deals from leading UK leasing brokers with ease.