The Audi Q3 is the entry-level Audi subcompact SUV/Crossover that aims to satisfy those who want to enjoy a raised-up driving position without needing to manage true SUV heft. The Q5 on the other hand is much bigger and it feels like a true SUV.
Both the Q3 and the Q5 are being offered either as regular SUVs or as Sportback SUV coupes. It’s safe to say that both of these are some of the most popular Audi models you can buy right now, and many people are keen on comparing these as they are relatively similar.
The Q3 is cheaper, more manageable, more town-friendly while the Q5 is better isolated, uses higher quality materials, and is a lot more spacious, both seating-wise and cargo-wise. The Q3 is an entry-level Audi family SUV while the Q5 is arguably the best Audi family SUV out there.
All in all, both of these are more than enough for 99% of people because they are luxurious, comfortable, desirable, and sophisticated. However, if we put them head-to-head, the Q5 comes on top as a more complete package.
Audi Q3 – The entry-level Audi SUV
The Audi Q3 starts at $34,900 and it comes in two different powertrain options. The entry-level 40 TFSI gets a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 184hp while the hybrid 45 TFSI e offers 228hp from a similar engine and an electric motor. All Q3 models come with Audi’s Quattro AWD system which means that the Q3 offers a class-leading AWD system.
Package-wise, the Q3 can be had in three different packages called the Premium package, the Premium Plus package, and the Prestige pack that costs more than $40,000. Design-wise, the new Q3 looks a lot better than the old one, especially in Sportback form. If you want the best-looking Q3 you will have to go for the S-Line package.
Interior-wise, the Q3 looks and feels relatively high quality because it utilizes a minimalist design with an emphasis on technology, ergonomics, and ease of use. Space-wise, the Q3 is decent, but taller adults might struggle for headspace and leg space in the second row of seats.
All in all, the Q3 is a nice Audi SUV that is mostly tailored towards younger individuals. The range-topping Audi RS Q3 offers an amazing 5-cylinder engine which is the best engine you can get. Even the SQ5’s V6 can’t match the 5-cylinder found in the RS Q3.
Audi Q5 – The mid-level Audi SUV
The base model 45 TFSI Audi Q5 starts at $43,300 while the more powerful 55 TFSI e Hybrid starts at $54,600. The base model gets 248hp while the 55 TFSI e hybrid gets 362hp. All Q5 modes also come with the Audi Quattro AWD system and a sophisticated Audi S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
The Q5 can also be had with the Premium, Premium Plus, or Prestige package and if you want the best-looking version of the Q5 you will also have to get the S-Line package. The Q5 looks, feels and is bigger and more substantial which also makes it feel like a higher-end product when compared to the Q3.
Interior-wise, the Q5 does offer higher quality materials, more functionality, more space, and more attention to detail. The Q5 is better isolated, offers a comfier ride, and is an overall more capable car no matter the terrain.
You are hardly going to struggle for space in the Q5 as it is a lot more spacious than the Q3. The range-topping SQ5 is not as exciting nor capable as the racy RS Q3, but the Q5 was never intended to be anything else besides a comfortable family SUV.
Conclusion – The Q5 is a better car
The Q5 costs a lot more money, but the price difference is apparent the moment you step inside the Q5. Everything you see and touch is of much higher quality and the Q5 actually feels like a true Audi while the Q3 feels oddly VW-ish.
The Q5 is more desirable, more spacious, more comfortable, more luxurious, and more capable off-road. The Q3 does best the Audi when it comes to fuel consumption, over ease of use, and obviously the price. If you are younger and you want a car that can do both performance driving and cruising, the RSQ3 is the one to get.
However, that is basically the only Q3 model that can be compared with the Q5, and only because it uses an iconic Audi engine.
Is the Audi Q3 more efficient than the Audi Q5?
The Q3 is indeed a more efficient car, but the differences are marginal at best. Because these two use similar engines, the MPG results are similar, but the way you drive these cars is going to influence your MPG results quite a bit.
That being said, the Q3 is more efficient, but the differences are so marginal that it almost makes no difference. Both of these are available as hybrids, so the efficiency similarities also extend to the hybrid powertrains as well.
Is the Audi Q5 a better family car than the Audi Q3?
The Audi Q5 is indeed a better family car because it is larger, quieter, more comfortable, and a lot more spacious. The Q5 is a lot more chilled to drive which means that your kids are likely going to prefer the Q5, especially when it comes to sleeping time.
Both the Q5 and the Q3 offer easy to reach IsoFix points, but fitting a large rear-facing child seat is much easier in the Q5. The Q5 is indeed a better family car, but considering the price difference, it most definitely should be.
Is the Audi Q5 safer than the Audi Q3?
Both of these premium luxury SUVs are safe, but the Q5 is safer, simply because it comes with more of everything. That’s not to say that the Q3 is not a safe car as both of these offer a stellar 5-star safety rating.
The Q5 is bigger and more substantial in every aspect which means that it should fare better in an event of a crash. Overall, both of these are safe and you should not worry about safety with either one of them.