The Audi Q3 is a really popular luxury compact SUV/crossover made for those who want a car with a higher center of gravity, but aren’t willing to pay a lot of money for the Q5, or even the Q7. The Q3 is one of the smallest Audi SUVs and it is made on the chassis shared between many VAG products including the Audi A3 hatchback.
The Q3 was first introduced for the 2011 model year and it has gotten better ever since. It rivals the likes of the Mercedes Benz GLA and the BMW X1 which means that these three are some of the most popular German crossovers. As such, knowing which Q3 to buy is really important as not all Q3 models are made equal.
The best Audi Q3 to buy is the 2019 model because it is a refreshed model meaning that you will get everything as in the newest Q3, except for the price. The 2016 Q3 is also a really good buy because it seems to be a really reliable car overall. Finally, the 2012 Audi Q3 is also worthy of consideration as it is the value pick of the bunch.
No matter which Q3 model you go for, you need to keep in mind that all of them need to be maintained, otherwise they will fail eventually. These cars are complex and packed with loads of expendable features that need maintenance to last a considerable amount of time.
1. 2019 Audi Q3
The 2019 Audi Q3 is likely the best Q3 model year to buy for several reasons. The 2019 model costs up to 40% less when compared to a 2022 model even though it is a really similar car overall. The 2019 and the 2020 Q3 are pretty much identical, but the 2019 is still cheaper. This means that you are getting a state-of-the-art car for a significantly discounted price.
Sure, a 4-year-old model is likely not going to be as well-kept as a 2021 or a 2022 model, but if you know how to buy, a 2019 model seems to be your best bet. When it comes to reliability, there really isn’t all that much difference between the 2019 model and the models that came after it.
Customer satisfaction charts state that the Q3 is a car most people are more than satisfied with. Some people do complain about the car being a bit too slow, but that is more down to your engine choices than anything else. All in all, the 2019 model certainly seems to be a car you should consider if you are after the best Q3.
2. 2016 Audi Q3
If you are interested in buying the previous-generation Q3, the 2016 model is your best bet. It costs way less when compared to the facelifted (2019 and on) model. You get to enjoy substantial savings while also enjoying the majority of modern technology found on Audi’s latest models. The 2016 also seems to hold itself up in terms of reliability really well.
According to a bunch of owners, the 2016 Q3 is a really well-put-together car that oozes quality as is the case with most Audi models. Some owners do complain about some interior aspects such as the climate control buttons that are a bit too old-looking.
Besides that, the 2016 Q3 is a fairly fresh-looking model inside and out. The space on offer isn’t much less than with the latest Q3 models and if you don’t mind the design, you will be really happy with the 2016 model. The 2016 is here because it might be one of the most reliable Q3 model years, yet it costs a lot less money than the latest redesigned Q3 model.
3. 2012 Audi Q3
If you want to save a bit of cash, but still want a car that looks and feels premium, the 2012 Q3 is the one to go. This car is now 10 years old, but it is more or less the same as the 2016 model. Sure, the 2016 is a refreshed model and it has various bits that are newer, better-looking, and more premium.
However, the 2012 model is the bargain of the entire Q3 range as it undercuts other Q3 models a lot. Reliability is not as good as with the 2016 model, but well-kept examples are on par with even the latest Q3 models.
As such, if you are able to find a well-kept 2012 model with not too many miles on the clock, you should definitely consider it as it gives a true Audi experience at a discount.
Should I buy the Audi Q3?
If you are interested in a compact crossover/SUV and you want it to feel premium and comfortable, the Audi Q3 should definitely be on your radar. The very first Q3 models are a bit weird-looking, but the 2019 and post-facelift models look much better in my opinion.
Either way, compact premium crossovers are all the hype right now which means that these reside in one of the most popular market segments today. As such, if you like these types of cars, you should definitely consider buying the Q3 as it is a really good car.
Which Audi Q3 model is the best?
If you are after a diesel Q3, the 2.0L TDI with around 150hp is your best bet because that is plenty for the Q3 size. The 1.5L TFSI 4-cylinder with around the same amount of horsepower is the most popular gasoline choice for the Q3 because it is sophisticated, relatively efficient, and powerful enough.
Be sure to also go for Audi’s Quattro AWD system as that is a necessity for all Audi cars with a higher center of gravity. Finally, if you want to have the most amount of fun in a Q3, you should check out the Audi RS Q3 because that car is really fun to drive.
Is the Audi Q3 better than the Audi Q2?
The Audi Q2 is the entry-level Audi SUV that slots underneath the Q3. The Q2 is smaller, less expensive, and isn’t as well equipped as the Q3. As such, the Q3 is the better car overall because it offers more of everything.