Audi Q3 (2018) Review

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Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Audi Q3 (2018) At A Glance

Premium interior. Very practical.

1.5 TSI petrol engine disappointing with S tronic automatic gearbox.

New prices start from £31,765, brokers can source from £26,303
Contract hire deals from £322.94 per month
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Buyers of premium compact SUVs have a difficult decision to make. The Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X2 are both excellent, while the slightly leftfield Volvo XC40 is arguably the best. And then there's the Audi Q3 which, traditionally, just wasn't that good. It wasn't great to drive, it looked bland and predictable, while the interior was dated and it was not as spacious as it should have been.

Audi's sought to address that with the latest generation Q3. And what a job it's done. From the second you set your eyes on the new Q3, it's clear that it's moving the game on considerably. Not as bold as the XC40, admittedly, but quietly attractive.

The interior is just as impressive. It's similar to that used in the bigger Q8, as well as the A7 Sportback and e-tron electric SUV. The firm's Virtual Cockpit - a digital replacement for conventional dials - is standard across the range, as is a 10.1-inch multimedia display in the centre of the dash.

It all feels extremely upmarket with premium, soft-touch materials and a generous amount of room. Passengers in the rear are also well catered for, with plenty of head and legroom as well as a bench that can slide backwards and forwards depending on where you want to prioritise the extra space.

There are four engines available - three petrols and one diesel, with power ranging from 150PS to 230PS.

The entry-level 1.5-litre petrol (badged the 35 TFSI) produces 150PS and 250Nm of torque but is initially only available with a seven-speed DQ200 dry clutch S tronic automatic gearbox. This combination isn't the best - the engine feels strained and can be noisy, plus it's easy to catch the gearbox out. Having said that, it's easy enough to get used to the gearbox with time and, under normal driving, the engine is perfectly refined.

There are two version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine. The first is available with 190PS and 320Nm of torque, badged the 40 TFSI, or there's the 230PS and 350Nm, badged the 45 TFSI. Both engines comes with the DQ381/DQ500 seven-speed wet clutch S tronic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

The only diesel engine available at launch is a 2.0-litre unit producing 150PS and 340Nm of torque. Badged the 35 TDI, it will initially come with a manual gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive. An automatic version will follow along with front-wheel drive, as well as a 180PS version.

Looking for a Audi Q3 (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Audi Q3 (2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–35 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

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Ask Honest John

Are the 1.5 TSI engine issues in Audis sorted out now?
"We're considering buying a 2019 Audi Q3 with the 1.5 engine. Are you able to comment on the reports that it suffers from low speed “kangrooing” . If it does, have Audi managed to find a cure? Your comments and advice would be much appreciated."
This is the latest on the 1.5 TSI issues. To sum up, VW Group say they've fixed the 1.5 TSI with a software update but many owners still report issues: Test drive the car when it's cold and see if you can take it away to drive it for a bit longer. Dealers are usually quite good at letting you take it for an extended drive to see how you get on with it. Make sure you really get a feel for how it feels moving between standstill, first and second gear. I would also be asking the dealer - via email - if it's suffering any issues they know about if it's had the fix (which I assume it has). That way you have some comeback if things go awry after you buy it (if you buy). You can read about how we struggled with a SEAT Arona with the same issue, that way you know what to look out for too:
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Can you recommend the best used, small crossover?
"I'm looking for a used, compact SUV/crossover for around £14,000. I do mainly town driving and short motorway trips, so was thinking a petrol automatic would be best, but could also go with a slick manual. My main requirements are high seating for a bad back, an engaging drive and something that looks good, but is also comfortable. I kept my last car for 14 happy years of driving, and would hopefully do at least 10 years with this one. I've done lots of research but I'm still finding this a really difficult decision, so would appreciate your recommendations. The lack of rear visibility puts me off the Toyota C-HR. I liked the Honda HR-V, but found the petrol engine a little underpowered. The Suzuki Vitara S seems to fit the bill too, although I'm concerned I'll be paying for an AWD system I don't use and some reviews mention numb steering when on the motorway. The Audi Q3 or SEATAteca are also a consideration. I could go on, but hopefully you can sense my confusion. What would see as the best option in my price range? "
The C-HR would be the best choice. It was rated as one of the best cars in the UK for comfort in our recent Satisfaction Index and Toyota has an excellent reputation for reliability: An alternative to the C-HR would be the 2.0 petrol Mazda CX-3. It's one of the most stylish crossovers and has a high quality cabin.
Answered by Dan Powell
What SUV do you recommend in terms of best value for money?
"I'm currently running a Mazda CX-5, which is coming to the end of its PCP schedule. I love the car's handling, though not too keen on the low end power of the petrol engine. I'm thinking of an Audi Q3 as a replacement. After doing a lot of research: the Q3 has a classier interior but not by much, the Mazda is a keener drive, though stiffer and Mazda's perceived reliability is much better than the Q3's. Plus, more bang for your buck with the Mazda. I remain confused. Are you able to shed some light into what may be a better buy? My current CX-5 is the top of the range. Many thanks."
Mazda has a very good reputation for reliability and we receive very few complaints from CX-5 owners. The Audi Q3 is a very nice car, but you could easily spend £10,000 on options to bring it up to spec with your top-of-the-range CX-5. A compromise might be the Skoda Karoq. It uses a lot of the same tech as the Audi but offers better value for money. I ran one for six months and was very impressed with it, despite a few mechanical niggles:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you suggest a quality family car with a decent amount of space?
"We currently drive an Audi A1 and love it, but with the arrival of a new baby we're finding it too small. We're looking for an upgrade but find that the Q-series of Audis have small boots, and only when looking at the Q3 do we think the boot is big enough - and this is a big car! Can you recommend a reasonably sized family SUV or saloon that would match the quality of the Audi brand and drive, but be big enough for a small family? We're also used to driving automatic and would like to stick with this if possible. We have an approximate budget of £15,000."
Have you considered an estate car? A Skoda Octavia could be a good option - it's got a huge boot and £15,000 will get a 2018 example with the 1.4 TSI engine and DSG automatic gearbox. You could also consider the Skoda Superb if you need even more room. If you'd prefer an SUV, take a look at a Honda CR-V.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Audi Q3 (2018) cost?

Buy new from £26,303 (list price from £31,885)
Contract hire from £322.94 per month