Audi Q3 vs Audi Q5: Which one is best?

March 14, 2022 by

If you’re after a posh SUV, chances are you’ve been looking at one of Audi’s many offerings, specifically the Audi Q3 and the larger Audi Q5.

Both these cars are very competent, so keep reading to find out all about the differences between the two.

Drive and performance

The Audi Q3 sits below the Q5 in Audi’s lineup, so it’s no surprise that the Q3 isn’t quite as refined as its larger stablemate.

That’s not to say it’s in any way uncomfortable. The Audi Q3 does a great job of ironing out bumps in the road and it’s a great motorway cruiser. It’s not quite as engaging on a twisty road as something like a BMW X3 however.

The same criticism could be levelled at the Audi Q5, a BMW X5 will offer more fun on a backroad. That said, the Audi is a supremely comfortable car to travel in. It’s quiet, smooth and very comfortable and it offers all the latest driver assistance tech to take the strain out of long journeys.

Both cars are offered with a similar range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which are punchy and reasonably economical. Both are also available as wallet-friendly plug-in hybrids as well.

Style and size

As is often the case with the Audi range, the Q3 looks an awful lot like a Q5 that’s been shrunk in the wash. This is not a bad thing though as both are handsome cars.

The Audi Q5 the bigger of the two cars, and therefore has the most presence

The larger Audi Q5 has a bit more road presence, thanks to its increased width over the Q3. The huge Audi grille looks like it could hoover up the road and the LED front and rear lights look smart.

The Q3 is still a smart looking SUV

The Q3 will be easier to manoeuvre in town thanks to its smaller size, however, it’s still classy enough to make the other parents jealous on the school run. Both of these cars are available with a sporty S Line body kit that includes deeper bumpers and larger air intakes.

Interior and tech

Neither of these cars is poorly equipped, but the Audi Q5 does come with more tech as standard – something reflected in its higher price tag.

The Audi Q5’s cabin is high quality and well built

Step inside the Audi Q5 and you’ll find plenty of plush materials and excellent build quality. The overall design could be labelled a bit clinical – a Mercedes GLC has more flair when it comes to interior design.

The Q3 is still a very nice place to sit, and the design is a little more interesting

The Q3 has a slightly more interesting interior because it was recently updated. It mimics that of the latest Audi A3 hatchback and you get an integrated touchscreen infotainment system, as opposed to the stuck-on tablet-style item in the Q5, and plenty of shiny metal trim to brighten the place up.

In terms of equipment, both these cars get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, and they both come with Audi’s excellent ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital driver’s display behind the steering wheel.

The Q5 comes with a few extra goodies as standard, such as heated seats and sat-nav, but there really isn’t much in it between these cars.

Boot space and practicality

This is where the main differences lie between the Audi Q3 and Q5, because the Q5 is bigger, and therefore slightly more practical.

The Q3’s boot is 20-litres smaller than the Q5, but it’s still plenty practical enough

There isn’t much between the two when it comes to boot space. The Q3 has a generous 530-litres of boot space, which is more than alternatives such as the Mercedes GLA. The Audi Q5 has 550-litres. Both have big, square openings with low load lips to make getting luggage in and out easier.

Passengers in the rear will thank you for buying the Audi Q5, because there’s more leg and headroom. You can also pay extra for sliding and reclining rear seats for added luxury. The Q3 is still plenty roomy enough, and six-foot-tall adults will be comfortable in the back.

Safety and reliability

Both these cars scored the maximum five stars in their latest Euro NCAP safety tests, so you can rest assured that they’re safe enough for family transport.

There are no horror stories in terms of reliability with either of these cars, and both should prove solid and durable. For added peace of mind, every new Audi comes with a three-year warranty, with unlimited mileage for the first two years and 60,000 miles in the third year.

Price and running costs

The Audi Q3 starts from £31,265. However (at the time of writing) you can get a new Q3 through carwow from £30,506*.

The Q5 sits above the Q3 in the range and is more expensive as a result. Prices start from £45,445 or, at the time of writing, £43,236* through carwow.

The Audi Q5 will cost more to tax for the first five years because the list price is more than £40,000, so you pay a £335 yearly premium on your tax bill. All but the top-spec Audi Q3 comes in under this £40,000 threshold (excluding RS models) and will therefore be cheaper to tax.

*prices correct at the time of writing

Which is better? An Audi Q3 or Audi Q5?

Deciding between these two cars will mainly come down to your budget, as the Q5 is considerably more expensive. If you’ve got the extra cash, the Q5 is more refined, better equipped and more comfortable, however, the Audi Q3 is by no means a bad compromise.

Buy an Audi Q3 if:

  • You’re on a tighter budget
  • You want something smaller for city streets
  • You prefer the interior design

Buy an Audi Q5 if:

  • You want the added comfort
  • You need the added space
  • You want the extra standard equipment

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