Audi Q3 Vs Audi Q5: Moneyshake Compares< Back to blog
The Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 are both compact SUVs plonked in the brand’s bewildering list of ‘Q’ family cars. Both models are very different – the Audi Q3 has a slicker design and is more affordable, whereas the Q5 gets way more practicality and stronger performance.
With luxury crossovers increasing in popularity in line with a boom in high-riding family cars, the Q3 and Q5 are two very good models. But which one should you choose as your next car? Read our full review where we compare how the styling, features and driving experience of the Audi Q3 and Q5.
Despite the Audi Q5 costing around £10,000 more its smaller Q3 sibling, it’s the latter that wins our vote in the style department.
Everything about the Q3’s style generates more excitement than the Q5. The futuristic headlights, octagonal grille and contoured body make it look flash. Compare this to the Audi Q5, which has more miniscule styling cues, then it’s easy to see how the Q3 is the ‘looker’ of the two.
With that being said, there’s a lot to like about the imposing presence that the Audi Q5 offers with its additional bulk. Despite being 198mm longer, 37mm wider and 46mm taller than the Q3, the Q5 comes with some cool styling features that let you know it’s a premium car. For example, as standard the Q5 comes in Sport trim, which gets a rear spoiler, roof bars and rear diffuser strip in silver.
We recommend stepping up to the Sport model in the Q3 to get a bit more bang for your buck than with the standard Technik trim. There are a few more nice touches such as silver chrome grill surround, grille bars in aluminium silver and body coloured bumpers over the standard black plastic ones. You’ll also get chunkier 18in alloy wheels which give the car an even more muscular look and feel.
Because the Audi Q5 kicks off with the Sport trim, for better style you’re best checking out the S Line version. which is the next step up. Over the standard design, the Q5 S Line comes with privacy glass for the rear windows, slick matrix LED headlights and a sportier honeycomb grille. More aggressive S Line bumpers, side skirts and specific S Line logos are the icing on the cake for this spec too.
Interior design and space
In order to judge the interior of both these cars, we first must consider them in respect to their competitors.
First up, the Audi Q3. Unfortunately this is one example where Audi hasn’t blown us away with its choice of styling. Sure, the Q3 doesn’t feel cheap inside, but rivals such as the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40 do a better job at striking a balance between a revolutionary design, while at the same time using premium materials that let you know you’re driving a classy bit of kit.
This isn’t to say that the Q3 shouldn’t be considered. There are many redeeming features about it, such as Audi’s plush Virtual Cockpit which consists of a 10.25in digital display behind the steering wheel instead of standard analogue dials. On top of this there’s a central 10.1in touchscreen display with crisp graphics nestled into the dashboard. Along with the premium tech, the Q3 has plenty of comfort features inside that make it a nice space to be, including dual-zone electronic climate control, plus plenty of soft-touch materials and metallic inlays dotted around the cabin.
Things are much different when it comes to the Audi Q5. Inside there are plenty more physical buttons and switches than with the Q3, meaning it feels much more robust and well put together. Seen as though it’s pricier than the Q2 too, Audi throws in a few more luxuries as standard. For example, the entry-level Sport model includes three-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and a comfort arm rest in the front as opposed to a standard one.
Comparing space between these two models is probably a little unfair. Quite simply. the Audi Q5 is an outright winner in this section. It’s a longer, wider and taller model than the Q3 and therefore cabin space is very generous. Up front in the Q5 feels noticeably roomier than the Q3, while in the back there’s electronic adjustments on the seats which means your passengers in the back can easily get comfy back there.
Door bins in the back of the Q5 are really good to, with either one being able to hold a litre-sized bottle of water. There are also nets on the back of the front seats, plus a central armrest with two cupholders in it if you wanted to store more drinks.
You’ll be more than catered for with the boot too in the Q5, thanks to a 550-litre bay area and 40/20/40 split folding rear seats. These allow you to individually fold the rear seats to prioritise passenger or boot space depending on your needs.
Meanwhile, the Audi Q3 is also roomy, considering it’s a compact SUV. It has a 530-litre boot and the same seat folding flexibility as the Q5. Compared with the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLB, the Q3 has a copious amount of room in the back – enough for a small family.
There are bottle holders in the back of the Q3, though they’re big enough just for a small bottle of water. If you want a rear centre armrest with cupholders in, you’ll need to select a higher-spec Sport model.
Performance and price
Driving the Audi Q3 is a joyous experience, with a range of turbocharged engines which are great from the off. The entry-level 1.5-litre turbocharged unit delivers enough punch so that it never feels like you’re working it too hard. It accelerates well too, with a 0-60mph time of 9.5 seconds which you can cut down even more if you choose the slick-shifting S Tronic automatic gearbox.
Punchier engines are available for the Audi Q3 that come as standard with Audi’s sophisticated Quattro four-wheel-drive. These models include an off-road option which let you drive the car on rougher terrain with ease.
There are three different suspension setups in the Audi Q3 which let you dictate what kind of driving experience you have. The standard one does a good job of ironing out bumps on the road. If you want a sportier drive you can choose a sporty suspension on S Line and Black Edition models which firms up the ride, making it much more grounded when you’re going through corners. Finally, there’s an adaptive suspension on the top-spec Vorsprung trim which lets you choose between a softer or sportier drive for the best of both worlds.
As for the Audi Q5, engines kick off with plenty more power which make for stronger performance. Choose between a 2.0-litre diesel unit with 204bhp or a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 265bhp. Both are very strong engines, the former coming with plenty of low-down shove and four-wheel drive, while remaining very economical (combined fuel economy is up at 45mpg). It’s great at towing too, with a max pulling capacity of 2,000kg.
If petrol is your preferred choice of fossil fuel, then you’ll have plenty of fun with the standard one. It’s plenty quick too when compared with the diesel one (0-60mph takes 6.1 seconds). Because all the engines come with Quattro all-wheel drive as standard too, it’s brilliant at hauling up mountainous terrain. Thanks to having an extra 27mm ground clearance over the Q3, it does a better job of clearing rocky surfaces than its smaller relative.
If you’re after an affordable SUV that has the bells and whistles you need from a modern family car and good performance, the Audi Q3 hits that sweet spot. With leasing deals available from around £284 per month, it’s a great option if you’re regularly ferrying a family around and need some luxury comfort.
The Audi Q5 has much more space and stronger performance which you might need if you’re throwing in longer camping trips and weekends away. All Audi Q5 models are priced slightly higher than the Q3, with lease deals available from around £417 per month.
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