BMW X1 Vs Audi Q3: Moneyshake Compares< Back to blog
There are few head-to-heads fiercer than the one between the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, two fantastic compact premium SUVs. To keep up with BMW’s facelifts to the X1, Audi decided to make some of its own upgrades to its Q3. But are they enough to fend off the ever-popular X1?
Read on to discover how the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 compare with one another when it comes to design, practicality, driving experience and standard features. Find out if you should choose the X1 or Q3 as your next high-quality family car.
Audi has made the second-generation Q3 bigger in order to compete with the BMW X1. The latest Q3 is 97mm longer, 25mm wider and 38mm taller than the previous version. On top of this, the wheelbase has been extended from 2,604mm to 2,680mm to give it a bigger presence and increase practicality.
Because of these changes, the Q3 is slightly wider and longer than the X1, but it’s also heavier as a result.
We can’t fault the design of either of these cars – the iconic radiator kidney grille of the BMW X1 keeps things classy and familiar. Meanwhile, the Audi Q3 has the new hexagonal grille which dominates the front of the car, providing a more radical look.
17in alloy wheels are standard on both the X1 and Q3, as are LED headlights which you’d expect from cars of this calibre. If you then move round to the back of these cars, the Q3 comes up trumps thanks to it receiving a rear diffuser in grained anthracite, plus it gets more of a sloping roofline than the X1, which can be emphasized even more when you choose the Sportback version.
Interior design and space
The defining characteristic which separates the interiors of the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 is quality.
Inside, the BMW X1 is way above the competition when it comes to build quality. While we don’t think it’s as easy on the eye as the more modern-looking Q3, it’s got the look and feel of a premium-badged SUV that we’d argue is more important.
This isn’t to say that the Audi Q3 lacks any sort of well-put-together materials in its cabin. But there are some plastics further down from the dashboard that mean we can’t rate it as highly as the X1.
There’s also the infotainment systems of these cars. The BMW X1’s iDrive system is brilliant to use and is paired with an 8.8 touchscreen infotainment screen that you can control through an intuitive rotary controller. You can even use physical shortcut buttons between the front seats that come in handy when you’re driving as you’ll be much less distracted.
Despite being a longer and wider than the BMW X1, the Audi Q3 isn’t as spacious in the back seats as the X1. There’s more leg room in the X1 which makes it a better option if you plan on carrying taller passengers in the back.
The BMW X1’s boot space has increased even further since the last generation, adding another 85 litres to make a total of 505 litres in the back when all seats are in place. However, the Q3 beats this by quite some margin (530 litres), which could be a selling point for bigger families.
The good news is that if you choose any of these models you’ll get 40/20/40 split folding rear seats in the back. This allows you to prioritise either passenger or boot space by either sliding and/or reclining the seats to suit your loading needs.
Performance and price
These two cars are quite different when you take them out on the road. Essentially, if you want comfort and a quiet cabin experience, choose the Audi Q3. Its standard suspension is great at smoothing out uneven surfaces and potholes that are typical on UK roads.
As for the BMW X1, it comes with a stiffer suspension that means you feel a bit more shaking in the cabin if you ride over bumps or potholes. What this does for handling though is make it a lot more quick to respond to inputs and there’s little body lean when entering corners.
You can still choose a sportier suspension for your Q3 when you look at the more athletic S Line and Edition 1 specifications. This reduces body lean massively and combines nicely with the car’s ‘progressive steering’, which does a good job of adjusting steering sensitivity based on your speed and the road ahead to make the car more predictable to drive.
Sure you’re getting the best deal? Moneyshake shows you the best lease deals for the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, simplifying your search for a brand-new premium SUV. Start your search today to save time and money on your new car.