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Used Audi Q3 review

14 Feb 2024

Combine a high driving position with manageable exterior dimensions and what do you get? The answer is a compact SUV. The Audi Q3, which first hit the showrooms in 2011, is one of the best examples of this increasingly popular vehicle type. It boasts an excellent interior, a good choice of well-rounded engines, and a light and comfortable drive - all of which help to make it an excellent choice for couples and growing families. 

But is the Audi Q3 the right compact SUV for you? And if you’re looking for a used Audi Q3 for sale, what are the best engine sizes and trim levels? Let us enlighten you.

Pros and Cons


  • A classy, well-made interior
  • Excellent engines
  • Good build quality low depreciation and easy to drive


  • Smaller cabin than some of its rivals
  • Limited off-road ability
  • Some equipment is only available as an optional extra

How does it look?

Despite selling like hot cakes, it’s probably fair to say that the exterior styling of the Audi Q3 is not going to set your world on fire. The Mk1 Q3, which was made from 2011 to 2018, is stylish and refined but perhaps a little bit dull. But sometimes, going for the mass market appeal pays off. In this case, it worked tremendously well. That mainstream appeal also brings an important benefit to you as a used car buyer, with even old Q3s continuing to hold their value extremely well. 

The Mk2 Q3, made from 2018 onwards, is the better-looking younger brother. It features more angular headlights, grille and air intakes, which give more oomph and put its exterior styling on a par with the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1.  

What’s it like to drive? 

As you’d probably expect from a compact SUV, when it comes to driveability, the emphasis is more on comfort than sportiness. That said, the S line model comes with stiffer suspension and provides less body roll to give you a more responsive feel around the corners. There is a tradeoff, however, with the S line providing a bumpier ride on anything other than the smoothest roads.  

Most Q3s are front-wheel drive with Quattro four-wheel configurations also available. Both feel very surefooted, with the Q3’s squat stance helping to provide plenty of grip and making it a relaxing, easy drive. The Mk1 Q3 is also surprisingly small, taking up around the same space on the road as the Audi A3 hatchback. That makes it very easy to drive around town, with the raised ride height giving you an excellent view of the road ahead. 

Which is the best used Audi Q3 to buy?

From launch, the Mk1 Audi Q3 was available with three 2.0-litre engines, two petrol and one diesel. The petrol engines provide 138bhp and 208bhp, while the diesel delivers a punchy 175bhp. 

Later down the line came more variety, with the introduction of the 1.4 TFSI. It’s the smallest and most economical petrol engine and delivers a very respectable real-world fuel economy of around 38mpg. The smallest engine in the Mk2 Q3 is the 1.5-litre, which is similarly economical. At the other end of the scale is the 2.5-litre Q3 RS, which delivers a power-packed 335bhp with an mpg in the low-20s.

When it comes to picking the right Q3 for you, we think the 2.0 TDI manual 150 Sport is a good choice, as it provides plenty of pulling power while still returning good fuel economy. It’s also the most popular engine, so there should be plenty of options out there. If you don’t fancy a diesel, the 2.0-litre TFSI is the cheapest petrol Q3 as it’s been around the longest. The 1.4 TFSI is likely to cost you more upfront but it’s more economical than the 2.0-litre, so you will make a saving over the long term without sacrificing too much in performance. 

When it comes to the trim levels, the SE provides a good level of kit without having to spend a fortune, while the S line throws stiffer suspension into the mix along with front parking sensors and 18in alloys. However, you will have to pay extra for the S line and you will get a bumpier ride.

How much is a used Audi Q3?

If you’re looking for an Audi Q3 for sale, be prepared to find a lot more diesel-engined varieties out there, and that’s reflected in their price. An early, high mileage diesel Q3 will set you back around £5,000, while a 2.0 TDI in good condition with average mileage will be more like £10,000. You can expect to pay between £12,000 and £18,000 for good Q3s made between 2015 and 2018, with the S line trim level costing around £1,000 more than the equivalent SE. 

Petrol Mk1 Q3s start at around £9,000 for the earliest 2.0-litre TFSI, and you should expect to pay at least £10,000 for the most economical 1.4 TFSI. If you like your practicality served with a generous helping of fun, the top-performing Q3 RS will cost you at least £14,000 for the earliest model.  

If you’re looking for a Mk2 Q3, you will have to pay a premium. 2019 Q3s start at £22,000 for a 35 TFSI Sport, but you’ll need to budget up to £26,000 for the higher-spec S line. For a 2020 version, you’re looking at between £25,000 and £30,000, or £26,000 and £32,000 for 2021 models.

Are you on the look out for a used Audi Q3? Take a look at Tangelo's current Audi Q3 stock and get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable sales team to book an appointment or a test drive at our Exeter Customer Hub.

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