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Audi Q3 vs. Q5: which is better?

You’re on the market for a premium SUV and the Audi Q3 and Q5 have caught your eye – find out which is best for you in our Audi Q3 vs. Q5 review

A comparison of the Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 side-by-side

Audi Q3 vs. Q5

The Audi Q3 and Audi Q5 models are great options for a luxury SUV that’s still well suited to everyday life.

There are high points for each model – but which is better suited to your lifestyle? See how they measure up in our used Audi Q3 vs. Q5 comparison.

Audi Q3 vs. Q5: styling

A close-up comparison of the styling on the Audi Q3 and Q5

We’d be lying if we said the Audi Q3 doesn’t look like a smaller-scale version of the Q5 – but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s a classic design that’s quintessentially Audi, with that massive grille and all the chrome details.

The Q5 is the larger option and offers a more dominating look. This model gets roof bars and a rear spoiler as standard with the Sport trim.

You can add the S line package to each model for a sportier feel, including sized-up air-intakes and larger wheels.

A size comparison of the Audi A3 shows it as the smaller model and this makes it easier to navigate around town. The Sport trim is a great option for this one, swapping the standard black bumper to a body-coloured one, and adding chunkier alloys and aluminium grille bars.

Audi Q3 vs. Q5: what are they like to drive?

A comparison of the Audi Q3 and Audi A5 driving

Both the Q3 and Q5 offer an enjoyable driving experience with an impressive range of engines. If you want something with more power then the Q5 might be the better pick, though the Q3 is still impressively nippy.

Entry-level engines in the Q3 lineup include a 1.5-litre turbocharged setup that matches the car well. There’s a diesel option on offer too, available as a 35 and 40 TDI.

The Q5 is also comfortable to drive, and the added height means it might be better for all-terrain than the smaller Q3, with the Quattro all-wheel drive.

You can pick from a range of Q5 engines, but the 2.0-litre is a great choice for power. It offers 268hp and makes light work of shifting this large car.

Audi Q3 vs. Q5: interior and technology

A comparison of the Audi Q3 and Q5 interior

You’re guaranteed a high-quality interior in any Audi model, and the Q3 and Q5 don’t disappoint.

Both cars offer a sleek and simplistic setup with a premium but hard-wearing feel. The interiors aren’t the jazziest on the market, but they are luxurious and well-made.

Inside the Q3, you’ll find the flashy Audi Virtual Cockpit behind the wheel as well as a 10.1-inch touchscreen that houses the infotainment system.

The Q5 takes a different approach, with extra buttons that are ideal for helping you focus while on the road. Some motorists find touchscreens hard to navigate, and the buttons allow for a bit of muscle memory.

You still get that virtual cockpit and infotainment setup in the Q5, and Audi tosses in extras like heated front seats and three-zone automatic climate control.

Tech is impressive and abundant in both models, so you'll get plenty of kit whether you choose the Q3 or Q5 option.

Audi Q3 vs. Q5: bootspace and practicality

A comparison of the backseat space in the Audi Q3 and Q5

Both the Audi Q3 and Q5 are comfortable and spacious in their own right, but the most practical option for you will depend on what you need.

The Q3 offers a cabin that’s surprisingly roomy for a small SUV, and a 675-litre boot with the rear seats pushed forward.

It’s ideal for growing families who need space, as the backseats are still comfortable enough for taller passengers.

The Q5 is undoubtedly the heftiest of the two. You’ll get a 610-litre boot with the back seats pushed forward, and a cabin that feels spacious even when it’s packed to capacity.

You'll get brilliant storage options whether you choose the Q3 or Q5 - like bottle holders in the back of the Q3, cup holders, and handy door bins.

Read our in-depth car reviews:

Audi Q3 vs. Q5: safety and reliability

When it comes to safety with the Q3 vs. Q5, both were awarded a five-star safety rating in their Euro NCAP crash test, so you know you’re getting a secure and reliable car.

The Q5 received an impressive 93% adult rating and 86% for children, while the Q3 just took the lead with a 95% adult occupant score and 86% for children.

In the Q3, you’ll get safety tech like autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and pedestrian and cyclist detection.

The Q5 gets plenty of safety kit as standard, including front and rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring.

They’re each well-rated for reliability too, scoring well on consumer reliability surveys with good customer reviews.

When it comes to repair costs, maintaining an Audi can be more expensive. This is because you'll be purchasing premium parts that are built to last and this can mean you'll have to make fewer repairs across ownership.


Audi Q3

Length: 4484mm

Width: 1856mm

Height: 1616mm

Boot space: 530 to 675-litres

Audi Q5

Length: 4689mm

Width: 1893mm

Height: 1660mm

Boot space: 510 to 610-litres

Verdict: Audi Q3 vs. Audi Q5: which should you buy?

Both the Audi Q3 and Q5 are impressive SUVs. Their styling is on-trend and both feel premium, while the design and build are high-quality and hard-wearing.

Choosing between the two models will depend entirely on your needs. If you need a lot of space, comfort and fancy a bit more power, you might prefer the Q5.

You might also be interested in the Land Rover Discovery Sport or the BMW X3.

For a compact SUV that’s still comfortable and ideal for smaller or growing families, the Audi Q3 is a great option.

You still get a spacious boot, impressive engines and on-trend styling, but on a smaller scale than the Q5.

If you enjoy Q3 models, the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA might also be up your street.