Spanking new Q2 or barely used Q3?
The Q2 is the smallest SUV to be made by Audi, and itâ€™s a little gem â€“ in the precious stone sense, rather than it being a lettuce. Trend-conscious younger buyers are the target audience, and thereâ€™s no doubt the Q2 looks fresh and contemporary. But what if you wanted something just a bit bigger, perhaps with a slightly bigger engine, that used even less fuel and yet cost about the same? Tempting.
The winner is obviously going to be an Audi, so letâ€™s slide into the driversâ€™ seats and get underway. The Q3 does look just a touch dated now, even though build quality and materials remain absolutely top notch. Thereâ€™s plenty of standard kit in there too in SE trim, everything from sat nav to DAB radio and dual-zone climate control. All stuff youâ€™d expect to get on a new car.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI SportÂ
Engine: 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol
Top speed: 132mph
CO2 emissionsÂ 124g/km
The Q2 does freshen it all up and, if you go for the Tech Pack, youâ€™ll get the brilliant Virtual Cockpit with its 12.3in TFT digital screen. The 7in colour infotainment screen is a bit sharper too and has few cluttered buttons to navigate.
In terms of overall space this is exactly what youâ€™d expect â€“ both have good front space but for rear passengers and boot space the Q3 has it slam-dunked. Neither are particularly comfy five-seaters, but if you want your rear passengers not to brush their knees on the front seats, nor their heads on the lining, then the Q3 will be your vehicle of choice.
But who cares about them? Itâ€™s your vehicle, so get driving. Weâ€™ve partnered the 1.4-litre petrol engine in the Q2 with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel in the Q3. These go their different ways but both make 148bhp, even though the lighter weight of the smaller car does give it a bit of a performance advantage. The Q3 can counter with more torque, so itâ€™s a bit more relaxing to churn along in.
The more nose-heavy Q3 with its diesel deals well with the roadâ€™s vagaries at lower speeds but tends to get a bit unsettled as speeds rise. The softer suspension also means thereâ€™s more of that SUV roll in the corners, although grip levels remain high.
Audi Q3Â 2.0 TDI SEÂ
Price new: Â£27,690
Price today: Â£23,500
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel
Top speed: 126mph
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
The Q2 feels lower, lighter and more agile. Itâ€™s the opposite of the Q3, being a bit fidgety on rough roads at lower speeds and then smoothing out as the pace rises. And, even though it has a smaller petrol engine, thereâ€™s still decent midrange. And decent fuel consumption. A claimed 51.4mpg is excellent for what is hardly an aerodynamic wedge. Road tax of Â£140 a year seems equally encouraging.
You get a three-year warranty with a new Q2, but itâ€™s unimpressive that it has a limit of only 60,000 miles. We reckon, despite list price, you could get this model of Q2 for about Â£23,631.
And a Q3 from last year, with only about 5000 miles on the clocks, would be the same price, within about Â£100. It takes that 51.4mpg of the Q2 and it raises it to 62.8mpg â€“ all claimed, but itâ€™s still better fuel consumption judged by the same yardstick. Road tax would be the same price, and of course thereâ€™s the first yearâ€™s depreciation already absorbed by the original owner, something the Q2 will inflict on its first buyer.
So which of these would suit you best probably depends more on the lifestyle you have. If you spend more time in towns and cities then the Q2 with its more nimble handling and sharp looks would fit better. But if you spend more time out of such environments, perhaps doing more miles, then the Q3, with its better economy, more comfort and more space, would be the better companion.
Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and a full-service history