Audi has SUVs that come in many shapes and sizes, such as sub-compact, mid-size, coupes, and more. If you are in the market or have been in the market for an Audi SUV, you’ve likely debated between the Audi Q3 & Audi Q5. The Q3 is labeled as a subcompact CUV, while the Q5 is labeled as a compact CUV. If you are on the fence of which SUV to choose between the Audi Q3 vs Q5, we’re here to provide information to assist anyone in making a purchasing decision. The information we’ll be providing consists of price, size, performance, reliability, safety, and more.
Audi Q3 vs Q5 – The Basics
The Audi Q3 was first introduced in 2007, but wasn’t produced until 2011 and is still being produced today. The Q3 is positioned between the Audi Q2 and Q4 e-tron® and is viewed as more of a lifestyle or sports SUV. The first-generation Q3 (8U) was built on the PQ35 platform, and the second-generation Q3 (F3) was built on the MQB platform. Audi only offered two variations of the Q3 in its first generation: Q3 & RS Q3. The second generation has been released with four variations: Q3, Q3 Sportback, SQ3, and an RS Q3. The trims available are Audi Premium and Audi Premium Plus.
The Audi Q5 was first introduced in 2007 and was produced shortly after in 2008 and is still being produced today. The first generation Q5 (8R) was built on the MLB platform, while the second generation was built on the MLB Evo platform. For the first generation, Audi offered three variations: Q5, Q5 FCEV, and SQ5. The second generation, Audi offers four different variations: Q5, Q5 Sportback, SQ5, and SQ5 Sportback. The trims available are Audi Premium, Audi Premium Plus, and Audi Prestige.
Audi Q3 Generations
- 8U Q3 (2011 – 2018)
- F3 Q3 (2018 – Present)
Audi Q5 Generations
- 8R Q5 (2008 – 2017)
- 80A Q5 (2018 – Present)
Now that you see the different generations offered for each model, we’ll jump into the most important consideration, in our opinion, when it comes to purchasing a luxury vehicle, and that is price.
Audi Q3 vs Q5 Price
In this portion, we will not only be going over brand new 2022 model prices, but also used prices. A Premium Audi Q3, base model, with a 40 TFSI engine starts at $36,400, while a Premium Plus Audi Q3 with a 40 TFSI engine starts at $39,700. However, a Premium Audi Q3, base model, with a 45 TFSI (more powerful) engine starts at $38,700, while a Premium Plus Audi Q3 with a 45 TFSI (more powerful) engine starts at $42,000. A Premium Audi Q5, base model, with a 40 TFSI starts at $43,300, while a Prestige Audi Q5 with a 40 TFSI starts at $54,000. However, a Premium Audi Q3, base model, with a 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid engine starts at $55,400, while a Prestige Audi Q5 with a 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid engine starts at $64,800.
When it comes to used Audi Q3s vs Q5s, pricing is pretty much consistent with new prices. With that, we mean since the Q5 is a bigger vehicle it tends to be a bit more expensive. A used Q3 price ranges from $24,998 – $48,998* with an average price overall of $33,000, depending on model year and mileage. A used Q5 price ranges from $21,998 – $57,998* with an average price overall of $35,000, depending on model year and mileage. The Q5 is more expensive on the new and used side. So, is the Audi Q5 worth the extra money? We’ll jump into more considerations below, including size, performance, and more.
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General Q3 & Q5 Topics
Q3 vs Q5 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Audi Q3 and the 2022 Audi Q5.
Audi Q3 vs Q5
As seen above, all of the measurements are bigger on the Q5. This should be expected since the Q3 is classified as a subcompact and the Q5 is just a compact. Both have equivalent seating capacity, just the Q5 would be more comfortable for passengers sitting in the back. When it comes to cargo space, there is a 2″ difference with the seats up and a 6″ difference with the back seats down. This really isn’t too much of a difference and likely is not a make it or break it consideration.
Audi Q3 vs Q5 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 Q7 and 2022 Q8 performance specs.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
An Audi Q3, a Premium or Premium Plus 40 TFSI quattro®, features a 2.0T engine that puts out 184hp and 221lb-ft of torque. There is another engine option for the Premium or Premium Plus trims and it’s a 45 TFSI quattro that puts down 228hp and 251lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines offer an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The 40 TFSI quattro engine gets 23mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 26 with a 15.9gal fuel tank. While the 45 TFSI quattro engine gets 21mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 24 with a 15.9gal fuel tank.
Unlike the Audi Q3, the Audi Q5 has three engines to choose from for all three Q5 trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The first engine is a 40 TFSI quattro engine that puts down 201hp and 236lb-ft of torque. The second engine is a 45 TFSI quattro that puts down 261hp and 273 lb-ft off torque. The third and final engine is a 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid that puts down 362hp and 369lb-ft of torque. All of these engines are equipped with a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is regarded to be more smooth than the 8-speed Tiptronic that is equipped on all Q3s.
The 40 TFSI engine gets 23mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 25 with an 18.5gal fuel tank. The 45 TFSI engine gets 23mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 25 with an 18.5gal fuel tank. Lastly, the 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid has a total electric range of 390 miles, a combined gas & electric 61 mpge, and a combined mpg of 26 on gas only with a 14.3gal fuel tank.
Q3 & Q5 Reliability and Common Problems
The Q3’s overall reliability is average. J.D. Power had the 2021 Audi Q3’s predicted reliability at about average with 67 out of 100 points. However, according to a Driver Power survey, the Audi Q3 ranked 22nd out of the top 75 cars to own. By far the models with the most complaints was the 2016 and 2020 model year. The average annual maintenance of an Audi Q3 is $915, which is above average for subcompact CUVs.
Common problems that are seen in Q3s are as followed: Timing chain tensioner failure, electrical issues, faulty fuel system, lane assist malfunction, premature ignition coil and spark plug failure, and premature water pump or thermostat failure. If a Q3 is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000 and others even last up to 300,000 miles.
The Q5’s overall reliability comes in the middle of the pack, so about average. Q5’s with the Gen2 EA888 engines don’t have a great reputation because of the excessive oil consumption issues. RepairPal ranks the Audi Q5 3 out of 5 or 11th out of 14 for luxury midsize SUVs. Model years that we advise avoiding would be 2010-2014 if possible. The average annual maintenance of an Audi Q5 is $928, which is slightly above average for luxury midsize SUVs.
Common problems that are seen in Q5s are as followed: Timing chain tensioner failure, leaking fuel pump flanges, excessive oil consumption, start-stop system malfunction, and DRL failure. If a Q5 is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000 and others even last up to 300,000 miles.
Q3 vs Q5 – Which is Better?
When it comes to which Audi SUV is better, we think it is rather subjective. We can have our personal opinion, which is the Q5, but that is because it suits our lifestyles more. We understand that every consumer has different lifestyles that are better suited for either model. As we have stated above, if you find yourself carpooling people regularly, maybe the Q5 is better. This is not to say that the Q3 can not carpool passengers, it just isn’t as comfortable. The Q5 is more powerful, while the Q3 is sportier. The Q5 is more spacious. Both models have almost identical safety features, but many lean towards the Q5’s interior because it is more robust and technological.
Therefore, we hope all of the information has pushed you over the fence into a decision. We would always advise going to do a test drive yourself and scoping out the differences in person. Schedule a test drive with a local Audi dealership or a used lot to test drive both and determine it first hand.
Audi Q3 vs Q5 Conclusion
To conclude this article, we hope the information above will assist in the purchasing process. Both models have similarities and differences and, depending on consumer lifestyles, different pros and cons. If you have any experience with either model and mind sharing your feedback in the comments below, please do. Do you prefer the larger Q5 or the smaller, more sporty Q3 SUV? This will assist any future readers to choose between the Audi Q3 vs Q5.