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Used Audi Q3 review: 2012-2014

Graham Smith reviews the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Audi Q3 as a used buy.

Spanish-built quality SUV is thrifty to run and good to look at and drive.


In the wake of unstoppable sales of SUVs, it wasn't surprising Audi added a junior model to slot in under its Q5 and the massive Q7.

With Audi corporate styling to match the larger stablemates, the Q3 seamlessly fitted in to the line-up, the sporty profile giving it more of a coupe look than that of a wagon.

The roofline compromised rear headroom and luggage space but Audi's designers thought that wouldn't trouble compact prestige buyers, who valued image over practicality.

Sharing its platform with the VW Tiguan and Golf, the Q3 handled with aplomb. Suspension tweaking by Audi meant the Q3 was unruffled by bumps and potholes.

Power came from a quartet of 2.0-litre turbo engines, two petrol and two diesels, each in two levels of tune.

It came with pretty much all the bells and whistles you could desire

Petrol versions (125kW/ 280Nm and 155kW/300Nm) were quiet and smooth with decent economy. Diesel choices (103kW/ 320Nm and (130kW/380Nm) delivered good performance with plenty of low-end torque and miserly fuel consumption.

The base model was front-drive with six-speed manual gearbox. The bulk of the range was fitted with Audi's Quattro four-wheel drive setup, turned by a seven-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic. On the road the Q3 was quiet, smooth and comfortable and even when pushed in corners there was minimal body lean.

As expected of a car in its class, it came with pretty much all the bells and whistles you could desire. The Q3 was built in Audi's Martorell plant near Barcelona and the fit and finish was of a high standard.


Owners generally praise their cars and report no issues to date. The complaints usually are to do with the swoopy roofline limiting boot space.

Performance and economy of the engines, whether petrol or diesel, are rated as satisfactory.

The seven-speed DSG used in the Q3 is the latest version of VW's dual-clutch auto, which uses "wet" clutches. Changing the type of oil when moving up from the six-speed version has reduced vaporising and electrical issues in the transmissions that affected other VW Group models.

It's wise to road-test thoroughly any used car with a DSG. Look for shuddering, missed shifts or anything that appears to be indecision in the gearbox function. The service interval for the Q3 is 15,000km, so check this in the logbook.

Smithy says

A classy SUV that's perfect for singles, small families and empty nesters.

Owners say

J. Matthews The Q3 is the best car I have ever driven or owned. Mine is the 125kW with leather, technic pack, special paint etc. It is responsive, superbly comfortable, economical and has punch when you need it.

Robyn Bedford The purchase price of my petrol auto was acceptable but the cost of options like xenon headlights, tow bar, and convenience key was very high. There are better value SUVs but it is an Audi and the quality of the build and the finish make it a very attractive choice, and the aftersales service is excellent. Once I got used to the size of the Q3, I have not looked back. I have taken it through national park dirt tracks loaded with teenagers, through country properties loaded with gear on many long distance trips. It is very sure-footed and has never missed a beat. The power is more than enough for safe overtaking, people and load carrying and mountain roads. The stop-start works well and, driven sensibly, the car is not overly thirsty. I sometimes find it hard to close the tailgate as it opens so high.

Ella Tan I'm thrilled with my Q3; it looks hot, is comfortable, quiet and spacious, and is an absolute dream to drive.

David Allsop The Q3 is stylish, the interior is smart, it has decent cabin space, and it's great to drive. My only criticisms are the price of options, the light steering and the limited boot space


Year Price From Price To
2014 $17,300 $26,730
2013 $15,400 $25,630
2012 $14,600 $23,540

View all Audi Q3 pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on 46 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $15,400 – 21,780 2012 Audi Q3 2012 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI Quattro (130kW) 2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $15,000 – 21,120 2012 Audi Q3 2012 2.0 TDI Quattro (130kW) Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI Quattro (125kW) 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $14,600 – 20,570 2012 Audi Q3 2012 2.0 TFSI Quattro (125kW) Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI Quattro (155kW) 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $16,900 – 23,540 2012 Audi Q3 2012 2.0 TFSI Quattro (155kW) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


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