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Car group tests

Audi Q3 vs Range Rover Evoque

Can a raft of updates thrust the Audi Q3 to the top of the cut-throat crossover class and take the wind out of the Evoque’s sails?

Premium compact crossovers are big business for car makers at the moment. Buyers are drawn by their combination of executive car luxury, off-roader looks and strong practicality.

Best crossovers on the market

One front-runner in the class is the Audi Q3. It’s been in showrooms for four years now, and has proven a hit with buyers. However, that hasn’t stopped Audi from giving the car a mid-life facelift.

As well as a new nose, the compact crossover gets cleaner engines and a revised spec. But the Q3 has a number of tough rivals in this competitive class, and none provides a bigger challenge than the Range Rover Evoque

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Best SUVs to buy now

The compact Brit has been a huge hit since launch, and there’s still a waiting list even after four years on sale. It’s not the most practical choice, but it performs well, while the exclusivity of the badge holds great sway.

Here we test the new Q3 with 2.0 TDI diesel power, while the Evoque features Land Rover’s new nine-speed auto. So which of our desirable duo comes out on top?

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Audi Q3 review

Range Rover Evoque review

Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which car comes out on top in this test...

Head-to-head

Practicality

Both our test cars featured power-assisted tailgates. While it would be faster to open the boots manually, it does take the effort out of the process. The set-up comes as standard on our Q3 S line, while it’s a £400 option on the Evoque. Plus, if you add keyless entry to the latter, you can get a hands-free opening function as well.

Off-road

It’s clear the Audi is geared for tarmac rather than off-roading. The Evoque’s Terrain Response system optimises the traction control for different surfaces, but the Q3 just gets an ‘off-road’ mode, which turns the traction control off to allow wheel slip to get out of tricky conditions.

Eco measures

The Q3 has been made more efficient, but the clever coasting function found on other models in the Audi range isn’t currently available on the 2.0 TDI. If you want to save more fuel, the 1.4 TFSI petrol model features Cylinder-on-Demand tech.

Verdict

1st place: Audi Q3

The Q3 has been given just enough of a refresh to earn victory here. While updates to the exterior are minimal, it’s under the skin where the most significant changes have taken place. It’s sharp to drive, while the 2.0 TDI is powerful, yet more efficient, and outperforms the Range Rover’s ageing powerplant. However, with a new Evoque on the way, the Q3’s lead might not last long.

2nd place: Range Rover Evoque

It’s getting on, but the Evoque is still a strong contender in the small premium crossover class. It’s comfortable, yet the Q3 is sharper to drive, and while its nine-speed auto boosts efficiency, the Evoque is still dirtier than the Audi. That issue will be addressed later this year, but even so, the constant gearchanges feel unnecessary for a torquey diesel.

Is it worth waiting for the new Range Rover Evoque? 

Range Rover Evoque TD4 SE

Due: September Price: £34,600Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 180bhp

The new Evoque addresses most of the issues we have with the current car. It features JLR’s new Ingenium diesel, so it’s more efficient than the Q3, plus it has the infotainment system that debuted in the Discovery Sport.

Key specs:

 Audi Q3 2.0 TDI (184) quattro S tronic S lineRange Rover Evoque SD4 auto Pure
On the road price/total as tested£33,425/£39,315£33,305/£33,305
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£17,582/52.6%£21,115/63.4%
Depreciation£15,843£12,190
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,728/£3,455£1,918/£3,836
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,489/£2,481£1,851/£3,086
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost24/£381/F/£14536/£433/G/£180
Servicing costs£293 (3yrs)£499 (5yrs/50k)
   
Length/wheelbase4,388/2,603mm4,371/2,660mm
Height/width1,590/1,831mm1,635/1,900mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,968cc4cyl in-line/2,179cc
Peak power/revs182/3,500 bhp/rpm187/3,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs380/1,800 Nm/rpm420/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission7-spd auto/4WD9-spd auto/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel64 litres/foam63 litres/£150
Boot capacity (seats up/down)460/1,365 litres420/1,445 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,625/600/2,000kg1,690/660/2,000kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.8 metres/0.32Cd11.3 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/12121,000 miles (1yr)/130
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.13th/26th*29th/28th*
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars94/85/52/5 (2011)86/75/41/5 (2011)
   
0-60/30-70mph7.3/7.4 secs8.2/8.6 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.0/4.0 secs2.9/3.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th/9th5.7/7.6/10.6 secs/N/A5.1/6.5/8.1/11.3 s/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph136mph/1,950rpm121mph/1,600rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph50.4/35.5/9.4m53.1/39.6/11.0m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph68/45/61/67dB69/46/61/69dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range43.9/9.7/618 miles35.3/7.8/489 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined43.5/60.1/52.3mpg39.2/53.3/47.1mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined9.6/13.2/11.5mpl8.6/11.7/10.4mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket172/141g/km/26%214/149g/km/29%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/rear/£650Six/yes/yes/£330
Automatic gearbox/stability/cruise ctrlYes/yes/£225Yes/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/part/£295Yes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£550/LED/£425Yes/£900/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£495/yes/yes/yes£500/yes/yes/yes
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