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.
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.
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?
Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which car comes out on top in this test...
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.
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.
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.
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: £34,600 Engine: 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.
|Audi Q3 2.0 TDI (184) quattro S tronic S line||Range 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%|
|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/cost||24/£381/F/£145||36/£433/G/£180|
|Servicing costs||£293 (3yrs)||£499 (5yrs/50k)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,968cc||4cyl in-line/2,179cc|
|Peak power/revs||182/3,500 bhp/rpm||187/3,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||380/1,800 Nm/rpm||420/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd auto/4WD||9-spd auto/4WD|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||64 litres/foam||63 litres/£150|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||460/1,365 litres||420/1,445 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.8 metres/0.32Cd||11.3 metres/N/A|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/121||21,000 miles (1yr)/130|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||13th/26th*||29th/28th*|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||94/85/52/5 (2011)||86/75/41/5 (2011)|
|0-60/30-70mph||7.3/7.4 secs||8.2/8.6 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.0/4.0 secs||2.9/3.5 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th/9th||5.7/7.6/10.6 secs/N/A||5.1/6.5/8.1/11.3 s/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||136mph/1,950rpm||121mph/1,600rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||43.9/9.7/618 miles||35.3/7.8/489 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||172/141g/km/26%||214/149g/km/29%|
|Automatic gearbox/stability/cruise ctrl||Yes/yes/£225||Yes/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/part/£295||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go||£550/LED/£425||Yes/£900/yes|