Just because something is smaller doesn’t mean it has to be any less of a premium product. After all, most of us drive around with the majority of our car’s seats unoccupied, so why should we put up with a hulking great vehicle just for the sake of some nicer interior plastics and a snazzier infotainment system?
Take the Audi Q2. It’s the latest small SUV from Ingolstadt and it comes with funky detailing on the outside, a sporty-looking interior and lots of scope for customisation. The Q2 appeals to the younger buyer who doesn’t want a humble family car and is looking for something with a desirable image.
That said, if you look on the used market, you’ll find that you could get into a bigger Q3. It may be a little old in comparison with the fresh Q2, since the Q3 came out all the way back in 2011, but it still offers buyers a nice interior, space for five and a bigger boot that should swallow all your holiday luggage.
So do you go for a new Q2 or do you get yourself a good deal on a used Q3? Let’s find out.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport List Price £25,215 Target price £23,631 Official fuel economy 51.4mpg Emissions 124g/km CO2 Power 148bhp 0-62mph 8.5sec Top speed 132mph
Audi Q3 2.0 TDI SE Price new £27,690 Price today £23,500 Official fuel economy 62.8mpg Emissions 117g/km CO2 Power 148bhp 0-62mph 9.6sec Top speed 126mph
Price today is based on a 2017 model with average mileage and a full-service history
New Audi Q2 vs used Audi Q3 – interior & equipment
When it was launched, the Q3's interior was rather plush for a small SUV, with plenty of soft-touch plastics and chrome detailing. But it is an old design now and has some slightly iffy ergonomics – particularly the steering wheel that sits at an odd angle, with only a limited amount of adjustment.
You do still get plenty of equipment, including dual-zone climate control, a DAB radio, xenon headlights, sat-nav, 17in alloy wheels and electrically operated lumbar support to help you get comfortable.
The newer Q2 feels much more modern both in terms of its overall look and because of the up-to-date infotainment system it uses. There are fewer buttons on the dashboard, with most functions controlled through the standard 7.0in colour screen. In addition to 17in alloy wheelsand sat-nav like the Q3, you are treated to more equipment, too, because you also get automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and air-con. Lumbar support isn’t standard, sadly.
You can have your Q2 with the optional Tech Pack that replaces the analogue speedo and rev counter with Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in TFT screen that relays information from the main screen to just below the driver’s line of sight. It is an excellent system that’s easy to get the hang of and isn’t at all distracting. Interior quality is just as good as the older Q3's – that's a pleasant surprise on what is essentially a junior model.
New Audi Q2 vs used Audi Q3 – space & practicality
Front occupants in the Q2 will find space to be okay rather than truly spacious. The driver has plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat to get comfortable, but the position is rather low and doesn’t afford you the commanding view that some SUV buyers crave. Rear room is tight and adults will find their knees touching the backs of the front seats and their heads brushing the rooflining. You will struggle to fit three across the back because the Q2 isn’t wide enough.
The boot is a usefully square shape and can take a folded children’s pushchair or four large shopping bags. A variable-height boot floor is standard and removes the load lip (although it’s worth noting that quattro-equipped Q2s don't get this feature because the four-wheel drive system gets in the way).
The Q3 is better for carrying passengers and luggage. You will have to negotiate a deep rear bumper that is susceptible to scratches if you drag things out of the boot, but the boot itself is a practical shape and can easily be extended by the 60/40-split rear seat. There is more head and leg room in the back than in the Q2, but a large central tunnel prevents it from being a comfortable five-seater. Up front, the Q3 is quite airy and you get plenty of shoulder room for the front occupants.