Best & Worst Audi Q3 Years

We've ranked each Audi Q3 model for all generations, so you can avoid picking the worst Audi Q3 years and pick best Audi Q3 years!

In this guide, I’ll break down all Audi Q3 generations, unveiling the best Audi Q3 years to buy and the worst Q3 years to avoid.

Drawing on comprehensive evaluations from NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and, we ensure our recommendations are well-founded and trustworthy.

We’ll delve into the specifics of each Audi Q3 generation, exploring their yearly reliability, safety and technology, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Audi Q3 Generations

The Audi Q3 first hit the roads in 2015, establishing itself as a compact luxury crossover SUV that combines elegance and functionality.

Known for its sleek design and advanced technology, the first model, Typ 8U, offers features such as a robust infotainment system, Quattro all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged engine to balance power with fuel efficiency.

Here’s an overview of the Audi Q3 generations from 2015:

1st generation (Typ 8U)2015-2018
2nd generation (Typ F3)2019-Present

Significant changes often occur between generations, substantially influencing a buyer’s decision based on their specific needs and preferences.

Audi Q3 Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the Audi Q3 across different model years, we meticulously consider a variety of important factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

Here’s a graph aggregating ratings from the above sources, providing a clear visual representation of how each model year ranks.

Audi Q3 Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, view our table categorizing all model years of the Audi Q3 into best, neutral, and worst years, offering a concise summary based on comprehensive data analysis.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (Typ 8U)20182016
2nd generation (Typ F3)2021

“Neutral Years” typically represent solid, dependable choices without the standout features or issues that might characterize the best or worst years.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls negatively influence our rankings. A higher number of recalls and complaints correlates with lower reliability, directly impacting a model year’s standing.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Audi Q3 1st Generation (2015-2018)

Audi Q3 1st generation 2015 model
The 2015 Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 first generation marked Audi’s bold step into the compact SUV segment, offering a luxurious yet functional vehicle designed for both urban and adventure-driven lifestyles.

This model was built on the versatile Volkswagen Group PQ35 platform, which it shared with similar vehicles like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Yeti.

The Best Years: 2018

The best year for the first-generation Audi Q3 was undoubtedly the 2018 model year. This year’s model featured a 2.0L TFSI I4 engine, which delivered a robust 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

It was coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission that enhanced its driving dynamics. Fuel efficiency was commendable for its class, averaging around 20 city/28 highway MPG.

The 2018 Q3 also featured significant technological upgrades, including the optional Audi virtual cockpit and enhanced MMI navigation plus system.

Safety features were bolstered with the standard inclusion of blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera, making this year not only the most advanced but also the safest bet for potential buyers within this generation.

The Neutral Years: 2016, 2017

The 2016 and 2017 models of the Audi Q3 represent the neutral years, offering consistency in performance and amenities.

These models were powered by the same 2.0L TFSI engine as the 2018 model, without some of the latter’s refinements and additional features.

Both years maintained good performance credentials with 200 hp and a 6-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth and responsive handling.

Fuel economy was unchanged, and standard features included leather seating, a panoramic sunroof, and basic driver assistance systems like parking sensors.

However, issues such as malfunctioning rear brake lights were reported, though they did not drastically diminish the overall value and reliability of the vehicle.

The Worst Years: 2015

The 2015 Audi Q3 faced the most challenges within this generation, primarily due to engine and electrical system issues.

Early models experienced timing chain failures that posed significant risks to engine integrity and could lead to costly repairs.

Additionally, this year lacked several technological and safety enhancements that became standard in later models, such as the advanced driver assistance features.

Given these factors, 2015 is often considered the Audi Q3 year to avoid for prospective buyers looking for a used Audi Q3.

See NHTSA 2015 Audi Q3 recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Audi Q3 2nd Generation (2019-Present)

Audi Q3 2nd generation 2019 model
The 2019 Audi Q3

The second-generation Audi Q3 showcased a significant redesign over its predecessor, aligning more closely with Audi’s contemporary design language and technological advancements.

This generation introduced an upgraded interior and chassis for enhanced driving dynamics and cutting-edge technologies to improve comfort, safety, and connectivity.

The Best Years: 2021, 2023, 2024

The best years for the second-generation Audi Q3 are 2021, 2023, and 2024.

These models feature the advanced 2.0L TFSI engine, delivering 228 hp, and are paired with an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, ensuring a smooth and responsive driving experience. Fuel efficiency remains competitive, averaging 22 city/30 highway MPG.

Safety features in these years are exemplary, including standard lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and an optional top-view camera system that provides a 360-degree view around the vehicle.

Technologically, these models boast the latest version of Audi’s MMI touch response system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, integrating navigation, connectivity, and entertainment seamlessly.

Premium trim levels like the S line enhance aesthetics and comfort, featuring sportier design cues and superior materials.

The Neutral Years: 2019

The 2019 Audi Q3 represents the neutral year for this generation. It was equipped with a 2.0L TFSI engine, albeit slightly less powerful at 184 hp, linked to the same 8-speed automatic transmission.

This year laid the foundation for the technology and design updates that would be perfected in later years.

Standard features included dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and Audi PreSense Basic, which helped mitigate accidents by preparing the vehicle when a collision seemed imminent.

While it offered solid performance and good safety features, the technological and luxury enhancements of subsequent years were not as pronounced, making it a good, albeit not outstanding, choice compared to the best years.

The Worst Years: 2020, 2022

The 2020 and 2022 models of the Audi Q3 were years to avoid, primarily due to reliability issues and some technology glitches.

In 2020, the model was plagued by electrical system problems, including stalling and loss of electrical power, which occasionally led to a loss of power steering assist, which was a significant safety concern.

The 2022 model faced similar challenges, with additional problems such as a recall for a damaged fuel tank vent pipe that could have led to fuel spills.

See NHTSA 2020, 2022 Audi Q3 recalls and complaints.

Audi Q3 Resale Values

See this graph to understand Audi Q3’s average resale values across different model years.

Audi Q3 Average List Price


What are the best years for Audi Q3?

As we wrap up our analysis of the Audi Q3, it’s clear that the best model years to consider are 2018, 2021, 2023, and 2024 due to their superior technology, performance, and safety features.

On the other hand, 2015, 2020, and 2022 are the Audi Q3 years to avoid for potential buyers, which have been troubled by reliability issues.

Are you considering purchasing a used Audi Q3? Which model year are you looking at?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.