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Used Audi Q3: The Best & Worst Years

The 2017 and 2019 Audi Q3 are a great choice for used-car shoppers, according to car experts.

Used Audi Q3: The Best & Worst Years

The Audi Q3 has been available for purchase in the USA since 2011, and it is one of Audi's most popular models in their range. It is built on the same platform (PQ35) as the compact SUV Volkswagen Tiguan, but it is a smaller luxury crossover SUV.

The Audi Q3 combines the luxury brand's refined styling with a cushy ride and practical storage space to create a family SUV that fits the subcompact luxury SUV range. This means it can be a good alternative to the hugely popular BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, and Volvo XC40, and it sits between the Q2 and Q5 Audi SUVs in price.

Over the years, the Audi Q3 has undergone many updates. So when shopping for a Used Audi Q3, one of the first things that can catch your attention is the difference in cars from different years. According to internet car retailer CarMax, the best model years to purchase a car if you want "low maintenance issues and an owner satisfaction guarantee" are 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.

In this article, let's look back at some of the best and worst Audi Q3 years. To help you make more informed purchasing decisions!

The Best Years for Audi Q3

Here are some of the Used Audi Q3 models you should consider buying:

  • 2017
  • 2019
  • 2021
  • 2022

2017 Audi Q3 (top choice)

Used Audi Q3: The Best & Worst Years

The 2017 Q3 is a great choice for used-car shoppers this year, with few reported problems and a strong showing in reviews. J.D. Power gave it an overall rating of 79 points, with 77 points in the Quality and Reliability category.

The review praises the Q3 for being compact enough for everyday city driving and roomy enough for extra passengers and cargo. While the model's driving isn't exactly thrilling, it's still sure to provide a smooth and easy ride.

In addition to its stylish design, the 2017 Q3 also performed well in safety and reliability. It saw only four complaints on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site--one of the lowest for all Q3 models. The 2017 Q3 also received the highest IIHS safety rating and scored a 10 out of 10 in U.S. News & World Report's safety category.

2019 Audi Q3

The 2019 Q3 is a great option if you're looking for a used luxury subcompact SUV. It's fresh off a redesign for 2019, and it has an elegant interior lined with premium materials and intuitive high-tech features such as Audi Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional instrument cluster.

Edmunds has given the 2019 Q3 an improved rating of 7.8 out of 10, compared to 6.9 in 2018. The review highlights the vehicle's quiet and comfortable ride and its cutting-edge technology. In addition, in 2019, the Q3 received a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), so you can be sure that it's a safe vehicle in case of a crash.

While you might expect a new product to have some glitches, the 2019 Q3 record is fairly clean and saw only about half as many complaints as its 2018 counterpart.

2021 Audi Q3

The Q3 bounced back in 2021 from a slightly disappointing year in 2020. In 2021, it jumped to 77/100 in the J.D. Power Quality & Reliability category, up from 67/100. The car also went from number five to number three in its category.

The Q3 remains a top choice for those who want a stylish, high-quality vehicle with a great ride and plenty of technology. Its 10-inch touchscreen, customizable digital gauge display, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the market at the time.

In addition, the 2021 Q3 was also an extremely reliable model year, with only four registered NHTSA complaints; most were fairly minor issues.

2022 Audi Q3

The 2020 Q3 is a stylish, well-equipped luxury subcompact SUV. It has an energetic engine and composed handling, and few SUVs can match its interior quality. The seats are spacious and comfortable and boast user-friendly tech features.

The 2022 Q3 adds a few previously available safety features to its standard equipment list. These include front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. In addition, a few other features are shuffled around, and Audi's new MIB3 system replaces the MMI infotainment interface.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not crash-tested the 2022 Audi Q3. However, J. D. Power gave the 2022 Audi Q3 a Reliability score of 78 out of 100.

The Worst Years for Audi Q3

Here are some Used Audi Q3 models you should consider avoiding:

  • 2020
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2018

2020 Audi Q3

Used Audi Q3: The Best & Worst Years

The 2020 model year was the only one to have two recalls, but it also had forty-three complaints on the NHTSA site--more than any other year. Most of these issues involved the electrical system; some drivers reported glitches that caused their vehicles to stop operating while driving.

One of the most common problems with the model was that rainwater leaked into it from the top, either through the sunroof or near the interior overhead lighting. The leaks caused electrical system issues for some drivers, who reported short-circuiting lights and loss of power to charging stations and outlets.

What's worse, many Q3 owners claimed that they were disappointed with Audi's response to these issues and had to deal with it themselves.

2016 Audi Q3

Many drivers have reported malfunctions with the lights, window controls, rear backup camera, and radio in this model year of the 2016 Q3. In addition, three recalls were issued regarding problems with the Q3's lights, including the possible failure of turn signals, side marker lights, and emergency parking brake lights.

Another common complaint was windshield cracks. shows several complaints of instances where the windshield cracked inexplicably, sometimes after already being replaced.

All in all, 2016 Q3 is a year to be avoided if at all possible.

2015 Audi Q3 docked points for its lack of interior cargo space, as well as its lackluster driving performance. However, Edmunds also noted that the infotainment system's touchscreen was not a feature favored by many due to its awkward placement and unintuitive operation.

The 2015 Q3 has had problems with its electrical systems, and the first model was not immune. It faced several recalls relating to the sunroof's closure and the side lights' erratic behavior. Some drivers also reported a loss of power for certain driving features, such as control buttons and door locks.

A more serious issue that also tended to crop up was the failure of the engine's timing chain. A timing chain's job is sequencing the engine's operations, and a failure can lead to even more severe engine damage.

2018 Audi Q3

Edmunds reviewers gave the 2018 Q3 6.9 out of 10 stars, the lowest expert rating for any model in the Q3 line. Consumers rated it a 4.1 out of 5, down just slightly from last year's model.

Some reviewers found the fuel economy disappointing, considering the vehicle's more compact size. Others thought the handling capabilities were disappointing compared to rival SUVs.

The 2018 model year wasn't as bad as some other models when it came to safety and reliability, but it wasn't great either. It received 14 complaints and one recall from the NHTSA, with many of these complaints centering on electrical issues. In addition, several drivers have reported a sudden shattering of their sunroofs, but Audi has not addressed this problem.

RELATED: BMW X1 vs. Audi Q3: Which is the best posh small SUV?

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