Audi Q3 Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Audi Q3 Years To Avoid – Discovering the perfect used car can be both thrilling and daunting, especially when you have your heart set on a luxurious ride like the Audi Q3. This exquisite compact luxury crossover SUV has captured the hearts of many since its introduction to the USA in 2011.

Built on the PQ35 platform, shared with the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Audi Q3 exudes sophistication and elegance, making it a popular choice among car enthusiasts.

Its sleek design, coupled with a comfortable ride and ample storage space, places the Audi Q3 firmly in the subcompact luxury SUV category.

Positioned between the Q2 and Q5 models in terms of pricing, the Q3 offers a compelling option for those seeking an alternative to the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, and Volvo XC40.

Audi Q3 Years To Avoid

As you venture into the realm of buying a used Audi Q3, one crucial aspect to consider is the model year.

Over the years, the Audi Q3 has undergone numerous updates and changes, leading to variations in performance, features, and reliability.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve delved into the data to determine the best and worst Audi Q3 years to avoid.

Our insights come from reputable sources, such as CarMax, who recommend model years that boast “low maintenance issues and an owner satisfaction guarantee.”

According to their analysis, some of the most promising model years to consider are 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.

Audi Q3 Years To Avoid

The Audi Q3, a luxurious compact crossover SUV, has been a popular choice among drivers since its debut in the USA in 2011.

However, not all model years are created equal, and it’s essential to identify the best and worst years to avoid any potential pitfalls.

Audi Q3 Years To Avoid

But, as with any vehicle, there are bound to be some years that may not live up to the standards set by this renowned luxury brand.

We’ll explore both the highlights and the pitfalls of different Audi Q3 model years, ensuring you have all the information you need to find your dream car.

So, if you’re on the hunt for a reliable and satisfying driving experience, join us as we take a journey through the history of the Audi Q3, uncovering the best and worst years, and ultimately, helping you make the best choice for your next automotive investment.

Let’s dive in!

2020 Audi Q3: A Troublesome Year

The 2020 Audi Q3, while an appealing choice on the surface, turned out to be a problematic year for this luxury SUV. It garnered significant attention for all the wrong reasons, as it experienced a staggering forty-three complaints on the NHTSA site, the highest number for any model year.

One of the primary issues that plagued the 2020 Q3 was related to its electrical system. Numerous drivers reported experiencing glitches that caused their vehicles to unexpectedly stop operating while on the road. Imagine the frustration and potential danger of such a scenario.

Additionally, a recurring problem involved rainwater leaks into the vehicle’s interior from either the sunroof or near the interior overhead lighting.

This seemingly minor issue led to significant electrical system malfunctions, including short-circuiting lights and power loss to charging stations and outlets.

Read Also: Audi Q5 Years to Avoid

To compound matters, many Audi Q3 owners expressed their disappointment with the automaker’s response to these issues. Some drivers had to address the problems on their own, leading to additional costs and stress.

Considering these drawbacks, the 2020 Audi Q3 should be approached with caution, and it might be best to explore other model years that offer a more reliable and hassle-free driving experience.

2016 Audi Q3: Malfunctions and Recalls

The 2016 Audi Q3 is another model year that raises red flags for potential buyers. Various drivers reported malfunctions affecting critical components such as lights, window controls, rear backup cameras, and radio.

To make matters worse, the 2016 Q3 was the subject of three recalls, all concerning problems with its lights. These recalls addressed potential failures of turn signals, side marker lights, and emergency parking brake lights, posing safety hazards on the road.

Another issue that emerged with the 2016 Q3 was windshield cracks. Several drivers filed complaints about windshields cracking inexplicably, even after replacements had been done.

Such occurrences can lead to compromised visibility and safety concerns for occupants.

Taking into account the malfunctions and recalls associated with the 2016 model year, it’s wise to steer clear of this version if possible.

2015 Audi Q3: Mixed Reviews and Electrical Woes

The 2015 Audi Q3 garnered mixed reviews, with both positive and negative aspects highlighted by experts and consumers alike. While praised for its sleek design and luxurious features, the vehicle received criticism for its lack of interior cargo space and lackluster driving performance.

One noteworthy point of contention was the infotainment system’s touchscreen, which was not well-received due to its awkward placement and unintuitive operation.

Similar to other model years, the 2015 Q3 experienced issues with its electrical systems. Notably, the sunroof’s closure and the side lights’ erratic behavior prompted several recalls.

Drivers also reported instances of power loss for various driving features, such as control buttons and door locks.

Read Also: Audi Q7 Years to Avoid

An even more concerning problem that surfaced was the failure of the engine’s timing chain. The timing chain plays a crucial role in sequencing the engine’s operations, and its failure can lead to severe engine damage, resulting in costly repairs.

Considering these electrical and engine-related problems, potential buyers may want to explore alternative model years that boast more reliable performance.

2018 Audi Q3: Disappointing Expert Ratings and Electrical Complaints

The 2018 Audi Q3 received lackluster ratings from experts, with Edmunds reviewers granting it a mere 6.9 out of 10 stars, the lowest among all Q3 models. Consumer ratings, while slightly better at 4.1 out of 5, still raised concerns.

Several reviewers found fault with the vehicle’s fuel economy, given its more compact size compared to rival SUVs. Furthermore, handling capabilities left something to be desired, further dampening the overall driving experience.

While not the worst year in terms of safety and reliability, the 2018 model still faced 14 complaints and one recall from the NHTSA, primarily related to electrical issues.

Additionally, several drivers reported the sudden shattering of their sunroofs, an issue that Audi had not yet adequately addressed.

Read Also: Audi Q8 Years To Avoid

Considering the 2018 Q3’s less-than-stellar expert ratings and electrical complaints, potential buyers may wish to explore other model years offering more favorable features and reliability.

Audi Q3 Best Years

When it comes to investing in a used luxury subcompact SUV, the Audi Q3 stands out as a top choice, offering a perfect blend of style, performance, and cutting-edge technology.

Audi Q3 Best Years

However, not all model years are created equal, and choosing the right one is crucial to ensure a reliable and satisfying driving experience.

We’ll explore the best Audi Q3 model years, focusing on their standout features and exceptional reliability.

2017 Audi Q3: A Top Contender

The 2017 Audi Q3 ranks high among used-car shoppers, earning its spot as a top contender for those seeking a reliable and luxurious ride.

Audi Q3 Best Years

Garnering an impressive overall rating of 79 points from J.D. Power, with a remarkable 77 points in the Quality and Reliability category, the 2017 Q3 showcases its commitment to excellence.

Reviewers praise the 2017 Q3 for its practicality, offering a balance between compact city driving and ample space for passengers and cargo.

While it may not deliver an adrenaline-pumping driving experience, it promises a smooth and effortless ride, ideal for everyday use.

Safety and reliability also shine in the 2017 Q3, with just four complaints registered on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site, one of the lowest across all Q3 models.

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The model boasts the highest IIHS safety rating and an outstanding 10 out of 10 score in U.S. News & World Report’s safety category.

2019 Audi Q3: A Fresh Redesign

The 2019 Audi Q3 presents an excellent option for those seeking a used luxury subcompact SUV fresh off a redesign. Its elegant interior, adorned with premium materials and intuitive high-tech features, offers a truly upscale driving experience.

Audi Q3 Best Years

The introduction of the Audi Virtual Cockpit, replacing the traditional instrument cluster, adds a touch of modernity to the cabin.

Edmunds awards the 2019 Q3 an improved rating of 7.8 out of 10, a significant upgrade from the 6.9 rating in 2018.

Reviewers commend its quiet and comfortable ride, as well as the inclusion of cutting-edge technology.

Moreover, the 2019 model received a prestigious 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, assuring drivers of its reliability and safety in the event of a collision.

Despite being a new model, the 2019 Q3 displayed a relatively clean record, with fewer complaints compared to its 2018 predecessor, further solidifying its position as a reliable choice among used luxury subcompact SUVs.

Read Also: Audi A5 Years To Avoid

2021 Audi Q3: A Remarkable Comeback

The 2021 Audi Q3 made a remarkable comeback from a slightly disappointing year in 2020, exhibiting impressive improvements.

Audi Q3 reliable years

Its J.D. Power Quality & Reliability category rating soared from 67/100 to an impressive 77/100, propelling it to the third position in its category from its previous fifth place.

The 2021 Q3 retains its standing as a top choice for those seeking a stylish and high-quality vehicle with exceptional ride comfort and advanced technology.

Its 10-inch touchscreen, customizable digital gauge display, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto contribute to its status as one of the most technologically advanced luxury subcompact SUVs on the market.

Reliability remains a key strength of the 2021 Q3, with only four registered NHTSA complaints, most of which were minor issues.

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This strong track record further solidifies its reputation as a dependable and trustworthy choice for discerning drivers.

2022 Audi Q3: Energetic and Well-Equipped

The 2022 Audi Q3 continues the legacy of its predecessors, standing out as a stylish and well-equipped luxury subcompact SUV.

Powered by an energetic engine and boasting composed handling, the 2022 Q3 delivers an engaging and enjoyable driving experience.

Audi Q3 reliable years

The interior of the 2022 Q3 is nothing short of remarkable, with spacious and comfortable seats that come adorned with user-friendly tech features.

Audi’s new MIB3 system replaces the MMI infotainment interface, further enhancing the model’s modern appeal.

While official crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have yet to be conducted, the 2022 Q3 received an impressive reliability score of 78 out of 100 from J. D. Power.

Audi Q3 Problems

The Audi Q3, a stylish and performance-oriented SUV, has won the hearts of many car enthusiasts with its sleek design and advanced features.

Audi Q3 Problems

However, like any vehicle, it’s not without its share of issues. In this section, we’ll explore some common problems reported with various Audi Q3 model years.

1. 2019 Audi Q3: Steering Woes

The 2019 Audi Q3, despite its allure, has experienced steering issues that require attention. Some owners have reported problems with the power steering, leading to difficulties in turning the vehicle.

If you’re considering a 2019 Q3, it’s crucial to have the steering system thoroughly checked to ensure optimal performance and safety on the road.

Despite this concern, the 2019 Audi Q3 remains an attractive option for those who value luxury, performance, and a smooth driving experience.

Read Also: Audi A3 Years to Avoid

Ideal for city driving and long road trips, this SUV offers a host of advanced features that elevate the driving experience to new heights.

2. 2018 Audi Q3: Electrical System and Wheels

The 2018 Audi Q3, while visually appealing, does have some weak spots that potential buyers should be aware of.

One notable area of concern is the electrical system.

Owners have reported issues ranging from dead batteries to malfunctioning headlights. Proper maintenance and periodic inspections are essential to address any electrical anomalies and ensure a trouble-free experience.

Another aspect to keep an eye on in the 2018 Q3 is the wheels. Regularly check the condition of the wheels and tires to avoid potential problems and maintain optimal performance.

Despite these concerns, the 2018 Audi Q3 is backed by top-notch German engineering, promising a luxurious and enjoyable driving experience.

3. Audi Q3: Brakes and Regular Maintenance

The Audi Q3 boasts an impressive array of features, including a sleek design, top-of-the-line technology, and outstanding performance. However, like any vehicle, there are essential maintenance aspects to keep in mind to enjoy its full potential.

One critical area to prioritize is the brakes. Regularly inspect and maintain the brake system to ensure optimal stopping power and safety on the road.

Ignoring brake issues can lead to hazardous situations, jeopardizing the well-being of both passengers and pedestrians.

Additionally, staying on top of regular oil changes is crucial for the overall health and longevity of the Audi Q3’s engine. Neglecting this routine maintenance can lead to engine problems and costly repairs down the line.

4. 2015 Audi Q3: Safety Concerns

The 2015 Audi Q3 has garnered attention for some serious issues that potential buyers should be aware of, particularly related to safety.

Drivers have reported visibility and wiper system problems, where the wipers fail to adequately clear the windshield, posing a significant safety concern.

Furthermore, exterior lighting issues have been reported, with headlights and taillights experiencing failures, compromising visibility on the road.

The sun/moon roof assembly has also been problematic, affecting driver visibility and raising safety concerns.

Additionally, the engine has been known to stall unexpectedly, presenting serious safety hazards.

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Considering these safety concerns, it’s advisable to steer clear of the 2015 Audi Q3 and explore other model years that offer better reliability and safety records.

5. Audi Q3: A Mix of Issues

The Audi Q3, like any complex vehicle, has faced a variety of problems reported by owners that have caused frustration and disappointment.

One common issue centers around the electrical system, resulting in various complications ranging from dead batteries to malfunctioning headlights.

The engine has also been a source of concern, with reports of stalling, power loss, and other performance-related problems.

Fuel and propulsion system issues have been reported as well, including fuel leaks and problems with the fuel pump.

Steering problems have also been reported, with some owners experiencing difficulties with the power steering system.

Lastly, there have been reports of unknown or other problems, which could be related to a range of issues.

While the Audi Q3 remains an appealing and well-designed car, these problems should be taken seriously and thoroughly addressed by a trusted mechanic to ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

Is Audi Q3 good for long drives?

Yes, the Audi Q3 is excellent for long drives. It offers plenty of interior space, comfortable and supportive front seats, and minimal noise intrusion from the engine, road, or wind, making it a great choice for extended journeys.

Is Audi Q3 a luxury SUV?

Yes, the Audi Q3 is a luxury SUV. It is one of the more affordable options to own an Audi and comes equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, standard all-wheel drive, and a range of luxurious features, setting it apart as a small luxury SUV.

Is Audi Q3 expensive to maintain?

No, the Audi Q3 is not expensive to maintain. According to maintenance cost data, it is estimated to cost around $11,843 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This cost is notably lower than the industry average for luxury SUV models, making the Q3 a relatively cost-effective option.

What is comparable to Q3?

Several vehicles are comparable to the Audi Q3. Some of its closest competitors include the Volvo XC40, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and Acura RDX. Additionally, potential buyers may want to consider other models like the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, and Buick Envision before making their final decision on the Audi Q3.


When considering Audi Q3, it’s essential to weigh both its merits and potential issues to make an informed decision. The 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022 model years stand out as the best choices, offering reliable performance, impressive safety ratings, and advanced features.

These years present a compelling package for luxury SUV enthusiasts, promising a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

On the other hand, caution is warranted when exploring the 2020, 2016, 2015, and 2018 Audi Q3 models. These years have been associated with steering problems, electrical system issues, visibility concerns, and other potential safety hazards.

While the allure of an Audi can be tempting, considering the common problems reported with these model years is crucial to avoid any potential headaches down the road.

Remember, knowledge is your ally in making a well-informed decision. By heeding the data provided and being mindful of the “Audi Q3 Years to Avoid,” you can confidently choose the model year that best suits your needs and embark on an exciting journey of Audi Q3 ownership.

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