The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys: Audi Q3

Every year, The Car Guide publishes its Best Buys in nearly 30 different vehicle categories. Today we continue our review of the 2020 winners with a look at subcompact luxury SUVs, where a new leader has emerged.

The Audi Q3 (MSRP from $38,900) wins our Best Buy award this year thanks to a redesigned, second-generation model sporting a very dynamic appearance—similar to the large, coupe-style Audi Q8—and offering many outstanding attributes.

First, there’s a spirited 2.0-litre turbo-four engine under the hood that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. AWD comes standard and does a great job in any condition. The drive is stable, comfortable and generally pleasant.

Photo: Audi AG

The Q3 is also loaded with modern technology and its cabin is unmatched for refinement in this segment. The design of the dashboard mirrors that of the Q8 with a big, driver-oriented colour touchscreen with haptic feedback for the infotainment system, while Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display features on the Q3 as well. 

All of this comes at a pretty competitive price, too.

Second place in the subcompact luxury SUV segment this year goes to the Volvo XC40 (MSRP from $39,750), which stands out with its unique exterior design and nicely crafted cockpit, generous rear-seat accommodations and fairly spacious cargo area. In addition, the 248-horsepower XC40 delivers solid yet refined performance along with a comfortable ride.

As for third place, we find the BMW X1 and X2 (MSRP from $42,100), which share the same architecture, but differ with their distinct exterior styling. The X1 is roomier and more versatile. A 228-horsepower engine is on duty as the base powerplant in both cases, while the sportier X2 can also be specified with a 302-horsepower mill. Obviously, these two little SUVs earn lots of points with their sharp driving dynamics, too.

The Car Guide’s 2020 Scores

  1. Audi Q3 – 82%
  2. Volvo XC40 – 80%
  3. BMW X1/X2 – 76%
Photo: Audi AG
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