The Car Guide's Best Buys for 2021: Audi Q3

Every year, The Car Guide unveils a list of Best Buys covering all the different vehicle categories in the industry.

Small luxury SUVs are pretty popular, though General Motors and Lexus are the only non-European automakers competing in this market segment.  

Audi Leads the Way

For 2021, the Audi Q3 gets our Best Buy award. The latest redesign has proven to be a big hit, elevating this once-neglected SUV above every other contender.

Photo: Audi

In typical Audi fashion, the Q3 boasts outstanding build quality and a highly refined interior. Handling is dynamic, the ride is stable and balanced, and the brakes are powerful.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, so when it comes to performance the Q3 is right up there with the competition.

The Other Finalists

Second place this year goes to the Volvo XC40, which adopts a somewhat different philosophy from its German rivals. Scandinavian styling and a smoother ride make for a unique combination. There are two gasoline engines to choose from, with output ranging from 187-248 horsepower.

Photo: Julien Amado

The XC40 also stands out with a new-for-2021 electric variant called Recharge. Drivers can expect the same pleasant ride along with quicker acceleration. The 75-kWh battery provides a range of 335 kilometres, which is not on par with Tesla, for example.  

Finally, we ranked the BMW X1 and X2 in third place. While these two models share many components, they have their own unique personality and target different customers.

Photo: BMW AG

The roomier X1 is more practical but can’t be specified with the more powerful engine. The X2 has sportier looks and driving dynamics, especially in M235i trim with a 301 horsepower under the hood (versus 228 horsepower in base models).

Don’t miss our full list of Best Buys for 2021!

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