The Car Guide's Best Buys for 2022: Audi Q3

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

Subcompact luxury SUVs are quite popular in Canada. The best ones come from Europe, unsurprisingly. American and Japanese competitors have a lot of catching up to do.

The Winner

For 2022, the Audi Q3 gets our Best Buy award for the third year in a row. In typical Audi fashion, the interior is top-notch with high-quality materials, remarkable execution and a beautiful dose of technology.

Photo: Audi

Q3 drivers enjoy pleasant handling thanks to precise steering and a smartly tuned suspension. There’s a great mix of comfort and agility on the road. The lone engine choice is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Acceleration and passing manoeuvres are solid.

As we write these lines, the coupe-style Q3 Sportback and the plug-in hybrid variant are not yet available in Canada. Too bad, because both promise to be popular picks among customers.

Other Finalists

Second place in the small luxury SUV segment goes to the Volvo XC40, a terrific alternative to the German brands. With a relatively smooth ride and classic Scandinavian styling, it appeals to drivers looking for sophistication and relaxation.

Photo: Volvo

In addition to T4 and T5 gasoline engines ranging from 187-248 hp, the XC40 offers a fully electric powertrain whose 402 horses can send you to triple-digit speeds in no time. Driving dynamics also trump the gas-powered models. The XC40 Recharge, as it’s called, can travel up to 335 km with a full battery, which is somewhat disappointing, though.

Finally, the BMW X1 and X2 land in third place. While they share many similarities, these two models try to attract different customers.

Photo: BMW AG

The X1 (to be completely redesigned for 2023) is the more spacious and more practical one. The X2, on the other hand, is sportier and sleeker, especially in M35i trim with a 301-hp engine under the hood. The suspension is stiffer, which is great for handling but not so much for comfort.  

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