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Nissan Qashqai vs Audi Q3 | RAC Cars

By raccars Published

Nissan Qashqai or the Audi Q3?

Used Nissan Qashqai - What Do You Need To Know?

Nissan is recognised as being the brand that delivered the very first crossover SUV and since its launch back in 2006, sales have soared. In fact, Nissan’s Sunderland plant produced its two millionth Qashqai back in November 2014.

● Maximum five star safety rating from Euro NCAP

● Newer models only have five seats

● Big choice of both petrol and diesel engines

● Poor resale because so many are on the market

● Loads of space for the whole family to relax in, plus their holiday baggage

View used Nissan Qashqai models on RAC Cars.

Used Audi Q3 - What Do You Need to Know?

Audi Q3

Audi has taken all of the necessary ingredients needed for a successful crossover SUV, such as an elevated ride height, practicality and stylish good looks, then raised them in an oven of premium Vorsprung Durch Technik.

The Q3 incorporates some of the finest leathers and materials to create a cabin fit for a king. It also boasts impressive driving dynamics and that progress through technology the German manufacturer has made so famous.

● Advanced safety features earned it five of Euro NCAP’s sought after stars

● Can be expensive to run

● Excellent choice of petrol and diesel engines

● More expensive to buy than crossover competitors

● Brilliantly dynamic drive for its class

View used Audi Q3 models on RAC Cars.

A Short History Of The Audi Q3 And Nissan Qashqai

The Audi Q3 has muscled itself into the crossover market somewhere below the larger ‘family’ options. In 2011, Audi wanted a sports utility vehicle that lived up to its name. They wanted speed, agility and those sharkish features to bring some bite into the sector.

This approach kind of mirrors the original idea that Nissan had for the people carrier market. The difference is, while the Qashqai remains larger and really practical, the Q3 is all about style and dynamics.


When Nissan launched its Qashqai model in 2006 it was quite the game-changer. It was the first car that offered an elevated ride height, neat styling, impressive economy figures and SUV capabilities all in one neat, affordable package built in the UK.

The Qashqai is also easy on the eye with its smooth streamlining, broad centre of gravity and sturdy feel.

The Q3 somehow seems less worried about life. Or at least, let’s say, up for a bit more of a laugh. It has athletic styling complimented by smart alloy wheels and sweeping headlight clusters.

There’s a solid feel to it and the interior is generously-equipped with all the latest technological treats, including a colour touchscreen and full smartphone connectivity capabilities.

Nissan Qashqai - What Should You Look Out For?

Nissan Qashqai

● Don’t find yourself paying for a new electric motor to power the central locking. When looking at the car use the keys to unlock the car. If the driver door doesn’t open but the rest do, you’re onto the problem.

● You may also want to listen out for any rattling at the back of the car. This is a pretty good indicator that the rear shock absorber is on its way out. It can be an expensive fix so check the car’s history and bring it up with the seller before buying. We would also recommend that you have an RAC Vehicle Inspection Check.

● Sometimes the car will skirt forward much more than you expect it to. This oversensitive throttle means a problem with the electronic control unit. The update is free from a Nissan dealer but you don’t want to have to get that done yourself if you’re the buyer.

Audi Q3 - What Should You Look Out For?

● If the model has a sunroof ask about any problems with it shutting off. There was a recall last year that required a software update

● We have also heard of trouble with the satellite navigation system in the Audi Q3. So ask again about software updates when buying, particularly in the older models. The Sat Nav update is not provided by the dealer so do ask before buying.

We can’t find any other common faults in what is one of the most highly refined cars on the market today.

How Do They Compare On Driving Dynamics?

The second generation Qashqai has been cut down to a more agile size and the models seem to come in smaller boxes each time a new one is released.

The road-holding is assured, the steering is precise and the cabin is well insulated against road, engine and wind noise.

The Audi Q3 is a more upmarket model than the Nissan Qashqai and that’s reflected in the asking price. But it doesn’t necessarily perform any better. The build quality feels more solid and the engines deliver plenty of bite. But the ride can be quite hard at times and is very bouncy on the larger wheels.

The lower specced cars on smaller wheels offer the best comfort levels and are easier to drive.


Comfort levels within the Qashqai are excellent with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment available. The high-seated driving position is good for all round visibility, but it is hampered a little by the thick windscreen pillars.

The cabin is spacious with room for five adults apart from the Nissan Qashqai+2, which was a seven-seater, discontinued in 2014.

For a crossover, Audi Q3’s rear legroom is a little disappointing and taller passengers may feel a little cramped.

Storage options are good on both cars with the Qashqai boasting a boot capacity of 430 litres, increasing to 1,585 litres with the rear seats dropped down. The Audi Q3 can accommodate 420 litres of luggage increasing to 1,325 litres.

New Nissan Qashqai And Audi Q3 Models

Engines and gearboxes

A range of petrol and diesel engines power the Qashqai and the choice really depends on what the car will be used for. If you’re running through a lot of miles then the obvious choice is the 1.6 litre diesel. It’s more economic and finds itself really at home on the motorways.

Then there is a 1.2 petrol version that pops around the city with no trouble at all. There is also a choice with two or four-wheel drive.

The Audi Q3 has been the company’s smallest SUV to date, but that will change with the arrival of the Q2 later this year. There is a choice of engines with the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol unit offering excellent performance capabilities, but the 2.0-litre diesel models proving the most frugal.

Nissan Qashqai models are available in trims called Visia, Acenta, N-Tec, N-Connecta, Tekna and Black Edition with prices new ranging from £18,545 to £29,350, however used prices range from £6,000 to £20,000.

Trim levels on the Audi Q3 are SE, Sport, S line, S line Nav and Beige Edition. Prices new range from £26,150 to £36,945, whereas used prices can range from £9,000 to £22,000.

If you know the registration number there are tools available to check the tax such as the gov.uk tax rate calculator.

View thousands of used Nissan Qashqai and used Audi Q3 models on RAC Cars.

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