Volvo XC40 vs Audi Q3


The Volvo XC40 was first introduced in 2017 as a subcompact luxury crossover SUV and is the first Volvo based on the CMA (compact modular architecture) platform that is shared with other Volvo models, Geely models, and Lynk & Co models. It is Volvo's best selling car in the UK and the all new model has also been expanded into hybrid and fully electric version - the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

The Audi Q3 has been around a little longer as it was first introduced in 2011 at Auto Shanghai and initially shared components, transmission, and engines with others that used the PQ35 build platform which included the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. A second generation was launched in 2018, built on the MQB platform, and now has extended to include a plug in hybrid offering too.

Both are luxury vehicles and our guide will compare the Volvo XC40 vs Audi Q3 to help you determine which car will suit you and your lifestyle best.


The XC40 has several tell tale signs that it belongs to the Swedish brand. This includes striking LED rear lights and the Thor's Hammer design that the daytime running lights form. The chrome line that runs through the front grille is also synonymous with the Volvo name.

The current Q3 is a little taller than the previous model, has a slightly more upright windscreen and also has a more angular feel to it thanks to reshapes to the front grille and wheel arches. It's still undoubtedly an Audi to look at so fans of the brand have nothing to worry about there.

Taking it back to basics, the Q3 is 44mm longer and 10mm wider but the XC40 is 36mm taller so either one will give you maple space for passengers and all the items that come along with them when you travel.


Both models offer copious amounts of head room and leg room for taller passengers so you shouldn't have any problems fitting into the car. There's less of a difference between and the front seat and rear seat in the XC40 but the Q3 has more headroom overall.

Looking at sheer volume with all seats in use, the Volvo XC40 is the winner. It can offer 572 litres compared to the 530 litres in the Q3. For their plug in hybrid versions they both lose some cargo space due to the location of the electric motors with the XC40 reducing to 489 litres and the Q3 reducing to 380 litres.

Folding the rear seats down will see the Audi Q3 ahead at 1325 litres to the XC40's 1328 litres. Again, the hybrid versions will lose some of this so the Q3 becomes 1375 and the XC40 becomes 1205 litres. Additionally, the Pure Electric XC40 has a front load compartment under the bonnet, a handy bit of extra space if you need it.

The rear seats on the Audi Q3 are able to slide forwards and backwards to extend the legroom for rear passengers or cargo space as needed. Matched with the 40/20/40 split that the rear seats have makes it much more adaptable to how you're using your car than the space in the Volvo XC40.


When comparing the Audi Q3 vs Volvo XC40 you can expect standard equipment on both entry level models to include things like LED headlights, a touch screen as part of the centre console, a multifunction steering wheel, and metallic paint.

Opting to upgrade your trim levels on either will bring you things such as adaptive cruise control, upgraded materials for the upholstery, privacy glass, a power driver's seat,

The equipment that's unique to the Audi Q3 includes a 10.25 inch virtual cockpit, Audi Connect infotainment services with a 3 year subscription, pre-sense basic which takes actions to protect those in the car if a potential collision is detected such as seat belt tightening, closing windows and sunroof, wireless Apple Carplay, and isofix connection in the front passenger seat.

Meanwhile, the XC40 offers adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake light, auto wipers, Google Automotive Services, 12.3 inch virtual cockpit, driver awareness alert, and wireless phone charging.


Between them, the XC40 and the Q3 have a selection of turbocharged petrol engines, diesel engines, and plug in hybrids available for you to choose from with both front wheel drive and all wheel drive. The XC40 is also available as a fully electric model too. These all come with automatic gearboxes

The most powerful of the internal combustion engines comes from the Audi Q3 with its 2.0 litre 241HP. This has a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds, the XC40 is 2.2 seconds slower at 7.6 seconds. As it's an engine that's more performance than economy it's understandable that it's combined mpg is only 32.8.

Across all options the Q3 is also more economical with a higher combined mpg in every petrol and diesel option when compared to the XC40. It's plug in hybrid option also has a higher combined mpg figure, 176.6 compared to 134.5 or 128.4 on the XC40 Recharge models.

Your greenest option is, obviously, the XC40 Pure Electric as it emits no CO2 and runs on an electric motor rather than a traditional internal combustion engine. You can expect a range of up to 263.5 miles and 231HP, a great performance against other similar electric cars.


Looking for a premium SUV will undoubtedly show you both the Volvo XC40 and the Audi Q3 - and for good reason. A range of economical engines, the option to choose plug in hybrids or full electric, and an excellent equipment offering makes both new cars a great option.

If you're still deciding between the two cars, our helpful teams at our John Clark Volvo sites in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh and our Audi sites in Dundee and Aberdeen are always on hand to answer any further questions and let you see our test car for each model in person.