Compact Crossovers That Shape The Urban Landscape In a Slightly Different Way

The 2020 Range Rover Evoque and the 2020 Audi Q3 have both appeared in last six months. Not only do they compete in the same segment, but actually target exactly the same buyers - fashion-conscious buyers who live in urban areas but do an occasional adventurous stint. I do not want to sound like a chauvinist, but it seems that both of these machines do play a game to win women’s’ hearts. I am not making this up. Just at last years’ Los Angeles Auto Show, the Audi Q3 won the Womens’ Choice Awards. And, back in the day when Range Rover revealed its first Evoque, it employed Victoria Beckham to design some details of the interior. You may call me whatever you like, but this shows the obvious intentions of these two. They did it before and they are doing it now as well. Plus, when you see it on the road, note who is behind the wheel. A boy or a girl.

There is only one massive change compared with the cars of before - the Audi grew by quite a bit. The Evoque did not. At all. Nevertheless, both companies do look to cash in on the same virtues as before. They are zippy around town, astutely fast on the autobahn, look exceptionally well in traffic, and feature a host of technology to make even the sanest man go mad. Sorry, but that’s what it takes today to be a hit.

Exterior

First, let us show you how do these two compare in terms of looks. Right off the bat, we are dealing with totally different approaches to design. Both are intriguing in their own right, but both follow the design path set by their motherships some time ago. The Audi evolved through the prism of the Q7 and the Q5, while the Range Rover Evoque did it through the form seen on the fantastic Velar and even the Range Rover Sport.

Front

left right

Obviously, striking details separate them both. The Range Rover manages to be somewhat posh with the clear, concise lines ironed out by means of advanced slim headlights, high beltline, and obvious underbody protection that link the Evoque with its more adventurous brothers. Yes, it is angrier and more focused compared to the Audi Q3. The Ingolstadt compact crossover took a dramatically different approach towards design.

While the new Evoque evokes (see what I did there?) the spirit of off-road adventure, the Audi Q3 seems to be focused on embellishing its urban credentials.

The grille upfront has never been bigger. It’s somewhat disturbing really, but it does make the Q3 as dominant as it gets. Now, with the introduction of the latest cool Audi GT E-Tron, Audi officials inferred that the grill growth will stop. So, the next Q3 may not have a grill as such. Nevertheless, the Audi Q3 is angry enough (what car of today isn’t?), but in a different, more obvious way, I’d say. All with a grille that would fit a supercar or super saloon and lights curiously similar to those on the latest Audi E-Tron SUV. It’s a neat execution of the styling form found on the latest Audi cars.

Side

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Moving to the sides, one can see dramatic differences between the two. The continuously rising shoulder line on the Evoque makes it a rather unique proposition on the market. No other car has such a pronounced and steep rising shoulders, and this only affirms the courageous spirit of the Evoque. Actually, with the slim front lights and such a shoulder line, Range Rover seemingly forgoes the usual styling tricks on the sides such as adding pronounced curves.

I find the Range Rover Evoque side rather simple in its basic execution.

However, upon closer inspection, one can deduce that a lot of thought went into it. Subtle curves make for an attractive waist with the clear line passing just under the door handles adding to the athletic appearance. As I am writing about door handles, let me tell you that Range Rover went a step further and added flush door handles like those seen on a Tesla or even on some Aston Martins.

While Audi did not forgo any of the usual styling exercises one can even call conventional, I have to say that its side does remind of the larger Audis. That is a good thing.

The rear shoulder line, now further toned up with the muscled-up fender, may come off as a bit pretentious for a compact SUV like this, but let me tell you - it looks awesome.

The front fenders do show more adequacy as well. Heck, the small Q3 (actually, not so small anymore as it is longer by more than 3 inches than the one of before) looks kinda powerful and rather fierce. I like it more now. Can it hold a candle to the stylistically perfect Evoque? That’s up to you to decide. Personally, I am more into the Range Rover, but let me tell you that I’d like to posh up some city streets in the Q3 as well.

Rear

left right

While neither of the two have a massive rear windshield, it is clear that Range Rover went a step further in making the Evoque a tad sharper, a tad more extreme.

Its rear windshield is so tiny that Range Rover had to reinvent the rearview mirror.

Of course, it can be a display now - projecting feed from a camera positioned in the shark fin on the roof. Yet, this created a somewhat chubby rear end battered with thin, modern, all-LED lights. It is attractive. Velar-like attractive.

The Audi Q3, on the other hand, is a tad more conventional, but not boring.

At all. Fine LEDs at the back are hard to miss, especially at night. Then, there are those fine vents at the lower end of the bumper. All of this accentuates the somewhat active and dynamic character of the Q3. It does something else too. With the large vents on the lower end of the bumpers and quite large taillights, the rear end of the Audi Q3 seems wider and more grown-up compared with what we can see on the Evoque. That’s a huge deal in my book - making the Q3 a tad more serious in the neverending line of compact urban SUVs.

Exterior Dimensions

2020 Audi Q3 2020 Range Rover Evoque
Overall Length 4,485 mm (176.6 inches) 4,371 mm (172.08 inches)
Overall Width 1,856 mm (73.1 inches) 2,100 mm (82.67 inches)
Overall Height 1,585 mm (62.4 inches) 1,649 mm (64.92 inches)
Wheelbase 2,680 mm (105.5 inches) 2,681 mm (105.55 inches)

Interior

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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I do not know exactly why, but I find the Evoque cabin a tad more special compared with the Audi Q3’s cabin. Maybe it’s because of the fact that the Q3 is an Audi and you can see far more Audis on the road than Range Rovers.

Nevertheless, don’t think for a second that Audi lacks any composure of luxuriousness compared with Range Rover. It has it all and then some, but comparing the high-end versions of the two, one can s

ee why the Evoque feels a tad more special. I’ll list some of the unique cool features:

  • Touch sensitive surface instead of buttons on the multifunctional steering wheel
  • Polished metal stalks behind the steering wheel
  • The central screen that slightly pops up when you start the car
  • Leather-covered dashboard
  • Machined metal pieces on the central tunnel
2019 Audi Q3 Interior
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Obviously, Audi interior can be as technologically amazing as that of the Evoque. And it may even feature a better than average infotainment system and probably perfect ergonomics. Yet, the details like those I’ve just noted separate the Evoque from the Q3 and basically any other compact SUV out there. What I am saying is that the interior of the 2019 Audi Q3 does not feel as special as the interior of the 2019 Range Rover Evoque. Plus, it does not have as many displays as the Evoque.

Obviously, I did not spend my time on this article to note all the tech available onboard because both of these have a whole host of luxurious technologies included as part of their infotainment systems. And yes, if you pay enough, you’ll get a display instead of the analog dials behind the steering wheel. Yet, the Range Rover will grant you with technologies like ClearSight Ground View that presents everything that is under the car on the central screen thanks to three cameras. It gives you an unmatched view of your surroundings. No other CUV on earth currently has such technology and this gives the Evoque a clear off-roading edge.

Drivetrain and Performance

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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I can talk here about the entry-level models, but where’s the fun in that. So, yes, both of these compact crossovers are available with a FWD setup and engines that develop 150 horsepower.

However, if you go all out and spec it to the max, you can get a 230 horsepower engine for the Q3 and the 300 horsepower engine for the Evoque.

Both petrol, both four-cylinder engines, and both turbocharged. I am sure that in some time the Audi Q3 will offer a similarly powerful turbocharged four-cylinder.

2019 Audi Q3
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In this world of efficient but powerful four-cylinder engines, the Audi comes with a dual-clutch S Tronic automatic, while the Range Rover Evoque moves around with basic automatic transmission. Of course, both of them are equipped with the All Wheel Drive system, but the Q3 actually has a permanent all-wheel-drive system that’s really similar to what you can find on any of the entry-level Audi vehicles.

The Range Rover Evoque is, of course, slightly different in its AWD proves compared with the Q3.

Actually; it comes with All-Terrain Progress Control and can ford through 600 millimeters of water. Try to do that with the Q3. Actually; don’t, you’ll hate me.

Performance

Audi Q3 45 TFSI quattro S tronic Range Rover Evoque Si4 AWD Automatic
Top speed: 144.8 mph 150 mph
Acceleration 0-62: 6.3 seconds 6.6 seconds

Options

When it comes to options and amazing things these two SUVs offer, you will be a bit surprised that I am talking about entry-level CUVs.

The options include the following:

2019 Audi Q3 Interior
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Audi Q3:

  • Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound
  • Adaptive cruise assist
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Audi Virtual Cockpit
    2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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    Range Rover Evoque:

  • Kvadrat Wool upholstery (really cool stuff that is more eco-friendly compared with leather, but feels as premium)
  • Wade sensing tech (Ultrasonic sensors in the exterior mirrors measure the depth of water)
  • Terrain Response 2 (with driving modes such as Comfort, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Mud & Ruts)
  • ClearSight Ground View (basically a transparent bonnet)
  • 48-volt mild-hybrid setup available

Obviously, Audi focuses on making the most of the tech one would like to have in an urban environment. On the other hand, Range Rover went full off-road. And, in a good way too.

Which is the Better Choice?

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Audi Q3
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This one is hard to answer. I guess that depends on the money you are ready to spend and what needs you have of your car. The Audi is bigger, a tad quicker, and probably really good around town. Especially considering its large windows that allow exceptional visibility and fit and finish only VW Group cars can achieve. On the other hand, the Range Rover Evoque does play a slightly different game by focusing on its off-road credentials but never forgetting that it is made for the city.

Personally, I’d go for the Evoque. It has more unique features such as the Kvadrat Wool upholstery, somewhat experimental design features, and futuristic touches such as the Clear Sight tech and 48-volt electric system. Yet, those added inches on the Q3 do sound appealing.

Further reading

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Audi Q3
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Read our full review on the 2020 Range Rover Evoque.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 Audi Q3 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Audi Q3.

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