As a car enthusiast, you might hate small premium crossovers. It’s not uncommon to throw criticism at these relatively boring and unimaginative people movers but the truth of the matter is that they sell and sell well. So automakers are going to keep making them and they’re going to keep selling them. Which makes them important, like it or not. But the real question is: which one is best? In this new test from Car and Driver, we take a look at the two best; the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

What’s interesting about this test is the age difference between both cars. The BMW X1 is a quite a few years old now, even though it has received a facelift. Fun fact: the pre-LCI BMW X1 is the first BMW I ever tested on a press launch. That’s how old it is. Still, it’s one of the very best cars in its segment, which is shocking when you realize that its front-wheel drive bias and crossover body style make it the polar opposite of what BMW was previously known for.


To counter the aging BMW X1 is the all-new Audi Q3, which just went on sale this year. The first-gen Q3 was a putrid thing and one of the worst crossovers on sale back in its day. This new one, though, is much improved in every single way and is actually a very good car. But can its all-new design, technology and interior take down the aging veteran?

According to Car and Driver — no. The Audi Q3 is a great little crossover, one that looks good, has a fantastic interior, superb technology and surprisingly fun-to-drive dynamics. However, the BMW X1 is just a bit more enjoyable to drive, while having better interior materials and a better powertrain. While the Q3 actually has more communicative steering, the BMW X1 is just a bit more engaging, a bit more dynamic than the Audi.

So while you might bemoan BMW’s new penchant for front-drive-based crossovers, it’s actually quite good at making them.

[Source: Car and Driver]