The 2019 Audi Q3 has been a very long time coming. After making its first look in the summertime of 2018, I took a spin in a European-spec model of this compact luxurious crossover final September. Now, virtually a 12 months later, the American Q3 is lastly on our shores and, extra importantly, at sellers.
Even on the time of its preliminary announcement, the second-generation Q3 was sorely wanted. Because the first era’s stateside debut in 2015, the Q3’s section has ballooned with some spectacular choices, lots of which leapfrogged the older Audi when it comes to luxurious and tech. Think about the tables turned, although, as the brand new Q3 feels sharp, recent and able to as soon as once more lead a section it helped pioneer.
Intelligent particulars survive the boat experience
On the time of my authentic first drive, Audi wasn’t precisely certain how US-spec Q3s can be geared up. On the time, I knew the two-tone paint getup was already counted out for the US, however I am comfortable to report that my different favourite bit — the orange Alcantara suede inside accents — is accessible as a $150 choice on the S Line’s Premium Plus and Status trims. It is only a small smattering of colour, certain, nevertheless it’s a neat little dose of character that impresses a shocking variety of folks.
In comparison with its predecessor, the brand new Q3 is kind of a bit completely different. It is a lot greater than it was, coming in Three.Eight inches longer, Zero.7 inch wider and 1.5 inches taller, though half an inch of that newfound peak is solely for Yankee patrons, since we like our further experience peak.
These swollen dimensions deliver main advantages to the occupants. Households may have a neater time on the grocery retailer, with the cargo space rising from 16.7 cubic ft to 18.7, or 23.7 with the adjustable load ground set to its most capacious setting. The 40/20/40 folding second row additionally features tilting and sliding functionality, the latter providing practically 6 inches of motion. The Q3 feels huge for what it’s, and occupants of all sizes and styles ought to be loads comfy regardless of the still-small footprint.
The Q3’s inside seems characterize simply as a lot of a leap ahead as the outside, each of which lean closely on the more energizing designs present in costlier Audis just like the A6, A7, A8 and Q8. It is much less boring than earlier than, with engaging shapes on the dashboard and switchgear that feels costlier. Nothing about it feels significantly low cost, which places it in good stead towards different fashion-forward rivals just like the Vary Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40.
Pep in its step
The sinewy roads round Nashville aren’t fairly the identical as people who took me up the Tyrolean Alps within the Euro-spec Q3, however Tennessee’s asphalt offered loads of methods by which to suss out the Q3’s new powertrain. A single engine is on supply — a 2.Zero-liter, turbocharged I4 placing out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque — and it comes mated to a regular eight-speed computerized transmission and all-wheel drive.
I am greater than accustomed to the engine, which additionally makes an look within the VW Golf GTI, and it is easy to understand its model of hustle, with low-end torque giving the Q3 greater than sufficient driver. The eight-speed eliminates the final reluctance to shift that Europe’s seven-speed dual-clutch supplied, and I believe US patrons will probably be more than pleased with it, despite the fact that I do really feel the occasional clunk at low speeds.
The Q3’s ‘Merican dealing with feels a bit completely different than its European twin. The additional half-inch of experience peak should not impart a lot change, however the retuned suspension positively does. The Euro-spec adaptive dampers have been changed with a static setup that feels somewhat floatier, leading to a bit much less composure over iffy roads, and that does not actually change if I flip the Q3’s drive mode from Consolation to Dynamic.
The American Q3 feels a bit floatier than its European counterpart, however I believe lots of that boils right down to market tastes.
Switching to a extra aggressive mode does, nonetheless, stiffen up the electrical energy steering, however solely a smidge. This, too, feels a lot completely different in US spec, with the steering exhibiting a shocking quantity of enhance in Consolation mode, bordering on an previous Buick. Given the dearth of really feel in Consolation, and the truth that even the engine does not get rather more aggressive in its sharper mode, I discover Dynamic to be the very best setting for around-town driving, odd as that will appear.
The cabin noise from the European Q3 transfers to the US, as nicely, standing as the one actual annoyance in an in any other case nice drive. Most of that comes from wind whipping over the physique, however a few of that positively comes from my tester’s elective 20-inch wheels, that are clad in 255/40R20 summer time tires. Sticking with the smaller commonplace wheels and their 235-width all-season tires ought to drop the decibels some, however it might probably’t do something in regards to the aerodynamic stuff.
Rather more tech, all of it nice
Maybe the most important leap ahead within the Q3 is its tech. The usual twin-screen setup on all automobiles contains an Eight.Eight-inch touchscreen within the heart console and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. Spend an additional $2,000 on the Navigation Bundle (or go for the highest Status trim) and that is upgraded to a 10.1-inch heart display and a 12.Three-inch cluster operating Audi’s always-excellent Digital Cockpit.
Irrespective of the center display’s measurement, it runs the Roadshow Shift Award-winning MMI Contact Response system, which is responsive, engaging and loaded with options. The bigger display additionally provides handwriting recognition, as there is not any bodily pad included. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace on each configurations, too.
There’s a great deal of commonplace tech within the Q3, together with computerized windshield wipers, LED headlights, keyless begin and 4 USB ports — one Kind-A and one Kind-C for the entrance row, and two Kind-As for these within the again. Transferring up trims provides options like Audi’s “cellphone field,” a wi-fi charging tray that additionally hooks the cellphone to the Q3’s personal roof antenna to spice up its sign, in addition to fancier LED headlights and inside ambient lighting. Choices packages ramp up the flowery even additional, with choices like a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system and keyless entry.
The Q3 additionally packs quite a few security programs, most of that are elective. Ahead collision warning and computerized emergency braking are commonplace on the bottom Premium trim. Stepping as much as Premium Plus provides parking sensors, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring, whereas adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go performance is commonplace on the Status trim, though it may be added to Premium Plus trims as an $800 standalone improve. Status Q3s additionally get a high-resolution surround-view digital camera.
That is hands-down my favourite cockpit within the section now. Sorry, Volvo.
Right down to brass tacks
There’s an entire lot o’ worth within the 2019 Audi Q3. A base worth of $35,695 will get you a the Premium trim, which incorporates stuff like a panoramic moonroof, leather-based seats, LED headlights, an influence tailgate, heated exterior mirrors, computerized local weather management and all of the aforementioned tech. That commonplace Q3 is obtainable alongside the Q3 S Line, which begins at $36,995 and provides sportier seems inside and outside. It is also the one approach to attain the highest Status trim, which makes each feature-based improve bundle commonplace.
The compact luxurious SUV house is now a thick one, rife with robust rivals just like the not too long ago refreshed BMW X1 and Vary Rover Evoque. The XC40 remains to be a robust contender, as nicely, and Mercedes-Benz ought to have a brand new GLA-Class within the works as we converse. The 2019 Audi Q3 is a powerful little quantity, nevertheless it must be.
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