2019 Audi Q3 evaluate: 2019 Audi Q3 first drive evaluate: Persistence is a advantage

The primary-generation Audi Q3 made its approach into the US in 2015, as patrons turned their curiosity to subcompact luxurious SUVs. Hassle was, it began promoting in Europe in 2011, so by the point it arrived right here, it wasn’t precisely new, main it to really feel like considerably of an afterthought. That is set to vary with the arrival of the second-generation Q3, which is able to go on sale within the US subsequent yr. It is higher suited to compete, and with a section that is even hungrier than it was, I believe it’s going to go over properly.

A enjoyable look, by German requirements

The Q3’s exterior is way sharper than earlier than, with some critical facet sculpting above the wheels and a few slick LED operating lights up entrance. Sadly, Audi confirms that my tester’s two-tone decrease panels will probably be body-colored within the US. Lame.

The subcompact SUV section calls for some lighthearted angle, and the 2019 Q3 delivers in a single attention-grabbing approach. Vehicles optioned with the brilliant pulse orange paint job additionally obtain a touch of microfiber colour on the dashboard and door-panel armrests. Audi of America remains to be figuring out packaging for US-spec fashions, so it could not come Stateside, however I actually hope it does. The Volvo XC40 has a whole carpet in almost the identical hue, in spite of everything.

In any other case, the cabin could be very comfy. The bodily switches really feel costly, the seats are comfortable and the dashboard’s form is way much less bland than it was earlier than. The one factor that weirds me out is the headlight swap, which is now a single on-off button as a substitute of a dial. Although, if that retains individuals from driving at evening with simply the operating lights on, I will maintain my mouth shut.

The entire shebang feels a bit greater than earlier than, and it’s — it is 3.8 inches longer, though the peak is about the identical. That further size brings advantages out again, the place cargo capability grows by almost 50 p.c. Rear-seat passengers will not overlook they’re in a subcompact SUV, however at 6 ft tall, I am surprisingly comfy because of a regular sliding and reclining second row.

Potent powertrain, poised chassis

The second-generation Q3 is available in a half-dozen flavors in Europe, however within the US, we’ll get our alternative of two outputs from a 2.0-liter I4 fuel engine. The bottom engine gives 184 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, however there’s additionally a variant providing 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, which you may acknowledge from the VW Golf GTI. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed computerized transmission will each be normal.

Sadly, my tester is a Euro-spec automobile, so whereas it has the identical higher-output engine that we are going to ultimately get within the US, it comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. I discover this transmission too reluctant to shift on the proper time, even within the sportiest mode, however the engine is a peach, singing at simply the correct quantity because it depends on its ample torque to push me up by means of the Tyrolean Alps. Primarily based on prior expertise with Audi’s eight-speeds, I count on the US-spec Q3’s computerized to provide that further pep I need in its step.

As for the chassis, the Q3 feels rather more composed than it did earlier than. Even with the adaptive suspension in its cushiest mode, the Q3 stays almost devoid of physique roll because it soaks up bumps within the highway. Stiffen it up, and it performs like a GTI in designer heels. And that is what I like essentially the most about this new Q3 — it feels much less like an SUV and extra like a hatchback. But, when it comes time to reside household life and inventory it with youngsters and groceries, it’s going to nonetheless try this, too.

The one true bummer that I expertise is wind noise, which pops up as I creep towards freeway speeds and might be barely annoying when it goes on for lengthy stretches of time.

2019 Audi Q3

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2019 Audi Q3

Audi would not slap vivid colours everywhere in the factor if it drove like a burlap sack stuffed with tapioca pudding. It seems enjoyable, and the driving dynamics really feel a lot the identical approach.



There are two gauge clusters and two infotainment screens on supply. The lower-end providing wields a ten.25-inch digital gauge cluster with mounted digital gauges flanking an adjustable heart portion and an 8.8-inch infotainment display. Spend some cash, although, and that grows to a 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit totally animated gauge cluster and a suitably giant 10.1-inch infotainment system.

My tester has the bigger setup, and it provides me mainly all the knowledge I may ever need irrespective of the place my eyes wander. However I do not even want to maneuver my head to have a look at the infotainment display, since Digital Cockpit takes almost each very important perform, together with navigation, telephone and audio, and slaps it within the gauge cluster. And since Digital Cockpit’s controls are on the steering wheel, my fingers by no means must wander. It is considered one of, if not essentially the most succesful and usable gauge clusters on sale.

The infotainment is identical model of MMI that made its debut on the much-more-expensive A6, A7, A8 and Q8 fashions. It is lots quick, lots fairly and whereas it lacks the digitized local weather controls of its costlier brethren, it nonetheless feels extra premium than every other providing within the section. It is much less complicated than Volvo’s Sensus Join, that is for certain. Of the 2 USB ports up entrance, one is USB-C, which is nice in case you respect quick telephone charging.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are alongside for the trip, too, as a result of it is all however a requirement today. An elective connection bundle may also add a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, as is wi-fi telephone charging that acts as a sign booster, utilizing the automobile’s personal antenna to (hopefully) enhance your telephone’s reception within the cabin. It is intelligent stuff.

2019 Audi Q3

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2019 Audi Q3

The cabin seems costlier than it ought to, which is a pleasant contact in a less expensive (however very, very aggressive) section.


All the way down to brass tacks

Clearly, I will want time with a correct US-spec Q3 to offer my full opinion on it, however primarily based on my abbreviated expertise with this tester, the Q3 launches itself to the highest of the pile in a section stuffed with hungry patrons. Its tech and driving dynamics really feel superior to the Volvo XC40, and it seems significantly better than the BMW X2 (though, to be truthful, that is not onerous). Keen patrons should wait a while to choose one up, however persistence is a advantage.

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