2019 Audi Q3 First Drive: Are Good Appears Sufficient?

Audi Q3 Full Overview

Compact luxurious crossovers are a scorching phase, and introducing a brand new one with 4 rings on the grille must be a passport to success. Add Audi’s entry to VW Group’s modular structure for the 2019 Q3, and the underpinnings for achievement are seemingly in place.

Audi bought into the compact SUV recreation in 2011 in Europe, nevertheless it took till 2014 to persuade German decision-makers to provide the U.S. a model. The time has lastly come for a second era for the Q3, which strikes to the worldwide MQB modular platform that underpins VW Group front-drive automobiles of all shapes, sizes, and types. And this time round, North America waits months, not years, to get its model of the Q3.

Though Europe will get a gaggle of gasoline and diesel engines and three transmissions to select from, the U.S. Q3 comes normal with the two.0-liter turbocharged I-4 tuned for 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and mated to an eight-speed automated transmission. The two.0-liter does bump horsepower by 28 and torque by 51 lb-ft over the outgoing mannequin, nevertheless. Audi says the Q3 will do 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, which shaves 1.2 seconds from its predecessor.

All-wheel drive is normal on all trim ranges with no plans to supply a front-drive model, hybrid, or pure EV—the This fall E-Tron will fill the electrical hole.

However the U.S. additionally doesn’t get the efficiency variants that Europeans will take pleasure in. So attempt to not lust for the decrease roofline of a Q3 Sportback or pine for the efficiency of an RS or SQ3. The closest we get is the S Line with a $500 Sport inside package deal, which is beauty solely.

The explanation: Audi executives do not suppose the U.S. market is sufficiently big to separate the Q3 that some ways. They only do not see the demand. Two-thirds of consumers can be 30-40 years previous, the remainder empty-nesters, and 60 % can be feminine. Audi analysis suggests these consumers need a premium look and the newest tech; efficiency isn’t the highest precedence in an entry-level crossover.

If seems and tech are the goal, the Q3 goes an extended method to finishing its mission. Compact crossovers have gotten a dime a dozen, and it is getting more durable to face out on this exploding phase. The Q3 has good strains and a wealthy mixture of supplies, making it one of many extra engaging choices. Styling from the Q8 trickled right down to the Q3, together with the bigger octangular grille and facet “Quattro blisters,” which give it a extra muscular look mixed with a entrance finish that was introduced ahead and up and a flat hood that meets a extra raked windshield.

The 2019 Q3 is bigger than its predecessor. It is 3.8 inches longer (3.0 inches longer in wheelbase), 0.7 inch wider, and 1.5 inches taller for a extra substantial look. Customary wheels are 18 inches, bumping as much as 19-inch all-season tires on the S Line, or $800 optionally available 20-inch summer season tires.

Take an S Line up a notch with the Sport package deal and burnt orange Alcantara on the sprint and doorways. It’s actually eye-popping—nearly to the purpose of distraction on a sunny Tennessee day because it displays within the facet mirrors and home windows, perpetually captured in your peripheral imaginative and prescient.

The tech is there, as properly, with a regular 10.24-inch digital instrument cluster and optionally available 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit. There isn’t a head-up show—Audi says Digital Cockpit makes it redundant. The usual 8.8-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment show might be upgraded to a ten.1-inch display screen, and all characteristic crisp graphics. A quibble: The navigation system’s turn-by-turn instructions tile the second flip above the primary, a seemingly small element, however my mind likes to learn from the highest down. The psychological adjustment can be simpler if the system did not typically fail to point out the identify of the street for the subsequent flip.

Transferring to the MQB structure offers quite a lot of new goodies, together with automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic help, adaptive cruise management with cease and go for inching alongside in site visitors, lane maintain help, parking help, and a top-down view to the rear digicam imaging.

The automotive’s seems proved slicker than the journey. There have been some points with the transmission on the S Line Premium Plus for the morning drive. Upshifts had been abrupt—oddly extra so in Consolation drive mode than in Dynamic, which defies the intent of these modes. It was in Dynamic that the crossover delivered a smoother, extra linear band of energy. Consolation additionally laid down a few downshifts with a thud. This explicit mannequin was nonetheless being damaged in, with lower than 500 miles on it, and I do not know what sort of hooliganism went on earlier than I bought behind the wheel. Audi spokespeople counsel these elements could have affected the fledgling transmission. Switching to a different S Line for the afternoon, there was a marked enchancment, however the transmission was nonetheless not as easy as consumers of a premium model may anticipate or as responsive as different Audis.

The Sport package deal with paddles on the three-spoke steering wheel livened the expertise. The engine responds and sounds higher when the motive force is allowed to carry every gear longer. Left to its personal units, the eight-speed is just too desperate to upshift, which helps gasoline economic system however makes for some jerky moments whereas accelerating. As for the gasoline economic system: It will get 19/27/22 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed, which isn’t greatest in school. On a scorching day in Nashville, the auto cease/begin saved the engine working at some intersections to maintain the air-con working. We appreciated this nod to consolation over economic system.

Steering was exact however joins the legions of crossovers which have inserted a little bit of novocaine into the general really feel. It has some physique roll, and the Q3 does not share the crisp dynamics we now have come to anticipate of Audi. In contrast to Europe, North America will get no adaptive suspension possibility, and the five-link impartial suspension was raised by 0.7 inch within the entrance and half an inch within the rear for the U.S. for a  higher seating place. The Q3 has 8.3 inches of floor clearance.

Entrance seats are agency however comfy, heated however not cooled. The 40/20/40 break up second row reclines and slides 5.9 inches, and the edges of the seat and the door supply intelligent storage areas. There may be an additional 2.0 cubic toes of cargo room behind every row of seats and an adjustable load flooring with two heights.

Inside, the ambient lighting might be custom-made, and aluminum and matte inlays can be found along with the woods and the $150 Alcantara possibility. A particular spot within the heart console to retailer the secret’s all the time welcome. The deep glovebox  opens onto your knees if the passenger seat is just too far ahead, although, and the solar visor does not have an extender.

There are two simply accessible USB ports up entrance, two extra in again. The Q3 is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto suitable, and you’ll improve to make CarPlay wi-fi. Wi-fi charging accommodates an iPhone 8 Plus and up, plus a sign increase by glomming onto the automotive antennae.

Pricing begins at $35,695, however Audi expects the vast majority of consumers to pay the premium for the S Line, which begins at $36,995. That places it proper within the candy spot in opposition to the rivals such because the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Volvo XC40, and Infiniti QX30, most of which cost an additional $2,000-$3,000 for all-wheel drive. The 2 Premium Plus S Traces we drove stickered at $42,445 and $44,990.

The Q3 is made in Gyor, Hungary, in the identical plant because the TT. It went on sale late final 12 months in Europe as a 2019 mannequin 12 months. 2019 can be a brief mannequin 12 months for the U.S. with the 2020 anticipated later this 12 months.

Given its seems and the demand for a small premium crossover, the Q3 ought to show to be a best-seller for Audi. It does not do sufficient dynamically to telegraph the form of journey the Audi badge delivers throughout its lineup, however Audi’s advertising and marketing crew could possibly be proper: That is not what customers are shopping for this car for. That is the model’s entry-level SUV within the U.S. and is a stunning method to get from A to B.

Appears good! Extra particulars?

2019 Audi Q3
BASE PRICE $35,695-$36,995
VEHICLE LAYOUT Entrance-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.0L/228-hp/258-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automated
CURB WEIGHT 3,950 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 105.5 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 176.6 x 72.8 x 64.1 in
0-60 MPH 7.0 sec (mfr)
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.88 lb/mile
ON SALE IN U.S. At present

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