2019 Audi Q3 Second Drive Evaluate | Entry stage accomplished proper

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s been mentioned that you simply solely get one likelihood to make a superb first impression. That’s simply as true within the automotive world, and it’s particularly relevant to entry-level luxurious autos just like the 2019 Audi Q3. The automaker’s inside knowledge says that greater than two-thirds of all clients who drive a Q3 off the lot can be making their first buy from a premium model like Audi. So if Audi has any hope of retaining that buyer and hopefully shifting them upward in its hierarchy of vehicular choices, the Q3’s first impression had higher be a superb one.

We’re comfortable to report that the brand new Q3 is an unlimited enchancment over the mannequin it replaces. As we came upon once we received an early likelihood to check out the European model of the brand new Q3, for 2019 Audi’s entry-level crossover will get greater, extra enticing, extra highly effective, and boasts extra commonplace options than earlier than. On paper it’s a significant improve, and the excellent news is that the majority of these spec-sheet upgrades translate into actual advantages in the actual world.

The 2019 Q3 now rides atop the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous MQB platform, however that doesn’t imply it rides and drives like a pumped-up VW Golf. The Q3 will get particular tuning for the US, however nonetheless boasts the form of firm-but-comfortable experience, quiet composure and responsive dealing with that fits the four-ringed badge it wears inside its oversize eight-sided “Singleframe” grille. Its bodyside bulges with blistered fenders that ape the look of the a lot bigger and dearer Q8 and are supposed to pay homage to the world-conquering Quattro racing vehicles of the Nineteen Eighties.

Our check automobile wore optionally available S line exterior upgrades that enhance the Q3’s look, particularly the geometrical parts within the decrease fascia that bracket the Q3’s grille. The S line additionally will get 19-inch wheels that exchange the bottom automobile’s 18-inch bundle. A 20-inch wheel bundle is optionally available.

Additionally optionally available on the S line is a Sport inside bundle, one other fascinating improve. Sport seats and shift paddles on the steering wheel are worthwhile additions, and matte aluminum trim matches the automobile’s sense of favor. An optionally available Alcantara Orange bundle provides — you guessed it — orange Alcantara surfaces to the sprint and door panels for $150. We expect possibly that bundle must be supplied in just a few extra palettes, however once more, the brilliant hue fits the Q3’s youthful goal demographic.

Energy is up 28 horsepower and 51 pound-feet of torque for 2019, to a complete of 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. Coupled to an eight-speed computerized transmission — European Q3s are outfitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that received’t be supplied within the States — the 2019 Q3 accelerates from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds. That represents a marked enchancment over the earlier automobile, which was 1.2 seconds slower to 60. But it surely’s nonetheless just a few tenths behind the 6.3-second run of the BMW X1 and X2 xDrive28i siblings, which precisely match the Q3’s energy and torque figures however weigh about 200 lbs much less equally outfitted. All-wheel drive comes commonplace on the 2019 Q3 — a pleasant contact that could be a $2,000 possibility on the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The EPA says the 2019 Q3 will return 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 27 on the freeway and 22 mixed. That’s truly down by one mpg throughout the board in comparison with the 2018 Q3. It’s additionally effectively beneath the 22/31/25 of the all-wheel-drive BMW X1 and the 23/31/26 of the Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4Matic and Volvo XC40 AWD. On the constructive facet, the Audi solely requires common gasoline whereas its European opponents require premium.

Like a whole lot of the present crop of downsized turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the 2019 Q3’s four-pot feels refined from contained in the cabin at idle and at regular speeds, however a bit agricultural from the surface. At full throttle, the Q3 fortunately fires by means of its eight gears and feels good because it builds energy after a fairly brief interval of lag. In much less aggressive commuting, although, we struggled to drive easily.

It’s onerous to know precisely the place to put blame — a transmission that’s too keen to seek out the following gear and a fuel pedal that’s troublesome to modulate because the engine builds enhance are doubtless culprits — however we discovered ourselves concentrating more durable than regular to maintain heads from bobbing contained in the cabin as we accelerated underneath typical part-throttle driving conditions, particularly in Dynamic mode. In our first drive of the European Q3 we commented on its “negligible turbo lag,” so maybe the normal torque converter-equipped eight-speed computerized’s tuning is principally in charge for the slight off-idle sluggishness. We discovered the herky jerky impact was much less pronounced in Consolation mode, so we left it there more often than not.

Switching between Dynamic and Consolation has no bearing on the suspension. There are metal springs in any respect 4 corners, no optionally available sport suspension packages. There aren’t any adaptive dampers – one thing we bemoan, and but, we acknowledge that Audi’s in all probability proper that the automobile’s audience received’t miss them. The Q3 isn’t pretending to be one thing it isn’t (a sports activities automobile), and the usual setup is appropriately tuned. It does not wallow and by no means feels floaty. We want Audi would change its thoughts about bringing over a warmer RS-badged Q3, however firm officers tells us it’s not going to occur. We’re additionally not getting the extra rakish Q3 Sportback within the States.

Even when it’s not notably sporty, the 2019 Q3 is no less than sensible. There’s much more house inside the brand new model than the outdated, made potential by a wheelbase that’s been stretched a further 3.0 inches. The brand new Q3 can also be 0.7 inches wider than earlier than, half an inch taller, and three.8 inches longer. Add all of it up and there’s an additional two cubic toes of house inside to play with for a complete of 23.7 with the seatbacks up and 48.0 with them down. A cut up 40/20/40 rear seat that slides 5.9 inches fore and aft plus a two-level adjustable load ground within the cargo space provides much more newfound utility.

The enhance in inside house is welcome. The Q3 is now about on par with trendy rivals just like the BMW X2 and Volvo XC40, coming inside fractions of an inch in legroom (40 inches within the entrance and 36.1 within the rear), headroom (39.6 entrance, 36.3 rear) and shoulder room (56.7 entrance, 55.1 rear) to the BMW. It’s a bit smaller, although, than the extra sensible although admittedly extra plainly styled BMW X1 — that little ‘ute boasts larger leg, shoulder and headroom than each the slinkier Q3 and its dearer X2 sibling, and it affords a formidable 10.7 further cubic toes of most cargo capability.

Audi has packed the interior of the Q3 with a great deal of know-how, together with a typical digital instrument cluster measuring 10.25 inches. A secondary 8.8-inch touchscreen that includes Audi’s MMI contact response system can also be commonplace. The optionally available 12.3-inch digital cockpit provides much more wow issue, as does the optionally available 10.1-inch improve for the display within the heart of the sprint that features handwriting recognition and navigation. Both approach, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come commonplace. For larger smartphone utility, a telephone field bundle that gives wi-fi charging and a sign enhance by means of the automobile’s built-in antenna is optionally available.

Along with the twin inside screens talked about above, the $35,695 2019 Audi Q3 Quattro Premium (that’s the bottom trim stage, and all costs embrace $995 for vacation spot) consists of such options as leather-based upholstery, heated entrance seats, and a panoramic sunroof. A absolutely loaded 2019 Q3 nets out at $43,895. In an odd security omission, rear facet airbags are a standalone $350 possibility throughout the board; they need to be commonplace gear. Lane departure warning and rear cross site visitors alert are additionally optionally available on the bottom Premium trim and commonplace on the Premium Plus and Status.

To place these costs in perspective, the 2019 BMW X1 xDrive28i, which as we’ve seen all through this evaluation is an apparent bogey for the Q3, begins at $37,945. The all-wheel-drive X2, which is extra equally sized to the Q3, begins at $39,395. Even the BMW X2’s beginning worth with front-wheel drive of $37,395 is greater than the bottom Q3 Quattro. On the high finish and even with out including BMW’s M Sport bundle, each the X1 and X2 are a number of thousand {dollars} spendier when loaded up with choices than the Q3 Status.

The 2019 Audi Q3 affords a mix of fashionable attractiveness, plenty of fancy know-how, and an affordable asking worth. That’s a mixture of things which are destined to attract in plenty of consumers. We didn’t actually get together with its powertrain tuning and need it was only a tad bit bigger to compete head-on with the BMW X1 as an alternative of the X2, however these niggles aren’t prone to dissuade too many consumers from giving the redesigned Audi Q3 a detailed look.

Maybe most significantly, the Q3 is an entire heck of loads higher than the dated mannequin it replaces. It makes an excellent first impression and isn’t prone to disappoint even after just a few years, and which means consumers who’ve outgrown the Q3 can be extra prone to improve to a Q5 and keep within the Audi household.

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