Q3

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2019 Audi Q3 Overview

Audi began selling its subcompact Q3 crossover in the United States as a 2015 model. But a hasty facelift couldn’t hide the fact that the model looked and felt old next to competitors. With that knowledge in mind, Audi has redesigned the Q3 for 2019.

Visually, the second-generation Q3 carries a strong resemblance to its predecessor, but appears far more confident. The new octagonal “Singleframe” grille is much wider than the one it replaces, with eight bold, widely-spaced slats, flanked by geometric headlights. A strong masculine shoulder line carries down each side, interrupted by a power bulge above each wheel. The rear end combines the model’s characteristic slanted D-pillars, LED taillights, and a smooth bumper. Meanwhile, a perimeter of gray cladding around the body reduces its visual bulk. The Q3’s dimensions have increased in most categories: it’s 3.8 inches longer, 0.7 inches wider, and it has 3 more inches between the wheels, which translates to greater space for rear passengers. The roof is 0.2 inches shorter, lending this subcompact crossover a fit, tailored look.

The Q3’s interior is even more impressive. The chiseled, asymmetric dashboard greets the driver and passenger with a long gloss-black bezel that integrates the infotainment system and headlight controls. The instrument binnacle and vents are positioned above it, while the climate controls are below. All controls are canted toward the driver, emphasizing the model’s sporty bent. The front seats are accommodating and well-bolstered. The rear seat, which seats three, now gets 5.9 inches of travel fore and aft. Cargo space ranges between 18.7 and 53.9 cubic feet, and the loading floor adjusts to one of three different levels.

As of this writing, Audi has not revealed specifications for the U.S. market, including engines, but we’re likely to see one of the 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engines available from the European market. They include a 188-horsepower, 236 pound-feet of torque unit and a more potent 227-hp, 258 lb-ft variant. Both engines are coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) and standard all-wheel drive (AWD). And while the basic suspension is more than athletic, “S line” vehicles will get a tauter setup with more progressive steering and damper control that alters the spring rate of each wheel on the fly.

Technology has long been a focus of Audi, and the Q3 does not disappoint. Rather than traditional gauges, the Q3 utilizes Audi’s virtual cockpit, consisting of a 10.25-inch LCD that displays all speed, travel, and functionality readouts, manipulated by buttons on the steering wheel. When equipped with the optional navigation system, the Q3 displays the map in the center, putting it in your line of sight, along with the speed and RPM readouts on either side. The centerpiece of the interior is a brilliant, 10.1-inch high-resolution infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unlike other Audi systems, the system doesn’t include a center-console touchpad, but the system is designed to be as intuitive as a modern smartphone. Even the voice recognition system is state of the art, maintaining an LTE connection to the cloud so that it can intuitively recognize commands from occupants. And of course there are plenty of additional features, like a hands-free liftgate and wireless phone charging, not to mention a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Driver assistance is yet another area of focus for the new Q3. The adaptive cruise assist monitors both lateral and longitudinal control, incorporating adaptive cruise control, traffic-jam assist, and lane-keeping assist. Meanwhile, there’s a 360-degree camera system, a parking assistant, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors all around.

Audi’s all-new Q3 takes the model from last place and turns it into a strong contender for the first-place spot among subcompact crossovers. The bold styling, artful interior, and high-tech features exhibit all the best qualities of the brand. Audi says that it will release official U.S. specifications and pricing closer to the vehicle’s launch in 2019.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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