New Audi Q3 for 2019
Audi remains fully invested in the premium SUV market with four distinct offerings — three of which outsold all of the brand’s passenger cars in November 2019. Building on the popularity of this segment, Audi introduced an all-new Q3 for the 2019 model year. The least expensive model in the brand’s SUV lineup, the Q3 has fresh exterior styling, an upgraded powertrain and a completely new interior that is much more befitting of an Audi.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with the 2019 Audi Q3 S line. The Q3 was swathed in Glacier White Metallic paint and equipped with the Premium Plus package, Navigation package, a Bang & Olufsen audio system and Natural Wood inlay for a total MSRP of $43,890. Competitors to the Q3 include the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-PACE, Volvo XC40, Lincoln Corsair and Lexus NX.
The new look of the Q3 brings the model much more in line with the rest of the brand’s premium SUV offerings. Up front sits the octagonal Singleframe grille that has become the face of all new Audis, flanked by smoothly integrated LED headlights. Sculpting on the doors and a line that runs from the headlights to the new LED taillights give the Q3 more character than the previous generation. Despite being a small entry crossover, the Q3’s new styling is more befitting an Audi.
Inside, the updated Q3 also feels more like an Audi than before, thanks to an integrated 10.1-inch display screen. The old MMI dial is gone — the new display features large buttons for easy navigation, as well as a menu that stays visible on the left. Rather than detracting from the overall look, the screen contributes to the clean lines of the dashboard, enhanced by the single piece of wood inlay.
Within the 2019 Audi Q3, all controls in the center stack get angled toward the driver, creating the feeling of a cockpit. Although the overall design is well executed, the volume control knob is oddly placed well below the audio display — on more than one occasion we adjusted the climate control fan when trying to turn up the audio volume.
Our Q3 test vehicle was equipped with the 12.3-inch high-definition gauge display the German automaker refers to as the Virtual Cockpit. Multiple views and information displays are available; a highlight is a full-screen navigation display.
The leather-trimmed power front seats in the 2019 Audi Q3 are both stylish and comfortable. The Pearl Beige color works well in opposition to the darker trim pieces.
The rear seat of the 2019 Audi Q3 doesn’t look incredibly spacious; however, it is surprisingly comfortable, even with the front seats in a standard position. Two USB ports are available to rear-seat passengers. The middle seat has a shorter bottom and a hard back — not a recommended seating position for any trip length.
For such a small crossover, the Q3 offers a decent amount of cargo space. However, thanks to the sloped shape of the rear hatch most tall items will be a tight fit. The integrated hard cargo cover is a nice touch.
Under the Hood
As part of the redesign for the 2019, the Audi Q3 gets a new, more powerful standard engine. Under the hood resides a 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder engine that generates 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque — a boost of 28 additional horses and 51 more lb-ft of torque versus the outgoing version. The new engine gets teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. All Q3s feature Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The Q3 is not designed to be a performance vehicle — it takes about 7 seconds to reach 60 mph; however, power is more than adequate. Acceleration feels strong, aided by the smooth, quick-shifting automatic transmission. There are no paddle shifters in the Q3, but drivers probably won’t miss them in this entry model.
Great Driving Dynamics
The overall driving dynamics of the 2019 Audi Q3 are admirable. The new model features a redesigned suspension, the effects of which were noticeable on backroads around the Pacific Northwest. The Q3 feels nimble and quick on winding roads yet doesn’t feel overly stiff. Except when traveling on rough road surfaces, the Q3 remains surprisingly quiet, providing a noticeably comfortable ride.
The compact premium SUV segment continues to grow in America, becoming increasingly crowded thanks to many offerings from Europe, Japan and the U.S. Audi needed to step up its game with the Q3, and that’s exactly what it has done. The updated styling is spot-on inside and out, and with a potent powerplant, agile handling, a comfortable ride and a premium interior, the Q3 will certainly hold its own against any of the competitors in this tough market.
Traditional Audi grille.
Classic Audi styling.
Spoiler over the rear window.
The new 2019 Audi Q3 is larger than its predecessor.
Controls in the center stack is angled towards the driver.
Wood trim is a nice touch for the interior.
Wireless charging in the center console
Another view of the virtual cockpit.
Large cargo area that can be expanded with folding rear seats.