2019 Audi Q3 Review By Larry Nutson
2019 Audi Q3
Worthy of consideration
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The compact SUV segment is loaded with good choices for nearly every buyer. Step up a bit to the premium brands and the range of compact SUV offerings is similarly broad.
SUVs now make up 60 percent of luxury vehicle sales in the U.S. The premium ride of choice is no longer the sedan. Also note that 45% of SUV buyers choose a two-row five-seat model. You might say that five-seat SUVs have become today’s definition of the typical family car.
Obviously it’s important to stay competitive and Audi has revamped its compact Q3 for 2019. The new Q3 has a fresh appearance on the outside, the cabin has been improved with better functionality and more technology, there’s a new engine, and quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) is standard.
All Q3s have a 228-HP 2.0-L turbo engine paired with an 8-speed automatic. The turbo engine develops good low-end torque, rated at 258 lb-ft, for strong pulling power. Audi says the Q3 hits 60 mph from stop in 7.0 seconds. That may not sound like much in today’s world of 3.5 second street cars, but actually is quite adequate for the average driver.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 19 city mpg and 27 highway mpg, with 22 combined mpg.
Audi earned lots of creds with its quattro all-wheel drive system and its standard on the Q3. Many folks think AWD is only needed for snow or ice. It’s also a benefit on rain soaked roads, for the occasional unpaved road, and for improved and more confident overall vehicle handling.
The Q3 is offered in Premium and Premium Plus trims priced at $34,700 and $37,800, respectively. There’s also a Q3 S Line offered in Premium ($36,000), Premium Plus ($39,100) and Prestige ($42,900) trims. Destination charge is $995.
The S Line features unique front and rear fascias and side sills, S Line badging and 19-wheels (compared to 18-inch on the base trims) with all-season tires. 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires are an option.
For this evaluation I drove an S Line with the Premium Plus package. Also equipped was a Navigation package ($2,000), Bang & Olufsen sound system ($850), 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires ($800), and Sport Interior package ($500). Add $595 for the Chronos Grey metallic exterior and $150 for the Alcantara interior orange accent and the total hit $44,900.
I really liked the complete appearance, both in and out, of this Q3 that I drove. If I were buying I might equip mine just about the same, even with the orange interior accent. The orange was not overdone such that I might tire of it in a short time. I would opt to stay with the 19-inch wheels and all-season tires as they work out much better for every day driving on the heavily used road surfaces around my Chicago home. Comfort, noise and wear have negative attributes with summer performance tires…and forget it when it snows.
The Q3 is longer, wider and taller than the previous version, improving on overall interior space. Up front there’s a new grille design and new headlights. A strong side character line wraps around to new LED taillights.
The Q3’s not-too-long 176.6 inch length helps make it quite suitable for big-city living. It’s very maneuverable. Plus, parking sensors, a 360-view camera, as well as park steering assist make things even easier.
There’s plenty of room in the front seats and the overall instrument panel design is very pleasing. The digital instrument cluster flows nicely to the right to the infotainment touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration along with voice recognition make for greater driving pleasure and relaxation. The driver has steering wheel controls with redundant controls for the passenger.
There’s a full contingent of the various advanced driver assistance safety (ADAS) features available either as standard or optional equipment. Offering ADAS equipment has become the norm today, with the variation being whether it’s standard or optional. Much of it is good to have all the time. Some only comes in to use from time to time and some, such as smart cruise control, may never be used in certain owner’s driving routine.
More information on the new 2019 Audi Q3 can be found at www.audi.com.
The Q3 has very good road manners with a confident ride. Steering effort is light and yet direct and precise. Engine output combined with a well performing transmission helps make for responsive and satisfying driving. A test drive in the new Q3 should leave a favorable impression.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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