- High-tech features standard
- Compelling exterior design
- Roomier inside
- Modern interior
- Too big for a subcompact?
- Tech may require acclimation
- Could get expensive
The 2019 Audi Q3 stands out for its striking design outside and its big tech inside.
The smaller 2019 Audi Q3 distills the automaker's latest crossover shape down to a smaller package. With an octagonal grille borrowed from the much bigger Q8, the new 2019 Q3 is relatively daring and a departure.
The biggest changes might not be obvious at first glance, however. With the 2019 Q3, Audi has transitioned its entry-level crossover SUV to the modern MQB modular architecture that now underpins the bulk of VW and Audi models. The new platform means that the Q3's wheelbase stretches by about 3 inches, while its overall length is up by about 4 inches to 176.6 inches. The redesigned Q3 is also about an inch wider than its predecessor.
That gives the Q3 a larger footprint than its direct rivals, which include subcompact crossover SUVs such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and Volvo XC40.
The newfound girth reaps benefits inside, where the five-seat Q3's maximum cargo volume grows from just over 50 to nearly 54 cubic feet.
Up front, a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment dominates the Q3's dashboard, where it is wrapped in a thin silver hexagon that echoes the crossover's grille. The Q3 gets Audi's latest infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility plus Google Earth maps for the available navigation system via an LTE Advanced antenna. A 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system will be available.
In place of conventional analog gauges, the Q3 features a standard 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
On the safety front, the Q3 will offer automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and active lane control. A surround-view camera system will also be on offer, as will a park assist system that can slot the Q3 into parking spaces at the press of a button.
Underhood, the Q3 will offer four turbocharged engines globally that culminates with a 230-horsepower turbo-4 paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. For now, Audi has only said that the Q3 will come with all-wheel drive, but a front-wheel-drive version may follow. A choice of 17-, 18-, and 20-inch wheels will be on offer.
For off-road use, the Q3 will be available with hill-descent control, but the sport suspension included with the available S Line appearance package may match the Q3 best.
Audi has not yet detailed standard and optional equipment for the U.S.-market Q3 when it goes on sale sometime in 2019. Later, a hybrid version of the Q3 and a high-performance SQ3 are likely to follow.