2019 Audi Q3 Preview
- Redesigned small crossover SUV
- Larger inside and out than outgoing Q3
- Styling patterned after flagship Q8 model
- Interior reflects new Audi design themes
- Full digital instrumentation
- New touchscreen infotainment system
- New driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies
- Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
- 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission
- Front-drive; Quattro all-wheel drive is optional
- Arrives in U.S. market in early 2019
Small crossover SUVs are so hot right now that Leilani Estates resembles a polar ice cap in comparison.
Naturally, Audi, the automaker that seemingly can’t make a mistake when it comes to product planning, is eager to capitalize on consumer interest in the spry little ‘utes.
Thus, a redesigned 2019 Audi Q3 is on the way, arriving after the first of next year and looking plenty like a shrunken Audi Q8.
Longer, wider, and taller than the outgoing Q3, the new 2019 Audi Q3 takes its design cues from the company’s recently introduced Q8 flagship SUV.
This is most evident up front, where a bold octagon grille with vertical bars is flanked by large air intakes. The treatment gives the Q3 a more “masculine front-end,” according to Audi. So don’t call it a cute ‘ute.
Viewed in profile, rakish rear roof pillars could qualify the Q3 as one of the many proliferating SUV “coupes,” but so far Audi has restrained itself in the use of that descriptor. Gray lower body cladding and wheel arch trim gives the Q3 an appropriately rugged, off-roading look, and Audi says the muscular fenders emphasize both the SUV’s width and Audi’s Quattro DNA.
See how manly this small crossover is?
Around back, the Q3 displays traditional Audi design characteristics, even if it looks remarkably similar to an Acura from the bumper up. An S-line design package amps up the SUV’s sportiness quotient.
Interior design themes are derived from Audi’s recently introduced models, but with a more angular approach. In particular, the octagonal center control panel section that mimics the look of the grille distances the new Q3 from the old one.
Audi says the new Q3 is roomier inside, and offers a sportier driving position. The rear seats slide fore and aft, and feature a handy 40/20/40-split folding design.
A minimum of 18.7 cu.-ft. of cargo space is available with the back seat in its rearmost track position. When the back seat is folded down, the Q3 carries up to 53.9 cu.-ft. of cargo. The load floor offers three levels of adjustment, and a hands-free power liftgate is optional.
Under the Hood
Audi plans to offer four different engines for the new Q3, but the U.S. market can bet on getting the most powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder offering that makes approximately 230 horsepower.
A 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission will power the front wheels, and Quattro all-wheel drive is optional, as is a hill descent control system.
Audi Drive Select gives the Q3’s operator six different driving modes from which to choose, and an adaptive damping suspension is available as an upgrade. The S-line Package further installs a sport-tuned suspension and a progressive steering system.
Audi says that the new Q3 will include a standard blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist, and lane change assist system. Other potentially standard but thus far undefined features are likely to include a low-speed automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection capability.
The automaker did confirm that a 360-degree surround view camera system would be available, with four different cameras supplying various vantage points. Another option is a new Adaptive Cruise Assist system that bundles Adaptive Speed Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, and Active Lane Assist technologies.
Audi has eliminated analog instrumentation from the new Q3. In its place, a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation cluster conveys necessary information.
Audi Virtual Cockpit, an optional upgrade bundled with the Multi-Media Interface (MMI) Navigation Plus system, adds more features and technical sophistication. A further upgrade is called Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, and it supplies three different visual themes along with maximum functionality.
Audi is just starting to roll out its new MMI touchscreen technology, and it comes standard in the new Q3 along with natural-language, intelligent voice control and smartphone integration. With the MMI Navigation Plus option, the screen is larger at 10.1 inches, supports LTE Advanced Wi-Fi standards, and includes a navigation system that learns driver behavior to suggest appropriate routes.
Additionally, subscription-based Audi Connect expands to forecast parking space availability, hazardous road conditions, and supply other services. The new Q3 offers greater integration with the myAudi smartphone app, too.
Options for the Q3 include Audi Phone Box, which links the owner’s smartphone to the Q3’s antenna while providing inductive charging. Buyers can also upgrade to a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and Matrix LED headlight technology with adaptive high beams.