2019 Audi Q3 Review — Cars.com


the subcompact SUV class is booming
especially in the luxury space as brands have added models in recent years
including the Volvo XC 40 BMW x2 and Lexus UX Audi was one of the early
entrants in the class with its q3 and 4 2019 it’s launching a redesigned version
of its smallest SUV we’re here in Nashville to drive it for the first time
and get a taste of what this updated models like all q3 s are powered by a
228 horsepower turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder that works with an 8-speed
automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive is standard the
drivetrain makes decent power that makes the q3 feel quick enough and it’s helped
by its responsive automatic transmission the gearbox willingly Kicks down under
both part and full throttle acceleration to make the most of the engines power
and it makes smooth predictable shifts the drivetrain includes outtie Drive
select and it includes five selectable driving modes Comfort Auto dynamic
individual and off-road the comfort setting though doesn’t help the drive
trains cause because it results in lazy gas pedal response that makes the
modestly powered four-cylinder seem even more lethargic selecting the sport mode
though improves gas pedal responds with better immediacy I found that some small
SUVs aren’t that enjoyable to drive on the highway because they can feel dirty
and jumpy but the q3 doesn’t fall into that camp it’s stable and poised with
the confidence-inspiring feel of a larger S UV light effort steering is
direct and precise and that adds to the q3 s highway manners when you get above
65 miles per hour so wind and road noise start to intrude all q3 s have a fixed
suspension and the SUV comes with a choice of wheels there’s standard
18-inch alloy wheels and available 19 or 20-inch wheels our test model had the
19-inch wheels but on the smooth mostly unbroken pavement around Nashville
it didn’t do a lot to test the setup but the few stretches of rough pavement that
we hit revealed that it’s a quite firmly tuned suspension so on your test drive
be sure to check out some of the worst roads you’re likely to drive on
despite the firm tuning the q3 didn’t really care for much of the winding
country roads that made up a majority of our driver up tossing it into a corner
induced moderate body roll but worse than that it revealed a nose-heavy field
that didn’t urge you to push the car harder choosing the sport mode tightens
up the steering a bit and that improves the q3 s driving performance but it
doesn’t change the feeling that the q3 is more at home cruising on the highway
than taking to back roads the q3 cabin doesn’t break any new ground from a
design or technology standpoint but it succeeds because it feels just as nice
as what you’d get in Audi’s midsize q5 or three row q7 SUVs there are a few
areas that have slightly lower grade trim like the slab of plastic where the
center console meets the dashboard but otherwise the materials and controls
look and feel as nice as what you’d find in the q3 s larger siblings the defining
elements of the cabin are its digital instrument cluster and centre touch
screen both of which are standard an optional navigation package up sizes
both screens and adds outies virtual cockpit technology to the instrument
panel the reconfigurable virtual cockpit
screen is crisp and bright an apple carplay and android auto connectivity
are standard heated leather front bucket seats are standard and they were
comfortable for a day of driving however the side bolsters on the regular seats
don’t do a lot to keep you in place when you’re taken to a winding back road but
Audi does offer s-line sport seats in the sport interior
package that have more substantial side bolsters the q3 s backseat is more
comfortable than you might expect from a subcompact SUV it’s split 40/20/40 and
it slides forward and backward and the backrest also reclines Headroom is good
and the standard panoramic moonroof helps give the rear seat and airy feel
the redesigned q3 s entry-level position makes it an introduction of sorts to the
luxury brand for new shoppers and I it does a good job overall of living up
to outtie standards thanks to its high-quality cabin and technology which
should position it well against an increasing number of competitors the
redesigned q3 is on sale now and it starts at around $36,000 for more
information check out cars.com