2
Dec

2019 Audi Q3 | Matured But Pricey | TestDriveNow


The most affordable way to get into an Audi
SUV is the compact-sized Q3. First introduced to our shores 5 years ago,
this all-new version arrives with greater visual presence, a snappier engine and more
space. The first generationQ3 wasn’t bad but by
the time it arrived in the U.S. it was already a little stale, having been sitting on European
shelves for a while. But this 2nd generation model hits its stride
by addressing previous issues. It now resembles a baby Q5, the 2.0-liter
turbo packs more of a punch and its larger dimensions simply make it more usable. There are two core models, base and S line,
and then 3 trim levels, Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, starting at $35,695, or for
some perspective, the cost of a fully loaded Honda CR-V. Whichever Q3 you choose, it’s
coming with a 228 horsepower turbo-4 producing 258 pound-feet of torque, an 8-speed auto,
quattro and much improved upon acceleration, taking 7 seconds to reach 60mph – that’s
1.2 seconds faster than before. I’ve struggled with the pricing of this
heavily optioned, Premium Plus example. At just a tick under $45k grand it seems like
the MSRP is a tad overzealous. But I do like the Q3 and the cool tech has
a lot to do with that. The $2,000 navigation package brings in the
10” MMI touchscreen and the alluring virtual cockpit with its brilliant map views. Ever since Audi switched to this more intuitive
setup it’s become one of the best on the market. And wireless CarPlay makes so much sense that
it’s maddening more manufacturers don’t offer it, especially when paired with a device
charge pad…no more cumbersome cables required. Everything here is very easy to use. Now, I would pocket the $150 and leave off
the Alcantara interior package which looks a little tacky and presumably difficult to
keep clean. Also, it’s only available in orange. But the $500 Sport Interior Package gets my
nod mainly for the S line sport seats with contrast stitching and the steering wheel
paddle shifters. My 6’1” frame fits in here quite well
both in the front and the rear, where passengers will experience more comfort and spaciousness
with reclining seatbacks. The new Chronos Gray metallic paint looks
great, the S line bumpers and side sills give it an edge and the upsized 20” wheels fill
out the body but this $800 wheel package hasn’t been an ideal match for this early season
cold snap. I’m an educated man, but I’m afraid I can’t
speak intelligently about the performance attributes of the Q3 S line. What I do know is that it’s equipped with
Audi-specific Bridgestone summer-use tires and the temperature here hasn’t risen above
freezing all week. Now, are these really the questions I was
called here to answer? Handling and quattro grip? Please tell me that you have something more,
Lieutenant. This Q3 is on trial for its review. Please tell me its manufacturer hasn’t pinned
its hopes to some Potenzas. Alright, so I’m no Colonel Jessup but you
get my point; even with quattro these tires didn’t like the snow so I haven’t been
able to do much spirited driving but I can tell there’s more fun to be had there than
before. But the sounds and sensations from behind
the wheel here remind me more of a VW than an Audi, as if it was just a smidge uncultured
for the interlocking rings. The Q3 is really solid now having addressed
the weaknesses of the original. The engine plays with a youthful exuberance,
the cabin is a joy to use with standout features like the virtual cockpit and wireless CarPlay,
it’s sized better and it’s something you’re proud of stepping out of now. But here where my criticisms lie – you’re
Audi so just make adaptive cruise control standard. I’ll take a heated steering wheel at this
price too. There’s more wind noise generated than seems
normal and the gas mileage is nothing to write home about. Or perhaps it’s the tire noise. Either way, I’m hearing too much of the
outside. And at 22mpg it’s down a hair from the previous
model BUT it no longer necessitates premium gas so that’s a positive. Wider dimensions lead to more usable cargo
space so with the seats folded you get the same amount of room as a Chevy Trax. The optional 20-speaker B&O sound system is
also an impressive addition. The Q3 has grown up…it’s more fun and
more polished. But the asking price is a little aggressive
so choose wisely.

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22 Comments

  • TheMichaelRN says:

    I'd rather get the CX 30

  • Witsend Cottage says:

    Spot on Steve…at this price point I expect better creature comforts….memory seats, ventilated seats,
    bigger panoramic sunroof, electric folding mirrors and most of all…better gas mileage! Do you think the Q3 Sportback will make it to the States? All the best. Sam

  • Lavonte A says:

    Eh right now the Toyota RAV4 Prime, and Camry XSE V6 the only Audi model I’d buy is the Audi RS5 hatchback with that 2.9 V6

  • A F A says:

    Looks cheap.

  • Mateen S says:

    Endless money pit once warranty expires!

  • Mag neto says:

    Terrible gas mileage.

  • JetNinjaMonkey says:

    Sure hope 2020 brings a C8 your way.

  • David Kay says:

    The heavily VW based Audi A/Q3s have sort of always had this problem with their side saddle engines and re-badged 4Motion AWD systems. They're nicer than the equivalent Jetta/Tiguan, but not by enough. You really need to step up to the A4/Q5 level to really feel like you're in an Audi.

  • REIGREHGKJREHGER says:

    Please…. don't try to be funny.. its just very corny. You're a very good car reviewer otherwise.

  • Billy Sou says:

    The price is similar to the marketplace of its class… BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 are priced similarly.

  • Nathan C says:

    @3:45 That's because it's an overpriced VW.

  • TheUrbanEpicure says:

    Yes, it's me again. Not your worst review, Steve. It's good that you elaborate more on the weak points of the vehicle, often times you just hinted at them in 4-5 seconds – all new cars are 'good' today, and all premium cars are 'very good' really, at least the ones out of Europe, so it's necessary to really drill down into the few shortcomings there are.

    I'm sure you would have found that the Q3 still isn't a whole lot of fun to drive if you had had the chance to sample it in warmer climates, but from this review the only real flaws that have nothing to do with equipment and money (not a prime concern for premium buyers) are too much wind and tire noise; not something your European colleagues picked up on. Did you have a chance to drive it back-to-back with an X1/X2 or UX?

  • Bruce Madu says:

    Regular gas – nope!

  • zac says:

    highly recommend driving an XC40 R-Design

  • Scott Corrigan says:

    The weird military outtake was confusing and unnecessary. Other than that, good review. Long time viewer here.

  • Terriell Porter says:

    Like the exterior color and look. thanx for the review.

  • PunxsutawneyDave says:

    A Few Good Steve's

  • Rob Youngquist says:

    Went for a look see/test drive at my local dealer. Few days later went to Volvo and am really considering the XC60e T8 Inscription, but I don’t make this type of decision on impulse

  • GerryStilton says:

    For $45k, fully loaded, one can also get fully loaded Palisade Limited for 3 rows and more space. It's insane german pricing. Thank you Steve for making and sharing the vid.

  • chrisdblue says:

    Who the hell is colonel Jessa

  • Brian says:

    How is it that it no longer requires premium fuel?

  • Merton Hale says:

    I recently bought a Q3 2019 in Belgium. Nice car, good gas mileage, etc. but the satnav system is awful. Yes, beautiful displays but the maps and the functionality is awful. Shame on you Audi. I have a Garmin stick on the windshield satnav and it is far far superior. You reviewers never check such things. Unfortunately CarPlay and Apple Auto or whatever they are called are not available in Belgium. Go figure!

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