When Audi introduced the first-generation Q3 to Europe in 2011, it had some suggestion that compact crossovers were about to be the brand-new sizzling stock, but it couldn’t have foreseen just how red-hot they would become. The first-gen Q3, developed just before Volkswagen Group’s switch to modular designs, wasn’t primarily represented for the U.S. busines, but America’s insatiable stomach for athletic utes elicited Audi to generate a explanation of it here in 2014. Though it was already an aging produce by the time it arrived, the Q3 nonetheless plugged the hole in Audi’s U.S. lineup, even though it is opponent presents were stronger. This time around, Audi is better prepared to meet world-wide small CUV demand with the brand-new MQB-based 2019 Q3.

The new framework is a ground-up redesign–and it testifies. Even if you’re like me and you scarcely remember what the old-time Q3 looks like, just one glimpse is all it takes to notice the specific characteristics is now much more butch. Audi’s signature octagonal grille reigns the front end, and is edged by a pair of LED headlights that slant inward. The figure is also shapelier, with most prominent shoulders, Audi “Quattro blisters, ” and a raked rear liftgate that trenches the previous model’s clamshell design.

The look isn’t the only thing that’s changed, of course. The was changed to MQB likewise comes with increased aspects. American make planners had a big say in the 2019 model’s exploitation, which is one reason why it’s 3.8 inches longer and boasts more SUV-like proportions. Because Americans like a big back seat, the wheelbase develops by 3.1 inches, and you feel that gain most in the second row, which also benefits from seats that slip 5.9 inches for even more legroom.

Though the U.S. was more involved with the 2019 Audi Q3, the crossover we drove in South Tyrol, Italy, was not a U.S.-market example. Still, we’re told it’s closely connected to what the U.S. will get next year. Europe and other business will have a range of diesel engines accessible, but the U.S. will merely receive Audi’s revered 2.0 -liter turbocharged and direct-injected I-4 in two states of adjust. Same in recipe to the A3 sedan lineup, the basi Q3 will realise 184 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, while an upgrade locomotive will make a VW GTI-matching 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. Both machines will come mated to an eight-speed manual transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi says it has no plans to sell a front-drive version.

We sampled the more powerful 2.0 -liter engine, which Audi expects to be the work vendor of the U.S. lineup. Despite a not-for-U.S. seven-speed dual-clutch, there was still plenty to learn about the Q3’s top device on the winding streets of the Tyrolean Alps. Power is available almost immediately, and the engine have continued pull through the middle of the rev clique before running out of steam in the highest rpms. The force-fed mill was obedient and civilized when driving through the small towns that dot the region, and it was also hungry to run with a little application of the control. Audi estimates this drivetrain combo will do 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds. We’ll have to wait and see if our copy is as rapid, but if the U.S.-spec Q3’s transmitting is anything like the eight-speed autoes in other recent Audis, it is appropriate to barter paraphernaliums about as smoothly and quickly as this dual-clutch.

For a crossover, the Q3 treats astonishingly well. There’s less torso flatten than you might expect given the higher center of gravity, and turn-in is relatively sharp-worded. Steering is illuminated in comfort state, but get subtly heavier in Dynamic mode. In any procedure, the direct feels a tad artificial, but it’s always precise. That accuracy was welcome on the narrower ridge roads we drove. On the freeway, the journey was comfy even on 20 -inch pedals wrap in broad, low-profile 255/40 R20 Hankook summer tires, though the limited availability of cushioning underfoot was more pronounced as the road get rougher. Audi says a summertime tire in this width will be included in the U.S ., but it is not possible to this exact framework. Our marketplace will also get a slightly different suspension setup, with U.S.-spec frameworks elevated 0.7 inch in the breast and half an inch in the rear.

Our test car also came laden with such additionals as Audi’s optional 12.3 -inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument assemble and “the worlds largest” of two MMI touchscreen infotainment exhibitions. This system is essentially the same as the one in the A6 and A7 minus the lower screen to be applied for climate control. The single screen is accept and gazes stylish with its dark graphics. I like that you can access any menu within a pair sound from any screen, even when flowing Apple CarPlay.

The interior design is modern and attractive. In usual Audi fashion, the cockpit courses are straight and understated. Up front, the Q3 boasts unique hovering door gathers and a mixture of premium and not-so-premium substances. Some plastics feel VW-grade, which would be perfectly fine in another class of gondola, but here it accentuates that this is the introduction point to the Audi brand. Opting the optional Alcantara trim will help you forget that fact, as it masks the door panels and panache in a soft, rich-feeling microsuede that’s offered in a variety of shades. Audi is still finalizing cartons for the U.S. market, but says Alcantara will be available. All U.S.-spec Q3s will get leather bench, a panoramic roof, and a basic digital instrument assemble rule. The fancier Virtual Cockpit screen is optional and recommended if you’re driving in a foreign country on unfamiliar superhighways, as it can exhibition turn-by-turn directions from the navigation screen.

The 2019 Audi Q3 makes the big steps needed to be competitive in the increasingly cutthroat compact luxury crossover list. Instead of a warmed-over Eurocentric model adapted for our market, we’re going a concoction that’s purpose-built to appeal to American savors and captivate U.S. sales–and the new Q3 should do both of those concepts well.

2019 Audi Q3

PRICE $36,000-41,000( est)

LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV

ENG 2.0L/184-228-hp/236-258-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16 -valve I-4

TRANS 8-speed auto

CURB WT 3,750 lb( mfr)

WB 105.5 in LxWxH 176.5 x 73.1 x 63.6 in

0-60 6.3-7.3 sec( MT est)

EPA ECON 22-23/30-31/25-26 mpg( est)

ON SALE Late Summer 2019

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