To give you an idea of just how old the first-generation Audi Q3 is, imagine that its design was based on the Cross Coupe quattro concept, which was first drawn up back in 2006. This all-new second generation model was long overdue.
Right off the bat, it’s obvious that Audi wanted to leave the old Q3’s styling in the dust, by making this new crossover look more aggressive from just about every angle, giving the BMW X1 a worthy opponent to play with.
A brand new design language
This new Q3 actually shares some of the Q8’s design elements, especially when it comes to its profile. It also has vertical grille bars like the Q8, or the A4/A6 Allroad duo. All other Audi models feature horizontal bars.
Other distinguishing features include a sportier-looking front bumper, large taillights, and headlights that resemble those of the A3 Sportback in shape, only a little more pointy.
Audi has also expanded the overall size of the Q3, making it approximately 3.8 inches (9.65 cm) longer than the older model, while adding three more inches (7.6 cm) to the wheelbase too. This means more room for rear seat passengers, while still leaving 23.8 cu.ft (674 liters) of cargo space in the trunk – which you can then turn into 53.9 cu.ft (1,526 liters) if you fold the seats. By comparison, the 2018 BMW X1 has 17.8 cu.ft (505 liters) of available trunk space, and a full 54.73 cu.ft (1,550 liters) with everything folded down.
Plenty of tech to go around
Inside, 2019 Q3 buyers will enjoy Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, plus an 8.8-inch center dash infotainment display – with a larger 10-inch one available as an option.
Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as are the two USB ports in the front. There are also two additional USB ports and a 12-volt outlet for rear seat passengers, plus available Wi-Fi hotspot. One cool piece of tech is the Connect portfolio with “swarm intelligence”, a feature that helps cars communicate with among themselves regarding road and weather hazards. The system will be available in Europe and possibly in the U.S. too, although not at launch.
As for safety, the all-new 2019 Audi Q3 comes with forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, plus adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and active lane assist.
Wide range of petrol and diesel options
Euro-spec models of the all-new Audi Q3 will be available with four engine choices at launch: three petrol and one diesel. Entry-level petrol models will be powered by the 1.5-liter TFSI unit producing 148hp (150PS) and 184lb-ft (250Nm) of torque. The base Q3 will be badged 35 TFSI and will also feature a cylinder deactivation system, as well as a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive as standard. A six-speed manual will follow on a later date.
Moving up the ladder we find Audi’s 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder TFSI offered in two power versions: the first one is the 40 TFSI, offering 187hp (190PS) and 236lb-ft (320Nm) of torque while the 45 TFSI model gets 226hp (230PS) and 258lb-ft (350Nm). Both of them are paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the company’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.
The diesel range will start off with the 2.0-liter TDI producing 148hp (150PS) and 250lb-ft (340Nm) of torque. Badged as the Q3 35 TDI, it’ll be initially available with a manual transmission and all-wheel drive, with a seven-speed dual-clutch unit to follow on a later date. Audi also plans to offer a more powerful version of the 2.0-liter TDI, with 187hp (190PS) in the near future.
The new model also gets automatic damping control and a “dynamic handling system” with the following six drive modes: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Offroad, Efficiency and Individual.
European customers will land their 2019 Q3 crossovers this November, while U.S. sales should commence at a later date.
Additional reporting by Michael Karkafiris