In a class now congested with different makes and models, Audi has had to find a way to make the new 2019 Audi Q3 stand out - and it has. With the brand new infotainment system and a return to USB data ports instead of obnoxious adapters, the 2019 Q3 is embracing the future while still including things that drivers already know and love. However, it might leave some customers feeling that it is a little bit too big to be considered a crossover SUV, and it can certainly get more expensive the more you add on.
What's New for 2019?
Quite a few things are new on the refreshed 2019 Audi Q3. Gone is the ridiculous adapter for iPhone music access and the charge-only USB port, and in its place are USB data ports. The touchscreen interface has also received a face lift in order to make it less confusing for users. In addition to widening it, Audi has lengthened the vehicle's wheelbase and length overall, giving the vehicle an extra three inches of space. The rear seat now has a sliding function that helps with adding more cargo and gives leg room for taller passengers. Cargo space now sits at 18.7 cubic feet with seats in place and maxes out at 53.9 cubic feet.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Audi Q3 – The Pros
1. A Return to USB Data Ports
Finally, Audi has listened to its customers and brought back USB data ports on the 2019 Audi Q3. Previously, there had been a charge-only USB port, which seemed relatively pointless. Those using iPhones to play music had to rely on using an adapter, and smartphone app integration was not even available. Now, with the USB data ports and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, drivers and passengers can enjoy tech features that are on par with what other vehicles offer.
2. The Revised Touchscreen Interface
In addition to the USB data ports and smartphone app integration, Volvo has reconfigured the touchscreen interface in order to make it more user-friendly. The menus are easier to scroll through, and controls are not buried in counter-intuitive parts of the system. It only takes a couple of taps on the screen to reach whichever menu you are searching for.
3. A More Spacious Interior
Thanks to the several additional inches added on, the 2019 Audi Q3 is more spacious than before. This lends to a larger rear seat and more cargo space than what you find in some of the Q3's competitors. Taller adults should not have too many problems finding enough leg, head, hip, and shoulder space in the rear seats. Additionally, the way that the front seat backs are designed allows for a little bit of extra room for knees.
4. A Chic Interior and Exterior Design
The Audi Q3 looks high-brow inside and out, and there is no mistaking that it is an Audi when you see it from afar. The front fascia has been redesigned with more aggressive-looking headlights and stunning chrome trim enveloping the black mesh grille. On the inside, the Q3 comes standard with beautiful leather upholstery and features a lot of unique trims. The wood paneling that you can get is particularly eye-catching and meshes well with the leather.
5. It is Competitively Priced
One of the most attractive aspects of the 2019 Audi Q3 is its price tag. The outgoing 2018 models have a starting MSRP of around $35,000, which is a price that can be expected to continue on the 2019 line-up. For all the power and standard features you get on the Q3, the price makes it quite the bargain. The new Q3 is sure to reel in quite a few budget-savvy luxury vehicle lovers.
6. A Quiet and Comfortable Ride in the Cabin
The Audi Q3 has one of the most delightfully muted cabins in its class. Barely any noise can be heard permeating the cabin, even when you take the Q3 up to full throttle on the highway. Wind noise is also virtually non-existent. Not only does the cabin stay hushed, but the ride quality is incredibly smooth. The suspension has a soft tuning that allows it to gracefully roll over bumps at high speeds, and the smaller tires do a decent job of soaking up jitters.
7. Climate Controls Are Easy to Use
Dual zone automatic climate control comes standard on the 2019 Audi Q3, and the controls for it are very straightforward. The temperature of the air flowing through the cabin reflects the temperature you set with the controls. The front seats are heated, and rear passengers get the benefit of having vents that circulate air flow quite well through the back of the vehicle.
8. Some Light Off-roading Capabilities
While any luxury SUV cannot be expected to do much in the way of off-roading, the Audi Q3 has some capabilities. The Premium Plus trim level can make for a decent soft-roading vehicle since it is equipped with necessities like hill descent control, all-wheel drive, and all-season tires that get a good amount of grip.
9. Availability of All-wheel Drive
Although front-wheel drive comes standard, the 2019 Audi Q3 has a Quattro version that comes with all-wheel drive. The cost to add the Quattro all-wheel drive is worth it for drivers who plan on doing some light off-roading or who live in areas where there is often inclement weather that makes roads hazardous to drive on. Having this option available is nice, and it is certainly recommended for those who want the added level of security.
10. Good Cargo Space For Its Class
Thanks to Audi's elongation and widening of the Q3, there is more cargo space available than ever before. With all seats in place, the Q3 offers 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a huge improvement over the 16.7 cubic feet offered on the 2018 models. When you fold the rear seat down, you can max cargo space out to 53.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Although this is not a best-in-class number, it comes much closer to what is offered on the BMW X1.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Audi Q3 – The Cons
1. Slow to Accelerate
One of the more disappointing elements of the 2019 Audi Q3 is that it is slow to accelerate, even for a vehicle in its class. The 2018 models were only able to get from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 8 seconds, but the 2019 engines should do slightly better. Just do not make the mistake of expecting anything sporty and exciting.
2. Technology is Not the Most User-friendly
Technology on the new Q3 is vast, if not a bit confusing to learn how to use. Audi is clearly making the effort to target tech-savvy users with its inclusion of features like the myAudi app and tons of digital gauges. While users who are ingrained into the tech world will probably love the revitalized MMI Touch Response touchscreen system, those who are not tech-savvy will still find themselves facing a steep learning curve.
3. Lackluster Handling
Handling on the 2019 Audi Q3 is a bit lackluster. The soft suspension makes the Q3 feel bulkier than it really is, and responses just feel downright slow. It serves as a reminder that the Q3 just is not the sportiest vehicle in its class. Overall, the handling on the Q3 feels average, and 'average' is not something that you want to feel while driving a luxury vehicle.
4. Sub-par Fuel Economy
Of course, fuel economy is an issue on the Audi Q3. It is unlikely that customers will buy this vehicle for a stellar fuel efficiency, but the numbers could still be better in order to compete with other vehicles in its segment. The 2018 line-up was only able to get up to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy numbers on the 2019 models should remain within a similar range. Of course, equipping all-wheel drive means that you get less fuel efficiency.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Audi Q3 vs. 2019 BMW X1
A major competitor for the 2019 Audi Q3 is the 2019 BMW X1. This luxury SUV features even more cargo space than what you get on the Q3 and has far more precise and exciting handling capabilities. The X1's powertrain is far more engaging and will likely draw some customers away from the Q3. However, the X1 has restricted options when it comes to the powertrain and luxury features, so customization is pretty minimal on the X1.
2019 Audi Q3 vs. 2019 Jaguar E-Pace
Another top rival for the new Q3 is the 2019 Jaguar E-Pace. Even though the E-Pace performs somewhat similarly to the Q3, it offers more excitement. The real downside to driving the E-Pace is that its infotainment system is glitchy. It is known to freeze up momentarily or have the screen go completely blank without any notice.
The new generation of Q3s shows some promise, as is evidenced by the contemporary design and updated infotainment features on the 2019 Audi Q3. For the price, you get a lot of standard features. It is also one of the roomier and more compliant vehicles in its class. However, the new Q3 does have its fair share of problems, ranging from a rather mediocre fuel efficiency to a barely-average rate of acceleration.
• Why buy a 2018 Audi Q3? w/ pros vs cons