Audi’s Q range of SUVs have never been so relevant as they are now. Naturally, Audi has invested considerably in their Q range of SUVs in recent years, with new models like the Q2 and Q8, as well as this all new generation of the Audi Q3 that recently landed in Ireland.
The arrival of the more compact Q2 in 2017, means that the 2019 Audi Q3 is no longer the smallest SUV in the Audi range. In fact, for this generation, Audi has considerably reinvented the Q3 so that it can function better as a family SUV.
In Ireland, the 2019 Audi Q3 range kicks off at €38,600. There are a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer, as well as two trim lines, SE and S line. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available as is quattro four wheel drive, though standard models are front wheel drive.
What’s new for the 2019 Audi Q3?
The Audi Q3 is a very smart looking SUV in the metal. Audi has given the new Q3 more definition and stance. Yet it’s still a relatively compact vehicle in the metal, but achingly stylish and desirable in that cool, understated Audi way. The new Singleframe grille has an octagonal design and eight ‘don’t mess with me’ vertical bars. The new wedge shape lights use LED technology in all versions and are paired with LED daytime running lights.
Slip inside the cabin of the 2019 Audi Q3, and it’s hard not to be instantly beguiled by the quality and technology at your fingertips. The cabin experience in the Q3 is one of the best in class. That’s down to how the digital instrument panel (Audi Virtual Cockpit, a 10.25 inch screen within the binnacle), and the new 10.1 inch MMI touch display, fit so comfortably into the cabin with seamless controls.
Interior and Equipment
The Q3’s dashboard design is modern and cool with lashings of stylish high gloss black, while the material quality is good in just about all the places that matter. There’s also an optional ambient lighting package with 30 colour options for more wow.
The new Q3 comes with a number of active safety systems including pre-sense basic, pre-sense front, side assist, active lane assist and automatic emergency braking. Standard equipment on SE models includes 18” alloys, Audi drive select, Audi Virtual Cockpit and 10.1” MMI touch display, light/rain sensor, LED headlights, cruise control and manual air con.
S line models (from €42,550) add 19” alloys, S line body kit, S line interior including front sport seats and stainless steel pedals, LED interior pack and full LED headlamps with dynamic rear indicators.
Does the new Audi Q3 make a good family SUV?
The new Audi Q3 is built upon the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix, which means that the new Q3 has grown in size. It’s longer and wider than its predecessor with a longer wheelbase also meaning that it is now more spacious inside for five people and their gear. In the rear it feels noticeably bigger with a welcome boost in knee room, headroom and elbow room that makes it more competitive in its segment than ever before.
For extra practicality an electrically powered tailgate comes as standard. The new Q3 also has a bigger boot at 530 litres or 675 litres depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests.
Driving the 2019 Audi Q3
According to Audi, the suspension in the new Q3 has been tuned to be more comfortable, assured and responsive, helped by the latest car’s longer wheelbase. S line models have a sport suspension for an even more tightly controlled feel. Progressive steering comes as standard across the range, which gradually becomes more direct as the steering angle increases.
On the road, the new Audi Q3 is remarkably good. The most striking and pleasant feature is the silence and seclusion of the cabin while driving. The refinement of this car is just beautiful. The handling and steering are more than adequate, making progress pleasant and brisk in the new Q3.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system comes as standard and includes six modes – auto, comfort, dynamic, offroad, efficiency and individual. These settings influence the throttle response, the steering, the shift characteristics of the S tronic and the damper control where this is fitted.
Diesel and petrol engines for the Audi Q3
In Ireland the new Audi Q3 is available with three petrol options (150hp, 190hp and 230hp) and two diesel options (150hp and 190hp). The entry-level engine is the 1.5-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine with 150hp and 250 Nm of torque, badged 35 TFSI. It uses the cylinder on demand technology to improve efficiency, which temporarily switches off two cylinders at low load. This engine is really smooth and powerful on the road. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 7.5l/100km.
The new Audi Q3 sashays into a very competitive market but this modern interpretation of ‘Audiness’ that now pervades the brand’s newer models like the Audi A6, makes the Q3 instantly desirable. The Q3 has grown up and is now more practical than ever with more space and more presence. The real jewel in the crown however, is the latest generation Audi interior that sits so comfortably in the Q3, striking a perfect balance between comfort, quality and wow-worthy tech.
The new Audi Q3 is astoundingly good!
tested: Audi Q3 1.5TSI S line S-Tronic
Price: €44,950 (Range from €38,600)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 250 Nm
0-100km/h: 9.6 seconds
Top speed: 211 km/h
Fuel economy: 7.4-7.7l/100km
CO2 emissions: 169-176g/km
Motor tax: €280 per year