2019 Audi Q3

2019 audi q3 – DOC675244

Audi has produced the Q3 compact crossover since 2011, but didn’t offer it to stateside customers until after applying a refresh for the2015 model year. Since its star-spangled arrival, the luxury-oriented high-stance five-door has posted strong sales numbers, performing well in a segment fraught with competition. Nowadays, as demand for small SUVs shows no signs of abating, Audi is gearing up to release the second-generation Q3, and while we have yet to receive official specs from the manufacturer, our spy photographers just caught a camo-clad test mule prepping for some real-world tests. Updates are expected for every area of the vehicle, including new powerplant options, more tech for the cabin, and even exterior styling inspired by one of the greatest Audi models ever created.

We’ll most likely see the second-gen Q3 debut some time late next year, while early 2018 is also a possibility. Either way, testing appears to be in full swing at this point, so further reveals are expected in the near future. For now, however, read on for my speculative review.

Updated 05/10/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi Q3 out for a first testing session.

Spy Shots

May 10, 2016 – Audi Q3 caught testing for the first time

Audi Q3

Audi Q3

Audi Q3

Exterior

Unfortunately, the spy shots don’t reveal much. That said, this is Audi we’re talking about, and odds are the styling will stay quite similar to the current Q3. That means narrow, sharply angled headlights with Xenon bulbs and LED daytime running lights, a large Singleframe grille, aluminum trim, roof rails, a spoiler on the hatch, and LED taillights. It also appears as though the exhaust tips will now come integrated with the rear bumper, but those black indents could also very well be faux louvers.

Audi fans will be delighted to learn that the new Q3 will supposedly draw styling cues from the rally-bred Audi Quattro, which burst onto the scene in the ‘80s in a blaze of glorious opposite lock

Audi fans will be delighted to learn that the new Q3 will supposedly draw styling cues from the rally-bred Audi Quattro , which burst onto the scene in the ‘80s in a blaze of glorious opposite lock. The speculation stems from a report posted by the French publication , which stated that Marc Lichte, Audi’s head of design, is a big fan of the Ur-Quattro, and was interested in applying a similar look to the next-gen Q3, including elements like flared wheels arches and a similarly shaped rear end.

How far the Q3 will lean towards the coupe when it comes to aesthetics remains to be seen. Originally posted in June of 2014, the report has so far seen no follow-ups, so we won’t know for sure until the camo comes off (or we get spy shots that are a little more revealing).

That said, the Q3 will almost definitely grow in dimensions, as it must now slot above the Q2, which was recently revealed at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. Rumor has it it’ll be lower, wider, and longer than before, with an extra 2 to 2.75 inches added to the length, and an extra 2 inches added to the width.

Interior

Audi Q3

Inside, expect all the same high-class materials and immaculate fit and finish Audi is known for. The layout should echo the new A4, with a redesigned steering wheel and fewer buttons on the dash. Mounted in a commanding position above the center stack will be a large touchscreen, while Audi’s Virtual Cockpit (digital instrumentation) will occupy the gauge cluster. Leather upholstery will come standard, and customers will have a slew of colors to pick from.

Keeping it safe will be the latest automated and safety technologies, such as automatic braking, pedestrian monitor, lane-keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, and a blind spot monitor.

Other technology will include navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. In back will be a little extra cargo space courtesy of the increased dimensions – more than the current 16.71 square feet (48.2 square feet with the seats folded down). Rear seating should also benefit slightly from the increased length.

Drivetrain

Audi Q3

U.S. customers will most likely get the same drivetrain options as before, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both FWD and AWD will be offered.

Currently, the Q3 makes 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, which is respectable for the segment. However, I’d like to see Audi tune the four-banger for extra output and a little higher mpg, which is pretty much expected now with each successive model cycle (especially when it comes to the next generation).

The Q3 will also be offered as a diesel, but don’t hold your breathe if you’re expecting an oil burner option in the U.S. One possibility, however, is a new hybrid model, which would almost certainly go global if Audi made it.

Another exciting prospect is the idea that Audi might finally bring us the pumped-up performance variant, the RS Q3. This thing sports a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder pumping out around 340 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, which would be a far better complement to the Quattro-inspired styling cues than anything else I can think of.

Prices

Pricing for the Q3 is set at $33,700 for the entry-level trim (the Premium Plus) and $38,600 for the next rung up (the Prestige).

With Audi’s main competitors priced roughly in the same ballpark, I don’t expect to see too much change on the MSRP front with the next-gen Q3.

Competitors

BMW X1

BMW X1

Without a doubt, the Q3’s main competition comes from the BMW X1. Known for its fun, very Bimmer-esque like ride and stout performance, the X1 is capable of hitting 60 mph in a mere 6.4 seconds thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Routing the power is a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, which feeds a standard AWD system. Pricing starts at $34,800.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Put the CLA sedan on stilts, and you get the GLA. Inside is all the classy Merc gear you’d expect, while under the hood, a turbo four-cylinder mates with a seven-speed DCT for a 0-to-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds. Standard spec is FWD, while AWD is optional. Pricing starts at $32,500.

Conclusion

Audi Q3

The crossover craze is still going strong, so Audi will almost definitely bring the heat with the new Q3. The styling won’t be terribly new (even with inspiration from the Quattro), but the infotainment and cabin tech will be top-notch, while the engine line will be the most efficient that VAG can muster.

As an enthusiast, what’s most interesting to me is what Audi plans on doing with the RS-variant Q3, as this next-gen cycle is the perfect opportunity to bring it stateside. Because after all, if the upcoming Q3 is pulling cues from the Quattro, it’s gonna need the output to back it, right?

LOVE IT

  • Quattro-inspired styling
  • Latest technology
  • Updated engine line

LEAVE IT

  • Probably won’t look all that different from the current generation
  • Plenty of competition
  • Give us the RS already!