The subcompact SUV class is booming, especially in the luxury space, as brands have added models in recent years that include the Volvo XC40, BMW X2 and Lexus UX. Audi was one of the early entrants in the class with its Q3, and for 2019, it’s launching a redesigned version of its smallest SUV. We drove the latest Q3 for the first time in Nashville, Tenn., to get a taste for what this updated model is like.
All Q3s are powered by a 228-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that works with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The drivetrain makes decent power that makes the Q3 feel quick enough, and it’s helped by a responsive transmission. The gearbox willingly kicks down under both part- and full-throttle acceleration to make the most of the engine’s power, and it makes smooth, predictable shifts.
The drivetrain includes Audi Drive Select, which has five selectable driving modes. The comfort setting, however, results in lazy gas pedal response that makes the modestly powered four-cylinder seem even more lethargic. Selecting the sport mode, though, improves response and doesn’t make hitting the gas feel too jumpy.
Inside, the Q3 feels like Audi’s mid-size Q5 or larger three-row Q7. There are few areas with slightly lower-grade trim, but the materials and controls otherwise look and feel as nice as what you’d find in the Q3’s larger siblings.
What else did we learn during our first spin in the 2019 Audi Q3? Check out the video below to find out.
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