Now able to pass on junior-SUV duties to the Q2, the new Q3 offers more family-friendly practicality and comfort than before, while sharing much of the infotainment, connectivity and latest advanced driver assist systems with the bigger models.
Audi claims the new Q3 will be more drivable too, with a choice of powerful turbo-petrol and -diesel variants, and improved handling that retains its sporty character while offering a little more off-road capability.
Five four-cylinder turbocharged engines will eventually be available in the range, including an 110kW 1.5-litre turbo-petrol in the entry-level Q3 TFSI 35.
Reports suggest the other engines in the line-up will include the 140kW TFSI 40 and 169kW TFSI 45 petrols, and 2.0-litre 110kW TDI 35 and 140kW TDI 40 diesel variants that represent Ingolstadt’s continuing faith in oil-burners.
Audi is yet to reveal a high-performance RS Q3 variant.
Transmissions for the new Q3 include a six-speed manual, or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto, with all variants riding on permanent quattro all-wheel-drive.
The standard suspension set-up includes MacPherson struts with four-link rear axle, with a sport suspension tune that brings tauter spring/damper tuning and progressive steering available as part of the S Line exterior package.
Audi says both suspension settings ably balance city, highway and dirt-road driving, helped by a 77mm longer wheelbase and six-mode ‘drive select dynamic handling system’ that tweaks throttle response, steering and shift characteristics, as well as damper control in Q3s fitted with optional adaptive dampers.
Based on Volkswagen’s modular MBQ platform that also underpins the Q2, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen’s Golf and Tiguan, the 2019 Audi Q3 is longer and wider than its predecessor – its length has been stretched by 97mm to 4485mm and it is now 25mm wider, resulting in more knee and elbow room and Q5 rivalling comfort levels.
The boot space also grows, from 420- to 530-litres, though this can be extended to 675mm by sliding the rear seats forward. Folding down the 40:20:40-split backrests boosts capacity to 1525 litres.
Up front, Audi has replaced analogue gauges with a 10.25-inch digital instrument screen that’s fitted as standard, with the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display available as an option.
It also features Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system, which includes intelligent sat-nav that recognises the driver’s trip habits, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and optional 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Outside, the new Audi Q3 looks more macho than its predecessor, taking on the brand’s new design language that includes the bold octagon grille flanked by gaping air inlet and narrow LED headlights.
Its silhouette is accentuated by black wheel arch trims that give the impression of a higher, off-road ready, ride-height, while the forward-raked D-pillar and tailgate-spoiler provide a go-fast coupe-like outline.
The 2019 Audi Q3 will go on sale in Europe around November this year, and is due to arrive in Australia sometime in the middle of next year. Local specs and pricing will be revealed closer to launch.
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