Hello tech-obsessed luxury fan: The Audi Q3 was built for you.
Oh, luxury, how far you’ve come. Back in the day your job was to cushion me from the stresses of reality, to block out the noise, to let someone else do the heavy lifting of navigation or making phone calls.
But technology has made those things so easy and intuitive that I don’t mind, I just want things to work fast and flawless. That is what defines modern luxury: top tier intuitive technology that makes our lives easier and more lovely.
And that is the idea behind the newly redesigned 2019 Audi Q3,: A tech-filled, versatile compact luxury SUV that is all you need and nothing you don’t.
Good Things Come in Small Packages, Right?
The new Q3 is designed for customers looking for their first luxury car or downsizing from the family SUV. To rethink it, the company took a cue from its most sophisticated models, loading it up with the the brand’s well-known technology and tossing in some smart new details for good measure.
The result is a smallish, easy to drive, easy on the eyes compact luxury SUV that doesn’t disappoint in how it feels, the details it delivers and best of all, the price it takes to get it in your driveway.
Learning From Its More Luxe Sibling, the Q8
We took a spin through Nashville and the surrounding countryside, chasing down all the murals we could find. The all-new Q3 looked good with the murals; its new look, inspired by the Q8, gives it a modern look. The front grille takes style notes right from the Q8 and (my favorite detail) the flat-screen infotainment system is the same that is in the Q8, as is the Audi Phone Box (keep reading about this amazing thing!). The Q3 looks like a slimmed down version of its more luxe sibling.
Some of the details that we loved in the Q3 include:
- The Audi Phone Box: This cubby just under the dashboard is perfectly sized for a plus-sized phone; pop your phone in and it charges, tethers it to the car’s antenna and allows you to connect Apple CarPlay via Bluetooth. That last detail is pure awesomeness
- The “virtual cockpit:” this fills the drivers information space with one big digital screen designed to let you set it up how you like. The vibrant and Google Earth-like map with navigation instructions and road sign reading can be displayed here, too
- The flat screen infotainment system: this touch screen is easy to use and beautiful to look at—just not while you’re driving
- Alcantara suede trim in the Q3 sport model; it only comes in orange (and it’s an extra $150) but that’s OK. It’s that beautiful.
- 4 USB ports including one USB-C port—this is the future— so everyone can plug in their phones at once
- The Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, which is nestled at the edge of the dashboard next to the windshield so the windshield is part of the acoustic engineering, projecting sound back into the car
- Audi’s active safety and driver assist technology makes the drive easier and less stressful. This includes forward sensing, including pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a surround view camera system and a park assist system that will control steering while you control acceleration when pulling into a parking spot
- Quattro all wheel drive, a 4 cylinder turbo engine producing 228 horsepower and a panoramic sunroof are standard
- Front seat headrests adjust forward and back to accommodate a pony tail — I just love this feature!
- The rear seats fold down easily for more cargo space, and they can adjust forward or back to accommodate even more cargo.
Starting at $34K, topping out at $45K
The Q3 has a starting price of about $34,700. Upgrade to the Q3 Premium Plus model and get most of the technology features, which is the real lure in this car, for about $37,800. For those who need everything, including the virtual cockpit, the premium B&O sound system and adaptive cruise control, you can have it all for about $45,000.
On our drive through Nashville the Q3 was fun to drive, the leather seats were comfy, the car was agile in making u-turns and the technology was intuitive and easy to use. I really loved the sign reading technology on the navigation system and that Apple CarPlay came up quickly when I connected my phone.
There were three of us and even in this small SUV we were comfortable; no complaints from the back seat, which is slightly larger than in the previous Q3. I took a turn sitting in the back and while leg room isn’t huge (and that’s not the point of compact SUV) it was fine; it’s probably better suited to hold your handbag than regular rear seat passengers. After all, this car is all about you, designed to spoil you with the top technology and luxury features you want.
What We Listened to In the 2019 Audi Q3
That premium B&O sound system didn’t disappoint as we tooled around Nashville listening to this playlist.
Disclosure: I was Audi’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.