Look for a larger Audi Q3 for 2019 with redesigned instrument panel

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(August 3, 2018) The second-generation Audi Q3 small SUV goes on sale in Europe late this year, with U.S. sales expected to follow by the first of the year. Buyers will find a larger vehicle with more technology, and more options.The 2019 Q3 is larger in all dimensions other than height.

At 176.6 in. it is 3.8 in. longer, and sits on a 3.0-in. longer wheelbase (105.5 in. vs. 102.5 in.). Overall height is 0.1 in. lower at 63.4 in., but the Q3 is 1.3 in. wider at 73.4 in.

The rear seats can more fore/aft 5.9 in., and feature a 40:20:40 split. Cargo capacity ranges from 18.7-53.9 ft.3, and the load floor can be set at one of three levels. The parcel shelf can be stowed under the cargo floor when not in use.

The instrument panel has been thoroughly redesigned, and is angled 10 degrees toward the driver. Standard specification includes a 10.25-in. digital instrument cluster operated through multi-function steering wheel controls. With the optional MMI navigation plus system, its information appears in this display and includes extra functions. The MMI 10.1-in. touchscreen display situated in the center stack complements this system, as well as that of the optional (and larger) Audi virtual cockpit display.

The latter features a “flat” menu structure supplemented by “natural speech” voice control that understands conversational speech, asks questions, offers choices, and defers to the speaker if interrupted. In short, it’s more polite and pays closer attention to the driver’s spoken words than the kids traveling in the back.

The top-of-the-line infotainment unit has a data transfer module that supports the LTE Advanced data standard, and offers an integrated WiFi hotspot. Route suggestions are generated using the driver’s preferences from recent journeys. This gives it the capability to suggest points of interest, information on parking spaces and gas stations, and traffic information. Google Earth is an option and, in European versions at least, the hybrid radio can shift from FM to DAB to the online stream for optimum reception at all times.

Audi’s phonebox links the driver’s smartphone to the vehicle antenna, and charges the phone inductively. iOS and Android phones link through the Audi interface, and place the CarPlay or Android Auto screen on the MMI display. Or passengers can turn the phones off and listen to the optional 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System.

Europeans will have a choice of two gasoline and one diesel engine that range in power from 150 to 230 horsepower. All have four cylinders and turbochargers, and there is a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic. U.S. buyers will get a 2.0-liter gasoline engine mated to the automatic transmission. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard, though hill descent control is an option. Audi drive select is standard and has six profiles from Comfort to Sport.

Pricing will be set closer to launch.

The Virtual Driver