I drove a $45,000 Audi Q3 to see if a revamping of this premium crossover would change my mind about the SUV - here's the verdict
- The 2019 Audi Q3 has been revamped from the previous, aging model, which I enjoyed but was also confused by.
- The new Audi Q3 has the BMW X1 in its sights.
- Our test vehicle had a base price of $36,000, but options took the sticker up to almost $50,000.
- The Q3 has but one engine option: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower with 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with standard all-wheel-drive.
- I wasn't confused by the larger, snappier Audi Q3, which turned in a more Porsche-like performance than its predecessor.
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The Audi Q3 crossover used to be a vehicle that confused me.
"The Q3 can come off as a larger luxury vehicle placed under a shrink ray," I wrote when I sampled the previous generation in 2015."Consequently, I vacillated between feeling like I was driving a full-on Audi and feeling like I was driving a squooshed-down Q5 or Q7. That's not exactly a novel observation. But my point is that I couldn't find a pleasing compromise with the Q3. One minute I felt great. The next, I felt as if I were encased in a well-executed example of wee luxe."
Given that reaction four years ago, I was looking forward to some seat time in the new Q3. I was also mindful that this is going to be, for many customers, the entry-level Audi. The world in which first-time buyers began their journey with the four-ringed marque with an A3 sedan has been vanquished by the advent of the SUV as the market's dominant vehicle type.
I wound up changing my tune, and quick. Here's how it went: