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Audi Admits Women Buyers Want Manly-Looking Cars

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Forget that "sweet car" styling.

Anyone remember the Nissan Murano Cross Cabrio? Of course, you do. It was so horrible it's impossible to forget. Nissan figured slicing the roof off its popular crossover would have appeal, specifically to women buyers. They figured wrong. Fortunately, Audi took note.

Automotive News Europe recently spoke with Audi exterior designer Matthias Fink who went on record stating women buyers want more "masculine" designs as opposed to softer looks. Case in point: the new 2019 Audi Q3 crossover. The previous generation featured a softer, less aggressive design specifically because Audi figured it's what women wanted. After all, the compact Q3 is aimed at women buyers. Turns out that was the wrong approach.

"It was an error in the past to think that all women want sweet cars," Fink said. The second-gen Q3 has what Fink describes as a "bodybuilder" style makeover thanks to its more upright stance, angled front grille, and heavily defined character lines. A lot of time and study went into the new Q3 because it has to reach the widest audience possible. The previous generation has been Audi's third best-selling model globally, trailing only behind the Q5 and A4. Aside from the "manlier" exterior styling, Audi also found that women buyers want safety features.

The new Q3 comes standard with driver-assist programs such as adaptive cruise control, park assist, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic assist with automatic braking, and a suite of cameras providing a bird's-eye 360-degree view around the vehicle, which is particularly useful when backing out of the driveway or attempting to squeeze into a narrow parking spot.

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There's also the optional Audi Virtual Cockpit featuring a 12.3-inch main screen and a 10.1-inch touch display. US market Q3s will also only be available with the Quattro all-wheel drive system instead of FWD as standard. Other standard features include a panoramic sunroof and leather interior.

Official pricing hasn't been announced, but the outgoing model started off at around $33,000. Chances are, the 2019 Q3 will be closer to the $40,000 mark.