Small, angry man.
Audi first hit the SUV sector back in 2005 with the massive & gas guzzling Q7. Since then they have added the Q5, the Q3, a new Q7, a Q8 & in 2017, a baby brother to the above the Q2. The Q2 is built on the Volkswagen Group’s scalable MQB architecture. shared with amongst the stye Volkswagen T-Roc. The Q2’s interior also borrows much of it’s design from the Audi A3. There’s the familiar dashboard, air vents, climate control panel & dash mounted screen you’d find in the A3. Where the Q2 is different though, is from the outside with side panels borrowed from the Audi R8, a large range of colour mix & match options, on the C -pillars for example or even the option of choosing carbon fibre for a sportier look.
As with all current Audi models, theinterior is very well made & there’s lashings of soft-touch materials on top of the dashboard. The door handles, switchgear, steering wheel, gear lever & all other flat surfaces are also excellent. Only the door pockets feel cheaper.
All Q2’s come with a dash-top 7″ screen, although unlike in the A3 it doesn’t disappear into the dash when you turn it off. Our Tango red test car featured red index cloth on the seats with red leatherette contrast stoppers & stitching & matching LED red lighting on the dashboard, which comeson at night, with you guessed it a red finish.
Audi’s MMI Navigation system is also fitted with the 7″ screen featuring one of the clearest displays I’ve come across, a real stand out on the latest VAG model range, but particularly good on Audi’s. Our test car also included Audi’s £1,395 optional Technology Pack, which includes the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital dash display of which I am particularly enamoured. This is easily accessed by the rotary wheel fitted on the transmission tunnel, with a stand alone volume control also featured. Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity is standard. Connecting with a usb is simple & there are two usb sockets. One at the front, on the lower dash in front of the gear lever & one inside the storage box/armrest between the front seats.
The Q2 is also well equipped for safety. Audi’s Pre Sense safety kit is standard on all models. There’s also adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning & lane keep assistance, plus traffic sign recognition & rear traffic alert. Our test car also featured Park assist an additional £150.
The Q2 is actually more spacious inside than you’d expect. At 4121mm long, the Q2 is 167mm longer than an Audi A1 & 116mm shorter than an A3. Both front seats have lot’s of adjustment whilst in the rear despite the low roofline, two adults will get comfortable behind their front seat companions. The centre rear seat though is hard & features no foot space. The rear doors are narrow when opened as well, so getting in & out is not a easy as it could be. The large C-pillars, which look great from the outside, do obscure your view when reversing & also take away valuable cabin light.
The boot isn’t a bad size, with 405-litres available increasing to 1,050 litres with the rear seats folded. The boot floor can be raised slightly so the floor is flat when the seats fold & you can also opt for a 40/20/40 split for easy through loading of longer items.
Our test car featured the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine & 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gear box. Top speed is 131 mph & 0-62mph takes 8.5 seconds. You can choose from five driving settings which are accessed via the Drive Select switch. This automatically selects Auto, but you can scroll up to Comfort or Efficiency, or down for Dynamic or you can tailor it yourself in Individual. Auto works well around town, whilst I chose Efficiency for a 400 mile motorway trip.
The auto box is lovely to use selecting just the right gear for the driver, with no lag or jerking at all. Put your foot down & the power is delivered in a flash. Touch the brakes & the car slows dow fast. I found the foot brake to be incredibly sensitive & it took me a day or two to get the touch just right. On wet or slippery roads, the power comes almost too fast & the front wheels will lose some traction. The addition on our test car of 18″ wheels adds to the firm ride in the Q2 which is especially notable in the rear, something that’s common with other models in the Audi range.
It’s not all doom & gloom though. The Q2 handles well, ironing out bends for fun & it feels agile. There’s not too much body roll around corners & it’s almost as good to drive as the MINI Countryman. In town the Q2 is an able companion. The raised driving position helps you see the road ahead & it’s smallish dimensions make it easy to park, just watch out for those C pillars ! Potholes are not something you’ll want to encounter in the Q2 though, as the 18″ wheels fitted on our test car do tend to let the vibrations in.
On the motorway & in cruise control mode, the Q2 is excellent. The cabin is well insulated from outside noise & on smooth motorway tarmac the 1.4 engine eats up the miles. Claimed combined fuel consumption is 52.3 mpg on 18″ wheels, with CO2 emissions of 123g/km. As with most petrol cars I’ve driven, our real world economy of 42.9 mpg on the combined cycle, wasn’t too far away from the claimed. We found that a range of 380 miles from a full tank of petrol was achievable.
Some of you reading this may wonder what this small Q2 Crossover offers over & above the A3 Sportback for example ? Well I guess we can blame Nissan for this & also MINI who launched their premium version small SUV the Countryman which has sold well. I would say that it’s all about looks & perception. The SUV format gives car designers more scope to play & to add on the visual bits & bobs customers want – wider wheel arches, larger LED lights & even running boards – The fact that they are often no bigger than the hatchback in the brands range that they sit alongside, is irrelevant. The Juke & Countryman have sold well & where one succeed’s, others will follow. Customers like them & in the case of the Q2, it’s certainly more striking than the A3.
If small SUV’s were angry, then they would be Conor McGregor. They punch above their weight & the Q2 is no different. I came away from my week in the Q2 more positive about it than I had expected, preferring the Volkswagen T-Rocs exterior & it’s cheaper than the Q2. However, the interior build quality, on board tech & driveability of the Audi won me over & I would say that it’s a real contender in the sector.
As for the engine choice, the entry-level 1.0 TFSI turbo three cylinder has claimed economy of 55.4mpg & emissions of 117g/km, which is actually not a whole lot better than the the 1.4-litre TFSI petrol that we tested, which returns 52.3mpg & emits 123g/km of CO2. For me the 1.4 was a blast to drive & I would have no hesitation in selecting this version with the lovely auto box