Q is for Quality – Audi’s new baby of the SUV range ticks all the premium boxes writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Its clear Audi know a thing or two about creating desirable SUVs given the popularity of their existing Q range of cars and their latest addition to the Q family is the smallest in the line-up, the Q2.
Who is it aimed at? The compact crossover market is dominated by volume sellers so Audi is aiming to carve a niche for a premium offering designed at a funkier and younger audience. From small families looking for something a little snazzier than a hatchback to style-conscious empty nesters the Q2 should certainly appeal.
Styling? Looking more like a beefier A3 than a full blown SUV the low-riding sporty coupé-styling will appeal for those who value a more understated approach. The Q2 measures 1.51 metres tall and 1.79 metres wide so in terms of proportions it’s almost identical in size to the MINI Countryman.
Under the Bonnet? The Q2’s engine range includes a choice of petrol engines – a 1-litre 115bhp or a 1.4-litre 150bhp while diesel options include the 1.6-litre 115bhp or 2-litre with either 150bhp or 190bhp output. Our test car was the 1.4-litre petrol 150bhp with the dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission, with more than enough oomph its a good option for low mileage motorists but the 1.6 TDI diesel is likely to prove the more popular and would be the one to go for if you are going to make this car work for its keep.
What about inside? Given its diminutive proportions its actually deceptively big inside particularly for leg and head room and don’t expect to hear complaints from rear passengers either there’s masses of space in the back for them plus luggage. A huge array of the latest multimedia gadgets, usually reserved for cars further up the range, is offered including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a seven-inch MMI screen and Bluetooth connectivity and inside the Q2 you will find one of the smartest compact cabins around. The optional Audi Virtual Cockpit is money well spent as it’s a digital wonder.
On the Road? Behind the wheel the steering is beautifully direct but the taut handling means a firm ride. It hugs the road well and corners with absolute confidence all enhanced by the low seating position. On the downside the 1.4 petrol engine can be a tad noisy depending on how hard you push it.
And Safety? The Q2 is packed with things to protect you; from multiple airbags to safety features which help you avoid an accident. In addition a system known as emergency braking assistant is standard and works by looking out for other vehicles or pedestrians in the path of the vehicle; if a collision is imminent, it warns the driver and if necessary initiates automatic emergency braking.
What are my options? There is a host of customisation options including a good range vibrant bordering on extravagant paint colours; we were particularly partial to the “Coral Orange” on our Press Car. The Q2 is available in two trim lines the entry level SE trim includes as cruise control, Smartphone interfacing and rear parking sensors. The S line trim on our press car added LED headlights, sport suspension, sport seats, drive select and an 18” 5-spoke Y design alloy steering wheel in addition to the SE trim features.
Will it break the bank? Prices are a little higher than for similarly sized compact SUVs but then you’re getting something rather different. Those premium features looks and the baby sports car driving experience make the Q2 value for money. Our test car came with a host of additional extras including Tech Package €2,450, Metallic Paint €881, Lumbar Support €349, Audi Active Lane Assist €863, Privacy Glass €569, Electrically Opening Boot Lid €697, Parking System Plus €483, Deluxe Climate Control €783, Adaptive Cruise Control €583, Ambient Lighting Package €144 and Titanium Grey Sideblade €287 and was priced at €45,448. The 1.4 petrol has emissions of 123g/km and returns an impressive 4.8 litres (59mpg) thanks to a system that can shut two of the four cylinders down when they are not needed in order to save fuel. The 1.6 diesel is the best for economy and promises 4.4 litres (64.2 mpg) and just 114g/km of CO2.
Verdict? On paper small compact SUVs offer little more than hatchbacks in the way of space or practicality but there is still something endearing about them. The head-turning looks of the Q2 are matched by an equally premium and high quality interior so if you enjoy driving and want to look good all at the same time then be sure to put it on your test drive list but be warned this premium product comes with a premium price tag.
Why you’ll buy one? Interior quality; Handling; Efficient
Why you won’t? Pricey
Audi Q2 1.4TFSI COD 150BHP S-Tronic
Engine: 1,395cc, 150bhp, 250 Nm @1500–3500RPM
Max speed: 212 km/h
0-100 kph: 8.5 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 123g/km (€270)
Model price range: €30,950 – €44,420
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.8 litres/100 km (52.3)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 405 Litres (1050)
Car Seats: two isofix fittings in the rear seats
8th February, 2017