Audi Q2

Audi shows its fun side with small SUV

7.8
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 11 reviews
  • Great cabin
  • Modern engines
  • Spacious for its size
  • Gets pricy with options
  • Some rivals are more practical
  • No fast version yet
 

£20,230 - £32,000 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

45 - 65 MPG

Review

The Audi Q2 is an upmarket crossover that shares its platform with the Audi A3. It is an obvious rival to the Mini Countryman, but the company also hopes its premium badge can tempt buyers away from the likes of the funkily styled Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Citroen Cactus.

No doubt with the latter three cars in mind, Audi has given the Q2 distinctive looks that mark it out from the rest of the range, which tends to be conservatively styled.

Inside it’s typical Audi – a minimalistic-yet-highly-functional cockpit, but with a twist – you can add more personal touches than in other Q models and there are generous splashes of body-colour highlights. Cabin space is surprisingly good for the car’s size and boot capacity is also above average.

Some small SUVs ride either too firmly to be comfortable, or too soft to be enjoyable to drive, but the Q2 sits in the middle – it’s not the most cosseting out there and some rivals such as the Mini will be more fun, but the Audi makes a well-judged compromise between the two. The drive can be improved further by fitting optional adaptive dampers.

The engine range is near identical to the Audi A3’s so there’s a fuel-sipping petrol 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine at one end of the scales and a petrol 2.0-litre four cylinder with 189hp at the other. Naturally you can buy a diesel Q2 – there’s the choice of either a 1.6 and 2.0-litre engine – and these offer the lowest running costs.

Equipment levels are to be finalised closer to when the Q2 goes on sale in November 2016, but we expect them to be similar to those in the A3, so we can expect a widescreen infotainment system, cruise control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and air-conditioning as standard.

If you’re after a small SUV with a greater turn of speed, take a look at our price, specs and release date article of the upcoming SQ2 and see photos of it undergoing testing or read our Audi Q2 sizes and dimensions guide to find out if this compact SUV is the perfect size for you. If it fits the bill, use our Audi Q2 colours guide to pick the perfect colour for your new car.

If its flamboyant – at least by Audi standards – styling doesn’t stand out enough for you, why not take a look at the recently revealed Audi Q2 Edition #1 model? A two-tone paint job, new 19-inch alloy wheels and a diffuser (of questionable function) are all offered by this distinctly sporty upgrade.

The Q2 is based on the A3 hatchback so it gets largely the same cabin which immediately shoots the Q2 to the top of the class in terms of build quality and overall design. The Mini Countryman’s interior may be a bit funkier, but the Q2 feels like a car from the class above.

The small Audi is also the most personalisable car the company currently sells – there are 12 exterior colours on offer and whichever you choose will be mirrored on some of the interior plastics. It’s something that superminis have been doing for quite some time, but in the Audi it adds that bit of flair that was missing from the otherwise perfect A3 cockpit.

The Q2 also comes with Audi’s MMI infotainment system which is one of the best in business. Thanks to a rotary controller it’s easier to operate on the move compared to the Nissan Juke’s touchscreen system, whereas the Mini, with its BMW-iDrive-derived infotainment, remains the best of the bunch. Audi’s virtual cockpit is also available as an option and we highly recommend it for the wealth of information it gives the driver and the beautiful way it presents it.

Audi Q2 passenger space

The standard cloth seats in the Q2 offer plenty of support and should be comfortable enough for most, but testers recommend the sports seats that are standard on Sport models and above. There’s good amount of seat adjustment in all directions and despite the sporty posture you’re still perched high enough to see over most other road users – for that all important ‘commanding’ feel.

In terms of passenger space the Q2’s 120mm shorter than a two-door A3, but it utilises the available space very well – there’s room for two six foot adults in the back, while headroom is good, even on models equipped with a panoramic sunroof.

Audi Q2 boot space

Despite its size the Q2 packs a respectable boot – with the seats up it can fit 405 litres – that’s 50 litres more than an A3 and Juke, but 50 less than the larger Mini Countryman. Fold the seats and the resulting 1,050-litre capacity should prove handy. Practicality is further aided by the flat load space and square shape of the boot.

The Q2 is closely related to the A3, which in turn shares most of its parts with the VW Golf, which is a hugely capable car to drive if a bit dull and predictable. The Q2 inherits these qualities and despite the tall body it still drives largely like a regular hatchback. To limit the body roll that is sometimes synonymous with SUVs, Audi has opted for a firmer suspension set-up (much like in the Mini Countryman), but it manages to be comfortable most of the time.

New in class and a standard feature across all Q2 models is Audi’s Progressive steering. It makes the car more manoeuvrable in town, while helping it feel less nervous on the motorway. Reviewers are impressed and say it makes the car more enjoyable than expected in a series of quick corners. However, if it’s all out driver thrills you’re after, the Mini Countryman remains at the top of the class with its sharper steering and composed chassis.

Official fuel economy and emissions figures have yet to be revealed by Audi, but with a mix of turbo diesels and small capacity petrols all Q2s should be reasonably frugal. Quattro four-wheel drive is available on the mid-range engines and upwards. Audi’s new seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox is an option across the range.

Audi Q2 diesel engines

There are two diesel engines on offer – a 108hp 1.6-litre and a 148hp 2.0-litre. The 1.6-litre is a perfectly acceptable engine for the A3 hatchback, but in the slightly heavier Q2 it’ll have to work ever so slightly harder. A much better all-rounder is the 2.0-litre in 148hp guise – it won’t set your pants on fire with its acceleration, but the torque available low down in the rev range makes overtakes that bit easier.

Audi Q2 petrol engines

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder entry-level petrol engine is a likeable unit – it’s zippy, sounds nice and doesn’t use too much fuel. However, we’d go for the 148hp 1.4-litre offering that rarely puts a foot wrong – with a 0-62mph time of less than nine seconds it’s not slow and with its clever cylinder-on-demand function it can be surprisingly frugal.

Sitting at the top of the line-up is the 188hp 2.0-litre that also sees use in the VW Tiguan. If smoothness and refinement are more important to you than low running costs then this is the engine to go for because it gives the Q2 the turn of speed to match the premium badge.

Conclusion

Audi’s first entry to the supermini SUV segment seems like the result of years and years of market research – the Q2 is more visually appealing than other Audis, more practical and spacious than expected and boasts an impressive range of standard safety systems and technologically advanced engines. Compared to rivals it’s significantly more premium (at least until the new Countryman is revealed) and we’re confident it will fly out of dealerships for this reason.

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