There’s nothing new about pint-sized SUVs. The Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Mini Countryman all offer cute looks, compact dimensions and a slightly raised driving position.
But if you want a proper premium badge, the Audi Q2 is your smallest and cheapest option. It’s roughly the same size as a Captur, at just under 4.2 metres long, and it significantly undercuts larger premium-badged models such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, and Audi’s own Q3, although for the same money you could also be looking at something much larger, like the Seat Ateca or Nissan Qashqai.
Petrol options include the entry-level 85KW 1.0-litre and a clever 110kw 1.4-litre, which shuts down two of its four cylinders when not needed to boost efficiency. Meanwhile, the diesels include a fuel-sipping 86kw 1.6-litre as well as the range-topping 105Kw 2.0-litre.
Most engines drive the Q2’s front wheels only, but four-wheel drive (or Quattro as Audi calls it) is optional on the 148bhp diesel.
Read below for everything you need to know if you’re thinking of buying an Audi Q2, including the version to choose.
Audi Q2 Performance
If you like a petrol rather than a diesel engine, then the 1.0 TFSI is fine for town and light motorway use. However, for more flexible performance, the 110kw 1.4 TFSI is a better bet. It’s got plenty of mid-range shove, and makes a better fist of propelling a fully-laden Q2.
Factoring in price, performance and running costs, the best all-round engine in the range is the 1.6 TDI diesel. It has enough oomph to whisk you along at a reasonable lick.
We also like the 2.0 TDI diesel. It delivers quite effortless pace, whether you are driving in town or on the motorway. However, it’s only available from mid-level Sport trim upwards, and with a DSG automatic gearbox, making it quite a pricey option.
Audi Q2 Ride
Three suspension options are available on the Audi Q2. All models come with the softer Dynamic option as standard, but on the top-level S line models you can go for a firmer Sports suspension for no extra charge. If you buy either the mid-level Sport or S line trims you can pay to upgrade to an adaptive suspension system. This allows you to switch between a softer ride for comfort, or a firmer setting for sportier driving.
So far, we’ve only driven Q2s fitted with either the standard Dynamic suspension or the adaptive system. Both manage to smooth the edges off sharp bumps and ridges well enough, although with the standard suspension the ride is firmer and more unsettled along typical pockmarked urban roads.
However, with the differences being relatively small, we’d recommend trying both set-ups before forking out the extra. We’d also suggest sticking to the smaller 17in alloy wheels for the best ride comfort.
Audi Q2 Handling
The Q2 shares a platform with the Audi A3 hatchback. That’s a car that handles pretty sweetly, so it’s no surprise that the Q2 also corners well. Sure, being a jacked-up SUV introduces a touch more body lean than you get in the lower-riding A3, but the Q2 still corners flatter than many of its SUV rivals, including the Mercedes GLA.
There’s also lots of grip in bends, and if you order the four-wheel-drive version, plenty of traction when you are pulling out of side turnings.
All versions come with Audi’s progressive steering. This means the steering gets quicker the more you turn the wheel, so fewer turns of the wheel are required when parking and maneuvering, but the car still feels stable at motorway speeds. On upper trims you also get a drive mode switch to alter the weight of the steering; the lighter Comfort setting is preferable to the overly heavy and supposedly sporty Dynamic option.
Audi Q2 Refinement
The 1.0 TFSI 85kw petrol is a raspy three-cylinder engine, but although you can hear it buzzing away, it’s not an unpleasant sound. The 1.4 TFSI 110kw petrol is smooth at low revs. However, when you work it hard it becomes slightly coarse, with a gravelly tone as the revs climb higher. Although both the diesels are well mannered, keeping the cabin free from unwanted vibrations and staying relatively quiet, the 2.0 TDI 105kw is the sweeter engine of the two.
At motorway speeds the Q2 cruises fairly quietly. Little wind or road noise enters the passenger compartment, so it’s a relaxing car to take on long journeys, although there is some road noise – particularly on models with larger alloys wheels.
The six-speed manual gearbox is light and slick, and the clutch bites positively. Combined with the well-weighted and progressive brakes, this makes the Q2 an easy car to drive smoothly in stop-start traffic. The dual-clutch S tronic auto, which is optional on most models and standard on the 2.0 TDI 105kw diesel, shifts smoothly up and down through its gears. It’s a bit jerky in stop-start traffic, though.
Audi Q2 Driving position
Whatever size and shape you are, it’s unlikely you’ll have a problem with the Q2’s driving position. The steering wheel has a great range of movement up and down, as well as in and out. You also get a height-adjustable driver’s seat on all variants.
The seat itself is supportive and nicely aligned with the pedals, helping to keep you comfortable on a long journey. It’s a shame that lumbar adjustment doesn’t come as standard, though.
Much of the dashboard layout is borrowed from the tried and tested Audi A3 hatchback, so the layout works well. The dials are easy to read, while the switches and button fall easily to hand. That said, some of the plastics and switches don’t feel quite as plush the A3’s.
Audi Q2 Visibility
Even though the Q2 is a relatively small car, you still get the high-up driving position that most SUV buyers seek.
This gives you a great view of the road ahead, aided by the reasonably slim windscreen pillars. The rearwards view isn’t quite so good because the thick rear pillars obscure your over-the-shoulder visibility. Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are available to getting around this problem, though.
Audi Q2 Infotainment
All Q2s come with essentials such as a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port for charging your phone. If you connect a smartphone through the USB you can also make use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which lets you operate your phone through the car’s infotainment system.
Speaking of which, Audi’s MMI infotainment is one of the best on the market. The simple rotary-dial controller and shortcut buttons by the gear lever make it a doddle to skim through the menus. The interface is intuitive and the standard 7.0in screen, which sits atop the dash, is clear and easy to read. From mid-level Sport trim upwards you also get sat-nav as standard.
All models come with a multi-function steering wheel that lets you navigate the radio, telephone and driver information settings in the separate screen between the instruments. We’d recommend spending the extra and upgrading to the Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the analogue dials with a 12.3in TFT screen. This can put lots of useful information, including the sat-nav maps, just below the driver’s line of sight.
Audi Q2 Quality
Audi has a pretty fine track record of creating smart and beautifully built interiors, and so it is in the Q2, which borrows the A3’s minimalist dashboard architecture and excellent materials.
The upper surfaces look smart and feel soft to the touch, while the switches and buttons operate with a precise click; the rotary climate-control buttons, for example, tick satisfyingly when you rotate them. There’s also a pleasant mix of materials and you can personalise the car with any number of optional interior trim combinations. Additional ambient lighting adds to the sense of occasion at night.
Audi Q2 Front space
Even if you’re a bit of a giant, front-seat space shouldn’t be a problem: there’s lots of head and leg room in the front of the Q2, so it’s easily a match for most rivals.
As well as space for you there are a couple of cup holders in front of the gearlever, a decent-sized glovebox, and door bins large enough to hold a one-litre bottle of drink.
General oddment space for loose change or a mobile phone is harder to come by; it’s limited to a tray under the front center armrest.
Audi Q2 Rear space
It’s in the back of the Q2 that space is tight, because adults will find their knees close to the front seatbacks and their heads brushing the roof lining, while the Q2’s relatively narrow interior makes three adults sitting side by side pretty uncomfortable. A BMW X1 or Seat Ateca provide families with much more space.
Rear-seat passengers get a door bin each to take a small bottle of water, and a folding centre armrest complete with two cup holders inside.
Audi Q2 Seating flexibility
The front passenger get lots of seat adjustment, including a wheel to recline the angle of the backrest and a lever to adjust the seat height.
The Q2 comes with 60/40 split-folding rear seats as standard. The backrests are easy to drop using the levers by each headrest, and once down, they leave a near-flat extended load area.
Unlike some rivals, including the VW Tiguan, there’s no sliding or reclining rear seat option for the Q2.
Audi Q2 Boot
The Q2’s boot is marginally bigger than an A3 Sportback’s and is usefully square in shape, but many SUV rivals, such as the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai, offer even more luggage space. That said, there’s room for three or four large shopping bags, or a folded pram.
Unlike many of its competitors, you can’t raise or lower the height of the Q2’s boot floor, and because the floor is quite high that makes the boot fairly shallow. On the plus side, because the floor is flush with the leading edge of the boot opening there’s no load lip, and it gives you an agreeably flat extended load deck when you fold down the rear seats.
Audi Q2 Costs
Although the Q2 is a little pricier than larger, mainstream rivals such as the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai, it’s still a sensible buy. That’s because the premium badge and sporty SUV styling should have people queuing up to buy one, and bode well for the future resale values. Monthly PCP finance deals are surprisingly affordable, too.
The most efficient engine is the 1.6-litre diesel, which emits from just 114g/km of CO2 if you stick with the standard six-speed gearbox. However, even the 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol emits a very reasonable 124g/km. Our True km/L tests have revealed the Q2 to be impressively frugal too; the petrol 1.4 TSI returned 5.39 L/100km
Audi Q2 Equipment
The three trim levels start off with SE. This is reasonably basic for a car in this price range, with the highlights being 16in alloy wheels, a DAB radio and air-con.
Audi reckons more than half of buyers will plump for the mid-level Sport option. It’s the pick of the bunch for us, too, because for a reasonable premium over the SE trim, you get 17in wheels, sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers and cruise control. It looks jazzier as well, thanks to contrasting paint on the exterior of the rear pillars.
Finally, the S line model adds LED headlights, even larger 18in alloy wheels and part-leather sports seats. You also get an LED ambient interior lighting pack for a swisher feel inside, and more aggressive-looking S line bumpers on the outside.
Audi Q2 Reliability
With the Q2 being such a new model, we have no historical data to form an opinion on its reliability.
However, Audi as a brand hasn’t done well recently, coming 34th out of 37 in our most recent reliability survey.
At least you get a comprehensive three-year, 100 000km manufacturer’s warranty, which includes breakdown cover. You can extend this for a reasonable cost for up to five years or 150 000km
Audi Q2 Safety & security
Safety experts Euro NCAP haven’t crash tested the Q2 yet, but it would be a surprise if it didn’t match the five-star rating of the A3 hatchback on which it’s based.
All models come with a full compliment of airbags and two rear Isofix child-seat mounting points, plus there are a number of safety systems to help prevent accidents. These include automatic emergency braking to stop you rear-ending the car in front around town, and optional lane assist to help stop you wandering out of your lane on the motorway.
Also on the options list is Audi Side Assist, which warns you if you are about to change lane when another car in your blind spot, and also puts the brakes on if you’ve haven’t seen a car crossing behind you when reversing out of a tight driveway or parking space.
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