We’ve had the ‘baby’ Q2 Suv in from Audi for review and test, complete with S line trim, S tronic automatic gearbox and 148bhp 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine.
With SUV sales booming in every sector, Audi has jumped in to the fray with what is really the only ‘Premium’ SUV in the class, although the Q2 is more Crossover than SUV.
Unlike Audi’s other SUVs – Q3, Q5, Q7 (and more on the way) the Q2 is more of a high-riding hatch than a proper SUV, but it’s still enough of an SUV to appeal to a market where all things SUV are right on the Zeitgeist.
Audi has delivered the Q2 in trim levels and with diesel and petrol engine options, but the pick of the bunch is probably the car we have in – the Q2 with S line trim, S tronic gearbox and Audi’s 1.4 litre TFSI petrol engine delivering 148bhp.
But is the Q2 a step too far for Audi’s niche-filling ambitions, or is it the perfect option for those looking for a compact urban SUV with a touch of Premium’ class?
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S Line Inside and out
What does an Audi ‘Q’ look like?
Ask anyone and they’d be hard-pushed to differentiate between Audi’s SUVs, but the Q2 bucks that trend with a look that’s all its own. And it works, certainly in the flesh.
At the front there’s a bold octagonal grille with framed vents below, concave side running in to rounded haunches, a coupe roofline, raked back screen, full black C-Pillar, big chunky tail lights and a multitude of lines conspiring to create a cohesive look at the back.
It’s not a beautiful car (what SUV really is?) but it’s a design that works well, imbuing the Q2 with a distinctive design which look both purposeful and sporty.
The Q2 is not so high it looks incongruous either, but high enough for a more commanding view from the driver’s seat. Just what the market wants.
Inside is more familiar Audi territory, but then that’s not a bad thing.
Audi don’t seem to have cut corners with the Q2’s interior, and it’s a familiar look with more than a smattering of A3 and, despite the Q2 actually being a chunk shorter than the A3, it has a surprising amount of room.
Up front driver and passenger have good seats and enough room, and as long as you don’t try and put a rugby scrum front line in the back you’ll be fine.
A six-footer each side and a child in the middle works just fine, and there’s a surprising amount of room in the boot too.
This is an S line Q2, so the spec is good and includes stuff like an LED lighting pack, aluminium trim, MMI with Sat Nav, Bluetooth and DAB, but Audi has added a few tasty extra which really do lift the Q2 up a notch.
The includes the very good Virtual Cockpit for clever digital instruments (part of the Technology Pack) and the Comfort Pack, including parking sensors, heated front seats, hill hold and B&O sound.
The extras do add a few thousand to the price, but they do make the Q2 feel more special.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S Line Performance & On the Road
Diesel Audi’s have sold in droves over the years, but now times ara changing and the 1.4 litre TFSI petrol under the bonnet of this Q2 will probably be the default choice.
It’s a decent little engine delivering 148bhp and 184lb/ft of torque at just 1500rpm, and its cylinder on demand technology helps it deliver official economy of 52.3mpg.
It’s also a decently lively lump too, with a 0-62mph of 8.5 seconds and the promise it will feel like a warm hatch. And in some ways it does, although it does seem to be a bit sleepy under 2000rpm on a light throttle – but that’s probably the cylinder deactivation doing its thing.
But the S tronic auto ‘box fitted to this Q2 does suit the engine, and it offers lively responses whatever you’re doing; blatting down a motorway slip road, playing games on an appealing B-road or, what you’ll be doing most of the time, trickling along the urban landscape.
The ride is on the firm side, but it’s not jarring, and the surprise is how well it deals with bends, cutting an impressive swathe through windy roads with very controlled body roll. Much more like a hatch than an SUV.
Its relatively modest performance isn’t going to make your pulse tachycardic, but there’s enough easily accessible performance to put a smile on your face when you want to, helped by accurate – if not the most informative – steering.
It’s a clever package, full of compromises but still appealing.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S Line Verdict
We did come at the Audi Q2 expecting it to be a real compromise to tap in to a market Audi hasn’t explored before. And it is.
It’s not as nimble as an Audi hatch, and it’s not as able as a proper SUV. It has looks which are decent but not standout, and it’s a bit pricey. But…
Despite that, the Q2 is a car Aristotle would consider a triumph, because the combination of its compromises has actually delivered a cracking little urban SUV.
Audi has made the Q2 handle and perform as well as most decent hatchbacks, it offers a very decent amount of room in the cabin, the looks, which can seem a bit odd in photos, work much better in the flesh and it all feels…right.
The quality of the cabin really is almost as good as Audi’s far more expensive models, the 14 litre TFSI with the S tronic gearbox is easy and fun to drive, the steering’s accurate, the suspension firm but not jarring, and the ride height is perfectly judged.
Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side at £29k (£32.5k on this car with extras), but it is a notch up on the mainstream competition, and it does come with a proper ‘Premium’ feel.
Surprisingly, the Audi Q2 is a very easy car to like.
2017 Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S Line Quick Tech Specs
- Engine: 1395cc, 148bhp
- Performance: 0-62mph 8.5 seconds / Top Speed 132mph
- Economy: 52.3mpg – Official / 39.3mpg – Test
- Emissions: 123g/km
- Price: £28,710 / Price as tested £32,510
- Test car supplied by Audi UK
Test Car Options
- Black front Sport seats with black leatherette stripes and Rock grey contrast stitching with leather/Alcantara £600
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror with light and rain sensor £125
- Storage and USB Rear Pack £225
- Technology Pack with Audi Virtual Cockpit £1,595
- Comfort Pack £900
- Flat-bottomed 3-spoke leather-trimmed multi-function Sport steering wheel with gear-shift paddles £150
- Split-folding rear seat bench £250