Audi Q2: the modern premium city car
Today, SUVs account for a growing number of vehicle sales worldwide. It’s a lifestyle vehicle, a statement, a choice to live by for many people.
SUVs promote the outdoor active lifestyle, adventurous go-anywhere vibe. And in a developing country such as ours, where roads are riddled with potholes, flashfloods are a recurring phenomenon, and a significant number of our road network remain unpaved, SUVs—even soft-roaders—make for a strong argument.
Audi’s recently launched Q2 is based on the group’s modular and scalable MQB platform, which it shares primarily with the A3 sedan and hatchback.
It is 200-mm shorter than its larger Q3 sibling and 130-mm shorter than its A3 sedan sibling, but is taller and wider than a 5-door A3.
Its overall height is 1,790 mm with an overall width of 1,510 mm, riding on a 2,600 mm wheelbase, all in a compact 4,191-mm overall length.
Indeed, city cars don’t come any more practical and versatile in a package as small as the Audi Q2.
Surprisingly, the ground clearance is a modest 143 mm, bested by some sedans and hatchbacks of similar size but this just goes to show that the Q2 is really meant as an urban mall crawler, more than anything else.
The modest differences in dimension is enough to make its own niche, and the taller ride height makes it more SUV-like, making ingress and egress more convenient: you simply sit in it, rather than sit down or fall down, nor do you get up.
A small detail for some, but the reality is that it makes frequent short drives such as running a variety of errands easier, more convenient.
A range of gasoline and diesel four cylinder engines are available, all packing turbocharged power for better power and efficiency, plus a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Quattro all-wheel drive is available, but the initial release of local models will feature front-wheel drive to help reduce weight and fuel consumption.
Despite the modest size and lightweight technology, the Audi Q2 exceeds 5-star crash ratings from the Euro New Car Assessment Program crash test (Euro NCAP)—so it’s a very safe car.
Audi arguably designs and builds the best interiors in its segment, and the Q2 is no surprise. It shares much of the A3’s dashboard design and layout, which wouldn’t be out of place in a museum of modern art.
The overall design is difficult to improve on, and the standard Audi MMI (multi-media interface) with its 5.8-inch screen just rams home the point that Audi not only designs the best-looking interiors, but also the most functional and intuitive.
Adding further to the high-tech theme and functionality is Audi’s ground-breaking virtual cockpit, which replaces the traditional analog instrument clusters with a full 12.3-inch LCD display that the driver can configure to display a variety of information, such as engine parameters, navigation and traditional RPM/speedometer functions.
The seats are covered in leather, and a handsome 3-spoke leather-clad flat-bottom steering wheel with controls for the MMI makes you wonder if you’re driving a sporty hatchback or an SUV.
In other markets, the options list for the Q2 is a mile long with choices for color-coded interior accents and color-accented leather seats as well.
What’s great news for the active lifestyle types is the 405 liters of cargo space in the boot with the rear seats up. Drop the second row seats flat to the floor and you get a whopping 1,050 liters of cargo space.
Need more utility? Audi has a range of roof-mounted accessories to be introduced soon.
Audi wanted to imbibe the Q2 with a youthful, vibrant and dynamic persona that is striking, confident and ready for anything, anywhere.
Short front and rear overhangs project a sense of overall dynamism, and a myriad of wheel offerings in 16- to 19-inch wheel sizes means your Audi Q2 can really stand out.
The sloping rear roofline and the blacked-out C-pillar are a nod to the original Quattro coupe which won the World Rally Championship over three decades ago.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Audi if it didn’t have the gaping horseshoe grill to feed the various heat exchangers with cold air.
Chrome trim on the grill and blacked-out fender trim are standard, but matte-aluminum/silver or machined aluminum are options in other markets as well.
We should see an SQ2 and RSQ2 with even more power, bigger brakes and more aggressive body styling in the future as Audi will surely not fail to cater to a growing demand for cross-over SUVs.
The engines are a range of 3- and 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines as well as 4-cylinder CRDi turbocharged diesel engines that transfer power to the front wheels via Audi’s 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.
The Quattro all-wheel drive will be available on future variants.
The local launch model comes with a 1.0 3-cylinder direct-injected turbocharged gasoline engine delivering 116 hp and 200 Newton meters of torque.
The small engines are averaged to deliver an expected 5.0 to 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers as per the standard European test regimen. In other words, expect close to 20 kilometers per liter.
Compact, versatile, cutting-edge and fun-to-drive, these qualities help ensure that Audi’s latest Q2 will be a sales hit amongst the younger crowd looking into buying their first premium vehicle.
Audi Philippines head Benedicto Coyiuto has said that they will soon introduce the customization options previously unseen in previous Audi models, which should make this segment an exciting one.
Watch this space for a comprehensive test-drive review and evaluation of Audi’s latest Q2. Price start at P2.75 million.