Audi Q2: sexy efficiency
We can’t all seem to get enough of SUVs and crossovers. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.
Indeed, the modern crossover is perhaps the most painless way to get around town with absolute ease.
And with each successive generation of crossovers, things get better and better.
Audi was the first premium brand to see the rising popularity of SUVs and crossovers. They launched the Q7, followed by the Q5, the Q3, and finally, the smallest crossover in their lineup, the Q2.
The Q2 is really neat, and it makes the right compromises for a city car, perfect as a first car for many drivers seeking a premium badge but disliking the daunting demands of driving a sporty sedan or a larger crossover/SUV.
The Q2 is stylish, laden with technology, and genuinely enjoyable to drive especially on long journeys where you can really savor what it has to offer.
Based on Audi’s A3 hatchback, the Q2 is barely 4.2 meters long, the length of a typical C-segment car.
Yet inside, it offers easy ingress and exit, impressive space particularly for the front-seat passenger and driver, a higher seating position giving a more confident view of the road ahead, and the typical Audi interiors, which means it’s simple, yet classy and very functional, built with high-quality materials that are soft and pliant to the touch.
Leather is standard, and the 3-spoke steering wheel has multifunction controls for the Audi MMI multimedia system.
Syncing your smartphone means you can utilize either Apple Carplay or Google’s Android Auto to make full use of your device through the MMI’s highly intuitive interface.
Unfortunately, the Audi virtual cockpit, which replaces the analog instrument cluster with a huge LCD screen, isn’t included, but can be ordered as an option.
There’s a load of adjustment for the steering wheel as it manually moves up and down, toward and away from the driver, coupled with height adjustable driver’s seating.
The rear seats are admittedly tight. It’s geared more toward high-income individuals looking for a small, versatile vehicle rather than an outright family car for five—so three abreast will be uncomfortable.
The rear seats fold almost flat the floor, and matched to the small trunk, greatly improves cargo capacity.
Think single individual, active outdoorsy lifestyle, copious amounts of cargo to support said active lifestyle—a bicycle perhaps, or camping equipment on a light off-road trail.
Six airbags come as standard, with front, side and curtain bags, plus ABS-EBD equipped brakes, along with traction/stability control.
The electronic driving aids help improve range and mobility off the beaten path, but Quattro AWD is available on other variants if you feel like flying through some dirt roads.
A pair of Isofix mounts in the backseats helps secure child seats and carriers.
The Q2 has yet to undergo an official NCAP crash test, but it should meet, if not exceed, the five stars its A3 hatchback brethren achieved since both share the same basic platform and architecture.
Power comes from a variety of gasoline and diesel engines. The local launch units, such as this one I’ve tested, come with a 1.0-later 3-cylinder TFSI engine producing a modest 116 hp and 200 Newton meters of torque mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic automatic gearbox driving the front wheels.
The numbers seem low, but thanks to Audi’s ultra lightweight technology ethos, a surprisingly peppy engine, and the S-Tronic gearbox, performance in city driving is more than enough, and on the highway, can comfortably cruise at up to 120-130 kph with ease.
Top speed is quoted by Audi at 185-190 kph .
Ride comfort is good, even with the 17-inch alloy wheels as the Q2 comes with dynamic suspension as standard. The steering features Audi’s progressive steering rack which quickens the ratio as you wind up more lock, making it relaxed and refined out on the highway, but alert and responsive when you’re attacking your favorite winding road.
Refinement is excellent too. The 3-cylinder engine emits a distinct drone on the highway, but the noise isn’t at all unpleasant, and there’s almost more than enough grunt for overtaking, or when you just feel like hammering the throttle.
Together, the drive makes for a quick and confident experience especially when navigating through tight provincial roads that have less than smooth surfaces.
Chassis rigidity is also excellent, something you realize due to the refinement, and you don’t feel tired even after two to three hours inside the Q2.
On my typical weekend drive down south, I averaged a very good 18.5 km/L. I was honestly expecting more, something past 20 km/L but the engine was new, and the weather was quite bad, with strong headwinds heading down south.
In the city, I still managed 11.75 to 12.25 km/L, which isn’t surprising given the Q2’s size and relatively lightweight (for its size) 1,250 kg curb weight.
The electronically-assisted steering is perfectly weighted, providing decent feel and feedback.
The brakes are powerful, but are slightly over-assisted so you do need a bit of adjustment once you get in.
The boot is definitely small. On the last day I had the Q2, our office driver dropped us off the airport for me and the missus’ weeklong vacation abroad. We had to put one suitcase inside the Q2’s rear seats.
But the trunk can still accommodate several shopping bags, a weekend bag for an out- of-town trip, or a folded stroller.
Overall, Audi has truly shown how technology improves the breed in a smart, stylish and desirable package.
The Q2 is highly capable, very fuel-efficient, very safe, and honestly enjoyable and engaging to drive mixed with cutting-edge sex appeal.
The ultra lightweight chassis technology, the 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged TFSI engine, and the S-Tronic gearbox really help elevate the driving performance and experience to one most people can enjoy.
Many prophesy that the internal combustion engine is nearing its end, but Audi’s Q2, in all its entirety, presents a strong argument against this.