GWA take a look at the new Audi Q2, launched to compete with the Mini Countryman, Nissan Juke and even the Mercedes GLA.
From what we have seen we think it will be a hit in the small SUV sector.
The small SUV market is the fastest growing across the world. Audi’s Q2 is the first challenger from the established premium players.
The Q2 offers a level of style, class and big car features rivals don’t have, but it comes at a price as most of the more desirable spec is an optional extra.
The Q2 interior is spacious enough for four adults to travel comfortably with a large boot, while the quality is good where you see and touch.
The drive is good, surefooted handling combined with a comfy ride unless you go for the sportiest setup and biggest wheels.
The Audi Q2 is 200mm shorter than an Audi Q3, but a touch bigger than a Juke or Countryman. It’s based on the A3 platform and shares its engines and much of its technology with that car.
Engines, performance and drive
There’ll be two petrol engines at launch, a three cylinder 1.0 and a 1.4 TFSI with a third 2.0-litre petrol coming in 2017. A 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre diesel are also options, with Quattro four-wheel drive available on all 2.0-litre models.
The cheaper SE model isn’t exactly generously equipped, although they do get 16-inch alloys, a dash-top screen and air conditioning. Most buyers will pay the extra £1,550 for the more stylish Sport models with 17-inch wheels with body-coloured bumpers and the standout C-pillars.
Top spec S-Line comes with 18-inch alloys, LED front and rear lights with scrolling indicators at the back, leather trim to the seats and a no cost upgrade to sports suspension.
Audi’s pre sense safety kit is standard, which includes Autonomous Emergency Braking and will also put the anchors on if it spots a pedestrian stepping out in front of the car.
Other options include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings and lane keep assistance, plus traffic sign recognition and alerts if there’s traffic coming when you’re reversing.
The new 7 speed dual-clutch auto box is also worth considering, it’s smooth and responsive and will improve mpg and reduce emissions over a manual.
Audi uses the phrase ‘go-kart feel’ to describe the Q2, a phrase it’s borrowed from MINI. Although the Q2 doesn’t feel as quick to respond as the MINI Countryman, it offers a better blend of sharp handling and a comfortable ride.
The Q2 steering comes from the hot Audi S3 model and will put a smile on your face. The car does not have too much body roll when you go around corners, helped by the car’s wide track. You always feel connected to the road especially with the S line’s 18-inch wheels and the sportier of the two suspension set-ups.
MPG, CO2 and running costs
A selection of economical VW Group engines should ensure that the Q2 delivers reasonable economy. The 1.4-litre TFSI petrol delivers an impressive 60.1mpg in the A3, along with just 109g/km of CO2, while the smaller 1.0-litre claims 62.8mpg and 104g/km. With similar dimensions, we’d expect the Q2 to deliver fairly close to these figures and diesels will be more economical still.
Interior, design and technology
The Audi Q2 interior very much follows the lead of the A3, but with a few funkier options that are designed to appeal to younger buyers. There’s a splash of colour across the dash that can match the exterior colour, while inserts on the seats can lift what would otherwise be a pretty conservative design.
The Q2’s interior quality is impressive, especially against rival small SUVs and many other cars at the price, too. There are soft plastics where you see and touch most, although Audi will admit to saving money where you won’t notice it. If you really want to push the boat out, you can opt for Audi’s impressive 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit, a dash display that replaces conventional dials and gives you further options to personalise what you can see.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Q2 interior is relatively spacious considering its small footprint. The higher roofline and more upright seating positions help, but you actually sit slightly lower in the Q2 than you do in other small SUVs, helping to give the car the ‘go kart feel’ that Audi refers too.
Front seats have loads of adjustment and are comfortable, especially with a steering wheel that adjusts up and down, as well as in and out. Headroom is good, too, even in the rear where Audi’s designers have worked hard to keep the roofline low for a sportier look.
Visibility is good all round in spite of a fairly shallow rear screen at the back. However, the boot door opens wide to reveal plenty of space. At 405-litres (rising to 1.050 litres with the rear seats folded) it’s bigger than an A3’s, only 15-litres off a Q3’s, but some way shy of a Countryman’s 450-litres.
So we see the new Audi Q2 as a hard hitter in the Small SUV Sector and will definitely be one to consider if you were looking for a small premium brand car. The Q2 is due to land with dealers this November.
For any enquiries on the New Audi Q2 or are looking to change your car, please get in touch with the GWA team.