Sales of small and midsize SUVs are booming worldwide, not just in Australia. Many are being bought by people with no desire to go off-road, but who want something that’s easy to get in and out. Station wagons are considered boring whereas SUVs like the Audi Q2 are highly favoured .
Enter the all-new Audi Q2, a stylish machine that is spacious for its class, easy to drive and park and a good midsize load hauler.
At the front the Audi Q2 follows its own distinct direction when compared with the others in the current Audi range. It’s rather more vertical and squared off, and doesn’t have the sharp angles.
While we didn’t like it at first viewing in Zurich last year, we came to appreciate it after spending a week behind the wheel of one in our home area on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Big news is that Audi Q2 comes with a huge choice of customisation options. Indeed, it’s possible for five million people to buy one unlike any other.
There are 12 body colours. The door mirrors can either match the rest of the body or take a different shade. Front grilles also offers colour choices and can even have a contrasting shade in their surround. Likewise the lower sections of the bumper can be chosen in different colours. The door-sill trims are available in several shapes depending on the Audi Line chosen.
The extended C-pillar design that Audi stylists have called the ‘C-Blade’ can be ordered in a variety of finishes and colours. Even better, they can be removed and replaced with new ones so easily that many owners choose to keep a couple in their garage and swap them to suit different occasions.
Inside, the Audi’s trim is offered in several styles and materials; leather, Alcantara and cloth all come into play. Seats can be in single or two-tone and have different trim designs and choices of stitching. Brushed aluminium is available as an option for all Q2 Lines and is standard on the S line sport package.
The two-zone instrument panel usually has the lower zone colour-coordinated with the seat trim. The centre console and knee pad colours are to buyers’ choices. And it goes on … and on. Great fun, may we suggest you give yourself a couple of spare hours at your favourite Audi dealer to discuss ideas?
Good aerodynamics aren’t easy to achieve in SUV bodies but Audi has managed a low coefficient of drag of just 0.30.
The Audi MMI (Multi Media Interface) system is neatly integrated into the Q2 and is operated through a 7.0-inch tablet-look fixed screen above the centre of the dash area. It’s fast and reasonably easy to use, with high-quality sounds providing excellent entertainment.
Our road test car was powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, with 110 kW and 340 Nm. There is also a 1.4-litre cylinder-on-demand (CoD) unit that produces 110 of power and 250 Nm of torque. The largest turbo-petrol unit, a 2.0 litre unit (with 140 kW / 320 Nm) won’t reach Australia until later in the year.
All Australian imports have a seven-speed, dual-clutch auto. The unit on the 2.0 quattro variants is a new design with faster shifts and smoother takeup at ultra-slow speeds, such as when parking. However, the 1.4-litre is fitted with the older version of the S tronic, at least for the time being.
The 1.4 engine drives only through the front wheels, the 2.0-litre units are connected to all four wheels through Audi’s famed quattro AWD system.
There is good space in the front seats, they’re easy to enter and leave and the driving position is pleasing high, without going to the extremes of a genuine 4WD.
The rear seats are marginal in legroom for adults and some compromises will have to be made with those in the front if tall travellers are on board. Three grownups can sit across the back, but two makes more sense. Audi Q2 isn’t alone in this as most in the small and small-medium segments have the same problems.
Boot space at 405 litres is good and the floor can be set at two levels, to either provide security for smallish objects under it, or for tall cargo. Maximum capacity is 1050 litres with the rear seats down.
Audi is very sports focussed Australia so the local branch has chosen to specify the sports steering wheel to all Q2s downunder.
Engine performance from the 2.0 turbo-diesel we tested showed minimum lag and plenty of grunt once that stage had passed.
Fuel consumption from this modern diesel was impressively low on motorways, generally in the four to six litre range. Around town and when punted along with a bit of spirit it rose to seven to nine litres per hundred kilometres, which is more than acceptable.
Ride comfort is very good and generally quiet, though Aussie coarse-chip can produce the sort of road noise that seems to trouble many German cars.
Handling is competent enough, with high levels of road grip. However this is obviously a small SUV due to its higher centre of gravity. Feel through the steering is too light for our tastes and is on the dead side when initially moving off the straight ahead position.
The Q2’s ground clearance of 148 mm isn’t much higher than that of typical hatches and sedans. We didn’t attempt any off-road running, but it does have very short overhangs so quarto all-wheel-drive Q2s may be able to tackle dirt roads and fire trails in the great Australian bush.
We were surprised to find a somewhat old-fashioned head up display fitted to Audi Q2, however it works well enough and that’s probably what matters.
Audi’s out-there personalisation program is aimed at getting younger people into the showrooms: single, couples and those with young children looking for more than mere transport in their family car.
AT A GLANCE
Q2 1.4-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon: $41,100 (automatic)
Q2 Edition One 1.4-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon: $47,800 (automatic)
Q2 2.0 TDI quattro 2.0-litre turbo-diesel five-door wagon: $47,900 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for driveaway prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Audi Q2 1.4-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.395 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98ROM
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 122 g/km
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4191 mm
Wheelbase: 2587 mm
Width: 1794 mm
Height: 1493 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 1360 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Three years / unlimited km