AUDI Q2 REVIEW

The Q2 is the entry-level model into the Audi’s five-model SUV range sitting below the Q3, Q5, Q7 and Q8. Between them they account for around 80 per cent of the brand’s total Australian sales.

First released in late 2017, and upgraded in February 2021, the Q2 now comes in two variants: 1.5-litre 35 TFSI and 2.0-litre quattro 40 TFSI. At the same time a new high-performance SQ2 was added and which will justify a separate review down the track.

Priced at $43,600 plus on-roads, the 35 TFSI has LED headlights, contrasting bumpers and C-pillar, leather-appointed seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, digital driver information display as well as Audi smartphone interface and phone box light wireless charging among its equipment highlights.

For an extra $7000 the 40 TFSI quattro adds new Audi Sport 18-inch alloy wheels, Audi drive select, a powered tailgate, sport front seats, auto-dimming interior mirror, and of course, all-wheel drive.

STYLING
As with most vehicles in the booming compact SUV segment the Q2 treads that very fine line of distinction between hatchback and SUV.

Q2 is fairly conservative in its looks when compared with larger vehicles in the Audi range. Because of its small dimensions it has a boxier, less coupe-like profile than the others.

The large single frame grille with its four intersecting ring badge immediately identifies it as an Audi. The 2021 upgrade gets a more chiseled look that really suits it as do the new pentagonal shape to the front (dummy) air inlets and rear bumper trim.

Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard across the range with different designs.

An optional Style Package includes 19-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels; matrix LED headlights; extended black exterior and a full body paint finish in the 35 TFSI. It adds $3490 to the price of the 35 TFSI and $2690 to the 40 TFSI.

The Q2 range is available in 11 exterior colours and two interior colour combinations, depending on the model.

The C-pillar in the Q2, called the ‘C-Blade’, can be ordered in a variety of interchangeable finishes and colours.

All models get LED headlights.

INTERIOR
The interior is neat and functional with the premium feel that we’ve come to expect from Audi. The dash is simple and uncluttered with the controls for the dual-zone climate control in the centre. The front air vents are round and can be swiveled for optimum coverage.

The rear doors are large and so make entry easier. There’s good headroom thanks to the relatively flat roofline but legroom will be very tight for taller occupants. There is no centre armrest or rear air vents.

Storage space in the front is limited with the large infotainment knob ensuring there’s nowhere to leave keys, phones, wallets etc meaning that the two cupholders get used at the bottom of the dashboard.

Boot capacity in the 40 TFSI is a moderate 355 litres (405 in the 2WD 35 TFSI). The boot floor can be set at two levels, to either provide security for smallish objects under it, or for tall cargo. There is no spare wheel of any size, with a puncture repair kit the only emergency option.

ENGINES & TRANSMISSIONS
The 1.5-litre engine in the 35 TFSI is new and replaces the previous 1.4-litre unit albeit with the same outputs of 110 kW and 250 Nm but is more refined, quieter and with slightly better fuel consumption. As before it comes with a Cylinder-on-Demand (CoD) function that can shut down two of its four cylinders imperceptibly at low throttle load and engine speeds and helps reduce official fuel consumption to just 5.2 L/100km.

The four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine in the 40 TFSI carries over from the previous model. It puts out 140 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque at 1450 rpm.

Both engines are mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic.

INFOTAINMENT
The Audi MMI (Multi Media Interface) system is displayed via a new 8.3-inch tablet-style screen above the centre of the dashboard. The quality of the graphics is excellent and the system itself is easy enough to operate once you get used to the rotary dial control which we still prefer over the more distracting touchscreens which are very much the norm nowadays.

There is Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Audi connect technology with WiFi hotspot and Google services.

SAFETY
Audi Q2 gets a five-star rating from both Euro NCAP and ANCAP with standard features that include six airbags; electronic stability program with enhanced ABS brakes; blind spot monitoring; Audi’s pre-sense city with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection; tyre pressure warning; IsoFix child-seat mounts; plus automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.

The SQ2 adds Audi pre-sense basic which initiates protection measures when it senses an imminent collision including tensioning of the front seat belts, activation of hazard warning lights and closing of the windows and sunroof.

The Premium Package is a $3050 option in the Q2 35 TFSI, $2950 in the 40 TFSI and standard in the SQ2. Among other features it includes adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go; emergency assist; active lane assist; park assist; rollover sensor; and hill hold.

DRIVING
Our road test vehicle was the Audi Q2 40 TFSI quattro with its 140 kW and 320 Nm outputs. It sits neatly between the entry-level 110 kW / 250 Nm 35 FWD TFSI and the 221 kW / 400 Nm quattro SQ2.

Entry is a bit awkward for taller drivers and, once seated, we found it necessary to drop the driver’s seat to its lowest setting to get comfortable thus losing the extra driving height that makes SUVs popular.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive. Rather oddly the Q2 40 doesn’t come with powered seat adjustment, yet it does get a powered tailgate.

Rear seat legroom is borderline for adults and some compromises will have to be made with those in the front if tall travellers are on board. Three adults can sit across the back, but, as is the norm in cars of this size, two and a child makes more sense.

Around town the Q2 was sharp and maneuverable. It cruised effortlessly on the motorway but out onto our local country roads was where it came into its own. Although steering is relatively light it’s nicely weighted and combined with the quattro AWD system provides an engaging, dynamic drive.

Ride comfort is very good and the interior is generally quiet.

There’s plenty of road grip and the car is more assured and stable in corners than most of its similarly-sized 2WD SUV rivals.

At a claimed 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres the AWD 40 TFSI is a fair bit thirstier than the 5.2 L/100 km FWD 35 TFSI no doubt helped along by its Cylinder-on-Demand system. We averaged just on 8.0 L/100km during our week-long test.

SUMMING UP
Audi Q2 is a stylish compact SUV at a reasonable price (for a premium car, that is). It’s easy to drive and park in its urban natural habitat but, especially in AWD mode, can provide plenty of driving enjoyment in more challenging rural conditions.

Audi’s warranty remains at the lower end of the scale with three years but unlimited distance.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Q2 35 TFSI 1.5-litre turbo-petrol FWD five-door wagon: $43,600 (automatic)
Q2 40 TFSI quattro 2.0-litre turbo-petrol AWD five-door wagon: $50,600 (automatic)
SQ2 TFSI quattro 2.0-litre turbo-petrol AWD five-door wagon: $65,300 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for driveaway prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi Q2 40 TFSI quattro 2.0-litre turbo-petrol AWD five-door wagon)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.984 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 140 kW @ 4200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 320 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98ROM
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 158 g/km

DRIVELINE:
Seven-speed S-tronic automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4191 mm
Wheelbase: 2587 mm
Width: 1794 mm
Height: 1498 mm
Turning Circle: 11.1 metres
Kerb Mass: 1455 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited km

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