The popularity of crossovers and SUVs means car makers are racing to fill every niche possible, and the Audi Q2 is the latest crossover from the German maker.
The Q2 is the smallest crossover Audi makes, although it’s one of the larger cars in the class. It’s based on the VW Group MQB platform, as used on the VW Tiguan and a number of hatchbacks, and it’s roughly the same size as an Audi A3. The big differences are the Q2’s raised ride height and chunkier styling.
There are familiar Audi design cues, such as the vast grille and angular headlights, while the Q2 has a mix of straight edges and curves that give it a distinctive look. The large wheelarch openings are pure SUV, although smaller wheel designs can look a little lost in there.
Further back, the C-pillars come in black or silver – a personalisation option similar to what you can get on the Audi A1. At the very rear, the Q2 looks similar to a VW Polo, thanks to its square lights and a number plate set low on the tailgate and an expanse of sheet metal above it.
Inside, the Audi Q2 will be familiar to any Audi driver. The MMI controller behind the gearlever is from the A3 and is easy to use, although it’s surprising that the sat-nav screen sits fixed to the top of the dashboard. In the A1 you can fold it own manually, while the A3’s screen pops up out of the dash.
Still, there are plenty of neat touches in the cabin, such as the rotary air vents and bank of toggle switches on the centre console, while a wide range of seat adjustment means it’s easy to get comfortable. You get a good view of the road, and that raised driving position helps visibility.
Driving the Audi Q2
I drove the Audi Q2 1.6 TDI Sport with six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. On the road, the Q2 is a decent performer. The first thing that strikes you is how quick and direct the steering is. It’s a common feature of modern Audis, and it means the Q2 turns in keenly, and gives the car an agile feel.
Sport models have a firmer suspension set-up, and this means there’s plenty of grip in corners. The Q2 really does feel like a low-slung hatchback on the road, as there’s virtually no body roll and direction changes are handled with ease. But the trade-off with this is a firm ride over bumps and potholes which can irritate.
The 1.6 TDI diesel sounds a bit gruff, but with maximum torque available from as low as 1,500rpm, you don’t need to rev it hard to make progress. Performance is adequate, while the six-speed gearbox has a positive shift that moves smoothly between gears.
As the Audi Q2 is a relatively large crossover, it’s got a decent 405-litre boot. The floor is flush with the boot lip, but there’s no under-floor storage, just a well for a spare wheel or optional Bose subwoofer. At least the back seats fold flat, and they split 40:60, too.
Back seat space is on a par with an A3, although access to the Q2 is better thanks to its raised ride height. Up front, there are decent door bins, a tray ahead of the gearlever, an armrest bin and a good glovebox.
As always, Audi offers a long list of options to upgrade the Q2. Highlights include Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which upgrades the dash to a full-colour TFT display. Quattro 4WD is only available with the 2.0 TDI diesel and S tronic gearbox that’s coming later in the year, but Audi’s twin-clutch auto is offered across the range.
At launch, you can have the 1.6 TDI 116PS diesel or Audi’s great 1.4 TFSI 150PS Cylinder On Demand turbo petrol. Fuel economy ranges from 64.2mpg for the most efficient diesel to 49.6mpg for the 1.4 petrol in top-spec Edition 1 guise with the S tronic gearbox. Prices range from just over £22,000 to almost £35,ooo for the flaghsip Edition 1 special edition, although ths car gets lots of kit.
The Audi Q2 brings the quality the German firm is famous for to the small crossover class, and it delivers a decent drive, too. The looks are a little awkward from some angles, but the 1.6 TDI diesel is responsive, and the chassis is sharp.
The firm suspension delivers grip at the expense of comfort, but it’s not as firm as Audis of old, while decent cabin space means it’ll be a practical family car. It can get expensive if you load the Q2 up with options, but on the whole it’s a worthy addition to the small crossover class.