Audi aims to inject a little more fun into its SUV line-up with this more compact and affordable Q2 model. It's aimed at customers wanting a Nissan Juke-style small Crossover but requiring a little more class and quality. In short, this is a new direction for the Ingolstadt brand.
The Q2 is available with a selection of five different engines. Along with a 116PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI, a four-cylinder 150PS 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit is being offered with the brand's clever 'Cylinder on Demand' system. In addition, there's a 190PS 2.0 TSI powerplant. Two four-cylinder diesel engines are available with 1.6 and 2.0 litres of displacement and outputs of 116PS and 150PS. You have to get one of the 2.0-litre units to get the option of quattro 4WD. As an alternative to the six-speed manual transmission, Audi also offers the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines bar the entry-level 1.0-litre unit and you have to have it with the top 2.0-litre petrol model.
Installed at the rear on the front-wheel drive versions is a semi-independent suspension, while the quattro models have a four-link suspension. Progressive steering is standard in all variants. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements. Adaptive dampers are available as an option, as is the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2.
The Q2 certainly looks distinctive with its 'floating blade' C-pillar and colourful trimming. It's slightly shorter and narrower than an A3 hatch and boasts a complex shape that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the high-mounted Singleframe grille and the large air inlets. In profile, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area.
Practically, the Q2 fulfils the fundamental expectations of an SUV with a high entry, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (405 to 1,050-litres of capacity), yet the driver's seat position is low in relation to the steering wheel as in an Audi saloon. Optional practical solutions are available such as a power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrest with cargo through-loading.
Inside, the standard MMI infotainment screen is positioned high on the instrument panel. The system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the centre tunnel. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is ordered, the user also gets a touchpad on the central control element. In addition, the system can be controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search set-up.
In some ways, you wonder why it took Audi so long to enter the small Crossover market. Yes, it's had its Q3 model in campaigning here, but that car has proved to be a little too pricey to interest the Juke and Captur crowd. This car will still require such people to take a long hard look at their bank balances but it'll certainly be more accessible.
Potential buyers will like the styling, the technology and possibilities for personalisation. The result is a car that will usefully widen Audi's market reach.Click here to find out more about our Audi Q2 range