Q2 - Who Shrunk The Audi SUV?
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
There can be no doubting the popularity of SUVs at the moment. Audi's familiar Q range has been serving up premium offerings in this sector since 2005, when the gargantuan Q7 first rolled down the production line.
Q3 and Q5 models were soon added, offering the same qualities but in smaller packages.
The trend for downsizing shows no sign of abating and Audi has now launched the Q2, which it describes as the first premium compact SUV. They may well be right.
The bold front end styling is unmistakably Audi and looks imposing in the rear view mirror. The roof shape gives the Q2 a coupe-like look and the raised ride height acknowledges SUV intent.
As a nod to a younger audience there are a host of customisation options, most notable of which is the C-pillar blade, configurable in four different colours.
A range of vibrant body hues can also be selected, most striking of which are Ara blue and Vegas yellow.
There is a lot more to choose than just the colour, as there is a choice of five familiar petrol and diesel engines.
Three trim levels are available - SE, Sport and S line. Entry-level SE models will be priced from £20,230 and will boast smart alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen and a multi-function steering wheel. Audi predict that just ten percent of buyers will follow this path.
Most are expected to part with an additional £1,550 for a Sport model and it is easy to see why. Bigger 17-inch alloys fill the wheel arches, whilst Audi's four-mode drive select system is now fitted (auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency & individual are the choices).
Cruise control and light and rain sensors are also standard Sport model features and last, but by no means least, is the MMI Navigation System.
Top of the tree S line models boast even bigger alloys (18-inch), additional exterior styling enhancements including LED lighting, super comfy part leather sports seats and trademark S line leather-clad steering wheel. The Audi salesman will now require an additional £2,250.
In keeping with the premium aspirations, the Q2's interior has a quality feel. Soft-touch materials, beautifully weighted controls and comfortable seating are the order of the day.
Despite the compact dimensions, there is plenty of space inside the Q2. It's an easy car to get in and out of and the low-set driving position equates to a surfeit of headroom. A couple of adults will find ample space in the rear, even behind a taller front seat passenger.
The well shaped boot boasts 405 litres of luggage space (extendable to 1,050 litres by dropping the back seats).
My test car for the week was a petrol-powered 1.4-litre TFSI Sport model, which is expected to be the best selling variant.
The engine revs smoothly and is reasonably hushed even when pushing it towards the red line. On light throttle openings, a message on the dash indicates that the engine has shut down two of its four cylinders for better economy.
It works seamlessly and does seem to be effective as I was rewarded with an overall 41mpg during my time with the car. A gentle 40 mile A-road trip saw an impressive best of 48mpg. CO2 emissions of just 124g/km should be applauded too.
The manual gearbox has a slick action, though I can understand many choosing the super smooth 7-speed S tronic self-shifter (add £1,550).
Expect to cover the 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds.
At cruising speeds the Q2 is pleasantly refined, with wind, road and engine noise all well muted.
On twistier roads, there is fun to be had especially if you have firmed up the adjustable dampers. The standard fit progressive steering also helps, weighting up nicely the faster you go, whilst reducing effort at urban speeds. It's an S3 system and it works well in this more humble setting.
Once upon a time Audi struggled to make its cars ride well on UK roads. No more, as the Q2 has a well judged and generally smooth ride quality. Avoid the larger alloy wheels if comfort is your priority and consider whether or not you wish to add sports suspension to the package.
Audi is confident it has produced the right car for the right time. It is hard to disagree. Car buyers are an increasingly demanding bunch and choosing a smaller car no longer means going without creature comforts and a high specification.
The Q2 offers all the virtues that have seen Audi sales soar in recent years and I am certain that this new diminutive SUV will soon be a common site on our roads.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport
Price £24,400 (£29,125 as tested)
1.4-litre 150PS petrol engine with cylinder on demand tech
6-speed manual gearbox
0-62mph in 8.5 seconds
Combined economy 52.3mpg
Emissions 124g/km CO2
High level of standard equipment
Optional 'Virtual Cockpit' , 'Phone Box' & Head-up display
Tango red metallic paint - £550
Leather front sports seats - £1,300
Driver Assistance Pack - £725
Auto-dimming mirror/rain sensors - £125
LED Headlights -£975
Driver Info System - £150
Comfort Pack - £900
Making Q2 ownership as affordable as possible, Audi has a range of PCP deals on offer:
1. £289 per month over 3 years, deposit £3,511.25 (APR 6.3%)
2. £389 per month over 3 years, deposit £389 (APR 6.3%)
More details from www.audi.co.uk
Q2 - Who Shrunk The Audi SUV?, 1st March 2017, 12:21 PM