AUDI'S first compact SUV lands in Oz to tackle the premium segment.
WHAT IS IT?
A luxury small SUV with personality, and an angular new look. Audi's first Q2 SUV is now in Australia with petrol and diesel engines and the same level of fit and finish that the brand’s more expensive models have become known for.
WHY WE’RE TESTING IT
A local launch in Victoria offered us the first chance to experience the Australian-delivered Q2 on local roads.
THE WHEELS VERDICT
The Audi Q2 is a youthful and friendly small SUV with convincingly premium spec and style. It looks good from the outside, functions well and feels good inside and offers two efficient, effective engine choices.
PLUS: Styling; packaging; efficiency; equipment
MINUS: Almost Q3 money but less practical; road noise
THE WHEELS REVIEW
AN ONSLAUGHT of SUVs from Ingolstadt is imminent. Audi is throwing the kitchen sink at growing its popular family of Q-models, and the compact Audi Q2 is the first of the new breed to lob in Oz.
It arrives with a fresh, customisable look and ramped-up personality, built upon yet another interpretation of the VW Group’s proven MQB platform. The angular styling of Audi’s new Polygonal design language mixes with up-to-the-minute driver assistance and convenience technology in a conscious play by the luxury carmaker to attract a younger generation of buyers to its showrooms.
Logically, Q2 slots beneath Audi Q3 in the range and is shorter by 200mm, though most of that is in the overhangs. The two models have wheelbases just 5mm apart, meaning the Q2’s wheels have been pushed further toward each corner to leave enough cabin space for adults to sit in the back. Boot space is on the small side at 405L (more than 50L smaller than Q3), though Audi says Q2 is aimed at young couples rather than small families.
Two model variants are available at launch, starting from $41,100 for Q2 Design – only $1800 less than the cheapest Audi Q3 – powered by a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder driving the front wheels.
Second is Q2 Sport, featuring a 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine and quattro all-wheel drive, at a price of $47,900.
Both models use a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and include autonomous emergency braking, parking sensors and rear view camera, smartphone interface, and Audi’s MMI navigation system. Q2 Sport gets an electric tailgate, sports seats, lane keep assist, larger alloy wheels and premium alloy interior finish on top.
Option packs unlock further flavour (and cost) including a high-res digital dashboard, LED headlights, ambient lighting, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control and S line styling packages.
A range-topping 2.0-litre petrol engine model with quattro all-wheel drive will be added to the Q2 line-up mid-year. In the meantime it’s the base 1.4 petrol that’s sweetest of the bunch. It’s a refined and perky little mill that’s able to imperceptibly shut off two of its cylinders for fuel saving, managing economy of a mere 5.3L/100km.
In front-drive guise the base Q2 has only a torsion beam rear end, whereas the quattro diesel gets a multi-link setup. Regardless, throw the 1.4 around and it hangs on willingly. Less weight over the front end means the base Q2 is less susceptible to understeer. Its electromechanical steering is natural and has enough feel to encourage sporty manoeuvring. It’s a more involving drive than the small SUV average.
That sports edge to the Q2’s character shows through in its firm ride. The chubbier 17-inch wheel and tyre package of the base car is noticeably softer over lumps and bumps than the largest 19-inch rollers, which communicate more of the fussy dampening effort. Road noise is a concern, though wind noise is hushed. Audi’s reputation for impeccable interior finish and tactile touch points is upheld by the Q2’s TT-inspired insides.
Audi’s far from fully-grown Q-family contributed more than 40% of the brand’s Aussie sales in 2016. With Q2’s convincing package now on the scene, and more models on the way, expect that number to be a lot bigger by the end of play this year.
Model: Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S-tronic
Engine: 1395cc in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo
Max power: 110kW @ 5000-6000rpm
Max torque: 250Nm @ 1500-3500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h: 8.5sec (claimed)
Fuel economy: 5.3L/100km
On sale: Now