Audi muscles into compact SUV territory with the refined Q2, and it won’t cost you the earth.
THOSE of you in the market for a compact SUV with a budget up to $50,000 might well think prestige European nameplate may be out reach, or will limit your choice to skinny specification sheet little bang buck.
Audi would beg to differ, and the arrival of the new Q2 sends a clear, value-packed message potential buyers that it is game-on in hotly contested segment with a refined offering that puts premium brand well within reach — the entry level Q2 CoD Design can be had for less than $46,000 driveaway before you go ticking options. The SUV is available in two specifications, the 1.4 litre turbo petrol front wheel drive and 2.1 diesel quattro sport — we are test driving the former, fitted with the comfort package. Externally Q2 features what
Audi says is a neat polygonal design and uses “sculpted geometric shapes for a stunning interplay of lines’’ — in layman’s terms this equates to purposeful, powerful, elevated stance that, if you crouch down beside the car to take it all in, will leave fairly impressed. Similarly, may have smash-repairer quaking in his or her boots, such are tricks those lines play on the eye. It’s very impressive.
From elevated driving position and wellplanned but not overly complicated layout, it is a pleasure to be in charge in the Q2 — the beautiful analogue dials are crisp easy to read, combined with a digital speed indicator in between.
Heating and cooling controls laid out within easy reach smart switchgear for heated seats, enabling disengaging the engine-stop start function.
Brushed silver highlights break up the black trim — they have been used sparingly and add to premium feel inside. Front seats are excellent, luxurious and, in our test car, heated, which is part of comfort package, also adds convenience key for full keyless entry and start, electrically adjustable lumbar support, extra storage nets, heated mirrors more. Standard kit includes a USB port in front of the automatic shifter with 12V socket and a secondary port inside the centre armrest with auxiliary input. Do not bother looking for CD player Q2 — that’s taken care Audi’s Multi Media Interface, which is Apple Car Play equipped and runs through the seveninch media screen. Technology is on tap everywhere, starting with adaptive cruise controlled braking to keep you your car a safe distance from one in front without the need to touch pedals, autonomous emergency and pedestrian detection, electronic stabilisation control, wheel selective torque brake assist and more. Throw in autowipers and lights, front rear parking sensors, view camera, lane keeper, blind spot warning indicators and you have a very safe car, indeed.
Audi’s brilliant virtual-cockpit can be ordered as an option, but I found the analogue gauges satellite-navigation through dash-mounted screen to an excellent combination.
Rear seat room is good without being monstrous (this a compact SUV after all) and boot-space better than expected thanks to rearwheel overhang and adjustable-floor plate so you can manually raise lower the depth in the hatch depending on size of your load.
Recessed ports in the hatch will accommodate golf clubs transversely without
need to lower rear seats — another plus.
The Q2 makes another compelling argument to dispense with my much-loved manual transmission thanks to its silky sevenspeed dual-clutch S-tronic automatic, which is smoother than the proverbial and loads of fun drive using paddle-shifters. Mated 1.4 turbocharged 110kW engine (which features cylinder-on-demand technology), Audi feels racy but always refined, and the front wheel drive will gallop from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds. Combined fuel cycle use 1.4 petrol is a miserly 5.3 litres/100km.
Dynamically, class-act with precise and variable but well-weighted steering characteristics that reminded me of the sharpness fun you would find when driving a go-kart, without, of course, lumps and bumps and noise. It’s an Audi, never rowdy.
It’s a great package with great driverfeedback seriously puts the “sport’’ into SUV.
The Q2 gets 17-inch alloy wheels and lowprofile 215/55 rubber.
Options include Style package, S-line sport package, and Tecknik package depending on how far (and how much) you want to personalise your Q2.
Audi Centre Geelong sales executive Johnny Luxton says the car is introducing a new brace of customers to brand.
“The Q2 attracts lot of first-time Audi buyers — it’s unlike other Audis in terms of looks,’’ said.
“It’s a bit edgy. The car appeals to a younger demographic because of its sharp lines, big front grille and new technology.
“However, we have had lot customers who are retirees who find it very practical
of its size, ride height and fuel efficiency. Standard equipment includes navigation, leather, rear parking camera.’’
Audi has delivered an impressive mid-size SUV that brings comfort class-leading dynamics with aggressive and calculated push into the sub-$50,000 bracket.
With its suite of safety features technology, Q2 will make the compact SUV sale battle even more competitive.
And any buyers looking for a than a shopping trolley on wheels certainly have this one their list.
“The Q2 attracts a lot of first-time Audi buyers — it’s unlike other Audis in terms of looks.” AUDI CENTRE GEELONG SALES EXECUTIVE JOHNNY LUXTON