Q & A SESSION
For those seeking a practical little wagon, Audi’s compact crossover is the highrise hatch answer
HMMM. This could be tricky. One of the bosses is looking for a new car and asks about the Audi Q2.
He’s after compact SUV himself, golf clubs a mountain bike. He has already decided the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5 are great cars but too big. I think they could be just right for him but there is something else — to honest, they’re not his style.
So the Q2 fits the bill. I’m wondering what point him towards for a driving comparison.
The Mini Countryman is obvious, though not his style. Benz’s GLA is another possibility but, he says, the tail too cramped for bike and it’s thousands more starters.
The likes of Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V odd-looking new Toyota C-HR don’t have the right badge for a boss.
Q2 also makes things difficult because it’s very small and, despite Audi emphasising its SUV credentials, as much of an I am a mountain climber.
It’s far more of crossover, riding (a little) higher but with semi-wagon body and only front-wheel drive on the starter car with 1.4-litre turbo.
There is a 2.0-litre turbo diesel all-wheel but that’s still not rock crawler. The Q2 more like jacked-up A3 hatch than one of Audi’s more-serious SUVs, from the Q3 up to the Q7.
price is solid $41,100 but it’s easy go a lot higher with various option packages.
The test car, although it starts as a basic 1.4 TFSI S Tronic, comes in at $44,000
the addition of 17-inch alloys, 40-20-40 splitfolding rear seat, Assistance package — adaptive cruise control, active lane assist and more the interior lighting package that brings (truly) illuminated vanity mirrors and reading lights for all passenger places. As go, most other brands add those as standard equipment.
But the Q2 is a real looker and there are claimed five million colour-and-trim combinations, including the bright yellow favoured by boss if he can get blacked-out wheels from costlier turbo diesel car that starts $47,900.
ON THE ROAD
As the Q2 is rolling out of the garage comes news that it’s gained five-star ANCAP target. That’s no surprise for Audi, latest Q5 having achieved same safety ranking at the time — delivering what’s expected German brand. But I’m a bit underwhelmed with cabin on Q2 for the test drive. The chromed trim rings around the air vents, a long-time Audi signature, are missing and there is lots of drab hard plastic. It’s soft when it’s close to driver but not so good it’s out sight.
The seats comfy the dashboard is clear, as is Audi’s custom, with Apple Carplay connectivity but missing digital cockpit display that I’ve come to really love in other Audis because it puts more information directly ahead of the driver.
On driving front, the Q2 gets along well and I really like
cylinder deactivation that cuts spark to two plugs in lowdemand running.
It’s seamless, effective contributes claimed economy of 5.3L/100km that I can easily beat freeway and open country driving.
The car is a bit sluggish from the lights, so typical Volkswagen Group cars with dual-clutch gearboxes (although Audi calls its version S Tronic) — but otherwise is keen to please on upshifts and with plenty of punch if you take manual control the baby turbo’s transmission.
The ride, though, noisy floppy. Q2 sits higher and, despite a wide track, bounces through bumpy corners in a way I have definitely not found GLA or Countryman.
There is also plenty of road noise from the run-flat tyres on coarse bitumen.
But, to be honest, most Q2 buyers are not choosing it as an SUV or sporty hatch. And drives just fine for them.
Not so good is the cramped access through rear doors and, if you slide front seats for comfortable legroom, pinched foot space in rear.
But Audi says there 405 L of boot and the back fold flat, with excellent flexibility the optional 4020-40 folding package.
The boss says yes to the Q2 but there’s more. is right answer for millennials (and young at heart) who want a practical, classy, good-looking crossover and not just another hulking SUV.
It’s cheap when you get it the way want, though the value is reasonable. To compensate, it has impressive safety and a badge that works for prestige buyers.
DEALER: Audi Centre Geelong PHONE: 5221 3488 WEB: audicentregeelong.com.au