Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - Bill Buys

THERE'S a price to pay for any­thing bear­ing the ti­tle of pres­tige: a Bic, for in­stance, does not com­mand the same re­spect as a Mon­te­grappa, a Cross or a Mont Blanc pen.

In car­world, the Mon­te­grappa of city SUVS is the Audi Q2.

It's a se­ri­ously stylish num­ber bristling with hi-tech, es­pe­cially so when loaded with some of its ex­ten­sive op­tions.

Our test Q2 started at $41,100, which might seem a bit pricey for a com­pact, but hey, it's the one with the four-ringed badge, the one to turn your neigh­bours green with envy.

Q2s come in 1.4 and 2.0-litre mod­els, the lat­ter about $7000 more than the 1.4 we're re­view­ing.

Both have seven-speed S-tronic du­al­clutch au­to­matic transmission as stan­dard and the 1.4-litre fea­tures fuel-sav­ing Cylin­der-on-de­mand tech­nol­ogy that shuts down two of the four cylin­ders un­der light throt­tle loads.

It 's a well-proven en­gine, also used in the A3, that de­vel­ops 110kw/250nm and re­turns an av­er­age 5.3litres/100km.

Other stan­dard items in­clude au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing (AEB), sat­nav, Blue­tooth and smart­phone in­ter­face, voice con­trol and park­ing sys­tem plus rear view cam­era.

There's also au­to­matic air­con­di­tion­ing with dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, leather-ap­pointed seats, auto-dim­ming in­te­rior mir- ror and 17-inch al­loy wheels.

Pretty im­pres­sive.

But our car had $10,000 worth of cher­ry­tops in an 'as­sis­tance pack­age' and a 'tech­nik pack­age', plus a panoramic tinted glass roof, fold­ing rear seats with ar­rest, a 10speaker 6-chan­nel 180W amp Audi sound sys­tem and dif­fer­ent de­sign al­loys with 215/55 tyres.

The as­sist stuff has adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane, side, high beam, hill-hold and park as­sist, and a rollover sen­sor, and the tech­niks fea­tured the de­light­ful con­fig­urable 'vir­tual cock­pit' dash with a 12.3inch colour dis­play, MMI nav­i­ga­tion-plus and a flat-bot­tomed sport steer­ing wheel with shift pad­dles.

LED lights, brushed alu­minium in­lays and a few other cos­met­ics com­pleted the pic­ture.

The car's in­te­rior is beau­ti­fully ap­pointed and the seat­ing, front and rear, gives such good com­fort and vis­i­bil­ity that it would be a great long-dis­tance tourer.

As for lug­gage space, there are 405 litres avail­able with all seats up or a mas­sive 1050 with the rear seats folded flat.

The 1.4litre petrol turbo en­gine and smooth seven-speed auto are well-matched and do their work in an un­ob­tru­sive way, as be­fits a Euro thor­ough­bred.

It’s a five-star rater in ev­ery de­part­ment.

Ver­dict: A thor­oughly pleas­ant pres­tige car that is one of the least ex­pen­sive ways of get­ting a four-ringer in your drive­way.

Pres­ti­gious com­pact: Audi's Q2.

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