So, how does the new Q2 defend Audi’s pioneering entry SUV honour?
It may not have existed five years ago, but the entry ’SUV’ market is a very busy place these days. Packed with everything from this Audi Q2 through its cousin VW T-Cross, the sexy Peugeot 2008 to exotica in this market, the Seat Arona and Skoda Kamiq. And on to the Mini Countryman and VW T-Roc, Renault Captur and Hyundai Kona, there certainly is something for everyone. That list, by the way, is the reverse order of the European top-ten sellers in the niche.
THE REAL ENTRY SUV DEAL
There’s very good reason for said popularity — all of the above remind the carmakers and us, what we were missing all those years. Perfect for the modular family, they all have adequate space, practicality and versatility. And yet they’re still fun enough to drive And sexy. The real deal, as they say…
But while they’re basically all new, some of the pioneers are entering their second generation. Tempus fugit! Leading that charge, Audi unleashed the second generation Q2 earlier in the month.
While some of us don’t see it as the best looking compact SUV, not all concur. Others say the new Q2 looks quite the part. 17 millimetres longer than before, it retains its original 2.6 metre wheelbase, 1.8 m width and 1.5 m height. But Ingolstadt had its chisel and a polygon template out to hammer out an even more angular look. Octagonal central and pentagonal side grilles make for a lower, wider stance. And they tell us that it has record low drag coefficient for the segment.
THOSE LIGHTS ARE THE KICKER
Our Manhattan grey Advanced Line tester sported a R36K set of machine faced black Audi Sport 7J by 18-inch wheels wrapped in 215/50 Conti EcoContacts. The real kicker is the seventeen grand intelligent Matrix LED headlamp option. Our Q2 not only lit the road brightly, but it also doesn’t blind oncoming nighttime traffic. The 10-diode DRLs look the part and seven more LEDs make those dynamic indicators and the little light show happen, every time you lock or unlock your Q2.
Step inside to a typically Audi quality cabin. The index fabric clad front pews are comfortably elevated as Audi promises. Q2’s soft touch dash incorporates a clear infotainment screen and jet vents. Ours had good old analog dials with mechanical needles sweeping over their faces and colour display driver information. But you can get a 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit for another thirty grand or so.
The chunky leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel runs the music interface, sound system show and more, while Q2 packs automatic air-conditioning, cruise control and a rear parking aid. There really is enough room for five passengers in there, while the 405 litre boot expands to 1,050 litres with the rear seat backs folded down. Ours had the handy optional power auto opening and closing tailgate and a storage and luggage compartment package with two rear USBs too.
TRUSTY TURBO 1400 POWER
Powered by VAG’s now trusty 110 kW 250 Nm ‘Turbocharged Fuel Stratified’ direct petrol injected 1.4-litre four pot turning an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox, our tests were as always a fair bit quicker than Audi’s claimed 8.8-second trot to 100 km/h. And we’ll go with that claimed 213 km/h top end. We also found that 6.1 litre per hundred economy claim a gimme, in part of course thanks to its regenerative braking start-stop system.
The front-wheel drive Q2 comes in typical tried and trusted VW Group MacPherson strut wishbone front and twist-beam rear suspension (just like our race-winning ’86 Jetta). We liked it’s progressive steering that becomes ever sharper the further you turn the wheel. Manoeuvrable in town and easy to park, its alter ego delivers decent handling and road holding in the twisty stuff. And its fine on the gravel too, with 200 mm ground clearance and an integrated ESC off-road mode.
But it can be a bit noisy and generates an annoying wallowy bass noise on bumpy roads at slow speeds. Very easy to drive though, the Audi Q2 35 TFSI is sufficiently powerful and fuel efficient. It’s reasonably priced too, but just mind the option boxes as you tick, those extras can quickly take it out of context. And don’t forget all the other players in this segment.
EDGY, PRACTICAL, VERSATILE & FUN
Still, the edgy new Audi entry SUV is practical, versatile and fun; performance is good, it has a comfortable ride and that sturdy interior is a great space to spend your driving time. — Giordano & Michele Lupini
Images — Giordano Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Audi Q2 35 TFSI Advanced Line Engine: 110 kW 250 Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol I4 Drive: 8-speed automatic FWD TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 3.78 sec 0-100 km/h: 8.26 sec 0-120 km/h: 11.089 sec 0-160 km/h: 23.23 sec 400m: 16.9 sec @ 140 km/h 80-120 km/h: 6.11 sec 120-160 km/h: 11.13 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 213 km/h Fuel: 6.1 l/100 km CO2: 140 g/km Warranty/Service: 1y unl./5y 100K km LIST PRICE: R567K RATED: 8