Audi’s latest Q-car downsizes a successful formula – but does it offer enough for the money?
Audi has entered the small SUV market, taking the formula that’s worked so well for its Q7, Q5 and Q3, and decanting it into a more compact package. Its new Q2 faces squarely up to the likes of the Seat Ateca and BMW X1, and targets the young, style-conscious market. Does it have a premium feel to go with its premium price and image?
We were surprised to discover that its 148bhp petrol turbo and six-speed manual gearbox gave our Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport a less sprightly feel than we expected. It’s not exactly zappy in town, even when carrying no extra passengers or luggage, and it belies its claimed 8.4-second 0-60mph time.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport
Engine: 1.4-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Top speed: 131mph
Fuel economy: 54.3mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 124g/km
At least the Audi’s dynamics will appeal to its target youth market, thanks to the MQB platform’s agile responses, well controlled flex and lack of roll in fast corners. A hatch-like ride disguises the Q2’s jacked-up height fairly well, and the ride is very good in the main.
The excellent cabin design, fit and finish are typical of Audi, and there’s more space than the relatively compact exterior dimensions would lead you to expect. Four adults will comfortably fit inside, along with their luggage in the 405-litre boot – which is bigger than in the larger A3.
It’s all impressive stuff, but a major spanner in the works comes in the shape of the Q2’s Ateca cousin. The newly launched Seat has been wowing the SUV marketplace, and it comes with many standard-fit extras that the Audi lacks, for a much cheaper price. Label lovers will pick the Q2, savvy buyers may well go for its VW Group stablemate instead. Which are you?