Whenever I hear the word “Audi”, I’m transported into an episode of AbFab…“Names, Names, Names Sweety.” When I think ‘Audi’, I think class, all class. And the new Audi baby SUV, the Q2, is a peach.
The neat sports-hatch-SUV is a perfect size with perfect proportions, with a stocky gym-fit look about it.
It has the looks of a sports wagon, but what looks like a rear window between C pillar and hatch is actually solid metal.
It doesn’t seem to adversely effect the visibility, which is just as well.
The “polygon” theme is highlighted by the designer taking a hatchet to the clay model and scything out a chunk along the top of the doors.
Audi says “no one else is doing it”, but I think it looks out of place. It puts sharp edges and corners on a rounded off profile.
The smallest of Audi’s SUV offerings looks to sit high enough off the ground for a little light off-road work, alas the front-wheel-drive petrol 1.4 litre probably wouldn’t lend itself to such aspirations.
There is an all-wheel drive quattro version, but costs many extra shekels.
Edition #1, a launch model special edition, has black highlights, and a great looking set of black 5 spoke alloys.
It is shamelessly aimed at the younger buyers with an eye for quality. The low-ish buy-in price may well just get there.
The rear ¾ view reminded me of a Volkswagen Polo, which is not a bad thing, merely an observation.
Premium, without a doubt. The switches and knobs feel good to touch. They’re all within easy reach, but lack the luxury feel of the more expensive models.
Surfaces, fabrics, leather and plastics, feel similarly premium with the exception of the dashboard plastic around the glove box and steering column areas.
The design package adds unique lighting along the top of the glove box, and the sides of the console.
A white light glows eerily from within, making a pattern on the polygonal surfacing. It is extremely effective, especially at night.
Our car didn’t come with the “virtual dash”, so instead of the cool 12” LCD driver’s screen, made do with conventional instruments.
Still very functional, the dash lacks the wow-factor I expect.
The centre stack is crammed full of features, including Apple CarPlay. Once connected to the USB, the screen reflects iPhone apps including messaging, music, and maps.
You can handle these functions handsfree using “hey Siri”, or with the Voice Control button.
The floating tablet (which no longer lowers into the dash when not in use) is not a touch screen, which is an oversight making the control centre the only way to access some functions.
The control centre on the console between the front seats has a large dial, and several switches.
You quickly get used to their function, but the large dial does not have the track-pad as standard.
Some models allow you to write the letters as you would on a laptop pad. We found input using the rotary knob far too fiddly and opted for Apple Maps via CarPlay using voice control instead.
The audio volume on/off switch is on the left-hand side and is obscured by the gear lever when in park. It’s a hangover from the left to right hand conversion no doubt.
Cup holders and a nifty adjustable arm rest round off the front seat conveniences.
The USB socket in the Audi SUV is easy to reach, and there is a spot to rest your phone while plugged in to stop it from rattling about the cabin.
I liked the sculptured seats too. They were extremely comfortable, and there was plenty of room even when a couple of teenage girls were riding in the pauper’s seats in back.
Four eye-ball vents allow perfect placement of airflow, and add a whisper of aircraft design to the cockpit.
The rear seats fold flat making the cargo hold incredibly useful.
The 2018 Audi Q2 Edition #1 comes with Audi Pre-sense including AEB (autonomous emergency braking), 7 airbags, reverse camera, Apple CarPlay, auto wipers and lights, Climate control, and 18” alloys.
The really cool stuff is an optional extra such as:
- Adaptive cruise
- Auto parking
- Virtual cockpit
- Active lane assist
- Audi Drive Select
- Smart entry/start
Audi has grouped specs in to packs and my picks are:
- Tech Pack: virtual Dash (12.3” driver’s LCD”, MMI plus, enhanced steering wheel controls
- Assistance Pack: Adaptive cruise, Lance assist, side assist, high beam assist, hill hold assist, park assist
Drive and Engine
The Euro6 1.4 turbo petrol with 110kw/250Nm, is the same unit in other Audi, Volkswagen, and Skoda cars.
Likewise, the seven-speed DSG double-clutch automatic, driving through the front wheels.
Fuel usage is a decent (claimed) 5.9L/100, and the 0-100 is 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 212kph. This is helped by a kerb weight of a mere 1,280kg, and the Audi and can tow up to 1,700kg.
It is incredibly smooth, but the familiar delay as the turbo spools up takes a bit of getting used to.
The DSG has quick changes and includes a sports mode. There is no driving mode selection for the chassis, so the DSG benefits from being put in S which holds gears longer.
Start/stop can be deactivated, and stops working if there is more than a 10° difference between the internal and external temperatures.
Macpherson struts at the front and a torsion beam rear end deliver an incredibly smooth ride over most surfaces.
Top models get Audi’s quattro system, but our front-wheel drive test car had a little torque steering under heavy acceleration.
I’m not enraptured with torsion beam suspension, preferring multi-link for its sophistication and handling instead. Having said that, Q2 manages enthusiastic driving with aplomb.
Spirited driving invokes a little manageable understeer as the body shifts in cornering.
The steering is a joy for most drivers, but it has a slightly aloof feel about it.
The car goes where it is pointed but electronic steering has removed much of the road feel.
I’m OK with that.
The only time Audi Q2 got a trifle choppy was on the most suspect of road surfaces. The rest of the time it was a joy.
The 2018 Audi Q2 range comes with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating and standard features across the range include front, side and head protecting airbags, along with a knee airbag for driver.
Autonomous Emergency Braking is also a standard fitment.
While the Edition #1 adds a blind-spot sensor, front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.
- Great looks
- Smooth engine/transmission
- Interior space
Not So Good Bits
- Most tech is an option
- Some cheap plastic
SUVs have overtaken passenger cars, and most car makers have decided going after that market will give them a foothold in future sales.
It seems to be paying off by feeding a need which has emerged as the preferred platform for a majority of buyers.
Q2 was designed as a city car and that is what it is best at. However, with 2 up, it would happily hum down the highway as far as you’d ever want to go.
Clever design makes the cabin feel spacious, but despite Audi’s price claims, Q2 remains expensive considering the good stuff comes as optional extras.
I like the looks, and love the interior, but I’d like more standard gear included.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Audi Q2 Edition #1
- Engine: 1.4 litre TFSI turbo-petrol producing 110kW/250Nm
- Transmission: Seven-speed DSG auto
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Germany
- Price: from $47,800