Bold styling (for Audi), should be a doddle to live with
Few benefits over an A3, on big wheels the ride is atrocious
What is it?
This is Audi’s entry-level SUV, the Q2. On sale since 2016, with a light facelift in 2020, the Q2 is an oddity for Audi – and one that won’t be replaced when it finally goes off sale, which the company admitted in 2022.
It was intended for all those lifestyle people who like to do things like windsurfing or skydiving, but in reality is bought by small families who have been tricked into thinking that something with SUV pretensions is bigger than it really is.
Is it not as big as you’d think?
It’s chunkier than an Audi A1 or A3, but in reality it’s a little further from the ground and not much else. So you’re paying for the aesthetic rather than a looming presence over other road users. The Q3 and Q5 resemble what we’ve now come to know as ‘SUVs’; we’d argue the Q2’s a little too meek in stature to fully qualify. Think of it as an A1.5 Allroad.
Looks a bit different to other Audis, doesn’t it?
This is probably the black sheep in the company line-up – opinion might be divided on its blocky looks, but if nothing else at least it stands out from some of the company’s more cookie cutter designs. There’s a punchy colour palette too, contrasting rear pillars and optional graphics to help provide visual razzmatazz. You can option giant wheels (but for the sake of your spine, don't), and there are standard LED lights front and rear.
What are the engine options?
There are a measly two petrol options available to you in the Q2: 30 TFSI comes with a 1.0-litre turbocharged 3cyl engine, producing 108bhp, getting from 0–62mph in 11.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 122mph. The 35 TFSI and its 1.5-litre turbocharged 4cyl motor produces 148bhp, gets to 62mph in 8.6 seconds and manages a 132mph top speed. The 30 only comes with a six-speed manual, while the 35 gets that option plus a seven-speed S-tronic auto if you want to spend an extra £1,500 or so. The entire Q2 range falls within a WLTP range bracket of 43mpg to 48mpg, the entry car being the most frugal.
What different specs are there?
There are four trim levels on the Q2: base trim is Technik, then Sport, S Line and Black Edition models follow. All are front-wheel drive, and you get 16in alloys, a seven-inch media screen (not a touchscreen, it must be pointed out – it’s the Audi MMI clickwheel’s last stand), aircon, parking sensors and a powered tailgate. The range starts at £24,635 and rises to £34,640 for the Black Edition 35 TFSI model with auto 'box.
How does the Q2 drive?
The Q2 goes and stops reasonably enough – it’s not particularly dynamic, even that small ride height increase bringing a certain compromise. It corners nice and flat, but that’s thanks to the rock hard suspension that relies on the tyres to provide a smooth ride. Go for the bigger wheels and things go downhill fast. The 1.0-litre 3cyl motor is characterful but slow, while the more powerful 1.5 unit is less characterful but slightly quicker.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
The Audi Q2 is OK. Praise at its faintest, you’ll have noticed. But seriously, this is a car that’s as difficult to lambast with criticism as it is heap praise upon. It’s small and neat enough to be a decent city car, and roomy enough for the needs of couples and small families, and – for once in the Audi showroom – it looks a little divisive.
We’re just a little sad the quirkiness doesn’t much continue beneath the skin, and that the Q2 falls straight into the same trap as almost every other crossover – the not-especially-interesting-to-drive trap. Worse still, on big rims it's downright belligerent.
If you like the looks and don’t care particularly about value for money or a fulfilling driving experience, then go for it. Expect a car about as satisfying as a Waitrose microwave ready meal. If you’re not fussed on a bit of extra styling chunk and do give a jot about how your car drives, though, shuffle over the other side of the Audi showroom and get a more convincing A3.