It’s hard to believe that a shade over four years ago, Audi brought the Q2 to market giving punters a chance to enjoy a premium compact SUV. It wasn’t a bad little drive and before long there were plenty on Irish roads. As always Audi offered various trim levels but on an entry model or base trim, the Q2 sometimes looked a little awkward. It often reminded me of a new born giraffe with that slightly uneasy looking height on small wheels. It was by no means unstable but from a design perspective, Audi were clearly still trying to find their feet, so to speak. Fast forward to late 2021 and a new iteration has arrived full of confidence. The front is dominated by Audi’s new design language, which has carried over from its other siblings. The Q2 has become just a few millimetres longer, now measuring 4.21 metres, while the width of 1.79 metres and height 1.54 metres have remained the same. This was a surprise because it looks much bigger than its predecessor. The octagonal single-frame grill is slightly lower, making the front section appear wider. LED headlights now come as standard on the Audi Q2, and like the Q5, Q7 and Q8 Matrix LED headlights are available as an option. The Q2 comes in an interesting array of colours now including the controversial Apple Green and Manhattan Grey. Both of these colours split opinions but we love them. For safer choices new additions to the palette include Navarra Blue, Arrow Grey, and Turbo Blue. The blades on the C-pillars are painted in vehicle colour or kept in black, grey, and silver shades, depending on what trim level you pick.
Inside the spacious and practical interior of the Audi Q2 will take five passengers with ease. It has that premium feel probably more evident in our test car given the fact that it was the top of the range, S-Line. The seats were super comfortable and the driving position was just right. The air vents, gear selector lever and some of the switchgear all have a new look. Our test car had the optional ambient lighting package plus, the trim strip on the instrument panel and the kneepads on the centre console, which make it a really nice place to be. The optional equipment of the Q2 includes sport seats with larger side bolsters, a height-adjustable front passenger seat, two-zone automatic air conditioning, and auxiliary heating. The luggage compartment of this compact SUV can swallow 405 litres, expanding to 1,050 litres when the rear seat backs are dropped. Our test car had the beefed up sound system, Audi Virtual Cockpit, Black styling pack and the parking assistance package to name but a few. Needless to say, the daily commute was pleasant to say the least.
Our test Audi Q2 was powered by the 1.5 TFSI 150hp engine with 250 Nm of torque. On paper the refined four-cylinder engine sips just 5.4–5.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and our calculations were not too dissimilar. At low speeds or perhaps a slight downhill the Q2 uses cylinder on demand (COD) to temporarily deactivate the second and third cylinders thus saving fuel. This is not something you will notice when driving but you will in fuel savings, which is now more relevant than ever! Buyers will also have a smaller 110hp 3-cylinder TFSI engine and two 2.0 TDI offerings. As expected all engines comply with the Euro 6 AP emission standards. Most variants roll off the production line with a manual transmission unless you spec the seven-speed S-Tronic which is available as an option.
The assist systems for the Q2 come directly from other members of the current Audi family. The now famed Audi pre-sense front system using radar observation to avoid accidents is standard as is lane departure warning. The optional systems are subdivided into the “Drive,” “Safety,” and “Park” packages. The assist package Park includes a reversing camera and the parking system plus. The park assist, which can steer the car into and out of parking spaces automatically is available as an upgrade. The assist package Safety includes the side assist, rear cross-traffic assist, and the Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense rear systems. Complimenting these packages is a standard plethora of airbags throughout the cabin.
Prices kick off around €33,600 with finance from €289 with 4.9% APR. Naturally specification and options have a big impact on the price of the vehicle and our test car was coming in the late €40’s. Do you need all the bells and whistles? No not really. In a car this size, a manual 110hp TFSI would more than suffice and you could enjoy SE trim rather than the S-Line making it that little easier on the pocket.
Living with the new Audi Q2 is a pleasure and it drives particularly well. The design tweaks have made it less awkward on the road and it now looks like its coming of age. We covered a decent 480 kilometres over a seven-day period on a range of different roads and at no point were we wishing we were in something different. We find some cars perform particularly well in city use but might be harsh over the Wicklow Mountains. Thankfully this isn’t the case with the new Q2. It’s a compliant and economical drive that’s no stress to live with. Our apple green test car wasn’t to everyone’s liking on the school run but there has been a serious comeback from green cars over the last twelve months with Audi now offering a number of green options across the range. In the last quarter of 2021 a number of dealerships have got their Q2’s in stock and are awaiting January registration plates. If you are in the market for a compact crossover come the New Year, then it’s probably best to take a test drive as soon as possible. Build slots are filling up fast for 2022 and we have been informed that the stock that is already in the country, will soon be spoken for! Good luck…
Expensive with options!