Baby SUV sales still booming and now Audi has come to the party with a premium offering known as the Audi Q2.
With a funky polygonal design theme, the Audi Q2 is aimed squarely at city dwellers craving a premium urban runabout, with a whiff of go-anywhere about it. And if the pics have whetted your appetite, wait till you see it in the flesh and the dozen vibrant hues to choose from.
Right now Audi’s Q2 is a two-pronged attack that kicks off at a mouth-watering $41,100 for a 1.4 litre TFSI turbo petrol and heads up the track a bit to $47,990 for the TDI 2.0-litre turbo diesel. Both churn out 110kW with the TFSI having 250 torques and the TDI and another 90 more. The diesel nails 0-100km/h in 8.1 seconds, with the 1.4 doing it in 8.5 seconds and later this year a 2.0 litre turbo petrol will join the lineup.
A newly-developed, sweet-shifting seven-speed S tronic standard auto gearbox drives the front wheels in the TFSI and all four in the TDI.
Perched on 17-inch alloy wheels, the sharply-priced 1.4 TFSI gets cruise control, power windows and mirrors, dual-zone aircon, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, sat nav with Google Earth and street view maps, auto headlights and wipers, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and leather trim and a full suite of the latest safety tech features.
Shell out another $6,700 for the TDI and you get Quattro all-wheel drive and a different rear suspension setup. You also get sports seats, different bumpers, an electric tailgate and aluminium interior trimmings. Both models share the 8.3-inch dash-mounted infotainment screen, operated by a rotary controller in the console and ten-speaker audio system.
Its polygonal design theme extends along its 4.19 metre length, across the bonnet and even within the grille where 34 baby polygons make up the single-frame octagonal grille. It sports an un-SUV low roofline that flows into the roof spoiler that’s supported by blade like C-pillars.
Its stubby exterior masks a surprisingly spacious interior that easily accommodates four adults in comfy, supportive seats, though rear seat dwellers might feel a bit short-changed, missing out on cup holders and aircon vents.
With the seats in place, the 405-litre cargo area can easily handle several cases or even a Great Dane. Dropping the rear seats increases it to 1050-litres which I reckon will easily swallow a surfboard or two, or a bicycle.
There’s no surprise the Q2’s dash and interior have more than a passing resemblance to the A3 passenger car range on which it is based, only it is roomier and more versatile. Audi told us the Q2 is capturing a new breed of buyers and with 700 orders already in the bag, it’s set to be a major contributor to Audi’s bottom line.
After spending the night tucked up at St Jerome’s glamping hotel, atop a building in the heart of Melbourne, we plunged into rush hour behind the wheel of the 1.4 TFSI.
Immediately obvious is the Q2’s passenger car ergonomics, with low-set seats rather than the high perches of a typical SUV, but all round visibility remains excellent.
The perky TFSI feels like a big hatchback and perfectly at home in city landscapes, its compactness, light steering and brakes making it a breeze to drive and its decent measure of torque helps it whisk away at the lights. After escaping Melbourne we found ourselves enjoying the Q2’s library-quiet interior serenity at highway speed.
Before long we were on the flowing country roads that drape over the Great Dividing Range, where the Q2’s fun factor ramps up. Getting the best from the TFSI requires it to be hustled along which it willingly did, providing a comfy ride and despite its 147mm ground clearance the Audi Q2 was quite at home through corners, feeling at times even more settled than the A3, due to its extra weight.
After a delicious lunch at the old Walhalla rail station deep in central Gippsland, it was time for a steer of the 2.0litre TDI, which drives quite differently due to the multi-link rear suspension, Quattro drive and extra mumbo of the diesel.
While the badge says Quattro, most of the time it drives only the front two wheels to help fuel efficiency, but if it detects any slip or rapid steering wheel twirling, it reverts to Quattro drive in a flash.
I was happy to be in the Quattro (or should it be a Q2Q?) for one long loose-gravel section and sample its excellent grip levels, when there was little on offer. It gave me the confidence behind the wheel to relax and not fight it.
On the black stuff the Quattro provided even greater entertainment.
Flinging it at corners with gusto, flicking up and down the paddle shifts and using all the 340 torques, clearly showed the flexibility of the diesel and depth of talent of the Q2’s chassis and suspension. Of the two models, this is the one I’d have.
If cityscapes are your go, you’ll find the TFSI Audi Q2 a perfect amigo, but for anything more adventurous, lash out the extra bucks and go for the diesel-powered Quattro.
Overall, the Audi Q2 is a refined compact SUV, with the premium brand cache of Audi guaranteed to attract buyers like moths to a light. Its good looks, comfort and spaciousness are backed by excellent on and off road capability and it’s affordably priced. No wonder the order book is overflowing.
For more information on the Audi Q2 head to the Audi website.