Test Drive: The New Audi Q2

14th August 2017

The first premium-badged small city crossover that offers excellent value while combining bold styling with space and practicality.

For many people, buying a new car is a great deal of fun, it’s all about reaping the fruit of hard work and wise decisions; certainly a rewarding experience and something to look forward to whenever that moment comes. But the minute you start carrying out your research and comparing the pros and cons of competitive models, it can all get very tricky, at times confusing, and choosing your new private means of transport can actually end up becoming a complex dilemma.

That is more so the case in this day and age with competition being so fierce and when we are really spoilt for choice in most segments. Take large SUVs as an example. If you have a limited budget, there are still numerous options to choose from that can suit your budget and at the same time satisfy your tastes and practical requirements. The same can be said if you’re looking for a large premium-branded SUV, with a growing list of premium brands doing an excellent job in the premium large SUV segment – the likes of Audi, Porsche, VW, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, Volvo, Lexus and so on.

However, you can expect a completely different experience if you’re after a compact, proper premium-badged crossover. Audi has recently entered this segment with the new Audi A2, and that is it. No other premium brand has (yet) entered this segment. If you’re looking for a larger (but still pretty small) premium SUV, there is once again fierce competition between the likes of the Q3 (one of the many siblings within the growing family of Audi’s premium line-up of crossovers and SUVs), the X1 and the CLA, but hey, for many people that’s too big a car and the budget might not extend so much.

This is exactly where Audi now has a strong leverage over other premium brands. With the Q2, Audi can attract drivers that no other premium brand will ever manage to lure. And who is your typical Q2 driver? That’s a tricky question, because perhaps the Q2 is specifically targeted towards young people, but certainly not only young people are buying it! Parents, elderly people looking for a premium-badged car that is small and practical, professionals who want that premium-feeling SUV but who are still looking for the practicality and comfort of a city car, fashion-conscious young people who are keen on a premium-badged SUV that is sporty and fun, and the list goes on as the appeal of this genuine and bold, young-looking compact SUV is massive.

Once you set foot in the new Q2, you will instantly get that premium, exclusive feeling associated with the top marques in the car industry. Make no mistake, no compromise has been made in the build quality of the Q2 and its DNA is Audi from top to bottom. Engine-wise you can’t go wrong, with tried and tested superlative Audi engines ranging from the 1.0 TFSI 115bhp to the 1.4 TFSI that manages 150bhp to the 1.6 TDI 110bhp. The Q2 is available in both manual and automatic (STronic) transmissions.

The Q2, although distinctively Audi looking, still manages to look very different from its bigger siblings, namely the Q3, Q5 and Q7. There is a bolder, sportier and a fun feel linked to the exterior of the Q2, and that vibe extends to the interior, with sleek minimalist design and a mix of materials that allows you to personalise your car with an extensive number of options and combinations. Even the external colour options are innovative and one of the best examples is the blue metallic version of the car we test-drove – it is a very particular and distinguished blue that projects innovation and the young-fun element, and is both stylish and sporty.

The current promotional starting price is only €24,900 and for an Audi crossover, that sounds like a dream. But it gets better when you discover that Audi has done a remarkable job in including an extensive variety of features and equipment as standard across all of its Q2 range. So in terms of standard features, expect the likes of climate control, Bluetooth hands free, presense front, light and rain sensor, three-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel, start-stop system, 5.8” colour infotainment display and much more.

Verdict

The first premium-badged small city crossover that offers excellent value while combining bold styling with space and practicality. With current promotional offers starting at €24,900, the Audi Q2 is an impressive SUV and an excellent option for drivers looking for a compact SUV without compromising on quality, styling and that premium feel.

This feature originally appeared in the June edition of Style on Sunday.


FROM MOTORING

7th September 2017

Velar fills the space currently between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport in terms of overall size but with its own personality.

FROM MOTORING

9th August 2017

The hotel has renewed its sponsorship of this popular annual car event.