New Car Review: Audi Q2 30 TFSI SE

Q2 Starting Price: €33,765

Price as tested: €37,044

GOOD STUFF

  • The refined and frugal 3-cylinder petrol engine, good quality interior, great urban car

BAD STUFF

  • Not a cheap car, especially when you add on options, rear space is limited. 
Audi’s new Q2

WHAT IS IT?

The Audi Q2 is Audi’s smallest Q model – Q being the designation for the Crossover / SUV models. This is a compact crossover with a premium feel and premium price tag aimed at urban dwellers that want a high-quality runabout. With a decent luggage capacity, but limited rear legroom it isn’t really a family car, but doesn’t pretend to be either. This is a car suited to single folks or empty-nesters more than those with kids, that want a premium badge, higher driving position and posh feel to their car. It is Audi’s 6th most popular model here in Ireland selling around 280 per year. 

HOW ABOUT THE LOOKS?

The Q2 was first introduced four years ago and this is now its mid-life refresh, which sees the car given “a more distinctive profile” according to the brand thanks to what they call “striking details” and new headlights. The car does look quite similar to the one it replaces and you will need to be quite the Audi nerd to pick apart the details. The car is now 17mm longer than before, but with the same wheelbase, width and height. Audi say that a Q2 with sports suspension has the best drag coefficient (the measure of how aerodynamic the car is) in its class. The motif of the polygon, which was a characteristic of the front and shoulder line, has now been applied to the rear end as well. The bumper has an integrated angular diffuser insert with large pentagons on both sides. The front has also been modified, and the surfaces below the headlights now have a more distinctive shape. The octagonal Singleframe grille is slightly lower than before, making the front section appear wider. The SE model we were in gets 17” alloy wheels and overall the car has a lovely proportion to it. It is handsome and looks upmarket. Even the standard version gets LED headlights, and new Matrix LED headlights are available as an option.

WHAT IS THE INSIDE LIKE?

Audi always scores well on interiors and even at this pretty entry-level part of the Audi range the quality of the cabin and the materials used go some way to explaining where your money is going. The areas that your hands land get the best treatment. The leather multifunction steering wheel could be out of a much more expensive car and plastics are all of high-quality. Space is, allegedly, for five but we found rear space to be quite limited. Adults won’t find the rear space adequate unless they are very small and sitting behind small front seat driver and passenger, so it’s best in the back for two kids, rather than three. We don’t expect that too many would buy the Q2 as their family car, but we wouldn’t advise it, your money would be better going on something like a Škoda Karoq for similar money. Boot space, however, is decent. With the seats up, you get 405 litres, which can expand out to 1050 litres with the seats folded flat, so if you aren’t overly stressed about rear legroom this will be more than enough space for most. The infotainment system still employes Audi’s rotary pushbutton, which is now starting to feel very counter-intuitive in a world of touchscreens, but you do get the hang of it pretty quickly and CarPlay and Android Auto, the new default infotainments setting, works well. 

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

We were driving the standard SE spec 1.0-litre 3-cylinder 110hp petrol (badged 30 TFSI) and this turbocharged 3-cylinder is actually surprisingly quiet, thanks in part to the amount of sound-deadening that Audi applies to their cars. Unlike some three-cylinder engines, it isn’t all that raucous and in the Q2 felt borderline entertaining. The Q2 handles well, soaking up bumps and providing adequate feedback through the high-quality steering wheel. This isn’t a fast car, but it’s actually reasonably fun. We drove it on a mix of roads, from motorways to undulating backs roads and it performed well. This is still a car that would be at its best in the city and because it sits slightly higher it is really easy around town and you can park it really easily. This one came with a six-speed manual which felt good, with slick shifts. 

Our car came with a €1,938 optional Comfort Pack, which added front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera among some other items (twin leather, heated front seats, LED interior seats, LED interior lighting pack, aluminium scuff plates, aluminium optic interior). 

WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?

Well, should you buy one at all? This is yet another car that is bought more with the heart than the head as our test car, which still felt like a reasonably basic Q2, cost €37,044. Compare that to a Volkswagen T-Cross that does very much the same job and you can have an R-Line T-Cross with the same engine and Automatic transmission for €31,820 and that is the fanciest T-Cross you can buy. For some (250+ a year) none of this matters because they want the Audi badge and quality and if this is you, then go the extra mile and get the S-Line in the colour in the photos (Apple Green Metallic). 

IS IT SAFE? 

For a small car, there are a lot of driver assistance systems available. The Audi pre sense safety system, which uses radar to monitor traffic in front of the car, comes as standard. It can warn the driver of impending collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists. Should the driver not react, the system attempts to avoid the accident or reduce its severity by braking. Lane Departure Warning is a €428 option.

VERDICT: 

The Q2 won’t ever sell in big numbers, simply because it is too expensive, but for the loyal followers of Q2, this new one is even better. It is a really nicely bolted together car with a high-quality interior and feel throughout. 

Spec Check:

Q2 30 TFSI 110hp SE

Engine: 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine

Power: 110hp

Torque: 200Nm 

0-100km/h: 11.2 seconds

Fuel Economy: 5.8 l/100km

Top Speed: 197 km/h

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Co2: 131g/km

Annual Motor Tax: B2 €210

Luggage Capacity: 405-litres with the seats up, which can extend out to 1,050-litres with the rear seats folded. 

Price as tested: €37,044

For more information log-on to www.audi.ie

Want a larger Audi? Read our review of the Audi Q5: https://www.theaa.ie/blog/new-car-review-audi-q5-2-0-litre-tfsi-tdi-s-line-aa-ireland/

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