A few weeks ago Audi South Africa introduced a revised Q2 into the market. We were sent an Audi Q2 35 TFSI to try out a few days after the launch event.
Audi was once just a producer of family sedans, which then expanded to family station wagons. However the changing demands of car buyers soon meant that the German automaker had to add hatchbacks to its portfolio. No sooner than that had happened and the SUV craze had taken off.
Not long after Audi’s first SUV, the Q7, appeared the brand extended to offer an SUV or crossover equivalent in just about each model line it offers eg, there are Q3s to match A3s and Q8s to match A8s. The smallest member of the high-riding family is the Audi Q2.
The Audi Q2 was introduced just over four years ago, which meant that it was time for a nip and tuck as it got to the midpoint of its lifecycle. Audi designers have given the front end a bit more of a butch appearance. The bumper in particular has sculpted faux intakes on the edges and a wider version of the centre grille.
Audi has also added LED headlamps as standard across the range, which are complemented by similar items at the rear on this S Line trim level. The test unit was finished in a new hue called Turbo Blue and fitted with the optional Black Styling package (R18 500). This trim level includes the front grille, front and rear bumper trims all in black. The same colour is applied to the exterior mirrors, the C-pillars and 19-inch alloys.
Audi interiors are some of the best in the business. They exude high levels of perceived quality which is even applied to the ‘entry’ level models such as the Q2. Not much has changed in the cabin, save for the air vents and a new finish on the top of the gear lever. Standard items include climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather steering wheel with remote controls and an Audi Audio system; the test unit has the optional Bang and Olufsen with 14 speakers.
Interestingly this model doesn’t feature Audi’s new, touchscreen entertainment interface, as we have seen in many new models. This isn’t really an issue as the, now, older set-up still offers crisp graphics and a full suite of connectivity. We would have preferred it if the screen could retract into the facia as one little passenger figured it was a tablet that could be removed to use in the back seat…
Occupant space and comfort up front is excellent. You get the commanding view of the road that a hatchback can’t provide. Taller rear seat occupants will feel a bit hemmed in as leg and headroom can feel in short supply. Boot space is quoted as 405 litres, more than most will need, though the rear seats do fold down should you require.
With the introduction of the facelifted Q2 Audi SA has streamlined the range to offer just a single powertrain option. A turbocharged 1,4-litre inline four puts out 110 kW/250 N.m of torque. The motor is no fire-cracker, though a small crossover really isn’t meant to be that quick anyway. A wide spread of ratios help access the torque spread adequately for almost all scenarios.
Speaking of… Audi has replaced its slick-shifting twin-clutch transmission with a more conventional eight-speed torque automatic. One is hard pressed to tell the difference except when pulling away as the transmission feels slow to hook up. Shifts are still slick and usually imperceptible save for the rev-counter.
The Audi Q2 has very good primary ride quality. It lopes along smoothly on most surfaces. When the track underfoot deteriorates the sports suspension and low-profile tyres make their presence felt and imperfections are clearly transmitted to the occupants. These alloys look pretty good but if your usual commute is over lots of scarred tar 18-inch versions may be a better option.
The Audi Q2 makes a very good case for itself as an entry-point to the brand. Sure, there is the A1 and A3, but we know that the appetite these days is for SUV/crossovers. There’s space aplenty for young couples or small families. With the Q2 you can opt for any derivative and still enjoy the same powertrain as the range-leader, which is pretty cool. However, be very careful when ticking the options boxes. As you can see below, the base price can escalate to a level that takes you into a different bracket from where you started.
Model: Audi Q2 25 T FSI S-Line
Price: R581 500 (R763 450 as tested)
Engine: 1,4-litre inline four, turbocharged
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, FWD
Max power: 110 kW
Max torque: 250 N.m
Top speed: 213 km/h
0-100 km/h: 8,8 sec
Fuel consumption: 6,1 L/100 km