Audi Q2: The fun oneFriday, September 24, 2021
BY RORY DALEY
The Audi Q2 is the smallest of the Q series of sport utility vehicles sold locally by ATL Automotive. In that way, it exudes that younger brother syndrome to its older and more established siblings up the model range. While they tow the company line, the Q2 is able to slip in a bit of its own personality, and be a more fun take on the SUV formula.
This begins with the appearance. From the Q3 up, they all retain the familiar Audi design language. Not to say the Q2 doesn't, it does have the single frame grille and LED lights all around, but it draws small inspiration from the company's long and prestigious motorsports heritage. Look closely and the bits of the historic Ur-Quattro performance rally car are around. On the bonnet are similar front bonnet slots, while at the rear the C-pillar mimics that of the Ur-Quattro. For the full experience down memory lane, the Q2 can be ordered with Audi's four interlocking rings logo emblazed on that C-pillar like its race cars of old.
Keyless entry gives quick entry to a spacious cabin that continues Audi's modern clean design language across the dashboard and interior. The radial operated air vents add a bit of a premium style. Soft touch materials are at all the key contact points with metal accents furthering the upmarket feel. At night the soft white ambient lighting provides that extra soothing feel. As with all things Audi, it's just the small things that sets its vehicles apart from the competition. For example, the centre armrest uses a brilliant ratchet-type mechanism allowing it to suit any driver. Other brands may use switches or buttons to operate their front roof lights, one just has to give them a slight tap to turn then on or off in the Q2. Even then the Q2's switchgear has that wonderful rich tactile feedback.
The Audi MMI is just as effective here as it is in all other Audi vehicles. Fast and intuitive, it provides quick connectivity via Bluetooth and USB, while pumping out good sound quality in what is a refined cabin. Accessing MMI functions is just a turn of the rotary dial or steering wheel buttons away. The crystal clear touchscreen pulls double duty for the reverse camera. Drivers need not worry with all the main functions, lights and wipers, able to be automated. Dual climate control means everyone can be happy temperature-wise.
The Q2 continues to delight once one grabs the leather-wrapped steering wheel and finds a comfortable driving position in the supportive seats. There are actually no drive modes, which is even more remarkable given the breadth and width of the Q2's driving abilities. Cruising along the 1.4-litre turbocharged motor is extremely flexible. Those light of foot can easily surpass 30mpg. Having 150bhp and a whopping 184lb-ft on tap, the Q2 always feels powerful. The excitement seekers won't be disappointed either. Slipping the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission into SPORT speeds up its shifting pattern and makes it hold onto gears longer. At this point the rest of the Q2 responds with direct steering, sharp brakes that inspire confidence, and wonderful chassis dynamics. In Audi-like fashion, the body glides over road imperfections at speed creating a ride that's compliant but never rough.
The Q2 may be the smallest of the bunch, but it delivers big on the smiles per miles driving index, while still being a practical premium compact SUV.