What is it?
The Q2 is the smallest SUV that Audi makes, it having stolen that title from the Q3. It may be roughly the size of the A3, but because its name begins with a Q, it comes with an increased ride height and slightly SUV-ish proportions. Indeed, that styling works wonders – right up until you’re opening the door, the Q2 looks much bigger than it is.
Anyway, according to Audi, the Q2 is a compact, city-focused SUV. The hope is that it’ll attract young, urban buyers, who’ll inevitably move up the range as they get older. The young target audience is certainly reflected in the styling. It’s “funky”, as middle-aged marketing execs would say.
In terms of its underpinnings, it’s essentially a raised A3 Sportback with a shorter boot. And it’s priced pretty much the same as the A3 as well.
How does it drive?
Better than expected, if we’re honest. Usually, these small crossovers don’t really offer much in terms of driving engagement, but our test model – a mid-range one with a 1.4-litre TFSI four-cylinder – was reasonably entertaining.
There’s only 150 bhp, but the Q2 is reasonably light, and the engine makes up for the lack of power with masses of torque (250 Nm), meaning it’s good for a 0-100 km/h time of 8.5 seconds. In practice, the Q2 feels much quicker than that, thanks in no small part to the fabulous new 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox. Put your foot down, and the response is instant. The ‘box drops a couple of cogs, the engine hums a little louder, and the speedometer powers upwards – all in the blink of an eye. On the motorway, this means ample power for overtaking, and on more twisty roads, very satisfying bursts of speed as and when you want them.
The steering and handling aren’t great, but they’re not bad, either. Push too hard into a corner, and you’ll eventually run into some understeer. But if you flow from bend to bend, the relatively clever FWD system keeps you nicely planted. And while direct, the steering is a little light – great for navigating car parks, no good for attacking corners in anger.
The refinement also bears mentioning. The Q2’s additional ground clearance helps quite a bit when you’re on rough roads. Not only cab the Q2 shrug off the bumps and holes, thanks to the extra suspension travel, but the ride is properly good, no matter how punishing the road is. The A3 feels stiffer in comparison.
And you wouldn’t believe how quiet this thing is. Doing 120 km/h on a highway feels no different, noise-wise, to doing 50 km/h down a quiet back road. You could (and we did) cover plenty of miles in this car and emerge from your journey feeling reasonably fresh.
Unfortunately, if you’re thinking your Q2 will be any good off-road, you’ll be disappointed. None of Audi’s Q cars are particularly good when it comes to the rough stuff, and the Q2 doesn’t change that. It’s front-wheel drive-only, and, really, the most the car will handle is a little sleet or snow, or, in this part of the world, a gravel track. Let’s not take that away from the Audi, though, because, let’s face it, none of these small crossovers can go properly off-road. They’re just not designed for that sort of punishment.
Interior quality and tech
The Q2 is as good in this department as any other current-gen Audi – and that’s to say really good. There are a few plastics that wouldn’t make the cut on, say, the A6, but overall, for a car at this price point, we really can’t think of anything else that offers as much of a quality feel. The leather is supple, the flashes of aluminum welcome, and the driving position spot-on. There’s even enough room for adults in the back. That said, the boot is a little smaller than the A3 Sportback’s – you’ll only be able to fit one large suitcase in there.
In terms of the tech, our test car did without keyless entry and go, and it also missed out on the fabulous 360-degree parking camera found on the A4, instead making do with a conventional reversing camera. What’s certainly on the list is Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’, a collection of digital displays on the dashboard that replace traditional analogue dials. It’s as fabulous in the Q2 as it is in any other Audi fitted with it, allowing you to customise what information you see on the read-outs in front of you. It’s certainly an option worth ticking.
With a starting price of AED 107,700, the Audi Q3 looks to be good value from the off. However, in terms of insurance, you’ll be paying a little bit more than the A3 because, technically, the Q2 is an SUV, and SUVs cost more to insure. Expect fully comprehensive policies to start from around AED 4,000.
In terms of fuel, you get a pretty-impressive efficiency of 4.7L/100 km. The fuel tank has a capacity of 50 litres, so that means, maths fans, a theoretical range of over 1,000 km. And you’ll only need to pay around AED 96 to fill up.
This is perhaps the best small crossover on the market. No matter what you think of its approach to doing things, in true Audi fashion, the Q2 is a quality product. This means that, if you want something as refined and luxurious as the Audi in this segment, the only real competition is the (recently updated) Mini Countryman – and that’s way more expensive. The Fiat 500X and Nissan Juke are nowhere near as premium, and the ageing Mercedes GLA Class is beat on interior quality, too. So if you are after a small, posh crossover, we’d say the Audi is the most logical choice.