The latest crossover from Audi will be its most accessible when it’s launched in India the middle of next year. The edgy styling screams anything but entry-level though.
Compact would be an apt word to describe the new Audi Q2. But it does have a relatively long wheelbase, and the rear-track width has been increased by 27mm as compared to the A3. So, as you step into the cabin, the rear seats reveal a fair bit more legroom than even the bigger Q3. Plus, overall quality is quite good – as is practicality. The rear seat has a three-way split (40/20/40), so it’s very versatile in terms of cargo carrying capacity. This car has clearly been tailored towards an active lifestyle and a family’s day out.
And considering that they’re catering to the family, the Q2 has a surprising amount of cargo carrying capacity – 405 litres to be exact. A wide tailgate helps with loading and utilising space to a maximum, while several partition nets and a wide compartment beneath the boot platform allows you to store pretty much everything you need with ease.
[caption id="attachment_76528" align="alignleft" width="642"] The Q2 gets Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit, and, with the exception of a few components, cabin quality is very good – as you would expect from an Audi.[/caption]
Sitting in the driver’s seat gives you a good view of the road ahead, as the dashboard is set 8 centimetres higher than in the A3. The quality levels are what you’d expect in an Audi, with the exception of some of the materials used on the doors and the plastics in some parts of the centre console. The highlight of the cabin, though, is Audi’s fantastic Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.
Our test car had the familiar 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 148 horsepower. Fitted with a diesel heart, all-wheel drive and a number of optional extras, our Q2 tips the scales at almost 1.5 tonnes – but that doesn’t prevent it from accelerating to 100km/h from a standstill in 8.6 seconds. Fuel efficiency figures too are good, with our test car averaging 14.5km/l. But, with a slightly tempered right foot, you can easily average in the range of 18.5km/l – which is, in large part, thanks an excellent coefficient of drag of .30. Of course, the 7-speed DSG helps too – with the engine turning over at just 2,000rpm at 130km/h. But what caught our eye was that in ‘efficiency mode’ the clutch disengages and allows the Q2 to freewheel down the road. In fact, the start-stop system turns off the engine once the speed drop below 7km/h.
On the road, the ride is a bit firm – although the adaptive dampers do absorb bumps with aplomb. And, of course, the Q2 is surefooted on the road. However, our inability to fully turn off ESP during the slalom tests meant that the results weren’t as good as they could have been. But then you’re not likely to take on a slalom in a machine like this, and neither are you likely to turn off the traction control too often – so, in the real world, this likely won’t pose too much of a problem. For the daily commute, the Q2 offers quite a serene environment – as you would expect from an Audi.
UNDER THE SKIN
The Q2 is built on the MQB platform, which forms the basis of a number of models of the VW Group. The motor, therefore, is in a transverse position, while the four-wheel drive is implemented through a Haldex clutch – which transfers excess torque to the rear wheels. The motor is a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that belongs to the EA 288 family (not involved in dieselgate). In this version, it generates 148 horsepower and 340Nm of torque, which stays constant from 1,750 to 3,000rpm. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission as well as a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG, which has been made more efficient and faster. The lower gears have tight ratios to aid acceleration and drivability, while the ratios of the higher gears are longer to decrease both noise and consumption. The front suspension features MacPherson struts. At the back, the two-wheel drive version has a simple torsion beam, while the all-wheel drive version has a more refined multi-link set up.
The Q2 can be summed up as being a very pragmatic SUV, unburdened with unnecessary features but brimming with all the ones that you need for the daily commute as well as the weekend getaway. The commanding driving position ensures that you get a good view of the road ahead, while the refinement levels mean that very little interferes with the driving experience. Frankly, what it’ll come down to, is price. If Audi can price their newest, smallest, and edgiest SUV aggressively, then it can make quite an impact on the Indian market.
- Audi Q2 2.0-litre TDI S-Tronic Quattro
Engine: 1,968cc / In-line 4-Cylinders / 16 Valves / Turbocharged
Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic Automatic / Quattro All-Wheel Drive
Power:148bhp @ 3,500 – 4,000rpm
Torque: 340Nm @ 1,750 – 3,000rpm
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Also read: Audi Q2 Review: First Impressions