This initial driving impression of Ingolstadt’s newest compact SUV comes all the way from Cuba…
Old American classics, Ladas from the Soviet era, some rare European cars, and a vast number of Chinese runabouts from the present day make Havana’s car scene quite a unique melting pot. It’s safe to say, though, that the brand new Audi Q2 certainly doesn’t go unnoticed in this motley crew of machines.
In fact, not just the locals, it created quite a buzz amongst us auto journos too since the design is poles apart from what we’ve grown used to seeing from Ingolstadt for about two decades now. It’s a neat design for sure. To start with, the front is hardly reminiscent of any other Audi on sale today. Even the signature single-frame grille is stretched further and gets a polygonal development – a formal design element that we will, perhaps, find on the next generation of Audi’s SUVs.
The Q2 isn’t really as tall as its older siblings. In fact, to get behind the steering wheel, you don’t really have to climb up into the cabin. Yes, you do find yourself sitting at a slightly higher than normal position – but not too much. You sit a little higher than the Mercedes-Benz GLA, but a lot lower than, say, a Q3. The dashboard doesn’t have too many surprises – the most striking element here is a blade of colour that runs through it horizontally, conceivably opening up many customization possibilities in the future.
Now for the driving impressions – the roads on the outskirts of the Cuban capital are certainly not the ideal ground to test the dynamic capabilities of a car. But, on the other hand, these roads are an excellent test bed to determine the ride quality of this baby Audi. Now, the Q2 has two sides to the way it behaves over rough patches. Minor irregularities on the road are dismissed quite comfortably, but there’s a distinct thud when it goes over big potholes – although this could be attributed to the massive 18-inch rims that came fitted to our test car.
The four-pot turbo petrol (which is very likely coming to India when the Q2 is launched in India next year) is ideally suited to this machine though. Power delivery is smooth, and it’s well accompanied by a sweet double-clutch transmission. The Q2 also benefits from COD (cylinder-on-demand) fuel saving tech that deactivates two of the four cylinders under low load conditions. Visibility of the road ahead is good. Looking at the small rear windshield you may think that rearward visibility is compromised, but, actually, the windshield appears smaller than it really is. So, overall visibility is not bad. Overall, the Q2 is an interesting addition to the Audi fleet – not least because it further bolsters the all-important Q-range, but also because it adds an additional dimension to Audi’s design philosophy.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Even if it is meant predominantly for city use, the small Audi SUV offers a wide range of aesthetic finishes that elevate its appeal. In other words, you can accentuate its sporty look, or highlight its rugged sport utility roots. From this angle, for example, you can see the contrasting body cladding that gives it some off-road appeal. At the front, the Q2 moves away from the typical characteristics of Audi’s current line-up. And, as you can see below, the colourful elements in the dashboard quite add a unique and interesting element to the cabin.
The most striking element in the cabin is a blade of colour that runs through it horizontally – conceivably opening up many customisation possibilities in the future
- Audi Q2 1.4 S Tronic
Engine: 1,395cc/ 4-Cylinders / 16 Valves / Turbocharged
Transmission: 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 147bhp @ 5,000-6,000rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1,500-3,500rpm
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