Trend-setting Audi Q2 little Q-tee with big appeal in premium compact crossover class

PUBLISHED: 12:40 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:40 16 November 2016

Audi sees its trend-setting Q2 spearheading a new premium compact crossover class.

Audi sees its trend-setting Q2 spearheading a new premium compact crossover class.

Audi supplied

Audi’s new Q2, launched this weekend, also launches a new market segment – this little premium crossover has huge potential, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Audi Q2

AUDI Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport S tronic

Engine: 1,395cc, 150PS, four-cylinder turbo petrol

Performance: 0-62mph 8.5 seconds; top speed 131mph

MPG: Urban 44.8; extra urban 61.4; combined 54.3

CO2 emissions: 119g/km

AUDI Q2 1.6 TDI S line

Engine: 1,598cc, 116PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel

Performance: 0-62mph 10.3 seconds; top speed 122mph

MPG: Urban 56.5; extra urban 65.7; combined 61.4

CO2 emissions: 118g/km

Price: £20,230 to £32,720

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,191mm; W (excluding door mirrors) 1,794mm; H 1,508mm

Audi sees a big role for its all-new compact Q2, spearheading a new class in this era of hi-tech, desirable must-haves of modern life.

The fourth model line-up in Audi’s Q sport utility vehicle range launches the compact premium crossover segment and will have a big impact on Audi’s global sales – even before the arrival of this more affordable, entry Q2 half of them are sport utility vehicles.

Where does it fit in?

Sitting between the A1 ‘supermini’ and big-selling A3 line-up and Q3 SUV, half of all Q2 inquiries are from non-Audi owners, so as Audi UK head of PR Jon Zammett saysm Q2 is “a bit of a Trojan horse for us”.

Priced between A3 Sportback and Q3, it’s also going to appeal to a younger market with some bright colours, set off by contrasting C-pillar blades and coloured interior trim panels.

Under the bonnet

Audi expects a 60/40 petrol/diesel split with 150PS 1.4-litre TFSI turbo petrol, which cuts from four to two cylinders on a light throttle, and 116PS 1.6-litre TDI turbo diesel engines at launch.

They will be joined next year by 116PS 1.0-litre, three-cylinder and 190PS 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 150PS 2.0-litre turbo diesel and quattro four-wheel drive models.

The 1.4 TFSI, available with six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic automatic gearboxes and quattro to come, is likely to be the big seller. If you don’t do huge mileage, it’s a better bet than the 1.6 TDI – more fun to drive, better refinement and, over the test route, returning MPG in the low 40s against high 40s for the diesel.

How it drives

The Q2 is built on Volkswagen Group’s new modular platform, has a compact footprint and low kerb weight, from 1,205kg, which makes it more agile than its bigger Q car siblings.

SE, Sport, S line and special launch Edition #1 get dynamic suspension as standard but 10mm lower, stiffer sport suspension is optional on all but SE, at no cost on top models. It’s an Audi option I’d normally shy away from but on the Q2 it works, even with the Sport’s 17in and S line’s 18in alloys.

The SE, on 16in wheels, corners well but the ride can be restless but bigger wheels make it feel more planted while sport suspension gives better body control which absorbing bumps and lumps.

Selective drive modes to vary steering assistance, engine and auto gearshift characteristics are standard, and adaptive damping optional, on all but SE.

Space and comfort

The Q2 can carry four average adults in acceptable comfort but long-legged passengers might find rear legroom tight.

Front-wheel drive models’ 405-litre boot is only slightly less than the Q3, and the boot floor can be raised to make it flush with the load sill. The 60/40 split rear seat backs – you can also opt for a more versatile 40/20/40 set-up – fold flat to create a 1,050 litres.

At the wheel

The fascia is Audi’s familiar, logical design, there’s good adjustment for the driving seat and steering wheel and, despite the small rear screen, the view out of the back is good enough for manoeuvring in tight spaces but you have to look round the chunky B-pillar at junctions.

Audi says the Q2 shares the quality fit and finish of its bigger models but there are a lot of hard plastics lower down the fascia and on door panels but it feels well built.

Final say

In a world where desirable products and technology are getting smaller, Audi’s Q2 is sure to make a big impression, appealing to the upwardly mobile and down-sizers of all ages – “the right car for the right time” as Audi puts it.

Add the right price and a premium badge and this trend-setter is set to have big appeal.

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