Audi Q2 – Review

As soon as I social media-ised the Q2, it was acknowledged with confusion and disapproval. While the Q2 does not fit directly into a segment, I appreciate Audi’s thinking. Is the Q2 Audi’s answer to the hipster phase?

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Audi Q2; A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Audi Q2 S-Line
Engine: 1.4TFSI Petrol, 150hp and 250Nm.
Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic automatic, front-wheel drive.
Price: Prices start at €30,100 for the Q2 range. Price as tested – €46,369.

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What is a Hipster? Well according to the trustworthy source that is Urban Dictionary, “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter”.

Moreover, Hipsters reject mainstream consumers and often wear tight-fitting jeans, neat looking loafers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. There are types of hipsters and I have come to the conclusion that the Audi Q2 falls into one particular category; the Trendster. A Trendster does things that have never been done before & setting new trends with effective use of creativity in an inspiring manner. In essence, they did it before it was cool.

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When Audi launched the Q2 in 2016, it wasn’t the first manufacturer to make a petite-urban SUV/Crossover, I would say Nissan can take that title with it’s Juke. But unlike the Juke, the Q2 is more upmarket. Its done right. It has the desirability of ownership.

Audi Q2; Styling

Audi have given the Q2 a unique look. A lot of manufacturers try to make certain models look more youthful and targeted towards a younger generation, the Nissan Juke or Fiat 500 for example. Audi have successfully done this with the Q2.

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Much like the new Audi Q5 TDI and TFSI, It has a reoccurring hexagonal motif which can be seen a long the door panels, the front grille and the shape of the wing mirrors, for example. Stern lines define the front bumper, lights and bonnet giving the Audi a new look for the brand. The test car I had was painted in Coral Orange, and with the other one on the fleet finished in Vegas Yellow, they certainly stand out. Think of the eccentric metallic paint as the skinny jeans and the interchangeable C-Pillar blade, which can be specced in White, Silver, Black, Light or Dark Grey,  as the non-prescription thick rimmed glasses.

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Audi Q2; Interior

The interior is typical Audi, to extent. Ok, so maybe the Q2 is wanna-be hipster. I always find myself comfortable in an Audi cabin. Not just physically but also in the same way as you would go into your best friends house and make yourself a cup of tea. Everything in the cabin is familiar but also up to date. The virtual cockpit, taken straight from the A4 and TT parts bin, is optional as part of the Technology Pack (€2,450). Virtual Cockpit too much of technical toy? Well, the air vents certainly keep you entertained in traffic. Don’t believe me?Go drive an A3 or Q2…

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As part of the S-Line trim, you are seated in familiar cloth and leather seats. As familiar and as comfortable as the couch in your usual off-the-beaten-track pub. Its all very inviting and cosy.

What is not so much welcome and enjoyed in the use of scratchy, low-quality plastics used on the door cards. Alright Audi, we get it. You’re trying to be hipster but just tone it down a bit. Incorporated into the centre console side panels are Orange/Red panel lights . It adds to the ambiance.

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As for the rear, space is hard come by.  I had three, self-proclaimed, “fat chaps” in the back. It wasn’t the most peaceful journey, what with the complaining and Bon Jovi impersonations. They may have had a beer or two on them…

Audi Q2; On The Road

The Q2 continues to feel familiar. The first thing you notice when you jump behind the wheel of the Q2 is its similarities in driving style to the A3. Yes you are aware of the extra ground clearance, but steering feel and gear changes from the 7-Speed S-Tronic is recognisable. The Q2’s weight of 1,280kg is somewhat comparable to the 1,240kg in a similarly specced A3 Sportback. Although not as driver focused as the Audi Q3 RS, it still is a good steer.

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Audi’s Drive Select comes as standard on the Q2 range. I found myself mostly driving in either Comfort or Dynamic. Eco is too lurchy when in stop-start traffic or at traffic lights. Individual allows you to customise the driving settings to your own style.

Audi’s efforts of trying reduce body roll through the use of the S-Line suspension were lead astray somewhere throughout the project. The S-Line sits 20mm lower than the SE which gives the Q2 a more aggressive stance. But even in Comfort mode, ride can be quite harsh from the suspension; not thanked by our authentic Irish roads.

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While at the launch of the Audi A5 and Audi Q5 TDI, I drove the Q2 with a 6-speed manual and the 1.0TFSI. This should not be overlooked if you intend to use the Q2 mainly around the city.

So yeah, the Q2 is different. Therefore, hipster.

Audi Q2; Practicality/Boot Space

The Q2’s 405l  of boot space can be expanded to 1,050l when the 40:60 rear seats are split. 10l and 50l, respectively, are lost when equipping the Q2 with Quattro.

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Up front, the compact-crossover has sufficient door bin pockets and glove box. The armrest boasts a phone box when specced with the Technology Pack.

Audi Q2; Equipment

Typically Audi, to get any geeky technology, you have to rummage deep in your pockets. The Technology Pack equipped on this Q2 is priced at €2,450. This gives you the Virtual Cockpit, Phone Box (which allows your phone to be charged wirelessly), Audi Connect and MMI Navigation. As standard comes Drive Select, Audi Pre-Sense (emergency braking) and Cruise Control.

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Audi Q2; Running Costs

Throughout the week, the Q2 returned 6.1l/100km. Comparing this to the A3, it returned 7.1l/100km.

With the 1.4TFSI engine, the Q2 is €270 per year to tax.

Audi Q2; Pricing

Prices for the Q2 range start at €30,100. Price for this test car is €46,369, including options.

Audi Q2; Competition

Audi A3 Sportback/Saloon – As you tell from my review of the A3 range, I’m a big fan. It ticks so many boxes regarding the styling and driving ability. Would I have a Q2 over an A3? I just don’t know. Even though they are very similar, they are also completely different. A bit like an IPA and a Blonde Ale…

Nissan Juke – The Nissan Juke seems to be the go-to car in the segment if you want a young, frugal small-crossover. Comparing the Q2 to the Juke and the Q2 offers a better package overall. But, this is reflected in the price. The Q2 starts at €30,100 whereas the Juke starts at €19,995. 

Opel Mokka – The Mokka doesn’t offer the same uniqueness as the Q2 but it still shouldn’t be over looked. Receiving a face-lift (and name change to the the Mokka-X), the Mokka is a practical, comfortable and good-looking crossover. It is bigger which means it offers more practicality.

Audi Q2; Conclusion

Much like the hipster lifestyle, it is not one chosen by everyone. It suits some people and others, not so much. As it is becoming a more popular phenomenon, it is becoming a more expensive lifestyle. Much like the Q2; its a unique choice, not chosen by everyone. Which, in a way, is why it comes at a price. But all the same, its a good path to take. The Q2’s personality is one of that you need in your life. Its quirkiness brings good vibes.

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