GRR

The Goodwood Test: Audi Q2 2.0 TDI quattro Sport S tronic

23rd July 2017
erin_baker_headshot.jpg Erin Baker

Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.

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Heritage

Well, this will be quick. For the past of the Q2 you have to crane your neck all the way back to… 2012, when it was shown in concept form as the Crossland Coupe. It has a group heritage in that the chassis is the VW Group’s modular MQB platform, which has been round the block a bit, on the VW Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq and so on. As far as the Q2 is concerned, it’s more significant to look forward, to the next generation of niche crossovers and SUV derivates from Audi, which will start fitting ever narrower gaps in its range with even numbered models, much as BMW did. So first we had the Q7, Q5 and Q3, and now we have the Q2 – expect the Q4 and Q6 along the road shortly.

The Q2 is an interesting proposition however, with a sharp suit that doesn’t appear on the Qs 7, 5 or 3. It is in competition with the stylish brigade at the baby end of the SUV spectrum – more your Mini Paceman than your Renault Captur.

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Design

Those sharply squared LED headlights, sitting in a tightly created bonnet, offer a clue to the styling of the Q2 which is vivid, peppy and possibly steals best in class as far as the exterior goes. At the rear, LED lights are complemented by those Audi dynamic indicators which move as a yellow strip along the light when activated; the novelty has yet to wear off.

Our test car was painted Ara Blue, an electric blue which suits it well - bright, cheeky colours are what this class of car is all about. The paint had that crystal effect for extra depth and lustre, which will set you back another £775.

Inside, the “Sport”-spec styling continues, with a flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel and matt brushed aluminium inlays. There’s nothing too loud or shouty however; it’s still your recognisably muted Audi fare of grey and black smart plastics. Our test car had the storage and USB rear pack (£225), technology pack with Audi’s Virtual cockpit (£1,595), Comfort Pack for £900 and Manhattan grey C-pillars, an odd option at £150. Altogether, there were about £8,000 worth of options added to the base price for this model of £27,675.

There’s plenty of room for a family of four, and the boot will take a week’s worth of shopping, albeit it’s rather shallow.

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Performance

It’s a surprise these days to see a 2.0-litre engine in a small car, developing just 148bhp and 250lb ft of torque, but the result is a relaxed gait, which is welcome in a family car. The transmission is Audi’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, a seamless shifter, taking this car to 62mph in 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. 

What you end up with, then, is a slightly odd mixture of the sporty looks and short wheelbase of a hatchback, the relaxed drive of a saloon and the raised ride height of an SUV. What binds it all together in a manner that just avoids an utterly schizophrenic car, is the sublime MQB group chassis, which is one of the best in the business. It’s a guaranteed pleasure to ride around town heads and shoulders above other drivers, SUV style, but be able to swing the car into any small town parking space you come across. Time and again that took me by surprise. No wonder this class is popular.

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Passion

Well, none really. But there’s an immense amount of satisfaction to be gained from owning an Audi, and that only grows into an innate smugness with this car, based on a sense that grows with the mileage, that you’ve scored yourself the best pony in town. It’s far more handsome than its rivals, it’s a cheaper way into a premium badge and, really, there are few reasons to step up a gear to the Q3; I’d certainly take the Q2, if only because it’s a much better looking car than its bigger siblings. It does make me wonder what the Q4 will be like….

Price as tested: £34,990

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