Audi's brand new model in the compact SUV segment is undoubtedly fun and different, but can it win over buyers?
I don’t think I can define this car. After all, the Audi marketing slogan is “Untaggable”. No doubt about it, the Q2 is different. It’s a cross between a hatchback and an SUV, but yet it’s neither - so let’s just leave it as that.
What it does look like though, or at least has hints of, is the original Audi Quattro. With its red and silver colour combination, sloping C-pillar and flared arches, the Q2 looks beefy and sporty. But the younger crowd that Audi hopes to attract with this car probably won’t really know what the Quattro is anyway. I personally find it rather endearing, although I won’t be so quick to buy one just because of its looks.
But while the looks might be a bit subjective, the quality definitely isn’t. I’ve always marvelled at Audi interiors and the Q2 is no exception. Aside form the premium materials, what you’ll find standard on the 1.4 TFSI Sport are progressive steering, paddle shifters, dual-zone climate control and MMI Navigation with a 7.0-inch screen and a nice audio system. There are even some new matte-yet-metallic trimmings that I’m seeing for the first time too.
Get seated inside and the Q2 feels spacious enough for a typical asian adult. No complaints in the front nor at the back for rear passengers. This compact-SUV-hatch-thingy manages to offer enough room for all. Seats are comfortable and the optimal driving position is very easily found - so it looks like we’re all set for a fun drive.
Thankfully, I can report that the Q2 is a pretty good drive. All 150 bhp and 250 Nm of torque from the 1.4-litre turbocharged unit work well to make the Q2 fun to steer. Power comes in swiftly most of the time (with just a tad bit of lag at the initial bit of revs) and the turbocharger adds a kick into every punch of the accelerator.
The Q2 handles fairly well too, behaving more like a hatchback than a roly-poly SUV. It turns in accurately into corners and feels grippy with little understeer despite being driven by the two front wheels. Steering feel could do with a bit more feedback though.
The quick-shifting 7-speeder works great and the Q2 will hit 100 km/h from standstill in 8.5 seconds. Give it enough room and speeds in excess of 200 km/h are possible. Tech fact: this 4-cylinder has cylinder on demand too. Which means it runs on two cylinders only during light acceleration or when coasting to save fuel.
All in all, this brand new model in the Audi lineup is a rather compelling option if you’re in the market for something fun and different. But priced around the SGD160K mark, it not going to be easily snapped up by most people, much less the younger crowd that Audi is targeting.
The entry level 3-cylinder 1.0-litre option might be more palatable as it is going for around the SGD130K region, but you’ll do without some features at that price. It boils down to taste in the end, because at that price, a fully-specced new Toyota CH-R becomes another option. It’s stylish and funky too, but then again, it’s not an Audi.