Driven: Audi Q2 1.4T FSI S tronic
Audi has extended its Q range by introducing the all new Audi Q2 compact SUV, which is directed at a niche market, with the brand aiming to appeal to the ‘young urban consumer’.
Described as #untaggable, the vehicle doesn’t quite fit into any prescribed box, such as hatchback, SUV or sports car and yet combines a bit of all these elements.
The Audi Q2 recently won gold at the German Design Award for “Excellent Production Design” in the transportation category and we have to agree that the Q2 ticks all the boxes in exterior and interior design excellence. The inside is hi-tech and has a funky but tasteful, streamlined design and features a fully digital instrument cluster. The circular air vents above the middle console just work and the leather seats and steering wheel enhance the sleekness of the cabin.
The MMI radio plus the non-retractable monitor is standard equipment and there is a choice between a basic version or an advanced MMI navigation. Ours was fitted with the later that can be controlled via the a touch pad.
The exterior of the Q2 sets itself apart from the rest of the Q range with its very geometric design that includes striking octaganal elements in the front grille and we really love the concave, angularity of the side profile and the C-pillars with colour-offset blades that accentuate the sportiness of the crossover.
We drove the Audi Q2 1.4T FSI Sport S tronic, which delivers 110kW and 250Nm of torque through an optional seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Driven through the front wheels, this zestful compact SUV is exceptionally responsive and the engine produced enough power to accelerate quickly, flying over the smooth tar of the N1 near Paarl and overtaking effortlessly on a hill. The automatic gear changes are fluid and the engine performs its task quietly.
We headed into the Huguenot Tunnel (the longest in South Africa at nearly 4km) and enveloped largely by darkness, besides the tunnel’s rooftop strip lighting, it was the perfect time for the passenger to play with the Q2’s interior LED lighting package with backlit ambient light that can be switched to one of ten colors using the control system – or as we discovered you can turn the dial quickly and create a mini-disco effect.
— Leisure Wheels (@LeisureWheelsZA) February 22, 2017
Exiting the tunnel we did a loop through the mountains and then headed for another pass. The quick as a wink Q2 .4T FSI Sport S tronic is a nimble little SUV and it embraced the corners of Bainskloof Pass like a primate clinging to its mother’s back. The steering was neutral with no noticeable under- or oversteer and the suspension felt firm in the Dynamic mode, though it felt plusher earlier when we were driving in the Efficient mode.
We didn’t get to drive on any gravel but with front-wheel drive and 150mm of ground clearance it should be able to cope on a flat gravel roads but will be far happier on the smooth asphalt.
The Q2’s boot capacity is 405 litres that can be increased to 1 050 litres when the rear bench seat back is folded down. The only qualm we had with the car is that the front seats, although comfortable, don’t offer much in the way of lower lumber support.
Fun to drive and spacious enough for a compact car, we enjoyed piloting Audi’s new offering.
Audi anticipates that the 1.4 FSI S tronic will be the hot seller in the range but the German automaker has models fitted with the in 1.0 litre FSI that start at R434 500.
Audi Q2 1.0T FSI manual: R 434 500
Audi Q2 1.0T FSI S tronic: R 453 000
Audi Q2 1.0T FSI Sport manual: R 464 500
Audi Q2 1.0T FSI Sport S tronic: R 483 000
Audi Q2 1.4T FSI Sport manual: R 511 000
Audi Q2 1.4T FSI Sport S tronic: R 529 500
Audi Q2 2.0 TDI Sport S tronic: R 565 000
The Audi Q2 comes with a standard with the 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan and one of the finance options will include a guaranteed buy back option on Q2