The new Audi Q2 isn’t the fastest car on the block, but it’s got talent in other areas.
Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S-tronic Sport
Engine: 1395cc, turbocharged inline four-cylinder
Power: 150hp @ 5000-6000rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1500-3500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed S-tronic
0-100km/h: 8.5 sec
Top Speed: 212km/h
Want something bigger than a regular hatchback but don’t like the idea of owning a full-sized wagon? The manufacturers have been doing their market research and in recent years the small SUV range of cars available has expanded considerably. Once considered a niche segment for soccer moms that don’t like driving big cars, it’s grown to be seen as the vehicle size of choice for city dwellers.
The new Audi Q2 is the first of its kind from the German marque, and exactly like the badging says, sits directly below the Q3 in the Audi range. There actually a nicely angular design to the car, which is a departure from the softer curves that have dominated Audi’s style over the last decade. The chunky front intake grille gives the Q2 plenty of road presence, and the side blades along the back half of the car can be specified in different colours when you buy the Q2.
The cabin does feel bigger that you might at first expect it to be, and the dashboard is largely angled towards the driver. From behind the wheel the car is surprisingly driver focused for something that is marketed largely as an urban runabout.
A tricked out 1.4-litre, turbocharged engine drives the car’s front wheels, and it’s an incredibly frugal unit when the conditions are right. How it does this is by deactivating two of the engine’s four cylinders when cruising along on light loads. A notice on the instrument panel informs the driver that the car is driving along with only half of the engine in use. When the car detects that a power increase is necessary, either when the driver accelerates, the wind resistance increases or when driving uphill, all four cylinders fire back up seamlessly.
In practice, this means that the car can occasionally cruise along with only half of the engine in use, doubling the fuel economy. The switching is entirely automatic and practically imperceptible, only the notice on the digital instrument cluster informing the driver of how much engine is currently in use.
With variable ratio steering fitted as standard, the Q2 is easy to drive at low speeds and in tight spaces, most noticeable when you’re trying to parallel park along a narrow side lane. Out on the open road it’s no slouch either, and is quite a bit more agile than you may initially give the car credit for.
Five occupants will fit comfortably into the car, and as befitting its shape, the Q2 is actually slightly roomier than the Audi A3 hatchback. There’s little to complain about, really. At S$165,800 with COE at time of writing it’s not exactly priced low on the scale though, but there is the slightly more affordable 1.0-litre version available too.