Audi Q2 SUV review
"The Audi Q2 is a stylish small SUV with an impressive engine range and a comfortable interior"
- Huge scope for personalisation
- Stylish, high-quality interior
- Great range of engines
- Many rivals are cheaper
- Limited kit on entry-level model
- Large wheels affect ride comfort
The ‘premium’ car manufacturers have discovered in recent years that buyers love SUVs no matter what size of car they’re considering. The Audi Q2 is an example of a smaller, much more affordable SUV in the German brand’s range that offers buyers an entry point to its SUV range below the Q3 and Q5 models.
There are plenty of other cars that hold similar appeal, including the MINI Countryman, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, BMW X1 (and X2) and Mercedes GLA. The Q2 was updated in 2020 with a new grille and lights, which helped to keep it up to date but under the metal there weren’t too many changes to the successful recipe.
There’s a small range of engines, starting off with a 108bhp 1.0-litre '30 TFSI' petrol that has plenty of performance and reasonable fuel economy. There’s also a 35 TFSI with a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 148bhp.
Up until 2022, you could buy a Q2 with two versions of a diesel engine: the 30 TDI model that uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 114bhp, then a 35 TDI with 148bhp. At the same time, Audi also discontinued the powerful 40 TFSI model, a 2.0-litre petrol with 187bhp. While the engine range matches that of the mechanically similar Volkswagen T-Roc, it does mean that higher-mileage drivers may be better off with a used example or looking elsewhere.
The rule of thumb is that diesels work best for longer trips but petrols are better all-rounders. We particularly like the 1.5-litre petrol that features clever 'cylinder-on-demand' technology that can switch off part of the engine when it isn't needed to save fuel. Lower trim levels tend to make more sense overall, as their smaller wheels bring more comfort and lower emissions - key for company-car buyers. They’re also surprisingly well equipped.
If you’ve driven an Audi A3 hatchback then you’ll have an idea of how the Q2 feels: it’s safe and secure but not particularly fun to drive. The BMW X2 is more fun and the Mercedes GLA feels a lot more upmarket but the Q2 is more affordable than those two and, for some, it’ll be easy enough to overlook those aspects.
Nevertheless, the Q2 displays little body lean in corners despite its raised ride height, while broken tarmac and potholes are nicely ironed out and cause little discomfort. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard for petrol engines, although the excellent seven-speed ‘S Tronic’ automatic is a good choice if you prefer autos. This isn't available with the 1.0-litre petrol engine but it's optional on many models.
Inside, it’s a similar story: the Q2 feels comfortable, safe and solid. The interior has a simpler and less cluttered design than Audi’s latest models but with all the equipment you’d expect and an upmarket feel. The materials used in all but the most out-of-reach areas are soft to touch and feel suitably upmarket. We wish Audi had gone further in upgrading the interior tech as part of the 2020 facelift, however, namely making the infotainment display a touchscreen. The control wheel can be fiddly for adding long addresses and the system doesn’t use Audi's latest infotainment software. There’s enough space for adults in the front and rear and, although anyone over six feet tall will find the back seats tight, the Q2 is more spacious inside than its direct competitors.
Boot space is also reasonable for a car of this size and shape; at 405 litres, the Q2 comfortably outstrips the Hyundai Kona, although it’s outdone by the Renault Captur by 50 litres and family buyers used to more conventional SUVs are likely to miss this extra capacity. The boot is also a tiny bit bigger than the A3 hatchback.
Q2 customers can choose from entry-level Technik, mid-range Sport plus S line and Black Edition trims. A high-end (and high-cost) Vorsprung trim previously topped the line-up. Sport, S line and Black Edition versions get a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel along with an 8.3-inch infotainment display. A powered tailgate is also standard, along with rear parking sensors and cruise control.
S line trim includes a subtle body kit, front and rear LED lights, a choice between standard and sports suspension, part-leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels – although if the Q2 behaves anything like almost every other Audi, larger wheels will make it uncomfortable over bumps, as will the sports suspension. Opting for a Black Edition car adds 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black exterior detailing, a flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel and tinted windows.
There’s also the high-performance Audi SQ2 SUV, which we've reviewed separately.
The Q2 came in 53rd place in the 2021 Driver Power satisfaction survey, which was one place ahead of the rival Mercedes GLA. It was a mid-table result but the majority of owners were positive about the car.
Audi does do a lot better in terms of safety, the Q2 also scored five out of five in its Euro NCAP safety tests and all cars come with autonomous emergency braking in addition to mandatory safety systems like electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.
As the first premium rival to the Nissan Juke, the Q2 is something of a pioneer and has carved itself a very narrow niche, and one that's bookended by the slightly cheaper Audi A3 hatchback and the more practical Audi Q3 SUV.
Which Is Best?
- Name30 TFSI Technik 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name30 TDI Technik 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name40 TFSI Quattro S Line 5dr S Tronic
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto