audi q2 review

Audi Q2 – Pocket Rocket

February 21, 2021 / 0 Comments / 32 / ROAD TEST REVIEWS

The Audi Q2 Is Globally positioned below the Q3, Q5 and Q7.  It was the easiest entry ticket to The Lord of the Rings club until recently when the A4 made its debut on Indian shores. The Q2 is based on the VW Group’s scalable MQB platform that’s shared across VW group cars such as Octavia, Polo, Karoq to name a few. The Audi q2 that we have here was launched way back in 2016 in the international markets but it took 4 years to reach Indian shores. that said,  the facelift of which is already on the international cards.

Pros

+ Looks really Sporty, with barely any usage of chrome on its exteriors, this beautiful shade of Red enhances the sporty quotient
+ Top-notch quality of materials used – soft-touch panels, flat-bottom steering wheel and the buttons are built to withstand an apocalypse
+ Ride – Slot it into the comfort mode and it absorbs most of the craters thrown at it easily
+ Drivability – responsive 2L engine churns 188 bhp and 320 Nm. This bundled with customised driving modes and paddle shifters ticks all the boxes for an enthusiast, the steering is responsive too
+ Quattro –  delivers power to the wheels with the most grip, maximising traction in wet-weather conditions or rather any weather conditions with the all-wheel-drive system
+ The boot is easily accessible, the absence of a deeper boot lip ensures it’s very easy to load and unload the luggage
+ 7-speed S-Tronic is slick! Not the best but it’s beautifully paired with the motor, negligible turbo lag in fairly-spirited driving
Wind-tone Horn is LOUD. Enough to scare away a 64 wheel trailer on an expressway

Cons

– Expensive, at 62 lakhs, on-road BLR for the flagship trim, this is targeted for deep pockets
– Outdated Tech – No touchscreen, you would have to do navigate using the rotary knob
– Rear seating – The seat has the most upright angle we have seen, a large tunnel means the 3rd passenger at the centre will be disappointed. The small rear window makes you feel claustrophobic in the longer run, Absence of rear AC vents are a let down in our tropical summers
 -Lacks Features – No electric seats, manual sunroof cover (Harrier gets an electric release), no 360 deg cam, ventilated seats etc
– Horn Pad is hard. Blessing in disguise is it should prevent unnecessary honking
– The international facelift of the Q2 is almost on cards, making the current-gen Q2 feel aged

Exterior

The design elements in the Q2 works towards giving it the look of a bigger SUV but in reality, it is not that big. Honestly, it’s more of a generously sized hatchback than a proper SUV but then again, that’s not that bad because what you get is a sporty-looking package with good enough ground clearance to tackle anything that comes your way and a car for which finding a parking spot will not be a cumbersome process. Although, do keep in mind that while the height of the Q2 isn’t all that tall, the width is quite a lot. The roofline drops down almost like an SUV coupe along with thick C pillars and there’s distinctive chiselled bodywork along with the doors. The large but stylishly rounded wheel arches also compliment the side profile although these are not unique to this particular product. The windows are decently sized and there’s adequate ground clearance to make the Q2 stand relatively tall.

The headlights are full-LED and have ‘T’ shaped LED DRLs that look extremely nice.

The car gets a projector unit for the low beam and a reflector for the high and the cornering lights. Sadly the SUV does not get a set of fog lights, which we think is a fairly important parameter to consider for India but the overall visibility from the headlight cluster is good. Moving to the side, the car gets 17-inch multispoke alloy wheels that look pretty nice and go well with the overall proportions of the car. The car also gets an ‘S-Line’ badge on the side fender, along with blacked out ORVMs. The ORVMs get integrated LED indicators as well.

Interior

Q2’s interior quality is impressive. Once you step in you will be greeted by a simple dashboard layout, the design of which looks outdated compared to its rivals but the quality of materials used screams of luxury and the build quality is top-notch. It’s a well-built solid car. The glove box is pretty deep and does a good job of holding on to a lot of stuff. the design of AC vents seems to have been borrowed from the Audi A3 and we honestly felt it goes very well with the sporty characteristics of the car. Even the doors do a good job of holding the water bottles and some utility stuff. The Armrest has a dual purpose to support your arm and beneath it, you will find the wireless charging pad. You get a fully digital instrument cluster that can double up for many things like the entire screen can basically become an entire map for navigation and that is a feature that I absolutely love.

Q2’s cabin also gets funky looking backlit trims that help uplift the cabin’s ambience and go well with the overall youthful, sporty appeal of the crossover. While features wise you largely get everything you’d expect from a luxury car in this segment including wireless charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, a large sunroof, two-zone climate control, reverse parking camera, front and rear parking sensors to name a few, the lack of powered front seats does seem like a shocking omission especially considering the asking price. 

Front seats have loads of adjustment, so drivers will be able to get comfortable, especially with a steering wheel that adjusts up and down, as well as in and out. Headroom is good, too, even in the rear where Audi’s designers have worked hard to keep the roofline low for a sportier look – there’s a distinct hollowing out of the roofline at the back but a six-foot passenger can sit behind a six-foot driver in reasonable comfort. Your knees will just about be brushing the back of the front seats, but you won’t have to splay your legs out.

Black interiors will make you feel slightly claustrophobic. The back seats aren’t comfortable as one would expect it to be; thanks to their upright design that makes it difficult for tall passengers to relax on long trips. Rear seats are upright and feel a bit of a squeeze for full-sized adults and are best only for shorter journeys. The height of the transmission tunnel is quite evident. There isn’t quite enough room for three adults to sit side-by-side either and it’s good only for two adults. Headroom is decent, there’s some surplus knee room, and since you can put your feet under the front seats, you can even stretch out a bit. The seat base is short. Also, while there are USB sockets in the rear, both are Type C units. The larger side windows and light headlining help create an airier atmosphere, but the Audi suffers from small door openings, making access to the rear bench a little tricky. 

The dashboard-mounted 8-inch Multi-Media Interface (MMI) comes with apple car play and android auto.  The infotainment screen is not a touch screen and feels so outdated that you will have to use the rotary click wheel MMI controller just behind the gear lever to operate it. You can use this to swipe through menus, and also for writing in letters of an address into the satellite navigation and this system is very good at recognizing letters-no matter how scrawled and distorted they may be.

Drivability

The Audi Q2 is fun to drive, easy to squeeze through traffic, comfortable to park. It’s very smooth, linear and pairs well with the 7-speed S Tronic DSG gearbox it comes with. Shifts aren’t super-quick, but they’re acceptable. Driving modes are available that quicken responses and putting the gearbox into ‘S’ mode ignite the spark in the cabin.

The view from the driver’s seat is commanding but unfortunately, it’s a manual seat. The absence of electronically adjustable seats, in spite of paying half a crore, is a big letdown and will drive away a lot of potential Audi customers to its rivals. Even cars costing a million have electronically adjustable seats. No ventilated seats either.

The Audi Q2’s engine feels very refined at idle. There is no discernable turbo lag and while it feels strong enough lower down after around 2,000rpm is when this four-cylinder turbo really gets into its groove. The 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox is quick to respond and doesn’t really give any reason to complain. There are occasions, albeit few and far between, when the transmission can get caught out and might not live up to your expectations by not downshifting quickly enough, but you can always take control via the paddle shifters at your disposal. You also get multiple driving modes including efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual that alter engine, gearbox and steering response. 

What’s worth mentioning is that It stands at a kerb weight of just 1205 kg! That’s a whole 200 kgs lighter than the Octavia 1.8 TSI. Considering it makes 10 more hp and a whole 70 Nm torque more than the Octavia 1.8 TSI and also has the 7 speed DSG. This beast gives a serious attempt to fly! Real-world 0-100 figure stands at 6.7 sec making it as fast as a VRS and that too with Quattro AWD! A perfect contender for the track days at BIC.

Ride and Handling

The ride is firm at low speeds with sharp-edged bumps filtering in, but it improves by leaps and bounds as speeds build up with the Q2 display great composure at higher speeds.

The steering of Audi Q2 comes from the hot Audi S3 model and it feels meaty enough to put a smile on your face. It’s not too heavy, making it an easy car to drive around town – especially thanks to the raised driving position. And in spite of the car’s short wheelbase and high centre of gravity, there’s not too much body roll when you go around corners – helped by the car’s wide track.

Verdict

The Audi Q2 is an attractive proposition for its stand-apart looks, practical dimensions, superb drive dynamics and the fact that it is coming from a brand that many aspire to own. For those looking to break into the luxury SUV segment, the Q2 makes a solid case. Yes, its cabin space and feature list leaves a lot to be desired and takes some of the charms away but it still has the right ingredients to be a potential star in not just the Q family but in its segment as well. In Fact, Q2 has the advantage of not having a direct competitor. 

Prices start from around Rs 35 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base variant. The top of the line Audi Q2 we drove retails at 62 lakhs on-road Bangalore and that is a high asking price for a car this size. Plus, entry-level crossovers like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 are bigger and cheaper with low sticker price considerably lower asking price which makes the Audi Q2 a very hard sell indeed. It has a slight edge over rivals being the only one available with all-wheel drive. The Audi Q2 is worth considering if you want a compact luxury car with good looks and a high-quality cabin and one that is genuinely exciting to drive.

Currently, Audi India is betting big on after-sales revenue. Sooner or later, old cars might stop coming. They can easily launch some limited numbers at no profits and get the people back to their showrooms. Once you have a crowd, it’s possible to convert some of these leads to higher models. But with this kind of launches where Audi is getting ambitious with the pricing, they would have to reshuffle their portfolio for it, thankfully the A4 should be the game-changer, but how good is it? Stay tuned for our road-test review coming shortly.

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