Lexus UX200 2019 review
Lexus is late to the small SUV party, but can it offer a compelling enough alternative to the big Euro players to capture the attention of younger buyers?
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If you want all the swish style of a European hatch, but love the idea of an SUV's ride height, you now have ample choice from Germany's 'big three' premium players.
All are hatch-based, all have distinct looks, and all are relatively big-sellers. They're also very similar in dimensions and performance, so what should get you behind the wheel of the Q2 over the others? We took its latest iteration, the Edition #2 in top-spec 40 TFSI quattro guise, for a week to find out.
|Audi Q2 2020: 40 Tfsi Quattro (2.0 Tfsi)|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
This is evident in its stepped grille design, square light clusters, and neat two-tone roof which extends down the C-pillar at the back (an optional touch, mind you).
Other distinct features include its polygonal beltline which runs down the sides and a neatly squared off rear, which, complete with the little roof spoiler, makes for a dashing, sporty profile.
Controversially, our car also came with a gloss white five-spoke 19-inch wheel with grey inlays and sneaky little Audi Sport logos on them. Perhaps a nod to Audi's rally history.
This little car makes a big statement. It's a lot to take in, but so much more fun than Audi's usual business-first visage.
Inside is interesting. It looked good when it came out, but pre-dates the incredible new Audi interior which resides in the new A1 and Q3. To be fair, it still looks good, but doesn't quite have the wow-factor of its siblings. We suspect some sort of heavy facelift will be in the Q2's near future to address this issue.
While you won't get the new design, touchscreen or materials, the Q2's interior is still a nice place to be, with plenty of high-quality fittings, a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel, and cool turbine air vents.
It's even packed with Audi's super neat 'Virtual Cockpit' digital dash suite, and all the sleek switchgear from more recent models, so it's not as though you'll be getting an 'old-feeling' car by any means.
There's no getting around the fact that the Q2 is a small SUV. Very small. Great for two occupants, a young couple seems to be the ideal target demographic.
To that end, front passengers are treated quite well with the standard array of Volkswagen group sensibilities. These include decently sized bottle holders in the doors, a variable-height centre console box, and a neat cupholder cluster up front with a key-shaped slot in the divider. A pleasing touch.
Space is a bit compact. Definitely on par with a hatchback rather than an SUV, and the panoramic sunroof, which is part of this Edition #2, lowers the roofline.
One major drawback is the lack of a touchscreen. The 8.3-inch screen which is included with our car as part of a pack (see more in the price and spec section) is controlled via dial.
This includes Apple CarPlay, which is a bit of an awkward solution. You'll get used to it, but the brand's newer touchscreen designs are notably better.
The back seat is tight. My knees were almost pressed against the front seat, which was set to my own (182cm tall) driving position.
The roofline is low, too, and the descending C-pillar makes getting in and out harder than it needs to be. The middle seat, due to the presence of a tall transmission tunnel is too tight for a full size adult human.
Unlike its Q3 big brother, amenities for rear passengers are light-on, as well. There are no directional air-vents, just a single 12-volt outlet, pockets on the backs of the seats and small bottle holders in each door.
The Q2 is not bad premium car value when you consider a few factors. For a start, this car is pretty much as expensive as it gets with the most powerful engine and several option packs, and only manages to come in at a measly $57,050.
Without the options it's $52,400, but still the cheapest BMW X2 is $47,400, and the most expensive one (i.e. the equivalent to this Audi) is a whopping $69,400.
We don't know how much the new GLA will cost when it lands in Q3 2020, so stay tuned.
Our top-spec car wears 19-inch alloys (up from the standard 17s), a black accented exterior pack, push-button start and keyless entry, LED headlights and tail-lights, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, leather seats (heated front), a panoramic sunroof, and full auto wipers and light function.
The 8.2-inch multimedia screen, 12.3-inch virtual cockpit instrument cluster and flat-bottomed steering wheel are part of a separate 'Technik Package' ($2500), the black interior headlining is a $400 option, the heated seats are a $600 option, and the premium white paint comes in at $1150.
Sure, it's upsetting some of these are options on the top-spec car, but at least they aren't outrageously priced, and as already mentioned, this car still manages to undercut its primary rival.
Standard safety is okay, although there are some items optioned away which you'll probably want to be adding. More on that in the safety section.
Our 40 TFSI has a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces 140kW/320Nm. Punchy, about on par with its most direct X2 rival (20i) which puts out 141kW/280Nm from the same sized engine.
The 40 TFSI wears a claimed/combined fuel consumption number of 6.5L/100km. Over a week of testing we had a computer-shown 8.1L/100km but an at-the-pump measure of 7.9L/100km on a 104km comparison test loop.
Still, given the amount of fun I was having behind the wheel, under 9.0L/100km is not a bad result.
On the downside, the Q2 requires top shelf 98 RON unleaded petrol to fill its 55L tank.
The Q2 is exactly as fun to drive as it looks from the outside. It's light, springy, athletic, and compelling behind the wheel.
It can be a tad sluggish off the mark, where the moment of turbo lag conspires with the start-stop system and dual-clutch auto to make for a jerky start, but it's far better than the 1.4-litre engine in the 35 TFSI.
That said, once you're going, peak torque arrives from 1500 rpm, at which point the lively Q2 is primed to rip through its seven gears with avid enthusiasm. It even sounds good, with a satisfying rasp working its way into the cabin at higher revs.
Quattro all-wheel drive helps it keep traction, in the corners and off the line, where an enthusiastic prod of the accelerator would otherwise have you spinning wheels.
At no point did this compact SUV feel out of its comfort zone, with little suggestion of understeer when pushed.
Handling is nice, too. Audi's steering calibration is sporty and dynamic, with its lightness at low speed firming up to increase confidence when you're travelling a bit faster.
We used the Q2 as a guest wildcard / camera car on a recent premium SUV comparison test, and all agreed it was the most fun to drive.
The suspension is firm, adding to its sporty allure, but this attribute also combines with the gigantic wheels to make for a harsh and noisy ride on chopped up suburban streets – where this car will spend most of its life.
It's a known cost for having such entertaining handling characteristics, but one which premium buyers should be aware of. This might be an Audi, but it's strongly in the sporty camp, rather than the luxurious one.
3 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
Active safety is an interesting topic on the Q2. The plus side is you'll be getting freeway speed auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, front and rear parking sensors, and a high-res reversing camera as standard across the range.
The 40 TFSI grade also gets blind spot monitoring, but to make it truly impressive you'll have to tick the 'Assistance Package' box.
It's well worth it. The $990 cost nets you lane keep assist with lane departure warning, active cruise control, auto-dipping high beams, auto parking, and hill hold assist.
Audi persists with a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. This is consistent with its BMW rival, but now Mercedes has significantly upped the premium market game with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which will cover its incoming GLA.
Perhaps the worst part is VW will cover many of the same components with a five-year warranty on its T-Roc (closely related to the Q2). Worth thinking about.
Audi does thankfully cover the Q2 with an impressive capped price servicing program, provided you bundle it in at the time of purchase.
You can choose it as either a three-year package ($1580) or a five-year plan ($2140). You'll need to return the Q2 to a service location every 12 months or 15,000km.
The Q2 is just fun. It's fun to look at, fun to drive, while it might also be a little harsh and not quite as fast as its BMW competition, it's also a relatively compelling premium car value offering. Just be aware that this is a pint-size SUV best enjoyed by singles or couples.
|35 Tfsi (1.4 Tfsi)||1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$34,600 – 44,770||2020 Audi Q2 2020 35 Tfsi (1.4 Tfsi) Pricing and Specs|
|35 Tfsi Design (1.4 Tfsi)||1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$34,600 – 44,770||2020 Audi Q2 2020 35 Tfsi Design (1.4 Tfsi) Pricing and Specs|
|35 Tfsi Design Edition 2||1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$35,200 – 45,540||2020 Audi Q2 2020 35 Tfsi Design Edition 2 Pricing and Specs|
|40 Tfsi Quattro (2.0 Tfsi)||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$41,200 – 52,690||2020 Audi Q2 2020 40 Tfsi Quattro (2.0 Tfsi) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||8|