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Audi Q2 2020 review: 40 TFSI

Is Audi's Q2 as fun as it looks?
EXPERT RATING
7.4
Audi's Q2 has all the swish style of a Euro hatch with the ride height of an SUV - but is there compromise? And, what's up with those white wheels? We took Audi's new Q2 Edition #2 for a week to find out.

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.

First there was the Mercedes-Benz GLA (which is about to get a brand-new version), then there was this car, the Audi Q2, and finally, BMW's X2 joined the fray.

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)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.5L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$49,400

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

Yes! The Q2 is huge fun to look at from every angle. It was one of the first cars in Audi's refreshed range to reflect a new design language, standing apart from its stablemates.

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.

  • 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. (image: Tom White) 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. (image: Tom White)
  • To be fair, it still looks good, but doesn’t quite have the wow-factor of its siblings. (image: Tom White) To be fair, it still looks good, but doesn’t quite have the wow-factor of its siblings. (image: Tom White)
  • The Q2’s interior is still a nice place to be, with plenty of high-quality fittings. (image: Tom White) The Q2’s interior is still a nice place to be, with plenty of high-quality fittings. (image: Tom White)
  • It has a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel, and cool turbine air vents. (image: Tom White) It has a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel, and cool turbine air vents. (image: Tom White)

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.

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. (image: Tom White) 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. (image: Tom White)

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.

How practical is the space inside?   6/10

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.

Unlike its Q3 big brother, amenities for rear passengers are light-on, as well. (image: Tom White) Unlike its Q3 big brother, amenities for rear passengers are light-on, as well. (image: Tom White)

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.

  • You get a 355-litre (VDA) boot. (image: Tom White) You get a 355-litre (VDA) boot. (image: Tom White)
  • The boot is surprisingly large all things considered. (image: Tom White) The boot is surprisingly large all things considered. (image: Tom White)

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.

You get a 355-litre (VDA) boot – surprisingly large all things considered, although still smaller than the BMW X2 (470L) and incoming new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA (435L).

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

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.

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. (image: Tom White) 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. (image: Tom White)

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.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

Our 40 TFSI has a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces 140kW/320Nm. Punchy, but nowhere near as punchy as its X2 rival which puts out a whopping 225kW/450Nm from the same sized engine.

The Q2 drives all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

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.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

The Q2 is exactly as fun to drive as it looks from the outside. It's light, springy, athletic, and compelling behind the wheel.

The 40 TFSI 2.0-litre engine is super willing compared to lesser engines in Audi's range, where turbo lag can be a real issue.

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.

Our 40 TFSI has a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces 140kW/320Nm. (image: Tom White) Our 40 TFSI has a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces 140kW/320Nm. (image: Tom White)

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.

Handling is stellar for an SUV, too. In fact, the Q2 drives more like a hatchback, even more so than the new Q3 which shares similar characteristics.

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.

The Q2 is just fun. It’s fun to look at, fun to drive. (image: Tom White) The Q2 is just fun. It’s fun to look at, fun to drive. (image: Tom White)

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.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   7/10

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.

The Q2 has the expected electronic traction, stability and brake controls, and comes equipped with six airbags and dual rear-seat ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.

All Q2 variants carry a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating as of 2016, and carries a space saver spare wheel under the boot floor.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

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.

Verdict

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.

$47,175
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$41,950
Highest Price
$52,400

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
35 TFSI (1.4 TFSI) 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $41,950 2020 Audi Q2 2020 35 TFSI (1.4 TFSI) Pricing and Specs
35 TFSI DESIGN EDITION 2 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $44,550 2020 Audi Q2 2020 35 TFSI DESIGN EDITION 2 Pricing and Specs
40 TFSI QUATTRO (2.0 TFSI) 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $49,400 2020 Audi Q2 2020 40 TFSI QUATTRO (2.0 TFSI) Pricing and Specs
45 TFSI QUATT SPORT EDITION 2 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $52,400 2020 Audi Q2 2020 45 TFSI QUATT SPORT EDITION 2 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.4
Design8
Practicality6
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption7
Driving8
Safety7
Ownership7
Tom White
Journalist

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