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Audi Q2 2022 review: 40 TFSI

You’re not going to mistake the Q2 for anything other than an Audi

You’re in the market for a compact, family-friendly SUV, and a $50K budget points towards the premium end of the segment.

At $49,900, before on-road costs, the top-spec 40 TFSI version of Audi’s Q2 hits the centre of the price bullseye, and at a fraction over 4.2m long, nails the size brief.

The standard features list is healthy, but is this city-sized unit right for you?

That, of course, depends on your family’s size, individually and collectively. But to give you a sense of how it shapes up for day-to-day duty, all five of us Clearys got to grips with it over a week on test.

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What does it look like?

Despite its relatively modest proportions you’re not going to mistake the Q2 for anything other than an Audi.

Clearly, the design team in Ingolstadt loves a polygon, with intricate, angular shapes, including the broad ‘single frame’ grille standing the car apart. 

Jagged cooling vents at the lower front corners are reminiscent of a snarling dog’s mouth (a treatment echoed at the rear), the tops of the side doors look like they’ve been neatly chamfered off with a chisel, and the standard 18-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels feature machine-faced trapezoidal details. 

Audi Q2 has standard 18-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels feature machine-faced trapezoidal details. (Image: James Cleary) Audi Q2 has standard 18-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels feature machine-faced trapezoidal details. (Image: James Cleary)

There’s enough softening in joining these various elements together to stop the Q2’s look crossing over into sci-fi territory, but sleek and low-key it ain’t.

The standard ‘S line’ body kit (sport design bumpers, side sill trims, and rear diffuser) finished in our test car’s vivid ‘Tango Red’ metallic paint (an $1195 option) also demands attention.

The cabin is more reserved, with Teutonic restraint applied to the flowing dash, complete with a quartet of cool (pun intended) and agreeably effective circular air vents.

Standard instrumentation includes a ‘Driver Information System' with a hi-res 3.5-inch colour display, while our car features a 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument display as part of the optional ‘Premium Package’ (see Ownership section). It’s crystal clear and configurable in line with your mood or info priorities. 

There is an 8.3-inch multimedia screen stands proud at the top of the dash. (Image: James Cleary) There is an 8.3-inch multimedia screen stands proud at the top of the dash. (Image: James Cleary)

An 8.3-inch multimedia screen stands proud at the top of the dash. Aesthetically, it looks like an afterthought, but there’s no denying its clarity and visibility. Functionality is another story, which we’ll get to shortly (see Tech section). 

The shades of grey colour palette, including the leather-appointed seats and leather-trimmed steering wheel, is broken up by what Audi describes as “aluminium look” elements. Real alloy or not, the overall look and feel is clean and functional.

How does it drive?

The Q2 may be small, but at a fraction under 1.5 tonnes it’s not exactly featherweight. Still, 0-100km/h acceleration in 6.7 seconds is impressively brisk.

Even fully loaded the 40 TFSI’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine has more than enough pulling power to dispatch steep hills without fuss, with plenty in reserve for easy highway cruising and safe overtaking.

The 40 TFSI’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. (Image: James Cleary) The 40 TFSI’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. (Image: James Cleary)

The seven-speed auto transmission is a dual-clutch type, often called out for rapid shifts offset by a clunky nature. No such problems here. In this application Audi’s ‘S tronic’ unit is positive, smooth, with ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes on offer, and you can shift gears yourself with the wheel-mounted paddles (or the main shift lever).    

The standard sports front seats remain comfy and supportive over lengthy stints behind the wheel, although the ride is firm. If you take a test drive make sure to cover roads you know have seen better days before making a call on refinement.

Big 18-inch rims may be a contributor to those bumps and thumps making their presence felt, but the low rolling resistance Continental EcoContact 6 tyres they’re shod with are primarily focused on maximising fuel economy.

That’s not to say the Q2 is underdone in terms of dynamics. The steering is responsive, road feel is good, and the chunky sports wheel is nice and grippy. 

The strut front / four-link rear suspension keeps the car well balanced and buttoned down in the corners, with the electronically-controlled ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive system sending drive to the wheels that can make best use of it. Handy for light off-roading or a cheeky ski trip, too.

Even on coarse secondary roads noise levels are low, with minimal tyre rumble, next to no wind noise, and muted volume from the engine and exhaust.

How spacious is it?

With SUVs in this size segment you need to manage expectations when it comes to interior room. This is a small car, after all.

But Audi’s packaging boffins should be wearing their white coats with pride because the Q2 punches above its weight in terms of space efficiency.

The front feels like a ‘full-size’ car, thanks in part to a generous roof height and minimalist dash design. And the back seat is surprisingly accommodating.

The Audi Q2 punches above its weight in terms of space efficiency. (Image: James Cleary) The Audi Q2 punches above its weight in terms of space efficiency. (Image: James Cleary)

Sitting behind the driver’s seat set for my 183cm position I enjoyed more than adequate leg and toe room as well as plenty of headroom. 

Not enough width for three adults to sit comfortably across the back seat, but a trio of kids up to early teens is doable for short- to medium trips. Two is the preferred number.

There are three top tether anchors and two ISOFIX positions in the rear for baby capsules or child seats. Space will vary depending on the type of device you’re strapping in, but two capsules, seats or boosters will be fine. Three will be a hard to manage squeeze.

There are three top tether anchors and two ISOFIX positions in the rear for baby capsules or child seats. (Image: James Cleary) There are three top tether anchors and two ISOFIX positions in the rear for baby capsules or child seats. (Image: James Cleary)

The boot is generous for the class offering 405 litres with the rear seat upright. That’s enough to swallow the bulky CarsGuide pram with some space left over for a couple of soft bags. Or the medium (124-litre) and small (36-litre) suitcases from our three-piece set, with a bit of room to spare. 

  • (Image: James Cleary) (Image: James Cleary)
  • (Image: James Cleary) (Image: James Cleary)

Lower the 60/40 split-folding rear backrest and no less than 1050 litres is at your disposal.

How easy is it to use every day?

For day-to-day storage and connectivity the Q2 does well in the front, not so well in the back.

The driver and front passenger have access to two cupholders in the centre console, with a USB-A socket (power and media), as well as a 12V outlet close by.

There’s a second USB-A socket and an ‘aux-in’ port in the medium-size centre storage bin, as well as a wireless device charging matt at the bottom. The lid, which doubles as a centre armrest, is adjustable for height and length. Nice.

Large front door bins provide enough room for oversize bottles, and a decent glove box houses two SD card slots and a SIM reader at the top of its opening, 

Slip into the rear seat and there are door bins with enough room for medium sized bottles, map pocket on the back of the front seats, and that’s about it.

No fold-down centre armrest, no cupholders, and no power connections of any description. Solid miss for the back-seaters.

If you want to add a towbar, the Q2 40 TFSI is rated to haul a 1700kg braked trailer (750kg unbraked). (Image: James Cleary) If you want to add a towbar, the Q2 40 TFSI is rated to haul a 1700kg braked trailer (750kg unbraked). (Image: James Cleary)

On top of that, there are no individual air vents in the rear. Yes, it’s a small cabin and air circulates from the front pretty quickly, but it would be nice to see them included.  

Given the car’s compact footprint, parking is a breeze with good all-around vision supplemented by a clear reversing camera and Audi’s ‘Parking System Plus’ incorporating front and rear sensors and an overhead graphic. Not a full-on overhead camera-based simulation, but handy nonetheless.  

The tailgate can be operated remotely, which is super-helpful, and the tailgate opening height can be adjusted to avoid any door/ceiling contact if your garage is low-profile.

There’s also an array of hooks and anchors in the boot to take care of loose items. But don’t bother looking for a spare. Your only option is a repair/inflator kit.

If you want to add a towbar, the Q2 40 TFSI is rated to haul a 1700kg braked trailer (750kg unbraked). And the brakes, with ventilated rotors at the front, are sized to cope with the extra load when required.

How safe is it?

The Audi Q2 carries a maximum five-star ANCAP rating, to the 2017 standard, and features active crash avoidance tech including ‘Pre-Sense City’ (Audi-speak for AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as blind-spot monitoring, tyre pressure indicators, auto (LED) headlights, and auto rain-sensing wipers.

If a crash is unavoidable there are six airbags onboard (driver and passenger front and front side, plus full length curtain), as well as a comprehensive first aid kit.

ANCAP uses dummies approximating six and 10-year old children in its crash test assessments, and the Q2 was rated “good or adequate for all critical body areas” in a frontal offset impact and “good with maximum points scored” in the side impact test. 

What’s the tech like?

As mentioned earlier, an 8.3-inch multimedia display sits on the dashboard above the centre stack, managing everything from media and phone connectivity to navigation and car set-up.

While it’s highly visible I struck a few snags, the first one being the fact that it’s not a touchscreen. The only way to progress through the various screens and functions is via a console mounted rotary dial which doubles as a touchpad. 

One school of thought says it’s unsafe to take your eyes off the road and start selecting a new radio station by leaning in, looking at, and fiddling with the touchscreen.

Another says it’s quicker and safer to just adjust things on-screen, rather than looking at the screen anyway, while twirling, rocking, and clicking a control knob.

I’m in the latter camp, and the issue was compounded by an unpredictable (corded) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection. I could bore you with the details, but suffice it to say reconnecting the phone to the system was a regular occurrence.

Standard audio is an eight-speaker package, but ‘our’ car featured a 10-speaker arrangement (with subwoofer and six-channel amp), again courtesy of the optional Premium Package. It cranks.

Other welcome features include heated exterior mirrors, as well as LED headlights, daytime running lights and tail-lights.  

How much does it cost to own?

At $49,900, before on-road costs the Q2 40 TFSI is over the head of even top-spec, city-sized offerings from mainstream players like Mazda (CX-30), Renault (Arkana), Skoda (Kamiq), or VW (T-Roc). Yet some way under the likes of the Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus NX, Merc GLA, or Range Rover Evoque

Leaving the most direct competitors on size and equipment as BMW’s X2, the Mini Countryman, Peugeot 3008, and Volvo XC40.

On top of the safety tech detailed earlier, standard equipment includes: dual-zone climate control, cruise control, the electric tailgate, keyless entry and start, ‘S line’ styling package, 18-inch alloy wheels, auto LED headlights, sports front seats, partial leather seat trim, ambient lighting, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, wireless phone charging, eight-speaker audio (with digital radio), and sat nav. Not a bad basket of fruit at this price point. 

On top of the safety tech detailed earlier, standard equipment includes auto LED headlights. (Image: James Cleary) On top of the safety tech detailed earlier, standard equipment includes auto LED headlights. (Image: James Cleary)

For the record, our test example’s optional Premium Package ($2950) adds, adaptive cruise control, ‘Active Lane Assist’, ‘Park Assist’ (assisted parallel or perpendicular parking), ‘Hold Assist’, heated, folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors (with kerb-side function on the passenger side), privacy glass, 10-speaker audio (with centre speaker, subwoofer, and six-channel amp - total output 180 watts), heated front seats, an auto-dimming interior mirror, and the Virtual Cockpit.

Audi’s official fuel economy figure for the Q2 40 TFSI, on the combined cycle (ADR 81/02 - urban, extra-urban) is 7.0L/100km, the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder emitting 158g/km of C02 in the process.

Stop-start is standard and over a week of city, suburban and freeway running we saw an average of 9.6L/100km. Worth calling out that number includes a fair bit of fully laden travel as well as an enthusiastic B-road run.

With the 55-litre tank brimmed (with minimum 95 RON premium unleaded) that real-world test number translates to a range of around 570km.  

Audi recently stepped up to what is now the premium market standard warranty of five years/unlimited km, with roadside assistance included for the duration. 

Body and paintwork is warranted against defects for five years and bodywork corrosion (perforation) for 12 years.

The recommended service interval is 12 months/15,000km and a transferable five-year capped price service plan costs $2320, for an annual average of $464.

On-going servicing at an authorised Audi dealership will add 12 months roadside assistance at no extra cost.


The Wrap

Audi’s Q2 40 TFSI is a distinctive, well equipped, and surprisingly space efficient premium compact SUV. Notwithstanding its firm ride it also presents an engaging drive, and for young urban families that fancy a bit European flair it stands up well against tough competition. If only the back seaters were better catered for and that media display was a touchscreen…

Audi Q2 or BMW X2? Tell us about your choice in the comments below. 

Likes

Strong performance
Space efficiency
Value

Dislikes

Firm ride
Non-touch media display
Modest back seat power and storage options

Scores

James:

3.5

The Kids:

4

$50,600

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.