Does Audi’s smallest SUV have what it takes to be a winner? We drive it to find answers.
What is it?
The Q2 is the smallest SUV from the German luxury brand, Audi. An SUV that has the potential to be India’s most affordable premium car, the Q2 retails in other markets at the same price as the A3 hatch; this, incredibly, means it could go on sale for a price not too removed from Mercedes A-class or BMW 1-series, giving it a big advantage.
While it is based on the A3 that uses the MQB platform, the Q2 uses an all-new design language that differs substantially from the minimalist approach currently used by the four ring brand. Full of cuts, creases and heavily stylised bits, the Q2 has much edgier feel than SUVs like the Q3 and Q5. Up front, the new single-frame grille is wider and larger than those used earlier and its edges are more squared off than those of recent Audis too. The grille 'floats' above the chin in an interesting manner, and Audi has once again used metallic angles under the headlights to good effect. What sets the design apart, however, is the gouged-out shoulder line, which appears to have been sculpted with a palette knife, and the blacked out 'C' pillar in the rear, that makes the roof 'float', is quite interesting too. The rear, however, does look quite hatchback-like, and that's despite the big splitter and the nicely sculpted rear section. Under the skin the front-wheel-drive models get a non independent suspension setup and a fully independent multi-link setup is used for those with four-wheel drive or quattro.
What's it like on the inside?
The cabin of the Q2 is full of both typically Audi highlights as well as some fresh new bits. And the quality and high spec shine through immediately. The Q2 may be one of the most affordable Audis, but the cabin is so well specified and built, it could pass muster on something like a Q3 or even a Q5. To begin with, it comes with Audi's all-new virtual cockpit, and the build quality of the cabin is also right up there with some of the best SUVs from a class above. The controls work with pleasing precision, the MMI infotainment interface is simple and intuitive to use and there’s an edginess to the design that will appeal to many. The high-quality decals on the dash are an interesting bit. They light up in florescent shades and even change colour (it sounds tacky, but it isn't), and the A3/TT-like circular vents and the minimalist buttons and chromed work knobs work well too. While the top of the dash has an attractive soft-touch finish and the grey leather seats are beautifully finished, there are harder/cheaper plastics on the door pads and around the centre console. And look lower down inside the cabin, and there's even more here. Audi, however, has integrated them so smartly; they really appear to be quite inoffensive.
Also, importantly for India, there's a sufficient amount of legroom in the rear, and rear-seat passengers certainly won’t be complaining; you can fit a 6ft tall adult behind another of the same height without any problem. And, the cabin is wide and you are sat at a decent height. The Q2, however, is one of the smaller SUVs out there (it's 20cm shorter than a Q3), and this takes a toll on the feeling of space on the inside. The high window lines makes you feel quite hemmed in, while the very stylised and sporty roof does come down quite a bit towards the rear.
Bootspace, however, is quite impressive. The 405-litre boot is bigger than even some compact sedans in this class and it benefits from the option of a 40/20/40 split to add practicality.