Audi Q2 35 TFSI: long-term test review

First report: the facelifted version of the popular Audi Q2 SUV is proving to be a hit

  • 4.0 out of 5

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    The Audi Q2 is a hit with Pete’s family. He was worried about squeezing two adults and two children into it, but it’s proved him wrong. Yes, it does have some limitations, but so far it’s coped with everything that’s been thrown at it. And it’s pretty good from behind the wheel as well.

    • Mileage: 2,540
    • Economy: 33.5mpg
    • Audi is leading the way when it comes to a large portfolio; indeed, the German brand now boasts a range of almost 60 different models. Regardless of the type of car you want, there will be an Audi in that class trying to attract your attention. And, if there’s not, chances are there will be one coming along shortly.

      One of the first cars Audi built to fill a gap was the Q2, a car that nobody really asked for until it was launched in 2016. It arrived as a small SUV that relied on its styling more than its practicality, however it proved to be a winning formula because it sold in huge numbers in the UK. Now it’s been facelifted to help it stay competitive against newer rivals, such as the Mercedes GLA and BMW X2, and we’re running this updated version on our fleet for the next few months to see if it can offer more than just good looks.

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      As revamps go, this is a pretty minor one and you’ll have to look closely to actually see what’s changed. There’s a subtle tweak to the grille and there’s now three Quattro-inspired slats above it, while there are only superficial changes at the rear and on the inside.

      I have two small children, so I was a little apprehensive when I took delivery. Mainly because I’d previously run a SsangYong Korando on our fleet, which dwarfs most cars in its class, let alone the much smaller Q2.

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      How was I going to fit two car seats comfortably in the back? How was I going to get the buggy in the boot? But I quickly realised that the Q2 is deceptive, and there’s actually more space than I expected.

      I can’t deny it is a little cramped in the rear seats and I have to move the driver’s seat a little further forward than I would usually do to squeeze everyone in. But that’s partly down to the fact that my youngest is still in a rearward-facing car seat, so at the moment she takes up more room than an older child would. Once she switches to a forward-facing seat, I’m sure I’ll be able to move my own seat further back.

      The boot is also far bigger than I expected and I’ve been able to fit in everything I’ve needed, with a little space to spare. I think it came as such a surprise because I’ve also been driving a DS 3 Crossback recently, and there’s simply no comparison. The Audi boasts an impressive 405 litres of space, while the DS has 350 litres. However, it feels much more than just a 55-litre difference. The shape of the Q2’s boot just works better and the lack of a big lip means getting heavy things in and out is just that much easier.

      The cabin is a nice place to be, typically Audi with lots of high-quality materials and a comfortable driving position. All cars in the range now come with Virtual Cockpit, so the dials can be customised to suit the driver. The display is crystal clear and it’s easy to navigate through the infotainment system’s menus. But it is starting to show its age slightly compared with the set-up in Merc’s GLA, for instance, and the lack of a touchscreen seems a curious omission from this facelift. I still catch my wife prodding away at it before she remembers.

      The Q2 is good fun to drive, though, and at times, it really doesn’t feel like an SUV. There’s good feedback from behind the wheel and very little body roll in corners, meaning you can even get a little playful with it when you come to a windy road.

      Our car is a 35 TFSI, so has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with 148bhp and 250Nm of torque. Flip the drive mode into Dynamic and it feels quite sprightly, able to sprint away from a standing start quicker than expected, with a surprisingly pleasant sound from the exhaust. Move into the ‘Comfort’ setting and everything settles down and provides a more enjoyable experience for cruising around town, although the ride is a little firm thanks to the optional 19-inch alloy wheels on our car.

      Model: Audi Q2 35 TFSI S tronic S line
      On fleet since: January 2021
      Price new: £31,870
      Engine: 1.5-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
      CO2/tax: 144g/km
      Options: Navarra Blue metallic paint (£575), Front sports seats (£750), 19-inch alloys (£1,250), Matrix headlights with dynamic indicators (£975), Space-saver spare wheel (£150), Parking pack plus (£450), Driver assistance (£440), Audi side assist with pre sense (£730), Storage pack (£410), Panoramic glass sunroof (£875), Heated front seats (£310), Headlamp washers (£245), Dual-zone climate control (£550), B&O audio (£790), Audi phone box with wireless charging (£200)
      Insurance*: Group: 20 Quote: £718
      Mileage: 2,540
      Economy: 33.5mpg
      Any problems? None so far

      *Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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