Audi injected a little more fun into its SUV line-up when it released the compact and affordable Audi Q2. Sitting below the Q3 in Audi's range of crossovers, it's clearly aimed at Motability customers who want a Renault Captur or Nissan Juke-sized compact crossover but with a premium badge and more style and class. Here, we check out the latest version of the Audi Q2 following a raft of styling tweaks and tech updates.
The Audi Q2 range is priced from £1299 Advance Payment (section updated October 2023).
'Fun' isn't a word you necessarily associate with Audi. 'Cool' perhaps. 'Classy' possibly. 'Mature' definitely. Well forget that third adjective when it comes to discussion of this car, the Audi Q2. It's the kind of product that the German brand hopes will lower its target age demographic, at the same time giving buyers of small Crossovers like Nissan's Juke and Renault's Captur a more appealing option to aspire towards.
In truth, it's likely that that the Motability Advance Payment for many of the higher trim levels will prove to be a little too pricey for customers of those cars but premium models in this segment - contenders like the BMW X2 and Jeep's Compass - should certainly feel the heat from this Q2, especially in this updated form.
The Q2 line-up is primarily based around a mid-range 35 TFSI variant which uses a four-cylinder 150PS 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit with the brand's clever 'Cylinder on Demand' system. There's a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed S tronic auto. It’s capable of 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds, while fuel economy figures of up to 47.9mpg is pretty good. Fuel consumption figures for other updated petrol and diesel engine derivatives haven't been announced yet.
Progressive steering is standard in all variants. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements. Adaptive dampers are available as an option, and there's the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2. On rougher terrain, ground clearance of almost 15 centimetres is slightly better than some other small lifestyle SUVs can offer - and Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) with an integrated off-road mode will also serve the compact crossover well.
Audi has subtly altered the look of this Q2, slightly lowering the octagonal Singleframe front grille to make the front of the car appear wider. Plus full-LED headlamps are now standard and the air intakes now look more 'expressive' and, as with other recent Audis, narrow slits have been added between the radiator grille and the bonnet in the style of the iconic Audi Sport quattro. At the rear, there's a fresh bumper design with an integrated diffuser insert featuring large five-sided polygons.
As before, the Q2 certainly looks distinctive with its 'floating blade' C-pillar and colourful trimming. It's slightly shorter and narrower than an A3 hatch and boasts a complex shape that shows a lot of vertices and edges. In profile, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching, as are the concave flanks in the door area.
Inside, most variants now get the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument binnacle display as standard, paired with an 8.3-inch 'MMI navigation plus' centre-dash screen. Otherwise, you'd have to be an Audi Motability Specialist to really notice the changes made - things like smarter fabrics, a revised gearshifter knob and re-styled air vents. As before, the MMI infotainment system can be controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search set-up. The driver's seat position is low in relation to the steering wheel as in an Audi saloon.
There's reasonably comfortable seating in the rear for two, but if you'll be using the back seat for larger adults regularly, you'd be better off trying something a bit bigger. Practically, the Q2 fulfils the fundamental expectations of an SUV with a high entry, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (405 to 1,050-litres of capacity). A power tailgate is standard, as is a three-way split rear bench backrest with cargo through-loading.
The main Q2 trim options available to Motability customers are the 'Technik', 'Sport', 'S line' and 'Black Edition'. All variants now get full-LED headlights as standard, and there are now new paint colour options and the C-pillar blades can either be body-coloured or finished in black, grey or silver.
Features common to all versions include powered tailgate operation, the Audi Smartphone Interface, rear parking sensors and cruise control, and on top of their visual and technological gains, 'Sport', 'S line' and 'Black Edition' models are enhanced by additions such as front sport seats (those in the latter two variants finished with a cloth and leather combination upholstery) and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. 'Black Edition' specification also brings a black styling treatment for many exterior details, combined with larger 19-inch alloy wheels for maximum visual impact.
Just one engine is available from launch: a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol with 148bhp. It can be ordered with a six-speed manual or seven-speed 'S tronic' automatic gearbox. Audi will hopefully add further petrol engines and diesel engines at some point, including an entry-level petrol engine that under 25's should be able to drive through the scheme.
In some ways, you wonder why it took Audi so long to enter the small Crossover market. That said, this car still requires the Juke and Captur crowd to take a long hard look at their bank balances but it's certainly more accessible than many other 'premium' small crossovers currently available through the Motability Scheme.
It's not perfect, of course. Not everyone will like the styling. You'll need to avoid the larger wheel rim sizes if you want a decent quality of ride. And some - ourselves included - might find themselves to be a touch disappointed that the premium pricing doesn't deliver a little more in terms of standard kit. Otherwise though, there's very little to criticise.
We think potential customers will like the updated styling, the technology and possibilities for personalisation. The result is a car that widens Audi's reach in the Motability market.
People with a disability and carers who choose a new Audi Q2 through Motability will receive a brand new car, delivered by a Motability Specialist at a local Audi dealership, complete with insurance, servicing and maintenance, full breakdown assistance, replacement tyre cover, windscreen repair or replacement cover plus a mileage allowance of 60,000 miles over three years.
This month, these Audi Q2 models can be ordered through the Motability Scheme: