Why would I buy it?
- Potent powertrain, good ride/handling combo
- Compact dimensions
- Solid German build-quality
Why would I avoid it?
- The dated cabin
- Lacks features
- Higher spec variants are expensive
Engine and Performance
Powering the Q2 is the utterly refined and infamous 2.0-litre EA888 TFSI petrol motor unit that is also used in numerous Volkswagen Group cars. The output of 188bhp/320Nm is channelled to the wheels via the Quattro AWD system with the help of seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s a punchy one, this. But it doesn’t seem so initially and amusingly comes across as pretty tame at low revs. If only it had a matching exhaust note too.
And as soon as you go hard on the throttle, this motor’s apparently got the mettle to force you into the seat while speeding ahead feverishly, albeit in a linear manner. But the thing is, you have to wait for a split moment for the turbo to spool up at about 2,000rpm hereafter, which then leads us to witness its rather sprightly performance all the way to its red-line. In this respect, Audi claims its Q2 can do 100kmph in a rather swift 6.5 seconds before hitting a top speed of around 228kmph.
Working in close quarters with this feisty motor is the dual-clutch gearbox that offers nothing short of seamless and lightning-quick shifts in the most dynamic drive mode. Even in extreme kick-down situations. And if this still doesn’t satisfy your speed-buds, then the paddle shifters are your last bet. Honestly, it's only when you toggle to Efficiency/Comfort mode that some delay creeps into the gear-shifting equation which is given considering the overall intent of these modes. All in all, they alter the engine/gearbox and steering responses.
Ride Quality and Handling
Speaking of which, in the Efficiency/Comfort mode, the steering feels light and easy to point at slower speeds and toggling to ‘Dynamic’ renders it to weigh up significantly. Those who’d like to mix and match the responses for a tailor-made experience (like myself) are free to use the Individual mode. But we certainly concede that the steering is a wee bit slow off the centre to start with, but get past that and it’s largely direct.
Likewise, there is some body roll due to the 200mm ground clearance and long-travel dampers, but it never comes to the point of shaming its hot hatch demeanour or even scaring the wits out of you. Playing a hefty role here other than the grippy tyres is the Quattro AWD diving in to help the Q2 stick to its intended line around bends. That aside, despite the underlying stiff suspension setup, the Q2 absorbs everything from the odd irregularities to the harsher bumps in its stride. What’s even nicer are the solid high-speed stability manners. Consequently, the brakes have a strong bite, with no tendencies of brake fading even after a day’s spirited driving.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
Once inside the Q2, you’ll agree that this cabin isn’t one of the more modern Audis despite the immaculate quality and fit/finish. Surprisingly enough, more than a few bits here and there can remind one of some of the earlier Volkswagen Group models. That aside, while you sit tall on those well-clad front seats, they also offer good support overall. Nevertheless, we expected at least some electric adjustments.
Apart from that, the MMI screen itself is a bare basic one with a dated interface which isn’t a touchscreen one! Then, there’s the all-digital instrument cluster with customisable screens, and although it performs the job well, the graphics could have been better. Practicality-wise, there’s a bunch of storage spaces all across that can easily store your belongings. As for the rear bench, it can accommodate two adults with just about enough head- and knee-room for me (I’m 5.5’).
However, the lack of appropriate under-thigh support along with the rather upright non-adjustable backrest translates into less comfy long hauls. But owing to the 40:20:40 split-folding functionality, one can let the extra luggage spill here accordingly when the 400+ litres of boot space isn’t enough. In terms of features on the top-spec Q2, it has ambient lighting, LED headlamps/taillights, a sunroof, an MMI system with navigation and smartphone connectivity, wireless charging and two-zone climate control.
The safety net on the Audi Q2 includes eight airbags, ABS with ESC, head restrains, and an electric parking brake. It's also equipped with daytime running lights, heated and auto-dimming door mirrors, a parking aid with a rear-view camera, auto-dimming inner rear-view mirror, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and ISOFIX child seat mounts.
A half-eyed glimpse is all it takes for anyone to make out that the Q2’s creator is undoubtedly Audi. Yes, looks are more or less subjective but that grille, in particular, casts a shadow on whether it was worthwhile taking up all that facial real estate. Simply because it looks far from smashing, especially with those blunt headlamps flanking it. Likewise, the profile section isn’t the least inspiring and seems more like a hatchback on stilts. Agreeably, Audi rears aren’t usually of the catchy kind (pun intended), but the cute upright stance with the subtle ‘T’-shape tail lamp internals and dual-tip exhausts make for some decent visuals.
Considering the Q2 is a CBU, it costs a steep Rs 45.63 to Rs 63.14 lakh (OTR Mumbai), which frankly speaking, is a lot of money for not a lot of car. Also adding to its list of woes are the inappropriate rear seat dynamics, the age-old cabin design, a subtle stance, and the fact that the carmaker could have brought in the facelifted model which is already doing the rounds worldwide. Meanwhile, the only substantial thing going for it, other than having an Audi parked out front, is the fun-to-drive factor that’s brought about by the zippy powertrain and an endearing chassis. Honestly, is that enough reason to plonk for one? We don’t think so.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi