The Audi Q2 is Ingolstadt’s compact SUV. It treads its own path, not just in the way it’s a unique design in the Audi range but it’s also unashamedly dynamic.
I’m not afraid to admit that I am a straight-up fan of the Audi Q2. I first drove it on the Australian launch in 2017 and then again with my partner-in-crime Nikki Cousins for Carsguide’s Torquing Heads.
Time has passed, the range has changed and there are shiny new badges on the tiddly SUV’s rump. The Q2 now only comes with petrol engines, the 1.4-litre turbo four in the 35 and the 2.0-litre turbo four in the 40 TFSI.
How much is a 2020 Audi Q2 and what do I get?
35 TFSI: $41,950 + ORC
35 TFSI Edition #2: $44,550 +ORC
40 TFSI quattro: $49,400 + ORC
40 TFSI Edition #2: $52,400 + ORC
More than an A1, less than an A3 and obviously less than the Q3, the Q2 is a nice little gap-filler in the Audi range.
Before the inevitable ticking of the boxes, the 40 TFSI scores 19-inch alloys, an eight-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate control, reversing camera, keyless entry and start, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, sat nav, auto LED headlights, leather(ish) trim, leather steering wheel, auto wipers, sports seats and wireless charging.
Audi is slowly working its way through the range with the new interior (like slotting the Q8‘s dash into the Q7 and the fun new A1) but for the moment, it’s still the same dash design as the ready-for-the-back paddock A3. That means old school MMI. That’s no shame, but it’s not a touchscreen and there’s no wireless CarPlay (although both Apple and Android Auto connectivity is available via USB).
The Edition #2 I had adds $3000 to the 40’s price while – Audi says – adding $4000 of value. You get painted wheels (which sound awful but are actually really cool), convenience key and side assist safety tech.
Assistance Package: For $1100 you score lane departure warning, lane keep assist, auto parking, active cruise and auto high beam.
Comfort Package: This is $1300 and adds a bunch of storage items that – again – should be largely standard – but also adds electric lumbar support, heated door mirrors and heated front seats.
Technick Package: In this $2500 add-on, you score Virtual Cockpit (yes!), a flat-bottomed steering wheel (why?) and an upgraded sat nav (good, I guess).
You can also spec a heads-up for $990 and heated seats on their own for $600.
Safety – 5 stars (ANCAP, 2016)
Off the bat, you get six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, forward AEB (low speed) with pedestrian detection and forward collision warning.
In 2016 that was enough for a five-star ANCAP rating but really, there should be a few more safety gadgets as standard at this price point.
Warranty and Servicing
Audi is still on the three-year warranty/unlimited-kilometre warranty train, along with BMW, while its (admittedly much more expensive rival) Mercedes has gone to five years.
Servicing is every 12 months/15,000km and you can prepay three years for $1580 and five years for $2140.
Audi dealers, at least in metro areas, are pretty swanky, so you can at least see where your money is going.
Look and feel
Audi was very excited when this car launched, with lots of chatter about the new polygonal design language. It really sits well in this car and it sill has one of my favourite design elements. Along the top edge of the doors is this lovely chamfered edge, as though someone grabbed a bit of clay wire and ran it along the sharp character line that starts at the headlights. It looks amazing,
Yes, I’m weird.
The painted wheels work really well on the white Edition 2, but your mileage will vary on the colour.
I’ve already mentioned it;’s the old A3’s interior but that’s no sledge. It’s a lovely piece of design and has aged spectacularly well. The 40 TFSI Q2s get the sports seats and they’re great. Storage isn’t wonderful in the cabin, but you do get a decent-sized boot starting at 355 litres and that triples with eth seats down.
It’s got a great driving position, too, with heaps of adjustment for seats and wheel.
Chassis and drivetrain
The Q2 rides on the Audi’s MQB platform, which underpins about a zillion cars. The 40 TFSI features a multi-link rear end (as opposed to the 35’s torsion beams) which means better ride and handling.
The 19s are wrapped in 235/40 rubber, in this case Bridgestone Potenza S001.
Under the bonnet you’ll find the 2.0-litre turbo four so beloved across the VW Group, delivering 140kW at 600rpm and 320Nm between 1500-4200rpm. The seven-speed twin-clutch sends power to all four wheels (when required) and will propel the Q2 to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.
Not messing about, then.
I remember thinking that the original Q2 2.0 TDI (RIP) was pretty close to being a warm hatch. Just higher. The 40 TFSI has reinforced that idea. With the quattro AWD and decent punch from the 140kW turbo, the only thing holding it back is the seven-speed DCT’s low-rev reluctance.
It is really good fun to punt around, with tons of grip from the wheels that somehow don’t destroy the ride. It’s not a soft cruiser, obviously and is firmer than you might expect, but it really works.
Once you work out the need to have the throttle down to keep the engine and transmission from falling off the boil. The seven-speed version of the Audi twin-clutch is a little hit and miss (hit in the A4, miss here) but once you learn how it behaves, you’re good to go.
The car does handle the city beautifully, which is pretty much where they all live. High speed cruising is a doddle but it does have a little bit of wind rush around the mirrors, something it shares with the Q3. Apart from that, super solid and a genuine ball of fun.
BMW has two on offer, the X1 and X2. Given the Q2’s style focus, the X2 is closer to the mark. The German rival is throwing the kitchen sink to jump start sales. The X2 has a newer interior and wider engine choice but its probably the less practical of the two.
Mercedes is running out the current GLA in favour of the new one coming down the pipe. Unlike the Q2 and X1/2, the GLA is obviously a jacked-up A-Class rather than a really distinct design. Longer warranty, though.
The Lexus UX is a fine car, but with a tighter interior. Lovely to drive, though and has more stuff and also has a longer warranty, if not as long as the Merc’s.
I still love it. Sure, you need to tick boxes to match a Kia Seltos GT-Line’s spec (and therefore spend a lot more) but it’s such a cool car with plenty to give. The Edition #2 isn’t the real deal here, but the 40 TFSI is. Warm hatch performance, excellent ride and handling and a very cool design.
The 35 TFSI isn’t the one you want. Spend the extra for the 40.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.