First Driving Impressions – Audi Q2, UK Press Event, Suffolk
Suffolk is a place I have never been to before, so a county I have never been to in a car I have never driven before, should be interesting!
Suffolk doesn’t have a motorway, most of it is low-lying, founded on Pleistocene sand and clay. Coastal defences have been used to protect several towns but many cliff-top houses and businesses have been lost due to coastal erosion, with many more currently under threat.
We were based at Yoxford in Suffolk for the press drive event, which is around 10 miles from the coast, it is here where we set of in the Q2 to explore the area and test the car.
This all-new car from Audi is certainly a new direction in design, it is nothing like any other current Audi. If you took off the large Audi grille and badges, you would struggle to guess what make of car it is; it is that different, so very different indeed. I can imagine back in the design days when the exterior designers had to present the drawings or clay models to the Board and the Elders would have look bemused over their spectacles and said ‘what on earth is that’ in German of course..!!
The Q2 sits in a new and growing sector called ‘Premium Compact SUV’, and in size sits between the A1 and A3 Sportback and Q3. Although it is shorter than the A3, it is slightly wider and taller than the A3. It is priced between A3 Sportback and Q3, so no doubt there will be some confusion in some customers minds – so it is smaller than an A3, but costs more….they will say..!!
There are three trim levels available: SE which will take 10% of sales, Sport – 55% and S Line 35%, we drove all variants whilst on the launch, the Sport seemed to be the best bet. It costs £1,550 more than the SE but you seem to get a lot more for your money.
The engines available at launch will be: 1.4TFSI petrol that produces 150ps, a 1.6 TDI diesel that produces 116ps and a 2.0 TDI 150ps. A 1.0 3-cylinder petrol 116ps will be available late 2016 and a 190ps 2.0 TDI will follow late 2017. We drove the Q2s with the engines that are available now and both were great they were very quiet engines and refined. But the one I would like to try when it becomes available is the sweet, small one-litre. We have tried this engine in other Volkswagen Group vehicles, such as the A1, Golf and the SEAT Ateca and it really is a nice, economical petrol engine and I’m sure it will work perfectly in the Q2.
We drove the Q2 around Suffolk, though clearly there was no opportunity to drive it on any motorway, although we did find a short stretch of dual-carriageway where we could open it up and cruise at 70mph for a couple of miles and what a delight it was at this speed, with hardly any noise in the cabin. Then we drove it to Aldeburgh, a small seaside town, that was so pretty, although it was like going back in time. On the beach they were selling fish, next to the boat that they had caught it on and on a blackboard by the shop it said ‘If our fish was any fresher, it would still be swimming’.
We parked the Q2 near the beach in a small car park, then went and sat on a bench for a few minutes to see how many people (if any) went to have a look at this new Audi and we were really surprised just how many walked around the car and peered in through the window, about 8 in total, in a very short space of time, so the different new bold look, is different enough for it to stand out.
The Q2 is full of new technology that has been on larger cars for a while but has now cascaded down the ranges to smaller ones, items such as: progressive steering, Audi pre-tense front and rear pedestrian protection and front and rear LED lights (S line only) MMI screen that is positioned high on the instrument panel. The list of standard specification on the base car is impressive but get up to the S Line and it is mightily impressive,
The length of the Q2 is 4,191mm compared to the A1 at 3,973mm, the Q3 at 4,388mm, a Mini Countryman is 4,097mm and a Nissan Juke is 4,135mm, but the Q2 is wider than its competitors and with 2WD the Q2 has more luggage capacity than the Nissan and Mini.
I wasn’t sure about the exterior styling when I first saw it at the Geneva motor show earlier in the year and stood back looking at it from different angles and found myself shaking my head in disbelief a couple of times. But now I have seen it in the flesh and in its natural habitat, then it is certainly growing on me and I wonder if this new design direction for Audi could also be the future design direction for the Audi on the whole.
Prices for the Q2 start from £20,230.00 OTR for the forthcoming 1.0, and go up to £27,730.00 0TR for the 1.4TFSI S line 7-speed S Tronic. There is an Edition-One that is priced at £31,170.00 for the manual, and £32,720.00 for the automatic but these won’t last long. But the one for me would be the Sport 1.4 TFSI manual at a cost of £23,930.00 as it has everything you need, looks sporty and is sensibly priced.
Audi have managed to produce a different looking car, that is very modern, has the right engines, a good level of standard specification, and I think we will be seeing plenty of these on our roads.
This Audi may be different but it is still every inch an Audi…!!
Bang and Oulfsen sound system – £700 option on all
LED headlights with LED rear lights + dynamic rear indicators - £975 option on SE & Sport – Standard on S Line & Edition
A popular figure in the automotive industry, celebrated in the Business Car Power list Top 10. An unrivalled understanding of the entire automotive manufacturing process. Providing independent and tailored advice to help automotive and related businesses identify and achieve their goals.