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2017 Audi Q2 Sportline – Car Review – Competent Urban SUV

2017 Audi Q2 Sportline – Car Review – Competent Urban SUV

The Q2 is Audi’s new small SUV, rounding out their Q range with an entry-level model.

Their marketing campaign for this car is #untaggable, implying it’s a car that can perform any function rather than being a niche product. We tested one out to see.

The Range

At the moment in New Zealand there’s just one model available – the 1.4 TFSI, priced at $54,500, and it’s pretty well equipped. You get a 110kW 1.4-litre direct injection turbo petrol engine with a 7-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Eco-functions include cylinder on demand, stop/start and brake force energy recuperation. There’s ABS, ESC (with torque vectoring), pre-sense crash avoidance, lots of airbags, ISOfix child seat mounts, keyless entry and start, auto dimming mirror, reverse camera.

Our test car had the optional $4500 S-Line pack which adds S-line exterior details and badges, flat-bottomed steering wheel, 18” alloys and LED interior package, and the $3000 Driver Assistance Package which adds adaptive cruise control, park assist, lane assist and high beam control.

I imagine most Q2s will be sold in white, silver or black, but you can get red, metallic orange, blue or even solid yellow if you’re feeling particularly outgoing.

First Impressions

From the outside the Q2 is handsome, recognisably an Audi, but somehow also a little bit bland. A few people commented that it looks like a big VW Polo. Not a bad thing but also not very interesting either. I like that you can specify the C-pillar covers in different colours – just like the side blades on the R8. Okay that’s reaching a bit, but I think if they were in black rather than silver it would have made our white test car look better and less generic. Saying that, I checked Audi’s configurator and they can be specified in silver, white or dark grey. And some colours only come with the “contrasting paint” option which paints the side skirts and arch trims in dark grey, making the car look horrible in my opinion.

The Inside

Inside, the Q2 is really very pleasant. The standard seats are two-tone cloth with a silver highlight and they look great. Leather is available for an extra $3500 with silver, red or yellow highlights. The cloth seats are very comfortable, with good side support and they’re easily adjustable so you can get a good driving position. The rears are also comfy and there’s good legroom.

The dash is quite plain; very understated Audi, made of nice soft-touch plastics, with an aluminium trim running across the middle. The flat-bottomed leather wheel which comes with the S-Line kit is great, really good to hold and it has thumb controls for the stereo, phone and trip computer.

Instruments are the standard Audi analogue dials for rev counter and speedo with a  screen in the centre for trip computer, digital speedo, satnav directions.

There’s a large central screen for the entertainment system and reversing camera. It’s operated with a controller knob in the centre console behind the gear shifter.

The whole interior has a real quality feel to it, as you’d expect from Audi. The materials are good, touch points feel right and it all looks and feels great. The controls are all logical and fall easily to hand, with a couple of exceptions. The first time I got in it took me a minute to find the start button as it’s on the centre console near the gear shifter. The other one is the cruise control stalk which is in a bit of an awkward position at about 8 o’clock behind the steering wheel. It’s fine once you get used to it but I’m not a fan of the positioning.

There’s a good-sized 405-litre boot which has a clever variable height floor which can either sit right on top of the spare wheel, or can be slotted in higher up to give a more level space when the 60/40 split rear seats are folded down. There are hooks at the sides of the boot to hang your shopping bags, and metal loops to tie things down if needed. The electrically opening and closing boot is a great feature to have too.

The Drive

In traffic and around town the Q2 is great. The high seating position gives you good visibility, and the smart cruise control means you can let the car do the stop/start driving for you. The system can come to a complete stop and set off again and it makes queues much more relaxing. Smart cruise isn’t standard but part of the Driver Assistance Package, which is a $3000 option.

Another feature which I noticed most in this sort of driving is the cylinder-on-demand tech. Occasionally the bottom of the display will read “two cylinder mode” as the Q2 has disabled two of the cylinders to save fuel. There’s no obvious transition when this happens, it’s all very smooth and seamless. Clever stuff.

The stereo is very good – decent bass and very clear. It has Bluetooth, aux and USB inputs as well as power sockets for your chargers. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are supported. It’s also very quick to connect back to your phone and start playing your music – something other manufacturers often don’t do as well.

Road and wind noise are well damped, and the Q2 is comfortable cruising along at highway speeds. On the twistier back roads it handles well – there’s minimal body roll and the steering is quick and sharp. The 110kW 1.4 litre turbo engine hustles the Q2 along well, with ample performance for normal driving. It feels nippy around town, though I did struggle a bit to set off smoothly from junctions. It seemed to either bog down or spin the wheels with not much transition in between. Once rolling there were no issues, with plenty of torque available. The seven-speed automatic transmission is well matched to the engine and gear shifts were barely perceptible most of the time. It did occasionally forget to shift down to first when I came to a stop, meaning an irritating fraction of a second delay for it to kick down before I could set off.

The Competition

You’re spoilt for choice in this price range for SUVs

Brand / Model Engine Power Fuel L/100km 0-100km/h Price Highest to Lowest
BMW X1 1.5l 4 cylinder turbo 100kW/220Nm 5.4 9.7s $59,900
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5l 4 cylinder 132kW/233Nm 6.8 8.5s $59,690
Renault Koleos Intens 2.5l 4 cylinder 126kW/226Nm 6.9 9.8s $54,990
Holden Captiva LTZ 3.0l 6 cylinder 190kW/288Nm 8.2 N/A $54,990
Mazda CX-5 Limited 2.5l 4 cylinder 138kW/250Nm 7.4 N/A $54,895
Audi Q2 1.4l 4 cylinder turbo 110kW/250Nm 5.8 8.5s $54,500
Mitsubishi Outlander VRX 2.4l 4 cylinder 126kW/224Nm 7.2 N/A $54,490
Ford Escape Titanium Ecoboost 2.0l 4 cylinder turbo 178kW/345Nm 8.6 N/A $53,490
Mini Countryman Cooper S 1.6l 4 cylinder turbo 141kW/280Nm 6.4 7.4s $52,990
Hyundai Tucson Elite Limited 1.6l 4 cylinder turbo 130kW/265Nm 6.5 N/A $52,990
Kia Sportage GT Line 2.4l 4 cylinder 135kW/237Nm 8.5 N/A $51,990
BMW 218l Active Tourer 1.5l 4 cylinder turbo 100kW/220Nm 5.1 N/A $50,500
VW Tiguan TSI Highline 1.4l 4 cylinder turbo 110kW/250Nm 5.5 9.2s $47,990
Honda HR-V Mugen 1.8l 4 cylinder 105Nm/172kW 6.9 N/A $46,900

The pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • Quality interior
  • Decent performance
  • Great stereo
  • Good safety and equipment levels
  • Looks a bit bland
  • Issues with gear selection

What we think

The Audi Q2 has decent looks, a great interior, good safety and technology, enough performance, and is generally a really good city car. But the overall package is a bit, well, meh. It’s a car that will serve you well if you want to blend into the background and just get on with things, but there’s not really anything that lifts it above the competition. Competent is the word that springs to mind. A solid all-rounder.

Rating – Chevron rating 3.5 out of 5

Vehicle Type Small SUV
Starting Price $54,500 + on-road costs
Tested Price $62,000 + on-road costs

S-Line Package $4,500

Driver Assistance Package $3,000
On-road costs $1,700

Engine 1.4-litre 4-cylinder inline petrol with direct fuel injection, turbocharging and Audi cylinder on demand technology.
Transmission 7-speed S tronic
0 – 100 kph 8.5 seconds
Kerb Weight 1340kg
Length x Width x Height 4191 x 1794 x 1508mm
Cargo Capacity 405 litres seats up

1050 litres seats folded

Fuel Tank 50 litres
Fuel Efficiency Advertised Spec – Combined – 5.8L / 100km

Real World Test – Combined –  7.8L / 100km

ANCAP Safety Ratings 5 stars
Warranty Audi Cover Assistance – 3 year Cost Free Motoring, unlimited kilometres, covers all non-service expenses including roadside assist.

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