Driven: New Audi Q2 35TFSI

Enter the updated Audi Q2, a premium compact SUV hatchling in stylish gumboots.

The Audi Q2 has enjoyed four years in the premium compact suv market. In that short time it has sold half a million units worldwide and over 3000 of those here in Mzansi. This is its PI update aka Product Improvement, otherwise known as a facelift. Here it’s a very subtle one, that is an updated front polygonal grille shape, a more chamfered bonnet line and indeed a sharper creased visage overall including the surfaces below the lamps lending its design more width than before. Similarly, the new rear bumper receives deeper, more angular aerodam-like diffusers.

You can have your Q2 in three trim levels. That’s Standard, featuring body-colour C-pillar blade and 16 inch wheels, or Advanced with a two-tone C-pillar blade in Manhattan grey and 17 inch hoops. Then finally the S-Line with 18 inch alloys, LED rear lamps plus the aforementioned C-pillar is finished in platinum Grey. It also comes with sports seats, a sport suspension and a single body colour. Of which there are 12, including a new Apple Green which looks more like an army camo if I’m honest. Which I like. Our test unit also features optional chevron-style matrix LEDs in favour of the standard LEDs, or the Standard car’s Halogen items.

GETTING ON WITH IT
Hop aboard the classy (almost minimalistic) cabin and look, if you’ve been in a modern Audi you know exactly what to expect. I mean this in the best way, an ergonomic and tactile interior. Rear parking cameras, Audi’s modern sound system (with connectivity) and climate control via jet-turbine like airvents all come standard. You can at any moment choose between ten different interior light colours, graphic graphic ambient lighting, I like this also.

Notch it into Drive and you’ll have access to the 35 TFSI’s 1.4l turbo petrol engine. This makes for 110kw/250Nm, equips itself with a 0-100kph sprint in just 8.8sec, and will max out at 214kph. The engine is well paired to Audi’s 8-speed Tiptronic and the combination worked well on our 200km loop comprising of, but not limited to, a drenched Franschhoek. I can report a dynamic little chassis featuring entertaining handling qualities, helped with the new car’s progressive steering rack. Well done Ingolstadt engineers.

About those packages though, there are four. First, the S Line Pack featuring matte brushed aluminum, S Line emblems and black headliner fabric. Then there’s the Comfort Pack with electric tailgate, seat heaters, 4-way lumbar support and USB ports at the rear. Third up is the Tech Pack comprising of MMI Nav Plus, Smartphone interfacing and Virtual Cockpit. And then lastly, the ominously titled Black Styling Package. This features a black C-Pillar blade, garnishes, frames, surrounds and mirrors plus 19-inch 10-spoke Y-style rims and the sport suspension. Shew.

RIVAL OF ONE
About 220km later and I can confirm that the Q2 35 TFSI makes for an accomplished premium compact SUV. But here’s the thing. Audi regards the Q2 as a gateway into larger Audis from their offroad portfolio, and only see the Mini Countryman as a direct rival due to the fact that the Q2 is in fact smaller than the BMW X2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. So, as a stepping stone to a life of Q cars the updated Q2 continues to make for a compelling argument. And for just north of half a million rand sans hop-ups, you might even be able to make an argument for it being priced right too.

Quick spec: Audi Q2 35TFSI
Powertrain: 1.4l turbo petrol, 8-speed Tiptronic auto
Performance : 110kw/250Nm, 0-100kph in 8.8sec, 214kph

Audo Q2 Pricing
Audi Q2 Launch Special: R519,500
Audi Q2 Standard: R545,500
Audi Q2 Advanced: R567,500
Audi Q2 S-Line R581,500

 

 

 

 

 

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