4.3 out of 5 4.3
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Smallest Audi SUV delivers chunky styling and a fine drive

Audi Q2 SUV Review Video
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At a glance

New price £24,295 - £46,825
Lease from new From £314 p/m View lease deals
Used price £13,440 - £40,845
Used monthly cost From £335 per month
Fuel Economy 32.8 - 60.1 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £490
Insurance group 13 - 39 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Least expensive Audi SUV
  • Frugal performance
  • Wide choice of engines

CONS

  • Prioritises posing over practicality
  • High trim levels are pricey
  • Smaller boot, tighter rear seats than rivals

Audi Q2 SUV rivals

Written by Alan Taylor-Jones on

In this review

  1. Practicality
  2. What's it like inside?
  3. Comfort
  4. What's it like to drive?
  5. Handling
  6. Running costs and mpg
  7. Safety
  8. Verdict

If you’re looking to combine a ‘premium’ badge with a raised driving position, the Audi Q2 is one of the cheapest options out there. While almost all rival brands kick off their SUV ranges with something the next size up, the Q2 is most definitely city sized.

Being an even-numbered SUV means the Q2’s aiming for style over practicality, but its boxy body is still as useful as any hatchback. It has many rivals in this ever-competitive market segment, but instead of budget opposition like the Ford Puma and Nissan Juke its closest natural rival is the MINI Countryman and leftfield DS 3 Crossback. Both the BMW X2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA are a bit bigger and a fair bit pricier.

Launched in 2016, the Q2 underwent a facelift in 2020 aimed at refreshing the styling and adding in some key equipment that was previously missing. Though it was applied with a light touch, this update has succeeded in keeping the Q2 competitive.

With a wide range of good engines, a beautifully built interior and plenty of options to make the exterior and interior of your car as individual as you like, the Q2 is still a very attractive car to buyers who want to stand out without having to sacrifice practicality or usability.

Practicality

  • Not the roomiest SUV
  • Fine in front, cramped in back
  • Deep boot has 405-litre capacity 

The Audi Q2 is a compact SUV and at less than 4.2m in length, it’s considerably shorter than an Audi A3 Sportback or Q3. So don’t expect the laws of physics to have been stretched too much by Audi’s engineers — it’s roomy enough in the front, but there are compromises in the rear.

If you only occasionally carry rear-seat passengers, then it’s likely to fit your needs. Two adults can fit back there, but there is less room for legs and heads than you’ll find in larger SUVs. All but the most long-legged children should be fine, however.

While the Q2’s compact dimensions mean it’s not the most spacious crossover out there, it does mean it’s very easy to drive around town and to wiggle into tight parking spaces. Plenty of glass, a square shape and good visibility make it very easy to manoeuvre, so you’d do well to struggle nipping around town in this car.

Luggage and boot space

The Q2’s boot measures 405 litres in capacity with the rear seats up, placing it behind the larger loadbays you’ll find in the bigger MINI Countryman, BMW X1 or Mercedes-Benz GLA. Even the similarly small Ford Puma, Renault Captur and Skoda Kamiq have more boot space.

Flop the rear seats forward and you’ll boost load space to a more echoing 1,050 litres. This is done with a conventional 60/40 split in most trims while the seats don’t do anything clever like recline or slide back and forth. Opt for Vorsprung and you do at least get 40/20/40 split folding rear seats.

Interior

  • Another knock-out Audi cabin
  • High-quality materials abound
  • Techfest options, but subscription costs too 

The cabin of the Q2 is probably its strongest asset with the quality of materials used impressing even compared to newer rivals. It feels like a properly premium small SUV from behind the wheel.

Almost unchanged since 2016, the Q2 actually has one of Audi’s oldest interior designs. While newer models eschew almost all physical buttons in favour of a pair of screens, the Q2 retains a high-set infotainment display and a centre console covered in switches.

That’s actually a highly favourable turn of events. We’re not the biggest fans of Audi’s super high-tech interiors, and the physical climate controls and rotary dial to configure the infotainment are far easier to use accurately. They also have the benefit of staying free of mucky fingerprints.

While the material quality lower down the interior of the car isn’t quite as good as some pricier Audis, it’s still one of the most solid and plush-feeling interiors in the class, so you won’t feel too short-changed.

The basic architecture of the dashboard is inherently logical and the four, swivelling round air vents lend a classy touch. Audi is offering a slew of personalisation on the Q2 and, depending on trim level, you can pep up the cockpit with a choice of body-coloured trim, silver accents and other highlights.

Infotainment and tech

Opt for Sport trim and up and you’ll get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, replacing analogue dials with digital ones that can show a wealth of information. You can have a conventional layout with traditional dials and an information panel in the middle, a full screen sat nav map or displays that show music, phone or trip computer information more prominently. It’s well worth having.

All trims get an 8.3-inch infotainment system that’s controlled by a rotary dial between the seats, much like BMW’s iDrive. The screen isn’t touch sensitive which can make putting an address into the sat nav irritation when you’re stationary, it does prove safer to use on the move. That’s helped by a selection of physical shortcut icons around the dial.

All models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity as standard, but you’ll need to upgrade to Sport trim or raid the options list on Technik trim if you want sat nav and online services including an app that allows you to lock and unlock the car remotely.

Comfort

  • Comfortable ride quality in Audi Q2
  • Good standard seats
  • A generally peaceful cabin 

The Audi Q2 is an easy car to drive and can be pretty comfy, with a mature quality to the suspension which absorbs the worst road bumps to leave the cabin remarkably serene. This is best achieved on the smaller wheels, however – 16-inch rims are standard on the entry-level Technik and give the most cushioned ride. Every size up will damage the ride quality a little - Sport models come with 17-inch wheels, while S Line adds 18s, generating more patter over broken surfaces.

Sports suspension is standard on Black Edition models, which combined with big 19-inch wheels gives the harshest ride of all. Top spec Vorsprung also gets 19-inch wheels but in conjunction with adaptive suspension that allows you to stiffen or soften the ride.

Hot SQ2 models get even lower and stiffer suspension with adaptive again standard on Vorsprung models. They are on the firm side but not uncomfortably so, especially with the switchable suspension.

The standard seats prove comfortable even after a whole morning spent in them and the range of adjustment in the front is sufficient for even very tall drivers. We detail some practical shortcomings found in the rear of the Q2 in the Practicality section of this Parkers Audi Q2 review.

Noise is well suppressed, although you should note the 1.0 TFSI is a buzzier, louder engine than its four-cylinder compatriots. The 1.5 TFSI is especially refined - we struggled to tell when its Cylinder On Demand system was operating in two- or four-cylinder mode.

What's it like to drive?

  • A variety of petrol engines available
  • Plus a high-performance SQ2
  • Front- and all-wheel drive available

The Audi Q2 is based on the oily bits that underpin a host of VW Group small cars, including the VW Golf and Audi A3. Unsurprisingly it drives rather like a compact, slightly taller family hatchback and certainly not like a lumbering SUV. It isn’t at all daunting to pilot around town and the car is easy to place on the road. 

Petrol engines for the regular Q2 range from the 1.0-litre three-cylinder 30 TFSI that’s nippy around town but can feel a little sluggish on the open road (0-62mph takes 11.2 seconds), up to the 2.0-litre 40 TFSI that’s really rather brisk at 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds. We’d recommend the 1.5-litre 35 TFSI as it’s the best balance between performance, running costs and price, whilst proving one of the most refined engines in the range. If you’re interested, 0-62mph takes a perfectly respectable 8.6 seconds.

If you’re after a diesel, the 30 TDI has plenty of low down shove but doesn’t feel all that brisk when pushed. The 35 TDI feels far quicker and would be our recommendation if economy is important for you. Just bear in mind they’re much pricier to buy than the petrols.

For those more interested in MPH than MPG, the SQ2 is the fastest model in the range. It’s certainly rapid with a 4.8sec 0-62mph time, but it’s pricey to buy and doesn’t make the Q2 a particularly fun SUV as we’ll come onto shortly.

Handling

  • Q2 feels very similar to the A3  
  • Adaptive dampers optional  
  • A good balance of ride and handling

Up the pace and it takes corners well, with its extra height over a similarly sized A3 hatchback being unnoticeable. The steering is weighty but satisfyingly precise, giving the driver a good sense of control. Meanwhile, the engine itself offers a glut of power from low engine speeds while proving more than quick enough for most drivers if you work it harder.

All Q2s come with progressive steering, which increases the speed the more you turn the wheel. That means it feels reassuringly stable on the motorway but doesn’t need much arm twirling when negotiating a multi storey carpark for instance. Unlike some rival systems, it doesn’t feel unnatural and makes the Q2 easy to place on the road regardless of your speed.

Front-wheel drive and Quattro drivetrains available

The vast majority of Q2s come with front-wheel drive and this will suit most owners down to the ground. Yes, you can chirrup the front wheels if you nip out of a damp T-junction, but traction for the most part is excellent even with the punchy turbocharged engines. However, 35 TDI gets the option of four-wheel drive with the 40 TFSI and SQ2 getting it as standard. If you live in a remote area and want the security blanket of improved traction it’s worth considering.

Audi SQ2 handling

Like many other all-wheel drive cars in the VW Group, the SQ2 (below) provides safe and assured handling without much drama. Traction and grip levels are impressive in the bends - you really have to push the SQ2 hard for it to begin to lose grip - and the steering is quick to respond.

However, it doesn't feel as involving as the much cheaper Ford Puma ST, with direct steering that doesn't feed back an awful lot to the driver. However, there's little to complain about in terms of how quickly you can cover ground - the SQ2 is a very well-sorted car that gets around corners without drama.

Ownership and running costs

No Q2 is particularly cheap by small SUV standards, although it does undercut the cheapest high-rise offerings from BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. With no hybrid models in the range, CO2 emissions are nothing to write home about.

However, the Q2 holds onto its value very well which helps make PCP costs surprisingly affordable. In terms of ongoing costs, the diesels are the most efficient but the 30 and 35 TFSI petrols will easily manage over 40mpg in the real world.

Safety

  • Five-star Euro NCAP rating
  • Q2 is dripping with safety kit
  • Pedestrian detection is standard

The Audi Q2 received five stars from Euro NCAP when it was tested in November 2016, scoring particularly well for adult occupant protection as well as child occupant protection. It’s worth pointing out that these tests have got significantly tougher, so its impossible to directly compare with newer small SUVs.

Top models get side assist and cross traffic assist at the rear, both of which aim to stop you from being sideswiped by passing motorists.

There’s also the Traffic Jam Assist accessory, which uses cameras and ultrasonic sensors to drive in congestion autonomously at speeds of up to 40mph – the thinking being that microchips are more reliable than human beings in dull city driving. Also available is Adaptive Cruise Assist, which does the same for higher-speed driving.

Should I buy one?

The Audi Q2 is a thoroughly competent small SUV that’s still well worth considering, especially if you’re looking at PCP finance. If image and interior quality are high on your priority list, it’s an exceedingly tempting choice.

What we like

Step into the Q2’s interior and you can easily see why its pricier than many rivals. There’s plenty of high quality materials and the infotainment system is easy to use on the move and packed with features. Keep to Technik or Sport trim and you’ll find it’s pretty comfortable while 35 branded engines and up have plenty of muscle. Tidy handling and decent equipment levels are the icing on the cake.

What we don’t like

It’s very easy to spend an awful lot of money on your Q2, especially when you consider there aren’t a lot of individual options available. That means adding a bit of equipment you want requires jumping up a whole trim level or two. Models with big wheels and sports suspension are a bit too firm while space in the back and boot are nothing to write home about.

Read on for our Audi Q2 verdict and what it's like to live with one.

Audi Q2 SUV rivals