not rated yet

Smallest Audi crossover delivers chunky styling and a fine drive

Audi Q2 SUV Review Video
Enlarge 1 videos Enlarge 162 photos

At a glance

New price £22,725 - £43,795
Lease from new From £268 p/m View lease deals
Used price £11,655 - £32,085
Used monthly cost £291 - £801
Fuel Economy 32.8 - 49.6 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £475
Insurance group 13 - 39 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

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

CONS

  • Prioritises posing over practicality
  • Smaller boot, tighter rear seats than rivals
  • Cabin doesn't feel as modern as newer Audis
  • No hybrid or electric model

Audi Q2 SUV rivals

Written by Adam Binnie on

In this review

  1. Introduction 
  2. Practicality
  3. Interior
  4. Comfort
  5. Running costs and mpg
  6. Reliability
  7. Engines and driving
  8. Handling
  9. Safety
  10. Verdict

This is the entry-point to the German maker's SUV range - the Audi Q2 - a car that offers a blend of off-roader styling and hatchback ease of use. It sits at the bottom of the pecking order below the Q3, Q5 and Q7, and the even number indicates a sporty, rather than boxy outline.

The Q2 is aimed squarely at rivals such as the MINI CountrymanMercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and Volkswagen T-Roc, but also faces even wider competition from less-premium brands offering crossover ride height and generous interior space. 

At 4.19m long, the Q2 is 13cm shorter than its more conventional in-house rival, the A3 Sportback, with which it shares its mechanical underpinnings, yet with 405 litres of luggage capacity it’s got a 25-litre bigger boot when carrying five passengers. That's assuming three of the five are kids - the rear seat is on the tight side for adults, offering slightly less room to spread out in than its A3 counterpart.

Audi Q2 practicality

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

The Audi Q2 is a compact crossover 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.

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.

Flop the rear seats forward and you’ll boost load space to a more echoing 1,050 litres.

Audi Q2 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. Audi really has nailed its interiors of late and the quality of materials used and the underlying design are knock-out successes. It feels like a properly premium small crossover from behind the wheel.

While the material quality lower down the interior of the car isn’t quite as good as other Audi models, 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. This is a colourful, crisp, modern place to sit and Audi claims there are 5 million colour and trim variations, so no two Q2s need look the same.

Cabin full of technology

The Q2 really comes alive inside when you start plundering the options and spec lists. We’ve already seen Audi’s Virtual Cockpit in the TT and A4 ranges and here it pulls off the same techfest trick - replacing analogue dials with digital ones; the widescreen 12.3in instrument pack comes alive, flicking between conventional speedo and rev counter one moment or full-width mapping the next. It’s a pretty cool option.

While there’s an optional head-up display available, it’s probably not worth going for this when the Virtual Cockpit is so slick to use. A small perspex screen pops up from the instrument cowl in the driver’s line of sight, beaming up key information such as speed and sat-nav directions, so you never have to take your eyes off the road. It works well.

Maps, infotainment, and connectivity

So many cars have digital connectivity baked-in from the outset and the Q2 is no different. Even entry-level SE models come with a 7.0-inch TFT screen as standard and this is the car’s digital hub, controlling audio, telephone, navigation and a multitude of settings.

The Audi Connect package is available as an option, bundling in niceties such as Google Earth, app streaming and the option to sync the car with your work calendar, so it can remotely set the destination for your next meeting. Clever stuff, but be warned the online services come with a subscription fee. Yes, your next Audi is just like Netflix and is likely to pop up on your bank statement with increasing regularity…

Comfort

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

The Audi Q2 is an easy car to drive and the ride and handling impress, 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 SE and you should remember that 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 S Line models, but it won’t cost you anything to choose the suspension set-up from softer SE and Sport models instead.

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.

Audi Q2 running costs and mpg

  • A cheap car to run, if not buy
  • Frugal engines curb fuel bills
  • Likely low depreciation too

The biggest running cost of all is depreciation and we think the Q2 will hold its value well, with a future residual value of around 60% after three years of ownership.

Day-to-day costs should be modest, as Audi offers variable servicing which could stretch garage visits to 20,000 miles or so. Buyers are given the option for fixed annual servicing and this may suit low-mileage drivers or those who do a lot of urban motoring.

Fuel economy and CO2

Consumption is admirably low across the board. The 1.0 TFSI returns between 46.3–47.1mpg, and produces 135-138g/km of CO2.

The 1.5-litre TFSI is only marginally worse, with an average of 44.1–44.8mpg and 142–145g/km of CO2.

The diesel is the most efficient, with the 1.6 TDI averaging a model-best 48.7–49.6mpg and 150-153g/km of CO2.

The previously available 2.0 TFSI Quattro was the least frugal of the standard line up, returning up to 42.8mpg and 153g/km of CO2.

Unsurprisingly, the SQ2 is the version that gets through fuel the quickest (especially if you make the most of the power on offer), but Audi claims it'll manage up to 32.8–33.2mpg and 192–195g/km of CO2.

Reliability

  • One official recall issued for the Q2
  • Tried-and-tested VW Group hardware
  • Just watch out for electrical gremlins

The Audi Q2 is based on the VW Group’s omnipresent MQB architecture and this platform has underpinned millions of small and mid-sized hatchbacks across the portfolio, from Volkswagen to SEAT, Skoda to Audi. This scale brings some peace of mind, in our opinion, as all the components have undergone testing at a huge scale, both in the laboratory and in the real world.

There are no specific worries about any engines or transmissions that we’re aware of. We anticipate excellent durability in the sturdily-built, high-quality cabin and the only fly in the ointment for us is the high-tech gadgetry on offer; Audi did suffer a few problems with early editions of its Virtual Cockpit, for example, but these should have been ironed out when it first appeared in 2014.

It’s not all perfect though. The Q2 was the subject of a recall regarding the housing for the rear wheel bearing. This affected Q3 and A3 models and, if buying a used model, should have been rectified by an Audi dealer under the car’s warranty.

Audi Q2 engines and driving

  • Two petrol engines, one diesel
  • Plus a high-performance SQ2
  • Front- and all-wheel drive available

There's not a huge amount of engine choice for the Audi Q2, but what there is covers most bases - two petrols, one diesel, plus a performance-focused SQ2.

TFSI petrol engines

Proceedings kick off with an eager 1.0-litre TFSI three-cylinder engine (badged 30 TFSI), which has 116hp and 200Nm of torque. This is a sweet-revving engine with a characterful three-cylinder sound that provides sufficient performance for this small crossover, capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in 10.1 seconds, and with a 122mph top speed.

Next up is the 150hp 1.5-litre 35 TFSI, which has Cylinder On Demand technology that shuts down two of the four cylinders at light loads to save fuel. It’ll sprint from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, and is a popular model - and for good reason. It’s well mannered and drives well, the S Tronic model feeling particularly well-matched with this engine. Its 250Nm of torque helps here, too.

TDI diesel engines

The smaller the car, the less likely buyers are to pick a diesel engine, but Audi still says the 116hp 1.6 TDI is a popular motor in the Q2.

We can see why: it's refined and offers a generous 250Nm of torque, which will help with overtaking, even though on paper it's the slowest to accelerate taking 10.3 seconds to reach 62mph. This engine is available with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Engines previously available

A more muscular 2.0-litre badged 40 TFSI was also offered in the Q2, delivering a hearty 190hp and pokey performance thanks to 320Nm of torque and Quattro all-wheel drive. The 0-62mph sprint took 6.5 seconds, and it felt like a responsive and surprisingly agile version of the Q2.

Another way to get Quattro all-wheel drive in your Audi Q2 was the larger 2.0-litre diesel. This engine produced 150hp and 340Nm of torque, and came exclusively with the S Tronic gearbox. The 0-62mph sprint took 8.1 seconds, and it went on to reach 131mph.

Audi SQ2

Late in 2018 Audi added a sportier Q2 to the range – badged SQ2. With 300hp and 400Nm of torque available, Quattro all-wheel drive and an S Tronic gearbox, the SQ2 is a properly sporty SUV, using the same mechanical parts as the Volkswagen Golf R, Cupra Ateca and Audi S3.

It boasts a 0-62mph time of just 4.8 seconds, and will go on to reach a 155mph limited top speed. On the move, it does feel like those performance figures are believable. With a choice of driving modes available - Comfort, Dynamic and Individual (plus an Effiiciency mode) - you can tweak the driving experience with a more aggressive throttle response and weightier steering in Dynamic mode. Floor the throttle and the SQ2 is eager to push forwards thanks to the power and torque on offer, the fast-shifting S Tronic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive to aid traction. 

It's worth making sure the gearbox is in S, though, as it can be a bit slow to respond when left in the normal mode and to fend for itself. Take manual control via the paddles and it's quick to respond and even sounds surprisingly good, with pops and crackles coming from the quad exhaust pipes if you time it right. However, it can also be mild-mannered if you like that sort of thing, calming down at a cruise. 

Handling

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

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. So it should come as no surprise that it drives rather like a compact, slightly taller family hatchback. It isn’t at all daunting to pilot around town and the car is easy to place on the road. We found no fault with any engine and trim combination - all handle well and can be hustled around city streets or your favourite country lane with a degree of poise and balance that belie the Q2’s crossover status. It feels more like a warm hatchback than a tall SUV on tip-toes.

With more rubber to distance passengers from the road, plus suspension firmness that can be set to your tastes for maximum comfort, sharper roadholding or your own combination of steering weight, suspension characteristics and engine response, the Q2 is smooth, comfortable and deals with rough roads without fuss. Pick large wheels though and you'll introduce a level of fidgetiness to the ride. 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.

Adaptive dampers on the Audi Q2

The suspension on most Q2s uses standard dampers, but you can select adaptive dampers as an optional extra, whose stiffness can be tailored via the Audi Drive Select system to engage Comfort or Dynamic modes depending upon your mood. This is a nice option to have, but not compulsory, as we think the Q2 rides and steers quite well enough on the standard chassis – it’s only S Line models with stiffer suspension that jar a little over bad bumps.

All Q2s come with progressive steering, which varies the amount of input required at the wheel to turn the car, depending on your speed. Unlike rival systems, we were impressed by this set-up - the helm feels incredibly natural considering the complexities of the variable rack attached to the (very feelsome and high-quality leather-trimmed) steering wheel.

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, the previously available 2.0-litre diesel and the 2.0 TFSI petrol engine could be ordered with Quattro four-wheel drive. If you live in a remote area and want the security blanket of improved traction we’d heartily recommend the extra security it brings.

Audi SQ2 handling

Like many other all-wheel drive cars in the VW Group, the SQ2 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 a BMW, 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 in terms of performance and handling. It gets around corners without drama, but that incredibly eager engine will punt you out of a corner quicker than many other hot hatchbacks will.

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 is built from the very latest in high-strength steels and Audi claims the passenger cell is unusually stiff and resistant to crushing forces; if you’re unlucky enough to be in a collision, there’s a full suite of airbags to protect both rows of seats, as well as seatbelt pretensioners to hold you in position.

What is more tangible in the showroom is the sheer amount of safety kit on offer. The Q2 is bristling with technology designed to prevent you having an accident in the first place, although you should note that much of it is optional.

Safety kit includes niceties such as head-up displays so you’re not looking down at the instruments; standard-across-the-range emergency braking, which slaps on the anchors if a car or child pulls into your path unexpectedly and extra-cost blindspot detection systems.

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.

Verdict: should you buy an Audi Q2

The Q2 makes Audi’s premium appeal accessible to a whole range of SUV buyers - it isn’t as playful as a MINI Countryman on a twistier road (even the rapid SQ2), but many will prefer the Q2’s maturity - it’s still good to drive and certainly better resolved than the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

It demonstrates Audi's typical ability of bringing quality and refinement to another niche of car. The interior is solid and neatly designed with some appealing touches that make it feel a cut above many of its rivals - including higher-spec versions of the similar Volkswagen T-Roc, while it should prove to be spacious enough for most young families.

If you want a true SUV-style experience then it might fall a little short - you don't really sit much higher than in a regular A3 hatchback - the crossover feel is more in terms of how the Q2 looks. But that lower ride height equals a tidy drive, with very composed handling characteristics that make the Q2 very ease to get along with. 

If you’re buying a Q2 but with a tighter budget, the 1.0 TFSI versions will suit you. Not only do they represent the cheapest points in the range, the running costs aren’t far behind the frugal 1.6 TDI. If you’re driving in town most of the time, the 1.0 TFSI will be the better option anyway, so you really don’t need to pay the extra cash for the diesel.

If you’re a company user, the 1.0 TFSI is also the cheapest for BIK in SE and Sport trims. The 1.5 TFSI doesn’t cost too much more per month, and its greater flexibility on the motorway could be worth making the small jump for – again in SE and Sport trims. If you want an S Line, be prepared to pay a bit extra.

For performance fans, the SQ2 will be the only option. With performance rivalling that of a Volkswagen Golf R and even the Audi S3, it’s a proper wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing in that you don’t quite expect that level of performance for something so subtly styled. 

Further reading

2020 Audi Q2 interior

Audi Q2 SUV rivals