Audi Q2 (16-) preview

  • Badge appeal
  • Lots of tech available
  • Wide range of engines

The theory behind the Audi Q2 suggests that it’s easier to get someone into a large, expensive SUV if they’ve already enjoyed owning a smaller and comparatively cheaper car.

It’s a Trojan Horse designed to get a younger audience into an Audi car and onto a long ladder of ownership.

So what talents does this new small crossover employ to tempt customers away from a cheaper Nissan Juke, Renault Captur or MINI Countryman?

Rally inspired design with youthful styling

Audi wants the Q2 to attract a younger audience and that meant addressing the mature and business-like looks of its larger cars.

So you get a large, sharp-edged polygon down the side rather than the standard curves and creases. The whole look was inspired by the tough Dakar Rally and the high-up cabins, slim canopies and big wheels of its hardcore racers.

Size-wise it’s about six inches shorter than a Q3 so you don’t get the same interior space, but a mix of off-road looks and on-road practicality instead.

Lots of engines with Quattro available

In the UK you’ll be able to pick from five different engines, including a 1-litre three-cylinder petrol, two four-cylinder petrols in 1.4- and 2-litres, and two four-cylinder diesels measuring 1.6- and 2-litres.

There will be six-speed manual gearboxes plus an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on all engines. Quattro all-wheel drive is optional on the 148bhp diesel engine and standard on the largest petrol.

Progressive steering - which varies the amount of turning done by the front wheels at different road speeds - is standard and you can pick adaptive dampers for a smooth or firmer, sportier ride as an option.

Kit and customisation are high up the list

Unlike the sober black or silver picked by Audi’s saloon customers, there will be plenty of strong colours for the Q2. The body mouldings come in Manhattan Grey on SE models but are body coloured on Sport and S Line.

The silver roof ‘blade’ which looks a bit like the one on the R8 comes in different colours depending on trim, with Manhattan Grey on SE cars, Ice Silver on Sport and Titanium on S Line.

Inside you can select the large Virtual Cockpit digital instruments, plus an 8.3-inch central monitor which looks as thin as an Apple iPad Air.

Additionally there is adaptive cruise control, active lane keeping assist, and parking assist - which now works in forwards and reverse.

City emergency stop is standard, and it also looks out for pedestrians. You get a 405-litre boot which expands to 1,050 litres if you fold the 40/60 rear seats, and a 40/20/40 split can be specified as an optional extra.

The Audi Q2 will be available to order in July 2016, with deliveries in the last quarter of 2016. Prices are expected to start in the low £20,000s.