Audi officially launched the smallest of its 'Q' family of SUVs last July in Zurich, Switzerland. This new entrant brings an all-new look and premium technology to a popular segment. It brings in much of the premium feel of Audi's flagship Q7 in an urban-focused, youthfully styled, five-seat package.
Audi family has grown its 'Q' family of SUVs with the all-new Q2. It's true that this new sub-compact model made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but we had the chance to sample it last month on the roads of Switzerland in its official international launch. It is clear that Audi is trying to attract younger buyers by hitting the small SUV niche and offering a level of customization much expected these days. You might get the feeling that it looks a lot like the A3 Sportback, but at 419 cm, the Q2 is shorter, wider, and taller, with a more high-class fit-and-finish inside.
In the connectivity and infotainment area, the Q2 offers technologies from the full-size class. The driver can use the optional touchpad to scroll through a clearly structured menu, while passengers can surf and stream with smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot. The speedometer and tachometer glow in the optional fully digital Audi virtual cockpit, whose 12.3-inch screen displays highly detailed and brilliant graphics. The head-up display projects key vehicle data, including navigation instructions and driving speed, into the driver's direct visual field.
Taking a closer look at the driver assistance systems, we find functionalities you would expect in larger and more luxurious SUVs. The Audi pre sense front uses radars to recognize hazardous situations that can occur with crossing pedestrians or other vehicles in front of the car. The system warns the driver and initiates hard braking if necessary. Audi side assist monitors lane changes by radar, and the video camera-based Audi active lane assist helps the driver to stay on track in the driving lane. If the driver does not react to the warnings from the lane departure warning system, the new emergency assist brings the Audi Q2 to a stop autonomously. The driver gets additional support from the latest-generation park assist. It can maneuver the compact SUV into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. Cross traffic assist rear comes into play when the driver wants to reverse out of a perpendicular parking spot. It monitors the traffic behind the car with its radar sensors.
Driving the Q2 with its new seven-speed S Tronic transmission makes the ride enjoyable with a smooth and easy progress. The optional drive select handling system gives the driver the option to choose between four modes for varying conditions: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Efficiency. Each mode changes the powertrain's calibration, including shift patterns, steering feel, and adaptive damper settings. Selecting Dynamic was the best choice for rolling corners and having fun on the country roads with a firm control. Switching back to Comfort made the drive through city traffic an enjoyable experience.
The 2017 Audi Q2 will undoubtedly make waves in the compact luxury crossover segment. Its forward-thinking design, digital dash, lightweight, and comprehensive array of powertrains and safety systems should impress buyers. The Q2 will undoubtedly be a big hit for Audi, especially in Europe.
One word: sleek
Pros: New design styling, lightweight, small enough for city traffic, wide range of powertrain choices
Cons: Expensive compared to rivals, tight leg space in the back seat
Rivals: Mercedes-Benz GLA, MINI Countryman, BMW X1, Jeep Renegade
1.0 TFSI: 116 hp @ 5,000-5,500 rpm, 200 Nm @ 2,000-3,500 rpm
1.4 TFSI: 150 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm, 250 Nm @ 1,500-3,500 rpm
2.0 TFSI: 190 hp @ 4,200-6,000 rpm, 320 Nm @ 1,500-4,180 rpm
7-speed S tronic optional, Quattro AWD
0-100 km/h: 8-8.5 sec, top speed: 207-212 km/h, fuel consumption: 5.2 L/100 km
Weight for 1.0 TFSI: 1,205 kg
Weight for 1.4 TFSI: 1,265 kg
Weight: for 2.0 TFSI: 1,280 kg