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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the updated Audi Q2

The first time I saw the Audi Q2 I thought, “Now that is a car I’d love if I were younger.” I was in my mid-thirties at this stage, 2017 it was (yoh, how to give away my age), and it would have appealed to my care-free, not-in-need-of space, younger self. As a motoring journalist, however, I couldn’t quite place the Q2. Where did it fit in? What twenty-something would really be able to afford it? Was it too niche?

Fast forward to 2021 and the Q2 now makes sense to me. I needed time with it. That and I need Audi to explain it to me. Which was done at the local launch this week. You see, the Q2 is niche, but that is the way Audi likes it. It doesn’t really have any direct rivals from the German brands (hint: Mercedes-Benz or BMW) and although it is niche, it is a key product for Audi. It is an attractive introduction to Audi’s SUV range, giving customers access to the Q range. It also grows brand loyalty as it targets the younger crowd who will then hopefully aspire to be Audi owners for life. Having driven it again this week I am reminded as to why it is such fab, yet pricey, offering from Audi.

EVOLUTIONARY

It’s sometimes the most subtle things that make the most impact. The changes to the updated Q2 are mild, yet change the look of the car quite a bit. It is more striking than ever. And there is a brand new colour on offer in the form of Apple Green, which happens to be brand new to Audi, although I am not sure if the person who named this colour has actually eaten an apple or seen one before. It is more of an olive or army green, but either way, it looks smashing in the metal.

The Q2 range has been simplified and more focused with three trim levels on offer. The Standard model gets 16-inch wheels and the blade in body colour. The Advanced model has 17-inch wheels, the blade in Manhattan grey, the bumper in contrasting paint (grey finish), LED rear lights, and sports seats and index fabric upholstery. The S line sports 18-inch wheels, the blade in Platinum grey, the bumper in full paint finish, and sports suspension. I think one of my favourite elements is that of the four rings of Audi’s logo on the blade. It looks all kinds of smart.

Audi Q2
Zoom in to see the Audi rings on the blade

CABIN FEVER

The cabin is spacious enough, despite my heading above the picture, and feels modern and really quite premium. One of the most noteworthy and stunning additions to this new model is that of the decorative inserts within the cabin that are able to light up if customers choose the contour ambient lighting package. You can choose from 10 colours and it looks pretty awesome. I would have loved to have seen it at night in all its glory, but I will accept the lighting of a parking garage.

The cabin is comfortable and the boot space is claimed at 405-litres which should be able to hold at least some of my luggage. Certainly not all of it, but what car can? Look, it is by no means a large car, it is going to appeal to someone who doesn’t have kids, or perhaps only one. Someone who maybe just has a small dog. Or is single. I have someone in mind. (Hint: he has moved over to the PR side of things).

Q2 ENGINE

There is only one engine available which is the 1.4-litre 110 kW/250 Nm unit. It is mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox which replaces the 7-speed S-tronic in the outgoing model. This engine is more than enough in terms of performance and power delivery. It is great for around the city, but having spent a bit of time on the highways at the launch, I was happy as a clam just cruising along. And when needed, I put pedal to metal and was able to overtake. That is all I need from a car. Well that and a list of other things. But something you might want to know is that we were able to keep the fuel consumption close to 6l/100 km.

OVERALL

I don’t want to give too much information away now, otherwise you won’t watch my video when that comes out…which, in fairness, is still a couple of months away, but still. All you need to know is that the Q2 just got a whole lot better, not that it even needed to, mind you. And if we were going to mention anything that it could directly rival, then fine, the Mini Countryman…but if you know me at all, you will know which of the two I would choose. I will just say that it wouldn’t be the Mini.

Look, it ain’t cheap. And if you tick a box or five, you will see a price close to R800 000 which I just cannot even fathom spending on a compact SUV, but you know, “Practical Pam” and all. If you’re wanting a premium hatch and willing to pay a premium price, then the Q2 will certainly satisfy your tantalising appetite.

AUDI Q2 PRICING

  • Audi Q2 35 TFSI Launch Edition R519 500 (limited units available at the time of launch)
  • Audi Q2 35 TFSI R545 500
  • Audi Q2 35 TFSI Advanced R567 500
  • Audi Q2 35 TFSI S line R581 500

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