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Audi Q2 35 TFSI: Downsized yet upmarket

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 22,2018 - Last updated at Jan 22,2018

Photo courtesy of Audi

Small, sporty and compact frame, the Audi Q2 is the Ingolstadt automaker’s thoroughly convincing and well thought out premium mini urban crossover SUV.

Built on the same and well-regarded Volkswagen/Audi MQB modular platform, the sprightly Q2 is sized just small than a compact family hatchback and handles with similar agility and finesse, yet, packs a broad range of convenience, infotainment and safety features.

Positioned as the brand’s entry-level crossover, the Q2 is a nimble and well-packaged runaround that makes many a compact crossover competitor seem big, bulky and ungainly by comparison.

 

Feisty charisma 

Smaller than even the Mini Countryman and Fiat 500X, who is unique selling propositions are their compact size, the Q2’s Audi design ethos is unmistakable, yet, somewhat less aggressive and more feisty in character. Featuring a large hexagonal grille as expected, and with defined rear shoulders and wheel-arches, the Q2, however, seems more playfully assertive rather than brimming with an outright aggressive disposition. Its lights are not quite as slim or heavily browed, while its low roofline, rear hatch angle and more compact high-set rear lights also lend it a sense of accessibility. 

Measuring just under 4.2-metres long, 1.8-metres wide and just above 1.5-metres high, the sporty looking and sporty to drive Q2 features sculpted flanks, blacked out rear pillar and a pert lower bumper section. Meanwhile, its big footprint and short overhangs provide good stability, agility and cabin space. An urban crossover without extensive off-road pretensions, the Q2’s light 1280kg weight, compact dimensions and generous 150mm ground clearance, however, allow easy drivability on gravel and dirt paths in standard front-wheel-drive guise, as driven, while the range-topping model’s Quattro four-wheel-drive allows for improved off-road and low-traction capability. 

 

Perky and frugal

 

Driven in Q2 35 TFSI guise, Audi’s baby crossover is powered by the intermediate of three turbocharged petrol engines available. Displacing 1.4-litres, the Q2 35 TFSI’s direct injection four-cylinder develops 147BHP at 5,000-6,000rpm and 184lb/ft torque throughout a wide 1,500-3,500rpm mid-range band. Driving the front wheels through a swift and smooth shifting 7-speed automated dual clutch gearbox, the Q2 can automatically and seamlessly deactivation two cylinders when coasting between 1,400-3,200rpm. And with a stop/start system too, it achieve frugal 5.5l/100km combined fuel consumption, even when fitted with the largest 19-inch alloy wheels available.

Perky and punchy for such a small unit, the Q2’s engine is responsive and eager after the briefest moment of turbo lag from idling speed, before it dispatches the benchmark 0-100km/h acceleration sprint in 8.5-seconds. Pulling confidently from low-end and with a versatile mid-range for easy drivability and on the move acceleration, the Q2 35 TFSI also benefits from low CD0.30 aerodynamics, which helps it achieve a 212km/h top speed, while reducing wind noise at motorway speeds. Small yet willing, the Q2’s 1.4-litre engine is happy to be revved hard to deliver its best performance.

 

Agile and alert

 

Noticeably picking up its pace when pushed high towards the redline, the Q2’s high rev performance well-complements its eager chassis and nimble handling characteristics. In essence a small and light hatchback that has been given the crossover SUV treatment with a high ride height, the Q2 is an agile and fun car at heart. Eager into corners with a flick of its quick and precise electric-assisted steering, it corners tidily. Agile through successive corners, the Q2 feels manoeuvrable, yet, committed in most circumstances, but nevertheless feels adjustable and playful when “chucked” through a corner.

Shifting its weight to the outside and rear when lifting off the throttle suddenly or dabbing the brakes mid-corner, the Q2’s MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension and chassis is eager to tighten its cornering line, and feels lively, and engaging. Steering is meanwhile tight, taut and well-weighted through corners, yet well damped and confident at speed. Stable and refined on motorway, the Q2’s ride is smooth and settled over imperfections and on rebound. Meanwhile body lean is minimal and well controlled through corners for its segment, and grip and road-holding are reassuring.

 

Well packaged

Riding on optional 235/40R19 tyres on Dubai roads, the Q2 felt comfortable and forgiving on all but the most jarring bumps. However, for rougher Jordanian roads, one would recommend one of the more supple 16-, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheel and tyre combinations available. With an up-right, high, ergonomic and well-adjustable driving position, one feels at the centre of the action in the Q2 and along with its compact dimensions, benefits from good road visibility and easy manoeuvrability, despite its high waistline and small glasshouse. Moreover, the Q2 can be optioned with lane assistance, blind spot monitoring, and stop/go adaptive cruise control.

In addition to the above, the Q2 receives Audi’s Presense safety system and optional parking and rear cross-path detections systems as part of its “big” car assistance safety features. Stylish, up-market and user-friendly inside, the Q2 is well packed to comfortably accommodate five occupants and 405-litre luggage capacity, which can expend to 1050-litres. It can also be available with head’s up display and the configurable and digital Audi Virtual Cockpit instruments panel, while convenience systems include Audi’s MMI infotainment system with 8.3-inch screen, touchpad control, natural voice recognition and optional Bang and Olufsen sound system.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 1.4-litre, turbocharged, transverse 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 74.5 x 80mm

Compression ratio: 10:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 7-speed dual clutch automated, front-wheel-drive

Ratios: 1st 3.765; 2nd 2.273; 3rd 1.531; 4th 1.133; 5th 1.176; 6th 0.956; 7th 0.795

Reverse: 4.168

Final drive, 1st-4th/5th-7th: 4.438/3.227

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 147 (150) [110] @5000-6000rpm

Specific power: 105.7BHP/litre 

Power-to-weight: 108.8BHP/tonne (kerb)

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 184.4 (250) @1500-3500rpm

Specific torque: 179.2Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 184.5Nm/tonne (kerb)

0-100km/h: 8.5-seconds

Top speed: 212km/h

Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined:

6.5-/4.9-/5.5-litres/100km 

CO2 emissions, combined: 125g/km

Fuel capacity: 50-litres

Length: 4,191mm

Width: 1,794mm

Height: 1,508mm

Wheelbase: 2601mm

Ground clearance: 150mm

Track, F/R: 1,547/1,541mm

Overhang, F/R: 828/768mm

Loading height: 740mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.30

Headroom, F/R: 1,029/966mm

Shoulder width, F/R: 1,390/1,347mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 405-/1,050-litres

Unladen/kerb weight: 1,280kg/1,355kg

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning Circle: 11.1-metres

Suspension: MacPherson struts, anti-roll bars/torsion beam

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs

Tyres: 235/40R19 (optional)

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