Alex Rae’s 2017 Audi Q2 TDI Review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and score.

In a nutshell: Another sharp Audi product that will tick most buyers boxes.

2017 Audi Q2

Pricing From $41,100+ORC Warranty three years, unlimited kilometres Service Intervals 12 months, 15,000km Safety 5 star EuroNCAP Engine 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel Power 110kW at 3500-4000rpm Torque 340Nm at 1750-3000rpm Transmission seven-speed S tronic Drive quattro all-wheel drive Dimensions 4191mm (L); 1794mm (W); 1508mm (H) Ground Clearance 147mm Boot Space 355 litres Spare space-saver standard Fuel Tank 55 litres Thirst 5.0L/100km (depending on variant)

IN THE SUV market there’s no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’ and manufacturers continue to expand their SUV line-ups to accommodate increasingly persnickety buyers.   

We’ve seen it with the Mazda CX-3, a small SUV that has an impractical boot for anything more than some bags of shopping, but then again that car leads its segment for total sales. Suzuki introduced its even smaller SUV, the Suzuki Ignis, late last year and Audi is having a crack at the small SUV segment with its Q2, which is even smaller than the Q3.

For buyers, the small SUV market offers an affordable entry into the segment. Perhaps they don’t offer the practicality an SUV should have, but its got the look and it doesn’t cost as much. Of course Audi thinks its Q2 can provide all three, and perhaps it can.

What is it?

The Q2 is a compact premium SUV with sharp styling that has plenty of character. It’s got a wide and long grill upfront but with some silver and black ascents the contemporary design looks right at home in the urban jungle. It’s also very small, as far as SUVs go, measuring 4191mm long, 1795mm wide and 1508mm tall – to give you an idea on size, that’s shorter and smaller than the little Mazda CX-3.

The Audi Q2 lineup starts from $41,100 (+ORC) for the entry model FWD 1.4-litre turbo petrol and goes up to $47,900 (+ORC) for the AWD 2.0-litre turbo diesel sport. The Mini Countryman starts from $39,900 (+ORC) for the FWD 1.5-litre turbo petrol and goes up to $51,500 (+ORC) for the AWD 2.0-litre diesel model… so in the premium compact segment the Q2 is competitive, at least until options are tacked on (and you’ll probably want a couple of those).

The Q2 TDI, as tested, produces 110kW at 4000rpm and 340Nm of torque from 1750-3000rpm. It’s not a powerful engine, but good enough to power the Q2 TDi from 0-100km/h in 8.7sec. Comparing apples to apples, it’s over a second slower than the Countryman.

The base model petrol comes equipped with 17-inch alloys, front/rear sensors, reversing camera and 7.0-inch infotainment with navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Stepping up to the diesel sport (on test), additions over the petrol model include: 19-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, and an electric tailgate. It also has its own interior and exterior colours to choose from. There’s no keyless start, however, which comes with the $1900 comfort pack.

As tested, this Q2 TDI is equipped with Audi’s virtual cockpit (part of the $2500 Technik package);  adaptive cruise control and active lane assist ($990 assistance package), S line sports suspension, steering wheel, seats and pedals ($1500 S line Sport package), and body skirts and diffuser $2500 (S line sports exterior package).

So, rather quickly, the initial $47,900 (+ORC) cost grows to $57,390+ORC. And we still don’t have keyless start… The interior also feels a little less special than other Audis, even with S line sports interior package.

What’s it like inside?

The design architecture mirrors some of Audi’s other line-ups like the A3, A4 and A5 – generally long horizontal lines without much clutter. The Q2 has round vents rather than rectangular, and its narrow interior width means it doesn’t feel quite as spacious as the (larger) others, obviously.

The surfaces inside are a mix of hard and soft plastics, but most of the touchpoints are made from quality material. Although the interior is unmistakably Audi in design, it isn’t quite at the level of some of its siblings. That bar is set pretty high, however, but compared with its rivals, the Q2 ranks well.

Front and centre is a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Devices can connect via two USB ports (both with CarPlay/Android connectivity) and the screen has a reasonably high resolution screen with punchy colours. It pairs well with the (optional) Audi cockpit dash that has a similar resolution and vibrance to it.

Although Audi virtual cockpit digital dash is only available in the $2500 Technik package, it’s worth stretching your budget if possible, as it does enhance the driving experience. Apart from looking great, it integrates with the infotainment so media and navigation can be displayed.

In front of the dash is the S line sports steering wheel and it’s a nice upgrade from the standard wheel. A flat bottom design and contoured 9 and 3 hand positions look like something from a sportier car. It also feels terrific in the hands. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are within easy reach and have a solid click to them.

The front seats are only manually adjustable – a bit of a surprise at this price point and model spec – and don’t offer much height adjustment. That’s not great for tall drivers and makes getting into a perfect position hard, but headspace is generous throughout the cabin and clearance is not an issue.

The seats themselves are well constructed and feel durable, but they’re not plush nor overly hugging. The rear seats are less chunky than the front seats but offer a similar level of support. The legroom in the rear is surprisingly roomy, and a wide door aperture makes entry and exit easy. Three large kids or two adults would be quite content travelling long distances, although without mod cons such as USB charging ports or air vents for climate control.

The boot holds a reasonably small 355 litres of capacity on spec but it offers reasonable space in reality. It’s enough for fitting items like prams and kids sports gear into and, compared to the CX-3, it seems large. The floor pops up to provide some hidden storage space, but you lose this if opting for the full-size spare.

The seats split fold 60:40 to increase space to 1050 litre – perhaps if you have a bike and no roof racks – and there’s a $450 cost option to change to 40:20:40 split fold if you have a few friends who like to ski.

What’s it like on the road?

The Q2 TDI proved a versatile steed for both urban and country driving during our time, even if it wasn’t going to get anywhere in much of a hurry.

Around town, the diesel is quiet both idling and poking around town, but there is some rattle when accelerating hard. The only other apparent noise was from the large 19-inch tyres when on coarse chip roads. Nothing terribly offensive, but apparent with the radio off… but not unique to the Q2.

The diesel provides a reasonable amount of herbs up top but there’s a small amount of lag down low, which is exacerbated by hesitation from the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to engage. But once moving, it is calm and sharp enough to negotiate traffic without lacking in grunt.

Further out of town and the Q2 feels quick to turn in on twisting roads. The steering is a bit light but its also precise and sharp enough to be engaging. The Q2 we were in was also equipped with the optional S line 10mm lower sports suspension and while the ride was firm, it remained compliant across most surfaces.

Dynamically, the Q2 has minimal body roll and with quattro all-wheel drive it has minimal understeer in even wet conditions. The 110kW/340Nm diesel doesn’t produce enough power to worry sportier SUVs but, with momentum, the chassis feels well balanced and is fun to direct through twisty roads.

The safety assistance systems, such as blind-sport monitoring and adaptive cruise control, are well integrated and worked properly. The adaptive cruise control kept within 2-3km/h of its set speed when descending hills – better than some other models tested lately.

What about safety features?

The new Q2 comes with a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating, and Audi expects ANCAP to apply a similar rating. As standard, the Q2 TDI comes with seven airbags, as well as traction and stability controls, and quattro all-wheel drive, there’s a light and rain sensor to activate headlights and windscreen wipers, but hill-hold assist is part of the Assistance Package.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is standard along with front and rear parking sensors and pedestrian protection (up to 65km/h). Optional lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control with stop/go function is part of the optional $990 assistance pack.

Why would you buy one?

The Q2 features some unique and modern styling which is sure to lure in buyers. It’s also a consistent product in terms of styling and technology when compared to more expensive models, but it does lack some of the premium finishes inside. That said, it’s one of the better offerings in its segment and offers a solid driveline and spacious interior which even larger SUVs could take inspiration from. Just be prepared to spend a little extra to get the mod cons you want.


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About Author

Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

1 comment

  1. did the car on test have the optional Adaptive/Dynamic Dampers/Suspension?
    I am wondering if it would improve both ride and handling.

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